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Fluid head for 10lb 25x100

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#1 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 12:56 PM

Hi,

I am currently using an Oberwerk 5000 head for all my binoculars. This head works great for my smaller binoculars, but I would like something more substantial for my 10lb 25x100 binoculars. The 25x100 work ok on the Oberwerk 5000 head, but only with the counterspring completely locked down. I'm looking for something that will handle it a bit more smoothly.

 

I know about the Manfrotto 503HDV, but they seem hard to come by. I found some on ebay, but they are either missing parts or people are asking the new price for a used head.

 

I would like them to be overmounted, so to speak. Do you know of any other substantial fluid heads that would easily carry a 10lb binocular? Would the Manfrotto 504HD work?


Edited by Wallcreeper, 10 July 2020 - 01:07 PM.


#2 jupiter122

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:11 PM

Oberwerk used to sell a Nitrotech fluid head to go with its binoculars (I think it was the N8) but apparently no longer does. (You could ask Kevin at Oberwerks why; he's usually very responsive.)  It seemed, from youtube videos I have seen, to be a pretty cool head, albeit a bit pricey. They've shown up on here for about $225 so maybe worth checking out.

 

Tim



#3 B 26354

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:15 PM

I realize that your inquiry concerns "fluid" heads... but as food for thought....

 

Three years ago, when I got my Oberwerk 20x80 Deluxe IIIs, I initially pieced together what is now their "Oberwerk TR3 Hardwood Tripod for XL Series" setup for it:

 

https://oberwerk.com...-for-xl-series/

 

The tripod/elevator-shaft combo is as solid as a permenent pier... but even though they state that "The Oberwerk 5000 Series fluid head has a high load capacity (up to 16lbs)"... like you, I eventually found that it wouldn't hold position at even moderately high angles, without completely locking it down, even though the 20x80s only weigh seven pounds. Searching for a more substantial fluid head became an exercise in fruitlessness, unless I was willing to spend around $500.

 

Ultimately, since I already had the TR3 tripod, I ended up getting a Farpoint parallelogram mount for it:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-parallelogram/

 

Then this spring, I added a ten-pound pair of APM MS 25x100 EDs to my arsenal... and the P-gram handles them beautifully.

 

APM MS 25x100ED on Farpoint P-Gram.jpg

 

I also got a much-less-expensive aluminum surveyor's tripod:

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B004K1W332/

 

...and put the Oby 5000 head on it. Works perfectly for my ~3.4lb Docter 15x60s.

 

grin.gif


Edited by B 26354, 10 July 2020 - 02:19 PM.

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#4 Rich V.

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:44 PM

I agree that a 503HDV head would be fine with the 25x100.  The 504HD needs a 325N flat base adapter and the combined price is more than a new N608 which would be a better head anyhow, IMO.  The use of any video head at higher altitudes for astro use does suffer from the "crick in the neck" problem with standard binos, though.

 

For straight-through binos, nothing beats a p-gram like shown above for neck comfort.  With my 9# 22x70s the 503HDV holds the load fine but for anything beyond quick looks or near horizon views, I use a similar p-gram with a zero gravity recliner.  I'd want to use a sturdier tripod than the 5000 for a p-gram carrying a 10# bino and 15# of CW, though, as it would be overloaded.

 

Rich


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#5 B 26354

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:55 PM

I'd want to use a sturdier tripod than the 5000 for a p-gram carrying a 10# bino and 15# of CW, though, as it would be overloaded.

Definitely. To keep the counterweight-arm as short as possible, I use 20 pounds of weights... so the combined weights/P-gram/binocular load on the tripod is very substantial, and requires an equally-substantial, absolutely-rigid tripod. grin.gif


Edited by B 26354, 10 July 2020 - 02:56 PM.


#6 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:21 PM

I am in the process of getting the Orion monster parallelogram. But I am also interested in a better fluid head on a tripod for the nights where I wouldn't want to put to together the p-gram. I can carry the 25x100 on a tripod in one trip. That is not going to happen with the p-gram.



#7 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:26 PM

I agree that a 503HDV head would be fine with the 25x100.  The 504HD needs a 325N flat base adapter and the combined price is more than a new N608 which would be a better head anyhow, IMO.  The use of any video head at higher altitudes for astro use does suffer from the "crick in the neck" problem with standard binos, though.

 

For straight-through binos, nothing beats a p-gram like shown above for neck comfort.  With my 9# 22x70s the 503HDV holds the load fine but for anything beyond quick looks or near horizon views, I use a similar p-gram with a zero gravity recliner.  I'd want to use a sturdier tripod than the 5000 for a p-gram carrying a 10# bino and 15# of CW, though, as it would be overloaded.

 

Rich

I was wondering about how to attach the 504 head to the tripod. They make a 504X with a flat base, but that still is not going to attach to my oberwerk 5000 tripod I think. It has a 3/8 screw, but the Oberwerk 5000 tripod uses three little screws that bite into a grooved surface on the 5000 head. Not sure how I could make that work.



