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Jarvo

Travel scope mount recommendations

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Hello fellow Stargazers. 

Sadly I am a reluctant solo traveller these days following the passing of my beloved Wife last year. 

To stay vaguely sane I had invested my time in travel before everything went South. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few places on or South of the Equator where I have been fortunate to view the southern skies (There’s nothing better than seeing the whole of Scorpius high in the sky without any sky glow or rooftops).

I have a little Celestron Travelscope which has alway punched above its weight and it will get replaced but not yet. The only thing that lets it down is the abysmal tripod that has the constitution of a butter stick on a hot day. 

I think you know what I’m after. Can I get some recommendations (and piccies if you can be bothered 😊) from you lot for a decent tripod. It must collapse down to fit into hold luggage and be stronger than butter  

Help and advise always warmly welcomed. 

Best regards, stay safe and clear skies 

Jarvo
 

 

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I lived in Australia for a while and the sky,s were the best I have ever seen like you say scorpius looks fantastic as does all the other  constellations and the best globular clusters.

the lightweight manfrotto Carbon fibre are worth a look at, I use two manfrotto soldiers and they are very good.

if you have local camera exchange try one out 

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Hello.  And very sorry to hear about your loss.   If you asked it last month i would have said, buy a vixen porta.  But i recently found out its not near stable.   Im on the search for a stable tripod myself.   Of course there are plenty available.   But the ones that have a good cost/quality ratio is really hard to see on a picture, showed by company’s or shops.   Im more and more thinking of buying wood/carbon.   The instability of a mount takes all the fun away.

Hope some good advices show up here.   Ill steal one from you if you dont mind.    You too stay safe.

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Sorry to hear about the loss of your wife.

I'm in a similar boat to you and did a lot of Googling.  This invaluable site lab tests a lot of camera tripods for stability and portability: https://thecentercolumn.com/

As a result I've just ordered a tripod from the Leofoto Ranger range.  These have no centre column and so fold to a very compact size. They're now imported into Europe with 16 in the range in various weights and sizes, all but 3 having ball and socket heads in a package.  This page on the new European Leofoto website has a chart giving the full specs: https://www.leofoto.com/products_detail.php?id=362

I don't need a ball and socket head but do need a heavy duty tripod so went for the Leofoto LS-364C.  Not all the Leofoto range are available in the UK, including this model.  However London Camera Exchange and Wex Photographic stock many of them.I was happy to buy from an EU country and pay on PayPal so I've ordered it from Dext in Sweden.  Go to https://www.dext.se/sv/stativ/ranger-tripod/https://www.dext.se/sv/stativ/ranger-tripod/https://www.dext.se/sv/stativ/leofoto-ls-364c-trebenstativ-i-kolfiber.html for a wide selection of Leofoto Rangers.

Edited by Second Time Around

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Just one piece of advice that I wish I’d heeded many years ago - if you think you’re going to upgrade to another scope in future, buy a tripod now that will also support a slightly heavier instrument. 

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Thanks all. I’ll let you know what I go for and post a review.

 

jarvo

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Hi @Jarvo and I am so sorry to read the sad news above.

Back to topic... Below is an image my 're-modded' ETX105 mounted on a Manfrotto 055PROB c/w Universal Optics DwarfStar mount. If you can get hold of one of these little mounts they are in my opinion well worth it. Failing that, some photo ballhead mounts with a removable quick-release plate may take a Vixen type dovetail bar. 

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"Probably the best lightweight visual 'grab & go' setup in the world!" - "Vorsprung durch non-tecnik!"

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Hello Jarvo,

My condolences to you and your family.

If you are not in a hurry, consider looking for an older " Tiltall #4602 " professional model tripod manufactured by the C.D. Marchioni company. These tripods seem to be under the radar and can still be found for reasonable prices. They are superbly built to a very high standard. I have one that has been in my family for over fifty years and I wouldn't change it for anything similar on the market today. The tripod has been perfect for use with both our 89mm & 127mm Maksutov telescopes and the respective mounts. Here are some photos.

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I have a Manfrotto 475B that I use with my Twilight 1, Skywatcher AZ5, and Stellarvue M1V.  It's light, portable, and can handle a decent load.  I've not traveled by air with it, but I'm reasonably sure it folds down small enough.

I should add that it has a standard 3/8-in mounting bolt.  An adapter would be required for other sizes.

 

Edited by jcj380

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