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Berlebach Planet tripod upgrade - thanks to Don Pensack

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#1 gnowellsct

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:08 PM

I have the earliest Losmandy compatible Berlebach Planet tripod -- I know because I shipped my G11 to them so they could make measurements.  That was some years ago.  Anyhow, the old design of the Planet, of which I think quite a few were made, had a spreader problem.  There was no spreader.  The tray was the spreader.  In theory it was a good idea.  In practice it was frustrating.   Here are a couple of pics.

 

Overview shot first.  You can see it looks nice, looks secure, and when it all meshed right, it was great.

 

berlebach tray problem cn size.jpg

 

But all was not well.  The pressure fit bracket and their support bars often did not match up.  You were supposed to bang the tray on.  But often the metal bar would pop out when you did that.  Furthermore, if you leveled the mount after the tray was in, it often popped out due to changing the angle.  If you leveled the mount before you put the tray in, you might find the leveling adjustments made it impossible to have all three points of the tray gripping the support bars because the ideal angle for level was not an angle that made it possible to put the tray in.  

 

Here's a close up:

 

bracket tray problem 2 cn size.jpg


Edited by gnowellsct, 13 February 2019 - 11:10 PM.

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#2 gnowellsct

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:16 PM

Well the years went by and I learned to live with the setup process of hitting banging and swearing and seat of the pants adjustment.  Often times the metal support bars popped out and I'd have to try to find them in the dark.  

 

Then I noticed from some internet pics that the spreader design had changed.  Berlebach makes quality product, I love the tripod and totally recommend it, but I have found it very hard to communicate with them.  Often emails don't get answered.  When I saw that Don Pensack was selling Berlebach I thought:  well here's a guy who might be willing to help.  

 

And he did.  He talked to his supplier who talked to Germany and the parts came my way (the price was reasonable and I very much wanted to do this upgrade).  

 

So tonight I finally got around to installing the new hardware.  I have not field tested it but the spreader looks good and properly installed.   

 

berlebach tray problem 3 cn size.jpg


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#3 gnowellsct

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:19 PM

I'd put up a pic of the tray in place but once the tray is in it will look just like pic number one, except the tray has a threaded knob in the center that secures it to the spreader.  

 

Anyhow I'm very glad that we have some "small shops" that are willing to go out of their way to field an unusual hardware request and want to thank Don for making it possible.  

 

Now ideally, I will never have to think about this issue again.

 

Greg N


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#4 Neptune

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:45 PM

It's all about customer service and Don is one of the best.


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#5 Nakedgun

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 12:54 AM

I bought my Planet tripod a few years ago (don't remember how many), and it came with the spreader bars and center-mount tray. 

 

My Report tripod mounts the tray with the "clips" as shown in the first post. Being a smaller model, I've not had the issues you describe.



#6 orlyandico

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:51 AM

I actually have had no problems dealing with Marion at Berlebach. I had a custom Report made with specially shortened legs and they were able to produce it at a reasonable cost (+$80 I think for the customization). Communication was not a problem, and I don't speak or read/write German.



#7 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:28 AM

I actually have had no problems dealing with Marion at Berlebach. I had a custom Report made with specially shortened legs and they were able to produce it at a reasonable cost (+$80 I think for the customization). Communication was not a problem, and I don't speak or read/write German.

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#8 NC Startrekker

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:59 PM

It's all about customer service and Don is one of the best.

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#9 BGazing

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 05:17 PM

 Berlebach makes quality product, I love the tripod and totally recommend it, but I have found it very hard to communicate with them.  Often emails don't get answered. 

Truer words have never been spoken.

It's ze Germans. Great products, lapidary answers or a complete lack thereof.

TS also became pretty complacent in answering queries, and sometimes downright wrong.

Berlebach did not return a couple of my emails. Some it did.

Great tripods, poor communication.


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#10 Aleko

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 01:09 AM

Well the years went by and I learned to live with the setup process of hitting banging and swearing and seat of the pants adjustment.  Often times the metal support bars popped out and I'd have to try to find them in the dark.  

 

Then I noticed from some internet pics that the spreader design had changed.  Berlebach makes quality product, I love the tripod and totally recommend it, but I have found it very hard to communicate with them.  Often emails don't get answered.  When I saw that Don Pensack was selling Berlebach I thought:  well here's a guy who might be willing to help.  

 

And he did.  He talked to his supplier who talked to Germany and the parts came my way (the price was reasonable and I very much wanted to do this upgrade).  

 

So tonight I finally got around to installing the new hardware.  I have not field tested it but the spreader looks good and properly installed.   

 

attachicon.gif berlebach tray problem 3 cn size.jpg

 

I didn't know Don sold the Berlebach tripods. I don't even see them on the web site. Am I overlooking something?  I just ordered from Germany, and would much rather have ordered from Don, whose customer service is second to none.

 

Alex 


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#11 gnowellsct

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:51 PM

I didn't know Don sold the Berlebach tripods. I don't even see them on the web site. Am I overlooking something?  I just ordered from Germany, and would much rather have ordered from Don, whose customer service is second to none.

 

Alex 

You'll have to ask him. I think I get his emails and saw Berlebach in one of his email messages.  That's probably what prompted me to ask.  B&H seems to have a full line of Berlebachs.  I was on their web site earlier today.  It's nice to see them out there.  But you're right it's also good to send some business Don's way.  -Gre gN


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