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Fluid heads for big binos and BTs

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#26 Rich V.

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 02:29 PM

The Cartoni Focus 18 comes in two versions, one with +90 to -70 degree, the other other with +90 to -90 degree, the latter with a sliding base plate, which is more expensive. How are the angles defined? For  the night sky 0- 90 degree is sufficent, the sign plays no role, or do I miss something?

 

Thomas

I can only speak for Manfrotto video heads but when they spec "Vertical Tilt +90° to -70°", they mean the head will point downward 90° and upward 70°.  That's why for binocular use we need to turn them around 180° to orient them so they point our binoculars to zenith.

 

Rich


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#27 range88

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 05:43 AM

The price is prohibitive.

 

But DIY https://www.cloudyni...i-and-encoders/

 

or take some ideas from add-on offered for virtual sets. So it would be possible but who would make it for me..

Some of the solutions by Tecnopoint are clever, like the Cartoni MK2 tilt=altitude pull rotating the axis with the encoder.

Don't forget you can always add 2 sensors and link them to SkySafari to realize Goto or pushto.



#28 range88

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 05:47 AM

The Cartoni Focus 18 comes in two versions, one with +90 to -70 degree, the other other with +90 to -90 degree, the latter with a sliding base plate, which is more expensive. How are the angles defined? For  the night sky 0- 90 degree is sufficent, the sign plays no role, or do I miss something?

 

Thomas

First of all, Focus 18 is rubbish.

You can find 2 versions in some of their models. They are only different in the top plates. Go for ±9° if you intend to go astro.



#29 Mark9473

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 06:39 AM

Coming back to fluid heads for smaller BT's like the OP's BT70, can someone describe the practical differences between the Manfrotto N8 and N608?

The specs on Manfrotto's website read as if they are virtually identical products.



#30 ThomasM

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:52 AM

First of all, Focus 18 is rubbish.

You can find 2 versions in some of their models. They are only different in the top plates. Go for ±9° if you intend to go astro.

Why is Cartoni Focus 18 rubbish, what would be a good, also rather lightweight alternative for 10-12 kg Bino?

Then, why +/- 90 degree for astro, I do not understand.

 

Many thanks

 

Thomas

 

 

 



#31 Rich V.

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:51 AM

Coming back to fluid heads for smaller BT's like the OP's BT70, can someone describe the practical differences between the Manfrotto N8 and N608?

The specs on Manfrotto's website read as if they are virtually identical products.

Manfrotto changed the shape of the knobs a little cosmetically and now the viscous tension control knob turns clockwise to tighten instead of counter-clockwise which may be more intuitive.  They lowered the minimum operating temperature a few degrees as well.  Otherwise, no big deal for most users operationally.


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#32 range88

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:11 AM

Why is Cartoni Focus 18 rubbish, what would be a good, also rather lightweight alternative for 10-12 kg Bino?
Then, why +/- 90 degree for astro, I do not understand.

Many thanks

Thomas

I have listed its inferiority compared to a vinten, maily less precise. You cannot find a position where it does not fall off or bounce back in its entire range while drag fully off.
You don't want to use the head backward, do you? So just go for ±90°.

#33 range88

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:13 AM

Why is Cartoni Focus 18 rubbish, what would be a good, also rather lightweight alternative for 10-12 kg Bino?
Then, why +/- 90 degree for astro, I do not understand.

Many thanks

Thomas

A used vinten vision 100 or 11 is the answer.
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#34 ThomasM

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:49 AM

I have listed its inferiority compared to a vinten, maily less precise. You cannot find a position where it does not fall off or bounce back in its entire range while drag fully off.
You don't want to use the head backward, do you? So just go for ±90°.

Thanks  a lot for your comments. So the Cartoni Focus 18 is not as good as the Focus 22 or 8?
 



#35 ThomasM

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 02:39 PM

You probably missed the OConner:

 

https://www.videodat...ad-Package.html

 

Less weight, higher price :-)

I just got aware of an O'Connor 1030D, it seem to be similar to the 1040 but with slightly less payload, less weight, less expensive. Surprisingly I it is not listed on the O'Connor webpage but still availabe, at least in Europe. A good choice compared to Vinten 100 ( at the limit for 12 kg ?) or Cartoni Focus 18 or 22 ?

