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( yet another ) Tripod Question

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#1 KennyJ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 12:54 PM

Friends,

I am giving serious consideration to treating myself to a new tripod / head combo for my forthcoming birthday (sadly not my 21st :-) )

I know that the combo I want is the one championed by our friend Erik D -- Bogen 3221 with 501 head (3433), which is available from Adorama.com for $274.

My problem is that I live in the UK.

In the UK there is no such thing as a "Bogen".

"Bogen" products are re-badged Manfrotto ( made in Italy)

I have spent a good deal of time searching the web for both "conversion charts" to try to find out what the equivalent products are called in the Manfrotto range and for a UK company that sells the package.

Although I have established that the 3221 tripod converts to a 055B in Manfrotto language, there are at least four Manfrotto tripods bearing those numbers and letters and I can't even find the Manfrotto equivalent of the Bogen 501 head.

I am rapidly approaching the end of my considerable tether with this issue and would like to know if anyone can help me answer the following questions.

1. Does anyone know the Manfrotto equivalent product names?

2. Does anyone from the UK know where such could be obtained in the UK ?

3. If so , does anyone know the UK prices ?

4.How much would be added to the Adorama price of $274 by the time I paid for it being delivered to my home from the US ?

5.Is there any item within the product package that could be easily damaged in the transportation process ?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance -- Kenny.

#2 sftonkin

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 03:06 PM

Kenny,

Actually, it's Manfrotto that is re-badged Bogen for the US market :-) On the Manfrotto web site (www.manfrotto.com) the products have the Manfrotto codes and the Bogen equivalents, and the search boxes (bottom of pages) have a facility for doing searches on either code if you want to get an equivalent that is not on the page.

The Bogen 501 head is, surprisingly, the Manfrotto 501 head over here. It's available from decent photo-outlets. Even Jessops (www.jessops.com) has it in their catalogue, but you should be able to get it cheaper.

If you import you will pay shipping charges, import duty (4 or 5%), a fee to whoever handles it this end for their "services" on paying the duty before collecting it from you, and then VAT at 17.5% on all of that. It may be cheaper to import from Italy (or elsewhere in Europe) if you can -- no duty or VAT, but you may struggle to find someone who will export into another dealer's "zone".

Finally, if you decide you want an 2nd hand 075 tripod instead :grin:, take a look at http://astunit.com/t...sastro/sale.htm

#3 KennyJ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for that Stephen.

Hummm -- food for thought !

I need to know what a 029 head is and how that and the 075 tripod compare with the 3221 tripd with 501 head.

I'll see what I can find to read NOW on the w.w.w

Back later -- Thanks again -- Kenny.



#4 sftonkin

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 03:31 PM

The 075 is bigger and better (and heavier) than the 055. I am only getting rid of it because I was given a 475 (which has just superseded the 075).

The #029 is a 3-way tilt-and-pan, designed for still cameras. It is OK for smaller binocs (I put my 15x70 Helios on it), but is no good for bigger stuff. You would be far better off with a 501. The 501 is very nice. The major problem with big heavy bins is that their centre of gravity is a long way from the altitude axis, so they go out of balance at different altitudes, necessitating that the tension be done up very tight.

#5 EdZ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 03:33 PM

Is this site just US Bogen? I've always gone here and clicked on the Manfrotto emblem to look up info.

bogenimaging

edz



#6 sftonkin

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 03:40 PM

Bogen is, I believe, owned by Manfrotto. This belief is supported by a WHOIS on the domain name bogenimaging.us -- this gives the registrant as on Abramo Manfrotto of Gruppo Manfrotto S.r.l. in Vicenza, Italy.

#7 KennyJ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 04:04 PM

Stephen,

I've just found a retailer in West Yorkshire that sells the
Manfrotto 055SSB ( Bogen 3221 ) with 501 head as a complete package brand new for £160 + V.A.T

http://www.cke.co.uk...IPOD_KIT_S.html


This is cheaper than I thought I'd find one for , and hae just sent them an e -mail asking how long I can expect before a delivery.

Jessops are charging over £200 and there is a 4 -6 week wait

Thanks again --Kenny.



#8 sftonkin

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 04:30 PM

Fantastic, Kenny! Shows up Jessops, eh? If the tripod is tall enough for you, go for it!

#9 KennyJ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 04:36 PM

Yes Stephen I was just thinking about this.

I'm only 5 feet 9 in my bare feet and the 055 goes above 6 feet , but I was pondering about whether that 075 tripod you have would be better for the occasional "overhead" zenith type of bino viewing than the 055 ?

