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Recommended tripod and head for imaging with SW Adventurer


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Hi,

I've tried to research this, but really struggled because of the amount of choice available in that area. We're looking for a really good tripod to use for imaging with a Canon 5D mark iv, Skywatcher Adventurer and a series of DSLR lenses from 12mm to 200mm focal length. We might be tempted going for a heavier scope later on depending on the success we get with our current equipment, so it's worth bearing that in mind regarding upgradability.

We are going to travel to Abisko by plane and we are going to carry the kit around while trekking (hence the Adventurer rather than a full size mount), so weight is important but we're not necessarily looking for the lightest tripod: something around 10kg or more would definitely be too heavy, but something around 3kg would still be acceptable, although lighter is better. However stability is really the most important feature we're looking for.

Subjectively, I'm quite keen on a spread stopper because I think it would make the structure more sturdy, but if a tripod is renowned for being stiff and sturdy without a spread stopper, then that's probably good enough.

I'm also quite keen on being able to fit a levelling bowl such as Manfrotto 500BALL 100mm Bowl with Knob in order to be able to use a large round spirit level for easier and more accurate levelling, as I want the polar alignment to be as good as possible in order to attempt imaging with lenses of 200mm and maybe a little bit more.

Because of this and in order to minimise flex, I would prefer a tripod that can house a levelling bowl directly instead of a standard tripod with a central column to which a levelling head would have to be attached. The logic I have there is that I think it makes sense to minimise the number elements and connections as they introduce flex.

Budget wise, we're not made of money but we'll get what we need to get: we don't want the tripod to be the weakest link.

While we're at it, advice on a good tripod head (between the Adventurer and camera, e.g. for time lapses) would also be appreciated. I've read that a geared head was probably the best option there (again, we favour stability over anything else).

Thanks in advance

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I use this one, not very light but sturdy enough to do the job, you can leave the head at home to save weight if you're not going to use it for regular photography, a geared  head shouldn't be necessary, If using a tele lens with amounting foot I fit it to the dovetail bar or mount the camera on a ball head if not, but still on the dovetail bar.

I wouldn't worry about extra level, if you level it using the inbuilt one then you can check the PA while imaging and tweak it to keep Polaris tracking round the polar scope circle.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/horizon-8115-2-way-heavy-duty-tripod.html

Dave

Quick pic' of mine still set up from last night., an RDF in the hotshoe is indispensable.

SWSA-Canon200mm.png.e780283c6077c8f6d9008a18feb982cd.png

Edited by Davey-T
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I would look at any of the carbon fiber tripods available and with that include brands like Zomei.

Stability will be dramatically improved by keeping the tripod low, this can be done easily with a camera that has a flip out screen or in your case by using the Canon camera connect app over wifi. 

The awkward low position of the polar-scope is also easily fixed by holding a DSLR right angled viewfinder from Seagull or similar against it, you can of course make up an adapter if you wish but I dont bother.

Alan

P.S. +1 for a hotshoe mounted RDF finder of if allowed a green laser pointer.

Edited by Alien 13
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