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Damo636

New Manfrotto Setup!

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Having finally lost patience with the Horizon 8115 tripod & head, I decided it was time to upgrade to a tripod and head worthy of my adored 15x70 Apollo! The Horizon 8115 setup just wasn't capable of the job in hand, and although the small print states it will securely mount a 100mm binocular, I would argue anything over 2 kg will severely tax the head!

This on the other hand handles the Apollo with lots of gas in the tank to spare :grin:

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Cheers Nick! Its a pity the head on the 8115 wasn't a bit more robust as the tripod is pretty decent. That head should improve things drastically though.

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Re load capacity: You need to remember that a camera tripod is designed for cameras. Their centre of mass is close to the head and they are usually used approximately horizontally. With a binocular, the centre of mass is further from the head (hence potentially greater torque) and is rarely used horizontally. The upshot is the stated load capacity needs to be at least double the weight of the binocular. Also, cameras are often kept still -- a video head is generally better than a camera head if you want something that will pan smoothly/easily.

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Hi Damo, how do you get on with your Manfrotto and which model is it?

I'd like to upgrade my old Culmann video head 3300 (mainly used with Helios Apollos 15x70 now). Ideally a parallelogram mount, but I have a feeling that a decent, solid, tall (I'm 6'3") Manfrotto would be a dramatic improvement over the Culmann which is ok for video, but too low with not enough elevation astro, plus doesn't lock easily. I've hankered after a really decent tripod for years for a number of uses.. your Manfrotto looks solid. Is this model (?) everything you wanted or would you change anything?

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I have the same setup, based entirely on Damo's recommendation, and it's been thoroughly worth it. The model is the 475b tripod with the 502AH fluid head. I don't have anything to compare it to as I went all in at the deep end instead of trying to cut corners on a cheaper mount, but although it's expensive, about £370 for everything, I don't regret a penny as it's very smooth, rock solid, and just oozes quality and control. Well I do have one regret - not having a bigger bino to put on it as it can handle so much more than a 15x70 apollo.

Regarding the height of the tripod, I was somewhat surprised when it arrived because I was under the impression it was a good deal shorter than it in fact is. I'm 5'8", and with the gear extension fully up but about 6" vertical height of the leg extensions unused, I can view at the zenith whilst standing upright. Not great on the neck, but it can be done.

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Hi Damo, how do you get on with your Manfrotto and which model is it?

I'd like to upgrade my old Culmann video head 3300 (mainly used with Helios Apollos 15x70 now). Ideally a parallelogram mount, but I have a feeling that a decent, solid, tall (I'm 6'3") Manfrotto would be a dramatic improvement over the Culmann which is ok for video, but too low with not enough elevation astro, plus doesn't lock easily. I've hankered after a really decent tripod for years for a number of uses.. your Manfrotto looks solid. Is this model (?) everything you wanted or would you change anything?

The Manfrotto 475b tripod/502ah fluid head combo is indeed a very solid and stable (and tall) platform for the 5lb Apollo. I have since sold the fluid head though as I found I rarely used it after acquiring a Paralellogram mount. I ultimately found the setup a little limiting & tiring to be honest, not a fault of the equipment of course (it's quality throughout), just that the mk1 human being (at least this one), is not designed with necessary back and neck muscles to use a setup like this to its full potential! So, was it everything I had wanted??, I would say yes, at least until I discovered the joys of a decent P-mount & a recliner! Edited by Damo636
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