I COULD just buy the head separately of course -- but it's £99 as a separate item.

I wonder ?

Regards --Kenny.



#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 04:44 PM

Kenny, if you do get the 3221, you'll love it. I just recently purchased that tripod and I think its great, but I have been wondering myself if I should have spotted the extra money to get the Bogen 475 tripod for the, as you said, "occasional 'overhead' zenith" viewing. Regardless, I'm enjoying the heck out of my setup.

#11 Erik D

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 05:07 PM

Kenny,

You can't go wrong with the Manfrotto 3221/501 combo. I have three other Bogen tripods and bought 4 Quickset tripods last year.(for my telescops) The 3221/501 set up is still my most used. Since I do 90% of my obersving with giant binos the above combo serves my need.

You may recall that I also recommended getting a second pan handle(3433HK) and QR plate(3433PL) for the 501 head. The 501 head works fine with just one handle but it's REALLY sweet with two. I discovered this by accident after I purchsed a second 501 head. Taking the handle from my other 501 head I found that I could position the handles on both sides of the head with the grips at 4 & 8 Oclock position. I can pan my binos with very light push/pull motion while my arms are hanging relaxed by my side....

The 3433 HK handle is priced ~$22 in the US. The QR plate is $20. I'd get them toghter when you order the fluid head. I odered two extra handles and three QR plates last year. Adorama charge $8 shipping for the first item and $0.50 more for each additonal item. It was cheaper for me to order everyting at once. Now I can switch among three pair of binos and my 80mmF5 scope in less than a minute.

ERik D



#12 KennyJ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 05:11 PM

Thanks for the tip Erik,

I'll probably order two.

BUT -- what about my question about the additional height of the 075 tripod ?

Thanks in advance -- Kenny

#13 Erik D

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 05:56 PM

Yes Stephen I was just thinking about this.

I'm only 5 feet 9 in my bare feet and the 055 goes above 6 feet , but I was pondering about whether that 075 tripod you have would be better for the occasional "overhead" zenith type of bino viewing than the 055 ?


Kenny,

My Bogen 3221WN is marked 055SSB on one of the legs so I think it's the same tripod. I don't think you will have any problem viewing zenith because we are about the same height. With my 3221 tripod set for viewing the zenith I still have about 5-6 in left in the center column. Manfrotto 3433 head is 4.1 in tall. You'll gain another 3.9 in with the average L adapter. This means mounting point of the binos is about 6.5 ft above ground. The 475 tripod is a few inches taller but it's also 3.5 lb heavier. I also have the 3246 tripod rated for 26 lbs and can reach over 89 inches. It's a great tripod but IMO not necessary for binos up to 25X100 size unless you play pro basketball and your optics weigh over 6 Kg.

I just measured my set-up with a tape measure. The mounting point of my 20X80 is ~80in off the ground with 3221WN tripod fully extended,501 head and L adapter in place.

#14 sftonkin

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 06:02 PM

I think the extra height and stability (it has leg-braces) of the 075/475 is worth it (I'm only an inch taller than you), but these preferences are very personal. The 055 is a very popular tripod, and you would probably have no trouble recouping most, if not all, of the marginal cost of it on Ebay if you decided to upgrade at a later date.

#15 KennyJ

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 06:47 PM

Thanks to each and every one of you helpful guys for your prompt and informative replies.

I am very encouraged by your confirmations Erik , and in spite of the undoubted "superiority" of Stephen's 075 tripod I would prefer as light a weight as possible , as I do intend to be actually carrying this set -up short distances occasionally.

I am REALLY looking forward to getting this set-up now.

I've had a pretty torrid time with tripods and heads etc over the years -- it's way past time I got myself something steady , smooth and pleasant to use.

All I need now is something worthy of mounting on it :-)

From recent reports , sadly , this is seeming less and less likely to be Chinese 20 x 80 binos.

I'm really back to the drawing board between Fujinon 16 x 70 binoculars or Leica APO Televid or other top quality spotting scope , or A.N OTHER.

One of each would be nice :-)

I really do prefer binoculars to scopes.

Nice problem to have though !

Thanks again to all who have helped.

Regards -- Kenny.



#16 KennyJ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 01:21 PM

Stephen and Erik ,

I've been informed that my Manfrotto 055SB ( Bogen 3221 ) with 501 head and TWO panning levers will be delivered in two days time.

Price was more than I'd first thought.

Tripod and Head - £160 + VAT( 17.5 % )+Postage =£206.00
PLUS second handle @ £25 + VAT ------------- =£ 29.38

Grand Total -----------------------£235.38

Perhaps Jepson's wasn't QUITE so much more expensive after after all ! -- but theirs was a 5 week waiting job.

