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Video Heads for large binoculars

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#76 Jeelan

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 01:24 AM

Great discussion here guys.

 

I've recently purchased and received my Lunt 100 ED APO's from APM telescopes and am looking for a mount for these.

 

I've always been a fan of fluid heads and my spotters and 80mm refractor (when I had one) have always mounted on Sirui fluid heads. I like Sirui - they deliver a good product at the price point they're at. Build quality is exceptional and I've used their heads for a number of years with no complaints.

 

The spotting scopes are mounted on Sirui VA-5 heads with Induro CLT403 tripods. Both scopes are perfectly balanced on this head and will remain in place at any angle.

 

_DSC0156_zpsysu37a6p.jpg

 

_DSC0154_zpstkzcrj60.jpg

 

I was using the Sirui VH-10 for the 80mm refractor that I had, and decided to try the Lunt's on this. While it works, i feel its pushing the fluid head to its limit. I had to increase the drag on the tilt quite significantly and getting the Lunt's to balance is difficult.

 

_DSC0897_zpsinlcnu9w.jpg

 

_DSC0896_zpspjl3j95i.jpg

 

_DSC0899_zps6yukyzdr.jpg

 

_DSC0900_zps246dq4ne.jpg

 

I'm considering buying the next model up which is the Sirui VH-15 which should handle the extra weight of the Lunt quite well. 

 

Then I started thinking about a gimble head - I've never used one before so no idea how they are.

 

Just wondering what people's thoughts are between the fluid head and the gimbal? I know there's a difference in price but i'm not too fussed about that at the moment - I just want stability on the binoculars to optimise my viewing.

 

Looking at the Induro Gimbal or the Sirui gimbal if either are a better option than the fluid head. What are the general thoughts regarding stability of a gimbal head over a fluid head for this type of application? 

 

cheers

Jeelan


Edited by Jeelan, 21 October 2016 - 01:29 AM.

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#77 Mad Matt

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:59 AM

I doubt you will be able to reach zenith with a gimbal head. I researched them a little and the censuses seems to be that if you want smooth movement you have to go with a Wimberley or Jobu unit which are much more expensive than the Sirui and Induro units. 


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#78 Jeelan

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:26 AM

yeah I think the Sirui and Induro are limited to 70degree upward tilt.

 

Might have to bite the bullet and go for the bino mount - how do you find that Matt? any issues with vibrations?

 

If memory serves, you've done some mods on yours havent u?

 

cheers

Jeelan


Edited by Jeelan, 21 October 2016 - 07:26 AM.


#79 Mad Matt

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:56 AM

yeah I think the Sirui and Induro are limited to 70degree upward tilt.

Might have to bite the bullet and go for the bino mount - how do you find that Matt? any issues with vibrations?

If memory serves, you've done some mods on yours havent u?

cheers
Jeelan


I have the Binoptic fork mount and I am very happy with it. The modifications I have done are purely little thinks like adding "handlebars" and a sliding counterweight. The mount itself is rock solid and any vibrations I expieriance are from the center column when it is extended too far.
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#80 John_G

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 10:24 AM

The  Manfrotto 504HD and Pentax 20x60 SP

 

 

DSC_0002.JPG


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#81 nuvax

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 01:31 PM

What is the highest reasonable magnification one can handle with these video heads?

I just bought a Lunt ED 100 and wonder if you can use magnifcations > 100x with a cartoni focus hd or a manfrotto 516?

 

nuvax


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#82 oldmanrick

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 02:18 PM

I have the big Jobu gimbal head, and have used it quite extensively for wildlife and bird photography, videography, and spotting scope mounting.  While it is very good for it's intended purpose, I feel that it's too difficult to make small adjustments in altitude or azimuth.  Smooth video moves at high magnifications are also very difficult.  For astronomy, with the Pentax 100mm spotter, again, it is too hard to "zero in" on, and track a target with small adjustments, due to the friction damping being hard to adjust precisely, and the need to tighten the damping to lock on the target.

 

I also think the Jobu gimbal head would be awkward to mount the binoculars on, due to the bottom mounting plate not being long enough to accommodate the width of the binoculars.  The plate would have to be extended, and this would tend to "off-balance" things.

 

I much prefer the Manfrotto gear drive model 400 head as it provides positive and quick alt/az adjustments, and it stays where you put it without having to lock it down, as I had to do with the gimbal head.  The model 400 is rated for around 22 or 23 pounds load, and I believe that is quite conservative, as it handles my Lunt 100mm APO's without a whimper.  The biggest drawback to this head is that to reach azimuth, I must turn the head around backwards, which necessitates reaching around to the front of the mount for the azimuth crank.  This is somewhat inconvenient, but in my estimation, is far outweighed by the other advantages.  For my type of astronomy, this is the best setup I can imagine, but I admit I have never used a good video head, although I feel that it would have some of the same disadvantages as the gimbal, mainly in centering a target and making small adjustments to stay on it.