 

Thomas
 


Edited by ThomasM, 02 November 2020 - 02:44 PM.


#36 ArsMachina

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 02:56 PM

Hello Thomas,

 

when I understand range88 right he always prefers the Vinten heads over all other makers in any size.

I believe he has way more experience with fluidheads than all of us together, so I do trust his words and suggestions :-)

 

On the used market I see mainly Vinten heads, also the smaller ones.

Even I still can not test my Vinten under a right load I can say that the feel touch of it is extremely professional.

It is far away from a consumer product.

 

Jochen


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#37 ihf

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 07:04 PM

 

Even I still can not test my Vinten under a right load I can say that the feel touch of it is extremely professional.

It is far away from a consumer product.

I was thinking you should mount a medium sized keg of beer on the head and verify that it pours very smoothly into a mass.


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#38 Moravianus

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 08:33 PM

So I could not resist and will get a Vinten11 head for APM 120. How do you mount it on the tripod, can you remove the ball adapter ?



#39 range88

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 09:37 PM

So I could not resist and will get a Vinten11 head for APM 120. How do you mount it on the tripod, can you remove the ball adapter ?

No, you cannot. You either buy a 100mm bowl adapter(like Manfrotto 325 or others), or buy a bowl tripod.



#40 Moravianus

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 10:43 PM

Thank you for the pointer. The base looks small and maybe something more robust like here might give more stability.

 

I am getting the mount with this Vinten adapter which has a nice wide base but would necessitate manufacturing a custom adapter to join it with the tripod top.



#41 range88

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 02:39 AM

Thank you for the pointer. The base looks small and maybe something more robust like here might give more stability.

I am getting the mount with this Vinten adapter which has a nice wide base but would necessitate manufacturing a custom adapter to join it with the tripod top.

The first link adapter won't give you stability.
I have no experience of the second one, but it looks good.

#42 Moravianus

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 11:27 AM

Still hope to find some settings but APM120 on Vinten 11 on Manfrotto 325 on Leofoto tripod with elevator is apparently not the solution for me. Above 45 deg elevation, despite the brake at 10, the Vinten allows slow slide which I need to prevent by locking the movement.

 

Additional finding is too much wobble with the GC-404C Geared Center Column, possibly function of the 32mm tube diameter.

Maybe I am asking too much from this head ?

 

 

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#43 ihf

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 11:50 AM

I wanted to use a carbon fiber tripod/geared column myself. Which Leofoto and which magnifications cause the wobble?



#44 Moravianus

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 01:45 PM

Leofoto LN-404C Systematic with the GC-404C Geared Center Column.

Once I had the column even a bit up, the wobble was 3-5s. Too much mass "on a stick".

 

The tripod itself is acceptable, the low weight is a bonus for trips by plane, but I wanted something lighter for the 120bino than hauling DiscMount-6 and heavy L bracket.

Range 88 has a beefier column but when I add the price of the tripod and column, I am close to the price of the Korean Supermount with the geared column included.

 

I hoped that the Vinten would replace the DM-6/bracket combo.

 

I can live without the geared column (with some adjustable chair) but want somehow light and stiff mount for the 120 bino.


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#45 ihf

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 02:10 PM

Thank you for clarifying! I am also looking for portable solutions. I have noticed myself how length and full column extension have negative impact on oscillations (using RT90c and Induro MGC45). A fork would require less extension than a video head, but ideally still a geared column or adjustable chair. Well, back to reality!



#46 range88

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 08:25 PM

Still hope to find some settings but APM120 on Vinten 11 on Manfrotto 325 on Leofoto tripod with elevator is apparently not the solution for me. Above 45 deg elevation, despite the brake at 10, the Vinten allows slow slide which I need to prevent by locking the movement.

Additional finding is too much wobble with the GC-404C Geared Center Column, possibly function of the 32mm tube diameter.
Maybe I am asking too much from this head ?

You should first determine whether the head is functioning properly. I don't have similar problem with 120. These old heads are not 100% good. Or Maybe the cog of your kit is too high, then try to lower it or switch to a stronger head like vinten 100.
I came across 3 vinten vision 100, out of them 2 are not functioning properly. The Rule of thumb is, a vinten head should be even throughout the range, i.e., If it holds at 30°, it should hold at 90° or any other tilt angle.

