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Tripod QuestionS

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I have a line on a Bogen 3033 tripod with a Manfrotto 3047 head offered for $150. Will I be sorry at that price?

I've seen a photo and will inspect before purchase to be certain there is no damage. It is designed for use with cameras, but I plan to use it with my Celestron binocs and possibly later with a small scope.

Has anyone any experience of using this type tripod for astronomy? Would you green light it or not?

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From what I can gather, the tripod is very strong and heavy which will afford you great stability though I've no idea how high this tripod can be set. I've got a bit of camera gear and when I attempted to attached my binos to my similar mount head (Manfrotto 808RC4) I found that I couldn't get enough tilt to look at objects that were higher in the sky (75 degrees +). The other thing was that being of reasonable height, I found it difficult getting down behind the binos comfortably to view when it was positioned at its highest elevation. I even tried to tilt the whole arrangement back slightly to get the binos a little higher by shortening the rear tripod leg but that made getting underneath the whole arrangement near impossible.

I guess being designed for cameras this set up has limited use in astronomy. When you look at the fork mounts that are available for binos, you quickly understand why they have been designed that way in order to obtain views at the zenith. I reckon the mount might be useful if its tall enough but the tripod head will have its limitations so you won't get the maxim benefit from the price its being sold at.


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Thank you, James!

I found this site (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/Product_Resources/SourceBookProPhoto/Section09CameraSupports.pdf

) which gives specs for various brands of tripods. This particular Bogen has a max height of 68". It's a bit low for me at 5'10" for much elevation, but I'm seriously considering cobbling together a binocular mount like those I've seen on SGL. My hesitation was in not knowing if this tripod will be sturdy enough to use with the mount.

If the tripod will sit solidly - and if I can build a proper trapezoidal mount - I was thinking that I might even be able to use the binocs while seated.

What do you think?

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Hello again!

Yes I think the tripod should be fine, especially as your are going to add height with your 'own' mount as well. It is always possible to firm things up a bit by constructing a means of hanging a weight of some sort either directly underneath the mount head or at least by attaching it to any bracing that helps to strengthen the mount. I have on many an occasion seen people place their binos between the forks of an old LX Meade unit which when you see it, kind of looks odd but it works, especially if the RA tracking is still working on it! You might not think these tripod/mounts come up for sale but they do because a lot of people transfer their tubes to GEM's which naturally assists astrophotography and saves them having to buy a decent wedge.

Hope that helps.


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