 

My $.02, YMMV.

Great discussion here guys.

 

I've recently purchased and received my Lunt 100 ED APO's from APM telescopes and am looking for a mount for these.

 

I've always been a fan of fluid heads and my spotters and 80mm refractor (when I had one) have always mounted on Sirui fluid heads. I like Sirui - they deliver a good product at the price point they're at. Build quality is exceptional and I've used their heads for a number of years with no complaints.

 

The spotting scopes are mounted on Sirui VA-5 heads with Induro CLT403 tripods. Both scopes are perfectly balanced on this head and will remain in place at any angle.

 


I'm considering buying the next model up which is the Sirui VH-15 which should handle the extra weight of the Lunt quite well. 

 

Then I started thinking about a gimble head - I've never used one before so no idea how they are.

 

Just wondering what people's thoughts are between the fluid head and the gimbal? I know there's a difference in price but i'm not too fussed about that at the moment - I just want stability on the binoculars to optimise my viewing.

 

Looking at the Induro Gimbal or the Sirui gimbal if either are a better option than the fluid head. What are the general thoughts regarding stability of a gimbal head over a fluid head for this type of application? 

 

cheers

Jeelan


Edited by oldmanrick, 19 December 2016 - 02:20 PM.


#83 Rich V.

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 06:57 PM

What is the highest reasonable magnification one can handle with these video heads?

I just bought a Lunt ED 100 and wonder if you can use magnifcations > 100x with a cartoni focus hd or a manfrotto 516?

 

nuvax

As far as magnification goes, your tripod will be the major factor in determining stability.  Smooth, linear friction settings of the video head help acquire and track targets but the head won't make up for a shaky tripod.

 

The 516 or heads of similar capacity will handle the binos fine, IMO.  What tripod do you intend to use with the head?  26 lb capacity tripods like a Manfrotto 475 are a bare minimum and are best used from a sitting position with minimal column extension anywhere near 100x or greater.  

 

Rich

 

Rich


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#84 nuvax

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 08:43 PM

 

What is the highest reasonable magnification one can handle with these video heads?

I just bought a Lunt ED 100 and wonder if you can use magnifcations > 100x with a cartoni focus hd or a manfrotto 516?

 

nuvax

As far as magnification goes, your tripod will be the major factor in determining stability.  Smooth, linear friction settings of the video head help acquire and track targets but the head won't make up for a shaky tripod.

 

The 516 or heads of similar capacity will handle the binos fine, IMO.  What tripod do you intend to use with the head?  26 lb capacity tripods like a Manfrotto 475 are a bare minimum and are best used from a sitting position with minimal column extension anywhere near 100x or greater.  

 

Rich

 

Rich

 

What do you think about the Feisol CT-3471 which has a capacity of about 55 lb. ?

Regarding the Head i just saw that APM has released its single arm mount for the 100/120 binos:

http://www.apm-teles...ernglaeser.html

 

In the description it says: suitable for magnification up to 70x ... Thats less than I expected to say the least.

 

nuvax


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#85 oldmanrick

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 09:07 PM

I use the Manfrotto/Bogen 3263 head, (now they call it the model 400), but it's identical, on an old Bogen 058 tripod for my Lunt 100mm APO's up to 117 X without stability problems, provided the wind isn't strong and I keep my technique exemplary, (no bumping the eyepieces, or any other part of the setup).  Tracking and other adjustments are still easy to make with the precise gear drive, although it does cause some short-lived jiggles.  I do try to avoid a lot of extension of the center column at this power, as that does extend the settling time to 3 or 4 seconds at 117X.


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#86 range88

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 09:13 PM

Tried a China made Sachtler ripoff Trix TV-25 video head. Although it's a large head weighs more than 7kg and rated at 40kg, but still a no go for astronomy.

Main reasons:

1.The Sachtler style stepped counterbalance system just makes it too difficult to reach precise spring setting.

2. It won't reach zenith, and the performance becomes worse when you get closer.

3. The balance spring itself is not well adjusted, the torque does not accord with the sine curve quite well, at least not at the same level of Oconnor, Cartoni, and Vinten. I think this is also one of the drawbacks of Sachtler style counterbalance.

 

IMG_7105.JPG

 

 


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#87 Jeelan

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:49 AM

I have just ordered this mount from Matsumoto

 

http://ems-bino.com/2016/02/23/

 

It was a development mount that Tatsuro built when he had access to a customer's APM 100 but sale never went through and he never got any additional interest.

