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StarryEyed

Manfrotto 535 Carbon Fibre & AZ GTi

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Posted (edited)

So my old hand made wooden tripod and EQ5 have really reached the end of their usefull high power tracking life. Its all a bit old, loose and over weight, like me. I desperately need something portable, lighter and tracks for a  FC100DF.  I settled on this as a fair upgrade. I am partial to high power views of the moon and planets but want the whole setup to be portable given the way the planets are at the moment. I am planning to take the whole setup with me this summer on holiday and just get out and about with it when the opportunity arises. Suburban skies, visual only. This combination came about from researching the forums here and the net. The tripod should last and be enough to offer some alternatives with the head. I have seen the gitzos but suspect the manfrotto might be 80% the tripod for 55% the cost. Should fit in a suitcase. I am checking that with a tape measure tonite.

Manfrotto 535 Carbon Fibre & AZ GTi.

This combination ticks the right boxes but as ever real world experience is priceless. I would appriciate your comments.

Kevin

Edited by StarryEyed
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Sorry not much going to of help here - 
The only thing I could see is lack of central strut on your tripod / mount. Your long tak would probably hit the tripod legs when angled.
You could purchase a SW AZ extension tube but I personally don't like it as it could become a fiddle (if the screw between mount - extension is loose). 

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Posted (edited)

Alvin.

 

You make a good point. The planets dont get high enough for that to happen very often. I am intending to pick up the AZ GTI as a package with the centre column. If it doesn't work for me it still a nice package to keep or pass on.

Edited by StarryEyed

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Heavier tripod but the Manfrotto 475 does have a geared centre column which I find really usefull when I want to make small adjustents in height without having to mess with the legs.  

A144D110-1051-411C-9DF0-D742ADF79C19.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Thats a good option. Twice the weight, lower capcity, cheaper. I had a tuff time with vibrations on a 055 years ago and the centre column seemed tobe to culprit. That one is braced. What is the vibration damping like? The FC100 is difficult to get perfect focus with a mount that vibrates. It really needs a fine focuser. Thats not on the cards for me just yet.

Edited by StarryEyed

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Posted (edited)

Vibration damping is  good but I only use two leg sections extended. With three sections 12kg is about right but much better with two.  Bit more vibration when using the centre column fully extended but I tend to just use a short bit of extension which is really handy just to make those inch or two adjustents in height.

I did try a C8 SCT on it once. That was just about usable. 😁

Edited by johninderby

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At home I use a draughtsmans chair (I am a draughtsman). Like an office chair but with three foot of height adjustment. Resolves any height problem with a squeeze of the seat lever. Super comfy with back support. Cheap as chips not as tasty.

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Be careful with the skywatcher extension on a standard photo tripod - the tripod screw does not travel far enough into the hole on the bottom of the extension to make a secure fixing.  I nearly had a disaster 😲

I use the azgti with the 100 Tak too - usually with a Berlebach report tripod.

Helen

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Yes you can. The stock Skywatcher tripod and extension are rubbish.

i would not trust putting anything on them. Waste of money in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)

Lol. You can put a light on them!

So much of the equipment is. If I had known what I know now twenty years ago I would not have bought half the things I did.

My eldest son keeps pinching my camera tripod so if it goes missing....

Edited by StarryEyed

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Posted (edited)

So I bought both. Without the skywatcher tripod and extension. I did got back and take another look at the reviews etc. But nothing ruled either of them out 

Edited by StarryEyed

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Posted (edited)
On 02/07/2019 at 13:35, Star Struck said:

Yes you can. The stock Skywatcher tripod and extension are rubbish.

i would not trust putting anything on them. Waste of money in my opinion.

Very nice tripod, mount and Tak.

I agree that the tripod is not nearly steady enough for a telescope and mount, but it works fine with my iOptron SkyGuider and DSLR on it.

I actually find the pier extension fine fitted to a heavy duty camera tripod (Manfrotto 057B) with the AZ GTi or SolarQuest mount on it.

 

Edited by AdeKing
Correcting Autocorrect

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Posted (edited)

The 2 inch eyepiece and diagonal actually make up a lot of the weight. With a 1.25 diagonal and a delite the difference is significant. The tube rides much higher. Loosing the finder as great as it is etc... The biggest problem is the ball head does not allow you to screw the retaining bolt into the head. You have to screw the head onto the retain bolt thread. So what you wonder. You are dependant on the locking of the AZM axis clutch on the head to provide enough friction to mount the head securely. This doesnt have to be much but its a bit concerning trying to get the head off as I noticed the AZM axis slip whilst turning the head and I assume the gears taking up the load. I am not going to do this often but it does warrant attention when mounting the head. Just enough to stop any slipping when using the mount clutches unlocked but not so much as to not be able to get the head off when they are locked but dont provide enough friction to loosen the head from the mount. I dont like over tightening things anyway always two finger tight with synta metals.

The thing as a whole is light as a feather. In fact I laughed when I picked it up the first time.

Edited by StarryEyed

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