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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 14:24   #1
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Location: North Carolina
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Looking for advice on a lighter weight fluid head (alternative to manfrotto 128 RC)

I just bought a manfrotto 190 carbon fiber tripod to try to lighten my scope setup and swapped over my my manfrotto 128 RC.

I haven't done much testing yet, but the rig seems to perform just as well as my old heavier setup under windless conditions inside my flat.

My concern is that with these lightweight legs, the system seems especially top-heavy and I'm wondering if it might be worth swapping out the 128 RC (which weighs nearly 1 kg) for a lighter head.

I really like the 128 RC for scoping. I like the quick release plate, the ability to change tension on pan and tilt and the long stick.

But I'd be willing to compromise on some of these feature if I could cut the weight down by ~500g.

Any advice on products to consider?

In case it matters, I'm using a Nikon ED 82 fieldscope, which weighs 1.6 kg.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 14:53   #2
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I'm currently considering the Benro S2 head. Only 400g.

I've no idea what it's like. I haven't seen one yet.

If you are worried that your new set up is too light or top heavy, you can hang a backpack or bag under it while in use (assuming there's a hook).
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 15:41   #3
Alexis Powell
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I also have a Nikon Fieldscope 82ED, and I long used an older version of the 128 RC as my only scope head.

In looking for something much lighter, I tried Manfrotto 700RC2 (several units for several years) but found it unsatisfactory. Not stable enough; too stiff in cold, no provision for sliding plate to balance scope.

I find the Gitzo GH1720qr perfect. Light, stable, smooth, easy to use, and easy to adapt to Arca-Swiss plates too.

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Old Sunday 26th November 2017, 17:25   #4
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Thanks, Alexis. Sounds like just what I am looking for.

Now I just need to find a retailer who sells it in Switzerland...
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 02:07   #5
Stephen Mark
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Location: New Bern NC
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I think you went wrong end first as the Manfrotto 190 legs just aren't all that. RRS, Sirui and Induro all make sturdier legs That are lighter. With the Kowa you have ( I have the 884} you need leds more than head. The 128 is ok I like the Manfrotto 500 better and its a little lighter. The head ain'yyour problem The 883 will show up every little shake, shimmy and breath of wind on a week set of legs.
Who did the classic buy cheep, buy again ect. finally I spent some bucks on a big Induro and haven't looked at tripods since
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2017, 17:26   #6
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Just to add a thought or two. It sounds like Alexis has much more experience here than I do so take what follows for what it's worth.

I'm using the Meopta 82mm S2 (1.8kg) on Manfrotto 190 carbon CX3 legs with a 700RC2 head (1.75kg total without the arm. I use the scope itself to aim and the arm just gets in the way). The combo seems to work very well. The 128RC is a nicer head, no question, and I use that one too, but it's also twice the weight.

Can't comment on the Gitzo head. Out of my price range.
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