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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 09:10   #1
Boogieshrew
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Lightweight tripod and head needed

Hi,

having been diagnosed with a frozen shoulder that may take a year or more to heal, I am looking to lighten my birding set up as much as possible.

I am thinking of trying a Benro Slim carbon fibre tripod (1kg) and S2 video head (400g) for my Vortex Razor 65 (old version) (approx. 1.2-1.3 kg with e/p).

I may consider changing to an Opticron MM4 60 if I still find the load too heavy but I would rather stick with the Razor as, used with Swaro e/ps, it's a brilliant little scope.

Has anyone got any experience or views on this tripod and head? Or suitable alternatives in the same weight and price range?

Thanks
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 10:54   #2
bioscope
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Hi,

due to my search for a lightweight companion to my DiaScope85 (also carrying problems sometimes) I was looking to the following brands: Kowa, Celestron, Opticron. Because of often using the combo for migrating waders in a more hefty distance, the magnification 27x of the Hummingbird56 seemed to low, the price of the Fluoro553 way to high (but for my optical approach maybe it could be the winner) and the Opticron MM4 (50 or 60). I've a Gitzo 2180 head (buyed used), so I ordered the MM460+v2-zoom (magnification MM450 seemed to low including the pupil size) and the XFS-3section-tripod. Optical very near my very good DiaScope the MM460 is a winner, the XFS+2180 seems to light, especially in windy conditions (not stormy, only little wind). If you can handle this with weight placing at the hook or holding it with hands at the neoprenparts, the XFS is ok. It performs good with no problems - it's a tripod in the 200€-range. I own a Gitzo3530 with 2380 for the DiaScope85, this is shurely another class of stable tripod. So I'll try a 2532S (without center column, 1,36m is the exactly right elevation for me with 2180+MM4+v2) - hoping for the stability I prefer. The combo is pricey, but if it works, I buy no more little optics - until Swaro is making a little gem… ;-)

If you'll read about my decision for the little scope, please read also in the german forum Juelich, Bonn.

If you've further questions (despite my 'broken english…), please ask me.

Greetings from Northern Hesse, Germany
bioscope
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 00:17   #3
johnf3f
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Like "Bioscope" I am also a big fan of the Gitzo 3530 for scope use, though mine has gone to help fund a Gitzo 4542LS.

I must state that I do not have much (if any) knowledge of "Frozen Shoulder" - however might a different carrying system be better than selling gear and spending more to replace it?

Being an unfit fat old git with dodgy knees and an arthritic hip my problem is carrying heavy weights - especially my weight! Yet by getting REALLY comfortable backpacks I can quite happily womble for a couple or three miles with a 25 kilo load and a bit further with my "Lightweight" setup at about 12 kilos.

I think that the main thing is to take any weight/strain off the parts of your body that don't work as well as they should do. Impossible in my case - but I can (and do) alleviate the problem by getting the best carrying solutions (not the most expensive!).

Before you trade out any gear I would look into better ways of transporting/carrying it - probably cheaper in the long run?

Just my thoughts.
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 08:07   #4
Proterra
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Have a look at the Zomei ones on Amazon and Ebay. I've got the aluminium one and the quality is up with the big names but a lot cheaper. It looks really good and has a removable leg to use as a monopod,
My Photographer lecturer was really impressed.
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 10:34   #5
bioscope
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Yes, Ithink so: there are some variaties of transport solutions available. If Boogie has a good working setup, he should try one of these parts, e.g. Kowa Carrying System , for transporting heavier scope-setup, or similiar solution from other brands which work in the same manner.

I could use my 3530 also for the MM4, if the DiaScope isn't used - but this seemed to me a little oversized ;-) Of course, the weight of the new 3533 Mountaineer isnt' far away from the older 2532 Systematic, and could replace my 'old' 3530 with 'not-so-stiff' carbon-layers (today 8x with the new series). But you can take away a lot of money with quality brands like Gitzo - if you have found the optimal tripod, you need no other incl. option of repairing with spare-parts.

I don't think this is fact with Zomei and other cheap brands (1/10th of Gitzo-pricing) - but if some users are satisfied with this cheapos, why not…

Carried greetings
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 12:13   #6
Mono
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Do the physio exercises, they really work.
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 14:00   #7
Boogieshrew
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Thanks for your suggestions folks.

However a new carry system is not what I'm after. I have to put the load of everything I carry on one shoulder now so I need to reduce the weight as much as possible or I will damage my one remaining good shoulder.

So where I used to carry water, food, spare cloths, etc in a backpack with tripod and scope on a strap on one shoulder, now it all needs to go on one shoulder so that shoulder has a lot of load to carry with no respite.

I have a new shoulder bag to replace the backpack but I need a lighter tripod and head.

That is why I am asking specifically about this tripod and head combo and for suggestions of any similar combo at roughly the same weight and price.

Thanks again for the info, I do appreciate it, this is a good place for brainstorming up new solutions.

:)
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 22:41   #8
Alexis Powell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
...a new carry system is not what I'm after. I have to put the load of everything I carry on one shoulder now so I need to reduce the weight as much as possible or I will damage my one remaining good shoulder.

So where I used to carry water, food, spare cloths, etc in a backpack with tripod and scope on a strap on one shoulder, now it all needs to go on one shoulder so that shoulder has a lot of load to carry with no respite.

I have a new shoulder bag to replace the backpack...
I would urge you to consider again the advice to find a new carry system, even if you decide to get a different tripod as well. If you have any shoulder issues, get a bag that lets you carry weight with your hips, i.e. a "lumbar pack", not your shoulders. Any decent backpacking pack can be used this way (using shoulder straps simply to stabilize the load, not bear weight), or else you may be able to use a dedicated lumbar pack, like those from Mountainsmith. They used to make an even bigger model than those shown here. https://mountainsmith.com/gear/produ...bar-packs.html

--AP
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 14:51   #9
Boogieshrew
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Hi Alexis,
I have a Mountainsmith lumbar pack. Great bit of kit but I can't use it because my shoulder has such a limited range of motion that I can't reach enough to get the pack into position and fasten the belt.
Hopefully in a few months or a years time when I'm healed, I can make use of it again because I really like it. I've always found carrying weight on the hips most favourable.

It may be that my shoulder problems are a result of backpacking holidays back in the days before the term "ultralight" had been invented. Charging around the countryside with a 30-40 lb pack takes its toll, I think ��
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 15:33   #10
Alexis Powell
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Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
Hi Alexis,
I have a Mountainsmith lumbar pack. Great bit of kit but I can't use it because my shoulder has such a limited range of motion that I can't reach enough to get the pack into position and fasten the belt.
Hopefully in a few months or a years time when I'm healed, I can make use of it again because I really like it. I've always found carrying weight on the hips most favourable.

It may be that my shoulder problems are a result of backpacking holidays back in the days before the term "ultralight" had been invented. Charging around the countryside with a 30-40 lb pack takes its toll, I think ��
Oh, well. Bummer that isn't a solution. Best of luck. A good CF tripod is a beautiful thing, so I hope it work for you so you can enjoy it besides.

best,

--AP
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 16:41   #11
Boogieshrew
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Thanks Alexis. A bummer it surely is. Thankfully it should only be a temporary one.
Good excuse to buy a nice CF tripod though ��
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