#8 Rich V.

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:44 PM

I see the 504x is new; good to see a flat base option; about time.  At $399, it's close to the $415. N608 head that has continuous variable CW from 0-17.6#.  The 504 is lighter and less bulky at 4.4# rather than the N608's 6.6# so it could be better for grab n go.  A five step CW from 0 up to 14.3# should be more than adequate for use with a wide range of binos.

 

You might have a winner there.  

 

Rich



#9 B 26354

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:47 PM

I am in the process of getting the Orion monster parallelogram.

More food for thought....

 

In the thread I posted about the finder/P-gram project, I said I'd "...been seriously considering a parallelogram-type mount for my 20x80s for quite some time... the two primary candidates being the Farpoint, and the Orion "Monster". In looking closely at the engineering and construction of the two, one of the things that I did not like about the Orion Monster, was that its L-shaped bracket -- which is the piece that supports the entire weight of the binoculars -- is made from two die-cast aluminum rails which are only held together at their right-angled junction by two small bolts. To me... this is a major catastrophe waiting to happen.

 

On the Farpoint, that same L-bracket structure is a single, solid, 9mm-thick, CNC-machined aluminum piece... which is literally unbreakable."

 

Also, the Farpoint, if purchased from Oberwerk, has an additional swivel-axis... which allows horizontal panning without having to pivot the P-gram's arms.



#10 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 04:01 PM

I see the 504x is new; good to see a flat base option; about time.  At $399, it's close to the $415. N608 head that has continuous variable CW from 0-17.6#.  The 504 is lighter and less bulky at 4.4# rather than the N608's 6.6# so it could be better for grab n go.  A five step CW from 0 up to 14.3# should be more than adequate for use with a wide range of binos.

 

You might have a winner there.  

 

 

And it looks like the 504X head will attach to the Oberwerk 5000 tripod. There is 3/8 threading surrounded by an uneven surface for the set screws to bite into to secure it. I like that it is rated for 26 lb, that should be nicely overmounted. Also good if binocular aperture fever ever bites again. I'll be able to mount something bigger on it no problem I think.



#11 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 04:02 PM

More food for thought....

 

In the thread I posted about the finder/P-gram project, I said I'd "...been seriously considering a parallelogram-type mount for my 20x80s for quite some time... the two primary candidates being the Farpoint, and the Orion "Monster". In looking closely at the engineering and construction of the two, one of the things that I did not like about the Orion Monster, was that its L-shaped bracket -- which is the piece that supports the entire weight of the binoculars -- is made from two die-cast aluminum rails which are only held together at their right-angled junction by two small bolts. To me... this is a major catastrophe waiting to happen.

 

On the Farpoint, that same L-bracket structure is a single, solid, 9mm-thick, CNC-machined aluminum piece... which is literally unbreakable."

 

Also, the Farpoint, if purchased from Oberwerk, has an additional swivel-axis... which allows horizontal panning without having to pivot the P-gram's arms.

Thank you for that information!


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#12 Rich V.

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 04:57 PM

And it looks like the 504X head will attach to the Oberwerk 5000 tripod. There is 3/8 threading surrounded by an uneven surface for the set screws to bite into to secure it. I like that it is rated for 26 lb, that should be nicely overmounted. Also good if binocular aperture fever ever bites again. I'll be able to mount something bigger on it no problem I think.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that the three grub screws on the underside of the column top are standard on most tripods.  Most of Manfrotto's flat bases have "facets" that the grub screws catch on so the head won't rotate.

 

The 504X head should work with most any 100mm BT, I'd think, from the specs provided.

 

Rich


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#13 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:06 PM

the 504x is a pretty large head. I wonder if I would need a riser for the binoculars to be able to reach my IPD. Oberwerk sells one for 20 dollars. (link). I guess there is only one way to find out :)



#14 range88

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:06 PM

https://www.cloudyni...ss-fluid-heads/

The 2 in the pic are safe choices.



#15 Wallcreeper

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:20 PM

https://www.cloudyni...ss-fluid-heads/

The 2 in the pic are safe choices.

Is that the N8 on the right? Which one is on the left in the picture?



#16 ckwastro

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 10:15 AM

The Manfrotto Nitrotech 608 head is still on the Oberwerk site. It used to be called the N8.

 

https://oberwerk.com...t/manfrotto-n8/


Edited by ckwastro, 11 July 2020 - 10:16 AM.


#17 Rich V.

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 10:41 AM

Is that the N8 on the right? Which one is on the left in the picture?

Yes, N8 on the right; the Cartoni F8 is on the left.  I believe the Cartoni has a new revision of this model as the N8 has in the 608.

 

https://www.bhphotov...fluid_head.html

 

Rich




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