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opinion/question on tripod just purchased

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#1 pubquiz

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    Apollo

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:40 PM

Hi I have just bought this tripod and head off Ebay.

It is a Manfrotto 132 tripod and 116 head evidently it is classed for video use.



It is very solid and the head has a very smooth silky movement. I have only had cheapo rubbish tripods for camera use in the past but after reading all the posts on Manfrotto/Bogen tripods being good I thought I would gamble on getting this and it is way better built than anything I have had before.

I will be using it for my 20X90 Strathspey (Chinese but quite nice) Binos.

What I want to ask though is what does the lever in the 2nd photo do? When you tighten it up it doesn't actually seem to push against any movable part just the fixed casting if you see what I mean.

The lever on the other side (photo 1) is the one that locks the 'Alt' movement and locks it solid.

I will just have to get a top mounting plate that fits in the dovetail plate thingy they are £25 new so will keep a look out for a used one.

The tripod/head was £50 so I think this was a good price. There is no 'crank up' central shaft so height adjustment has to be done with the tripod legs but it certainlly goes high enough for my 5'8" height.

Anyone else had one of these and what is your opinion of them?

Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 430854-manfrotto 001 small.jpg


#2 pubquiz

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:44 PM

Don't kow how to add 2 pics at the same time so here is the 2nd pick re what does this lever do?

Attached Thumbnails

  • 430861-manfrotto2 small.jpg


#3 EdZ

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:50 PM

Is one a lock, the other one for tension?

based on photo size limit restrictions, if you were to attempt to put two photos in one post, the sum of the memory would need to be less than 60KB.

Please keep phot memory as low as possible. 20Kb to 30Kb per photo is sufficient.

edz

#4 btschumy

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:57 PM

Tom,

Unfortunately, I think you are going to find the lack of a center elevator a bit frustrating. Adjusting the height with the legs is going to get old quick. Without adjustments you will either need to crouch or stand on tiptoe as you look higher and lower.

#5 pubquiz

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:12 PM

Hi Bill

Yes a bit of a disadvantage I know. I have made 4 different height stools ..they look like a set of steps when placed next to each other..that I use in the observatory for my scope. So I propose setting the tripod at it's highest and using these.

Not the ideal solution I know, but the rubbish wobbly tripod I tried the binos on 1st just wouldn't go high enough and wobbled like a jelly so at least I have got stability and height with this...it will just have to do for now

Tom

#6 pubquiz

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:26 PM

You may be right Edz just tried it but it only makes a tiny bit of difference..with it totally slacked off it it still quite stiff to move (a nice treacle sort of feeling) and with it tightened up it is still moveable but very slightly stiffer.

Sorry about the pic sizes ..I made sure they were both 700 x 500 but will make sure they are only 25k or so in future.

Curriously how can pic 1 be 64k and pic 2 be 43k when they were taken at the same time, same camera, same setting and I made them both 700 x 500?

Tom

#7 Glassthrower

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:37 PM

Curriously how can pic 1 be 64k and pic 2 be 43k when they were taken at the same time, same camera, same setting and I made them both 700 x 500?


In terms of memory, there is not much difference between
64k and 43k in the eyes of your computer. The 21k
difference could arise from subtle differences in color
and lighting in each shot. The one with 64k probably
has more individual shades of color in it.

Here's what I do. When posting pics of equipment, go into
your photo-editor or graphics-program of choice (I use
PaintShop Pro) and check how many colors the photo has in
it. If it has thousands of colors, then reduce the color
"bits" down to 16. This will give you 256 colors, which
is more than enough for equipment photos and will
drastically cut down on the memory size of the file.
You'll have to save it as a ".gif" as opposed to a ".jpg"

Of course, you don't want to abuse this method when
editing photos of planets, DSO's, and the like. When you
reduce an image's color depth, you also reduce the overall
image quality.

Mike

BTW, I don't have a center-height crank on my tripod
either. But I do have an adjustable center post that
has to be manually raised or lowered and locked in place
with the obligatory knurled-knob. I don't find it to be
a big hassle, I just position the tripod so that the
knob is on my right. Then I give a few twists to the
knob and raise or lower the column as needed. Thankfully
I don't have to adjust the legs each time, THAT would be
a hassle.

#8 Craig Simmons

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:49 PM

In the Windows Paint program that come with I think every Windows OS, you can resize the photos as a percentage which reduces the file size.