I'm looking forward to receiving this -- pity about the collimation problem with my 15 x 70s :-)

Regards --Kenny.



#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 09:28 PM

Outstanding! You purchased the 3221 tripod! You will be glad you did. Enjoy.

#18 BarrySimon615

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 11:13 AM

Let me throw a recent review I did of the Bogen/Manfrotto 516 fluid pan head into the mix. I will preface this by saying the use of two handles on a pan head is much, much nicer than using just one. You can buy a 2nd handle for the Bogen/Manfrotto 501 as an option. A 2nd handle comes stock with the 516. The 501 is fine for payloads up to about 8 to 10 lbs (capacity 13+ lbs.) however if you want the additional smoothness of movement and security offered by a pan head with a 22 lb. capacity, I believe the 516 is the way to go. It is perfect for 100 mm Miyauchi binoculars.

With the sale of most of my Pentax 6x7 photographic equipment, Fujinon FMT-SX 10x70 binoculars and other sundry astronomy toys that were going unused, I withheld some of my "deposit" to buy the Bogen Manfrotto 516 Fluid Pan Head.

Some may ask "Why get this, you have a LightSpeed Wagon alt-azimuth mount? I do, and it is great, but it does not set up in a snap and if I use it with different payloads - typically either a 6" f/5 refractor or my Miyauchi 20x100's, I have to adjust the cradle height which requires the removal and relocation of 8 socket head cap screws. I wanted something that would work well with heavier
payloads and would set up easily. I already had a Bogen 3063 fluid pan head which works great with my Miyauchi 20x77 binoculars. That head has about a 11 to 12 lb. payload capacity which is a great combination with the 6.6 lb. 20x77 Miyauchi. I have even tried it with the 12 to 13 lb. 20x100 Miyauchi, but it is pushing it with that
pair of binoculars.

Recently I added a handle to the LightSpeed Wagon mount which allows me to move either binoculars or a telescope on the mount without actually touching the binoculars or telescope. It works great, so I wanted dual handles on a quick set up mount.

Research uncovered the Bogen 516 mount. It has a 22 lb. (10 kg) capacity and the ideal balanced payload being 16.5 lb. (7.5 kg) This mount has adjustable tension and a very hydraulic feel. If tension is released somewhat the head
will return to a horizontal neutral position. Loosen it more and it will return faster. Playing with this feature you can actually "track" objects to a certain extent as the head slowly glides to it's neutral position.

This pan head sells for about $450 to $500 and would usually have to be special ordered by a local camera store or ordered mail order. I like to deal with one of the local stores so I brought them price information from several mail order dealers. I asked how close they could come to matching the price, and they did! The next step up from Bogen are heads that top $1000.00, I was not prepared to go
there. Anyway this head has dual telescoping handles that can be rotated and adjusted to virtually any position. The handles have foam grips at their ends. The mounting plate is a dovetail and it comes with an assortment of mounting screws: 2 - 1/4-20 screws and 2 - 3/8-16 screws. Screws not being used can be screwed into receptacles as storage. The mounting plate is constructed so that a red spring loaded safety bar coming in from the side will prevent it from sliding out all the way if the locking lever is accidently
loosened.

The instrux booklet says that the mount will elevate to 90 degrees and will depress to -60 degrees. I found however that the way the head is set up from the factory, it will only elevate to 60 degrees and will depress to -90 degrees. By flipping the handles around (putting the handle mount brackets toward the front, I can get that 90 degree elevation as the back is now the front and vice-versa. The
problem as set up was an extension near the base of the head
containing a bubble level and the azimuth locking lever. I checked the mount carefully and there is no way to flip the upper part of the mount on the revolving base as each side is just a little bit different. Anyway it elevates to 90 degrees as reconfigured.

The pan head is set up on an old Davis & Sanford tripod that I traded a pair of binoculars for. I have an aluminum plate mounted on the top of the D&S tripod. To that I have attached a solid bar of 2.5" diameter aluminum that is 10" long. This bar has 3/8-16 holes tapped into each end. This half pier allows for clearance of the handles and eliminates possible interference from the eyepiece end of either binoculars or a telescope. I have fabricated an eyepiece accessory tray made from a 9" heavy guage aluminum teflon coated cake pan available at K-Mart. (It is part of the "Martha Stewart" collection. People can say what they want about Martha Stewart, but she sure makes good astronomy accessories!) The pan fits over the 2.5" diameter aluminum half pier; the 10" height gives me enough clearance to do this.