 

I happened to come across an older post and emailed him to query the mount - Tatsuro responded that mount was still available and he would dispatch to me as soon as he finished getting it anodised so i'm just waiting on delivery to come through now...

 

Interesting seeing the APM single arm mount - as I was unsure of ETA on this, I had queried Tatsuro on what he needed from me to develop a single arm mount for the 120mm binos when I get them in Jan 17....

 

cheers

Jeelan

 

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#88 Jeelan

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:52 AM

The base is very similar to Markus's mount - intact its identical to the single arm mounts that Tatsuro makes for the Kowa Highlanders....

 

http://ems-bino.com/img02/hldmt7.jpg

 

I forgot to mention that I recently took delivery of a Manfrotto 161mk2b tripod which is a solid piece of kit so looking forward to mounting the single arm post on this.

 

for travel I use an Induro CLT 403. This works well on softer ground i.e. grass and sand but tends to transmit a bit more vibrations when on a hard surface i.e. paving or bitumen.

 

cheers

Jeelan

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Edited by Jeelan, 20 December 2016 - 06:58 AM.


#89 Stellarfire

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:29 PM

Regarding the Head i just saw that APM has released its single arm mount for the 100/120 binos:
http://www.apm-teles...ernglaeser.html

 

In the description it says: suitable for magnification up to 70x ... Thats less than I expected to say the least.

 

Same here, was not very impressed by that 70x limit. 

BTW, we are talking about the APM center mount. The announced APM single arm mount is a different design and still in the pipeline.

 

Stephan


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#90 range88

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:40 PM

This "Adapter 3/8" appears to fit onto the three Allen screws at the bottom of the bowl.

https://www.cartoni....112-adapter-38/

The protruding mounting rod would need to be removed to make room for the adapter, of course.

I have no way of telling if the bowl itself could be removed, though, for keeping a lower profile. No harm done leaving the bowl, I suppose.

Rich

I've ask Cartoni about the adaptability. Elisabeta Cartoni herself (maybe all other employees are on vacation )answered me in the negative.

#91 range88

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 12:02 PM

Elisabetta wrote to me today thay she's made a mistake.The A112 actually works, so I ordered one today.
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#92 range88

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 08:57 AM

Now I can confirm success with adapter A112 which cost me a fortune, the Manfrotto 325N retires at last.

 

QQ图片20170124215656.jpg

 


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#93 Jeelan

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 07:25 AM

Finally got my Cartoni Focus HD and very happy with it so far. As per suggestions here by Range88 and Allardk, I've removed the rod underneath the 100mm half bowl. With that off, a 3/8" rod from the base plate of any tripod screws into the base of the Cartoni with no issues. 

 

I've currently got it mounted on my Manfrotto 161MK2b tripod, which is what I'll use to mount the APM 120's when I get them.... Between the Manfrotto and the Cartoni, I should have a solid mount for the 120's.

 

I tested the head with my Lunt 100's on it and the variable counterweight setting works a charm. I no longer have to rely on the tightening the drag setting so the binos to stay in the position i leave them - the counter weight does that.

 

The drag is only for how smooth I want to be able to pan/tilt the mount...

 

I set it with the Denk 14 eyepieces in the bino..

 

Its overcast here today so havent had much of a chance to test outside but so far extremely pleased with the head...

 

I'll post pics shortly when I get a chance to take some.

 

cheers

Jeelan


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#94 EricP

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 07:48 PM

Though a little late to the discussion, I'm using the Manfrotto 503HDV as my 28x110 bins mount.  Very stable and smooth.

 

Garrett 28x110 with SkyScout

Edited by EricP, 03 February 2017 - 07:51 PM.


#95 Richard Low

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:36 AM

For my APM 100mm 90deg. ED APO Bino, I am using Velbon Panhead PH-185 (about 1.2kg) on Velbon WX-851 tripod (about 3.5kg). It has a two-way spring counter-balanced panhead. There are two nos. pan/tilt handles which I removed. Motions on both axis are smooth enough that I dont need the handles. There is a geared central post but I seldom use that. The aluminium tripod is good at resisting lateral twisting. Panhead & tripod is stable enough for 8kg load off-axis. I bought the Velbon panhead and tripod as a new set about 15 years ago for about $450 SGD. Once I set the tilt friction knob, I do not need to re-adjust the knob again, even if I remove the eyepieces, as the bino does not shift. Panhead tilt to almost 90 degrees as shown in the photo below.  

 

25933219505_bcd21474e5_c.jpg


Edited by Richard Low, 05 February 2017 - 02:38 AM.

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#96 SMark

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:46 AM

I love sidewalk astronomy.  :flowerred:




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