#9 pubquiz

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for that Mike and Craig.

I use MGI Photosuite....I have got old copies of Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro but use Photosuite as it is so easy and I'm used to it and it does all I want.

I will have to get my head around PS though I suppose when I get into astro imaging.

I will make sure though inthe future that any pics put in the threads will be about 25k now that I know :foreheadslap:

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 04:37 PM

I think EdZ is right about what those levers do. It is just that the tension is probably not what it used to be. Is this unit used?

#11 pubquiz

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 04:43 PM

Yes it's used it was £50 so thats $94 so an ok price I think

Tom

#12 Rich V.

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:38 PM

Tom,

I'm quite sure the lever in pic #2 is the tension lever. The viscous grease inside the head may have dried up over the years making it like the "molasses" you refer to. If you spin the lever off and pull the sides of the head apart you should see one or possibly two sets of plastic discs with interlocking corrugations. The viscous grease is layered between these mating discs; as more squeezing force is applied by the lever, the axis becomes stiffer but still remains smooth operating.

Perhaps someone on this forum can point you to a supplier of some new viscous grease. It's not like lubricating grease; it is quite sticky. It comes in varying viscosities; Bill Cook uses this stuff at his repair shop for sure.

Hope this helps,

Rich V

#13 sftonkin

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:24 PM

What EdZ said: Altitude tension, IIRC. If the variation is slight, the mechanism may benefit from a bit of maintenance. I think what you have is the MK1 version (the current one is MK3, which has a knob rather than a lever). If you can find any version in a photo shop (e.g. a big Jessops), you can get a clue of what the variation should be.

You may also find that, with more weight than your Strathspeys (the 116 is designed for up to about 10kg), you would notice a greater variation.

#14 pubquiz

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 05:53 AM

Ok thanks for that Rich and Stephan. I actually don't mind it feeling 'treacley' it is still easy enough to move and I don't need to get from one view to another rapidly.

Will bear the grease thing in mind for the future though

Tom

#15 Erik D

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 06:49 AM

I think what you have is an old version Manfrotto video head designed for heavy TV/Video cameras. I have not seen this head in the Bogen/Manfrotto( US version) going back 10 or more years...

I have an old(25+) Japanese and QuickSet fluid head of similar design. There is one major problem with using this type of video head for astronomy: The head has very limited altitude adjustment range. Usually no more than +45 to +60 degs. It's OK if you are using it for terrestrial observation but lacking if you want to observe beyond +60 degs.

A 20X90 bino is quite long. You will be constantly making hight adjustments to your stool as you pan up.... I think a Manfrotto tripod with Geared or just rapid center column will work much better...Anything over 183 cm will do. You may want to rethink before you spend another 25 pound for the mounting plate.

This tripod is just over $100 USD and works fine with a 22X100:

http://www.adorama.c...3011&item_no=10

Erik D

#16 craig_oz_land

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:05 AM

Tom, are you still curious?

JPEG file format uses compression to reduce the size of the graphics file.

The one that was smaller was compressed more. It would have had less detail or color variation than the larger one. This enabled the compression to squash it more.

If you take the photo in uncompressed format like tiff or bmp you will notice the file size is dramatically larger than the same file when converted to JPEG.

regards, Craig.

#17 pubquiz

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 12:36 PM

That's just the tripod though Erik, I'd still have to get a head.

I looked at used 501 heads etc but they were more than I can afford at the mo as I've just spent all my dosh on the observatory and a repair to my LX200 :(

I realise that it's best to get the right equipment 1st time but I've had the binos for a while now and havn't really been able to use them, so at leasst I will now, even if a bit restricted. I should be able to get most of what I paid for tripod/head back when I re sell them on Ebay

Will make do for now and save up for something better in the future.

Craig yes I know the original bmp was way bigger..I just leave my camera set on it's max 5 megapixel and reduce it to a jpeg for posting.I didn't know it's to do with the amount of detail/colour variation re compression etc though..thanks for that.

Tom

Tom

#18 Mogster

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 04:24 PM

Manfrotto 055 tripods are excellent for binos, tall and very sturdy. They are around £80 new though plus a decent head. If you can find one going cheap on e-bay snap it up.

http://www.warehouse...tml?cd=20051410

http://www.bobrigby..../manfrotto.html

They used to do the basic model for £60 but they seem to have discontinued it :mad:


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