Edited by range88, 17 April 2021 - 11:34 PM.

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#47 Boki

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 03:18 AM

I have a nitrotech n12 and i am really unimpressed. Someone mentioned Cartoni is rubbish, but i have to disagree and say they are 2 steps above manfrotto n12. On my nitrotech the plate release button broke off on the 2nd day. It is made of plastic. I was lucky to repair it. Then the head developed a hard spot in tilting action at the level position. There is resistance at the level position, tilting it further the resistance is smaller and gradually increasing as tilt progresses and counterbalance kicks in. So when you approach the level, the head always jumps. It is noticable at the 4kg setting and disappears at the 12 kg setting. Strange. I just wish, people would be a little more honest about the equipment they have. The n12 is getting recommendations a lot, but i think it is not deserved. I know that everyone is proud of what they have and buy, but still i wouldn’t recommend manfrotto nitrotech. Flimsy and unconvincing, awkward head. The problem is, there is not much else available. Everything is sold out right now or prices just too high. 


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#48 ArsMachina

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 04:45 AM

Manfrotto produces consumer products.

Oconnor and Vinten are producing for professionals.

Cartoni may be between.

 

You always get what you are paying for ...

 

Jochen



#49 range88

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 09:41 PM

I have a nitrotech n12 and i am really unimpressed. Someone mentioned Cartoni is rubbish, but i have to disagree and say they are 2 steps above manfrotto n12. On my nitrotech the plate release button broke off on the 2nd day. It is made of plastic. I was lucky to repair it. Then the head developed a hard spot in tilting action at the level position. There is resistance at the level position, tilting it further the resistance is smaller and gradually increasing as tilt progresses and counterbalance kicks in. So when you approach the level, the head always jumps. It is noticable at the 4kg setting and disappears at the 12 kg setting. Strange. I just wish, people would be a little more honest about the equipment they have. The n12 is getting recommendations a lot, but i think it is not deserved. I know that everyone is proud of what they have and buy, but still i wouldn’t recommend manfrotto nitrotech. Flimsy and unconvincing, awkward head. The problem is, there is not much else available. Everything is sold out right now or prices just too high. 

I admit RUBBISH is a bit exaggerate, but to some degree, especially according to my criterion, a head which cannot hold throughout ±90° is rubbish. Please note this is a criterion much higher than the film industry, majority of camera men will not find Cartoni's counterbalance unacceptable.

I have used Cartoni 8, HD, 18, 22, of which I'm still using 8 and 22. HD is acceptable to me, but 18 is not. However these Cartoni heads do have a lot sample variances on the tilt motion, lots of my friends are not satisfied with 8 and 22 either. 

Like Jochen said, Cartoni is somewhere in between these days. Some of their cheaper heads are aimed at the consumer markets like DSLR, DC, etc, but their Master series and above are clearly professional kits. Speaking of Manfrotto, their products are almost all consumer, but I do find the Manfrotto N series a good company to some light weighted binoscopes and I believe people are honest with their opinions. There is no reason to be dishonest on this point, you may got a lemen or something.


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#50 Rich V.

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 11:39 PM

Here in a forum where many users are so very price conscious about the binos they're considering, let alone how they're going to mount them, it's clear to me that most of us are not going to be willing to pay for "professional grade" mounts designed to be used under demanding studio conditions with their "made to a price point" Chinese binoculars.

The Manfrotto tripods and heads are quite adequate for bino use if you size them correctly and thoughtfully take the time to learn to use them properly for the intended load. It's s lot better kit than many relatively inexpensive products I've seen. For example, I see no problems balancing and adjusting an N12 head to support a 100mm BT from horizontal to vertical without constant fiddling with it. I know I can. If you can't take the time to figure how to make it work without damaging it, that's on you. Maybe there is an occasional "lemon" but I've had no problems with a number of Manfrotto products I've purchased over several decades, but I've taken the time to understand how they work and how to maximize their abilities.

A bino mounted on an alt/az video head isn't as demanding a load as a video camera in a studio environment. We're just pointing a bino around while enjoying looking at the sky, not doing professional video productions that demand precision movements. Two very different applications, I think.

If you've got an unlimited budget, knock yourself out, though.

Rich
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