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Tripod portability and fixing a temporary loss of mojo


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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Great choice! I have a very similar setup for my FC100 and it’s by far my most used setup. Glad it has worked out well for you 👍

Thanks @Stu! If I said your setup hadn't influenced my choices somewhat I'd be lying 😅

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Posted (edited)

This is the setup I've used for the last week:

20220616_024650.thumb.jpg.ef5eb46839e0331b4784d72bda207b90.jpg

It's been really helpful with various trees obstructing parts of the sky to just pick the whole thing up with one hand and move to somewhere more favourable, no realigning the mount or levelling the tripod needed. Truly joyous. 

@Second Time Around IIRC you're using a similar setup with a ~70mm, possibly with a Berlebach instead of the Gitzo? 

Edited by badhex
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When I pick up a light scope on a carbon fibre tripod, I feel happy. It makes me feel enthusiastic for the coming session, completely out of proportion to the aperture!

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55 minutes ago, Ags said:

When I pick up a light scope on a carbon fibre tripod, I feel happy. It makes me feel enthusiastic for the coming session, completely out of proportion to the aperture!

There's something about it right? I have an ever smaller lighter cf tripod which I sometimes use with the AZT6 and a celestron 70mm travelscope with great optics, and there's something counter intuitively pleasing about the whole thing, like "how much performance can I squeeze from this super basic lightweight setup". 

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22 hours ago, badhex said:

@Second Time Around IIRC you're using a similar setup with a ~70mm, possibly with a Berlebach instead of the Gitzo? 

Yep, I have both a Berlebach Report 112 Astro and a Leofoto Ranger LS-364C photo tripod.

The Berlebach is wood and is even more stable than the carbon fibre Leofoto.  However, the Leofoto is little more than half the weight (1.77 kg v 3.4 kg). 

The Berlebach is also available in non-astro configuration, i.e. without the accessory tray and brace.  This reduces the weight to 2.1 kg but at the expense of stability.  I haven't tested this, but suspect it'll still be more stable than the Leofoto.

I haven't used the Leofoto for a long time and will probably sell it as I never have far to carry my gear and don't need the extra height as I always sit down to observe or take photos.

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I've had a gem on top of my BB uni without a spreader tray and it's still sturdy, no need for the tray or fixed spreader at all, added benefit is it's easier to level on uneven ground.

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3 hours ago, Second Time Around said:

Yep, I have both a Berlebach Report 112 Astro and a Leofoto Ranger LS-364C photo tripod.

The Berlebach is wood and is even more stable than the carbon fibre Leofoto.  However, the Leofoto is little more than half the weight (1.77 kg v 3.4 kg). 

The Berlebach is also available in non-astro configuration, i.e. without the accessory tray and brace.  This reduces the weight to 2.1 kg but at the expense of stability.  I haven't tested this, but suspect it'll still be more stable than the Leofoto.

I haven't used the Leofoto for a long time and will probably sell it as I never have far to carry my gear and don't need the extra height as I always sit down to observe or take photos.

Very nice. I'm quite surprised at the difference between the Gitzo and my other small CF tripod, which is fine for travelling when I need a compact setup but not as a main tripod. The Gitzo only weighs in at about 2.5kg and I can't see me using any other tripod any time soon! 

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I also have a Report 112 Astro, and it certainly is super-stable. I do find the wooden eyepiece tray annoying and hardly ever attach it. I use a 25 cm extension tube on the 112 to get a bit more height when required. A scopeech Mount Zero is going on top, one of these days...

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5 minutes ago, Ags said:

I also have a Report 112 Astro, and it certainly is super-stable. I do find the wooden eyepiece tray annoying and hardly ever attach it. I use a 25 cm extension tube on the 112 to get a bit more height when required. A scopeech Mount Zero is going on top, one of these days...

I can highly recommend the Scopetech. It's certainly not the cheapest option and took me a bit of getting used to, getting the balance and clutch tensions right, but now I don't even think about it. It has certainly had another big part to play in making sessions more enjoyable for me. 

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On 19/06/2022 at 14:26, badhex said:

Just a quick follow up to this a couple of months down the line.

In short, I 100% made the correct choice - the Gitzo has been outstanding. Ridiculously sturdy, obviously super light, basically ticking all the boxes (except the insane cost 😂

I've ended up pairing it mostly with the Scopetech mount zero and either the TS102 or ZS73, and the portability and ease of use of that overall setup has meant so many more observing opportunities. Last week I was out 6 nights! Admittedly there are some other factors making that possible but nonetheless - the Gitzo has been a huge contributor. 

Very happy! 

Glad it’s worked out so well. Painful at first but worth it, and should last a lifetime if looked after. When I think back to the monstrous steel tripod I started out with……

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Used a Manfrotto 536 carbon for a few years rated at 25Kg but the Ercole GIRO always felt and indeed does perform better with a counterweight which started to raise the overall weight up with a 100mm refractor. I recently bought a Berlbach for the Ercole and scope and that now feels fantastic. I would think the Scopetech head would have been a better match for the Manfrotto.

If anyone is reading and thinking of an alternative the Manfrotto which can go up to 203cms can be got for a reasonable price second hand and with a Scopetech head should be a great match. 

My son now uses the Manfrotto so its not going anywhere. Not sure I would be able to get back off him though. 

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