The pan head will also work on a Bogen 3036 tripod that I have. That may be the way to go some of the time, though I would lose the eyepiece shelf unless I construct something specific for that tripod.

I tried the mount a few days ago for the first time. First with my University 80 mm f/6.25 on the Sun with a Coronado filter and later on the night sky. I followed that with a quick setup of my Miyauchi 20x77 binoculars. It worked well. I have mounted the heavier 20x100 Miyauchi binoculars. Movement is great, but I have not actually
tried that combination yet on stellar targets.

For those not particularly enthralled by parallelogram mounts and especially for those that have an existing tripod that they may be able to modify to work with this head, I believe it can be just what you are looking for. I also intend to use it with an Orion 120 mm f/5 rich field refractor and possibly even my Jaegers 6" f/5 refractor. Moving the binoculars or a telescope with the dual
handles is really a lot of fun. Tracking a rising American Airlines MD80 taking off from our airport and following it until it disappeared was very easy and a joy. I felt like I was behind an anti-aircraft gun on the deck of the heavy cruiser "New Orleans" CA 32 at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. Well I guess I am letting my imagination get just a little away from me!

Bogen Manfrotto 516 Fluid Pan Head - highly recommended!

Barry Simon

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  • 64183-P2284163.JPG


#19 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 11:44 AM

Barry,

Why do you think two pan handles better than one? I have the 501 head with one handle and I can't see why I would want two. Is it because you could then pan your binos with two hands?

#20 Erik D

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 12:06 PM

NW,

I got my first Bogen 501 with just one handle. Felt the same way you do till I bought a second 501 and tried it with two handles. You may want to read my reply to Kenny J above(#62656) above to find out more.

ERik D

#21 BarrySimon615

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 12:14 PM

NW,

Erik refers to his earlier post which gives you a good answer. I guess my reason for liking two pan handles is it just feels more natural and the effort is easier. By having to hands on the handles it helps steady YOU up to some extent. Get that 2nd handle and try it for yourself and you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Barry Simon

#22 sftonkin

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 01:36 PM

Barry,

I have my Miyauchi 20/37x100 on a 501 head -- it really is not man enough for the job.

A question about the 516, if I may: Can the binoc be used form horizontal to vertical without having to rebalance it by sliding the plate in the head or, like the 501, is there a limited "balanced" range because of the separation between the altitude axis and the centre of mass of the binocular?

#23 BarrySimon615

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 02:54 PM

The 516 balance spring is set up for a 16.5 lb/7.5 kg load, so I am assuming that would be ideal. The Miyauchi 100's are a few lbs. lighter than this, but close. The altitude tension adjustments and the balance spring will compensate for any misbalance. It will have an easier time doing this with a heavy load than the 501 head which is designed for a much lighter payload.

Remember that since the whole weight of the binoculars is above the axis of rotation for altitude, no balance in and of itself is really possible. If you look at my photo posted here of my Miyauchi 20x100's on the Light Speed Wagon mount you may be able to notice two things -

1) The dovetail that the binoculars sit on can be moved forward and back on it's cradle. That certainly helps, but you also have:

2) The capability of moving the cradle up and down to coincide the vertical balance point of the binoculars (plus the cradle on which it sits) with the altitude bearing of the mount itself. (With my 6" f/5 refractor, because of it's diameter, the cradle is virtually bottomed out. With the 20x100 binoculars, the cradle is flipped upside down and at the top of it's adjustment range.)

Only when you balance a load in both horizontal and vertical directions can you get "perfect" balance.

With a video pan head it is really impossible to balance a load vertically, and all the horizontal adjustment in the world won't help completely. Thus the balance spring and the heavy hydraulics of a good video pan head are needed to compensate for this shortcoming. So your last statement about there being a limited "balanced" range because of the separation between the altitude axis and the centre of mass of the binoculars was absolutely correct.

Barry Simon

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  • 64290-Miyauchi 100s on Wagon closeup.jpg


#24 BarrySimon615

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 03:06 PM

Here is another shot of the "Wagon Mount" this time outfitted with a control bar that is similar to the two handle concept of the Bogen/Manfrotto pan head pan handles. I originally called it a Parrot Perch, but perhaps I should call it a Crow's Perch.

Note the handle was made for me by my friend, Ken Dauzat "Ken's Rings and Things". It in no way alters the mount in that it relied about existing threaded holes.

Barry Simon

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  • 64296-PA222912.JPG


#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 03:41 PM

Oh...ok. That's seems cool. I'll keep that in mind the next opportunity I have to get an additional handle. Thanks.


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