Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Sunday 30th May 2010, 13:55   #1
MalR
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: sunderland
Posts: 449
swarovski tripod and head

I am looking at buying a new tripod and head soon and I was wondering if anyone uses or has any opinions on the Swarovski CT101 carbon fibre tripod and FH101 head.

I would primarily use this for my Swarovski ATS80 HD scope (occasionally with my 40D + 400mm lens) and I like the fact that the scope's "foot" can fit straight on to the head without the need for a plate.

I've used one of the old Manfrotto/Swarovski tripods + head for several years and always found it to be very secure in how it holds the scope. Just wondering if the carbon fibre version is as good, how smooth the head is etc.

Warehouse Express is selling this combo for 429, which doesn't seem too bad for a decent carbon fibre tripod and head.

Thanks for any replies.

Malcolm
MalR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 30th May 2010, 18:13   #2
lmans66
Registered User
 
lmans66's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Jersey, USA and Tuscan AZ, USA
Posts: 1,886
Blog Entries: 12
I looked at that too but I know it weighs more than the one I ended with. That was a factor with me, weight. Carrying around anything for an extended period of time gets to one so the less you have to tote, the better. I ended up with a Benro C258 and a Monfrotto head...
__________________
lmans
lmans66 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 30th May 2010, 21:20   #3
MalR
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: sunderland
Posts: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
I looked at that too but I know it weighs more than the one I ended with. That was a factor with me, weight. Carrying around anything for an extended period of time gets to one so the less you have to tote, the better. I ended up with a Benro C258 and a Monfrotto head...
Thanks for the reply, Imans.

Weight is a big consideration for me too. The Swarovski combo is 1.68kg, which I didn't think was too bad. The set-up I have at present is more than 3kg, so I think I would notice a big difference.

Of course, stability is even more important.

Thanks again.

Malcolm
MalR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 31st May 2010, 23:42   #4
Via Sierra
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 11
Gitzo

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalR View Post
Thanks for the reply, Imans.

Weight is a big consideration for me too. The Swarovski combo is 1.68kg, which I didn't think was too bad. The set-up I have at present is more than 3kg, so I think I would notice a big difference.

Of course, stability is even more important.

Thanks again.

Malcolm
Hi Malcolm,

In my experience the Gitzo CF Tripod Legs are a notch or two above the rest, Manfrotto included. They are very elegant in their strength and simplicity.
__________________
Via Sierra

Located in Reno, Nevada where the Western edge of the Great Basin meets the Eastern Slope of the Sierra Nevada Range.
Via Sierra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 17:08   #5
lmans66
Registered User
 
lmans66's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Jersey, USA and Tuscan AZ, USA
Posts: 1,886
Blog Entries: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalR View Post
Thanks for the reply, Imans.

Weight is a big consideration for me too. The Swarovski combo is 1.68kg, which I didn't think was too bad. The set-up I have at present is more than 3kg, so I think I would notice a big difference.

Of course, stability is even more important.

Thanks again.

Malcolm
The Swaro set up is less weight than what I thought.... My set up of a Benro C258 plus a Manfrotto 701 is 2.29 kg or 5 pounds. So you are light enough with the swaro.
__________________
lmans
lmans66 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 17:40   #6
Steve Dudley
aka The Toadsnatcher
 
Steve Dudley's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hunts & Lesvos
Posts: 1,407
I've never understood the interest in these 'branded' tripods. Both the Swaro and Leica models are badged up/made by Manfrotto/Gitzo and aren't as good (to use or in quality) as the Manfrotto/Gitzo originals (and certainly with the Leica you're paying a premium for the red dot). The last Manfrotto head (have they changed them) was poor. These branded models rarely deliver anything new or innovative.

In my opinion the main reason to choose Manfrotto or Gitzo is the leg locks used by teh two different manufacturers. Do you want thumb/flick locks or twist locks? I dont get on with twist locks so use a Manfrotto Carbon No. 1 (991?) leg set (which I've had for about 10 years so has probably now been superseded) with a Gitzo G2180 fluid head (a lower quality version is used on the Leica tripods).

I do have a couple of sets of Gitzo legs. Their quality is outstanding, second to none, but I just dont get on with the twist locks. If only they did a flick lock and I would switch.
Steve Dudley is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 18:47   #7
Jim M.
Choose Civility

 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dudley View Post
I've never understood the interest in these 'branded' tripods. Both the Swaro and Leica models are badged up/made by Manfrotto/Gitzo and aren't as good (to use or in quality) as the Manfrotto/Gitzo originals
What Manfrotto/Gitzo head is the same as the Swaro FH101 head? I'm not aware of any. The swaro head allows you to lock pan or tilt, or both, for example. Manfrotto/Bogen heads don't have this feature.

Best,
Jim
__________________
My Micro 4/3 photo gallery:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35716495@N08/albums
Jim M. is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 19:28   #8
Steve Dudley
aka The Toadsnatcher
 
Steve Dudley's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hunts & Lesvos
Posts: 1,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Moore View Post
What Manfrotto/Gitzo head is the same as the Swaro FH101 head? I'm not aware of any. The swaro head allows you to lock pan or tilt, or both, for example. Manfrotto/Bogen heads don't have this feature.
The Swaro FH101 head is a unique item and developed for Swarovski. Don't know why it was developed, cos if it was the head I once tested it was/is poor compared to the popular Manfrotto and Gitzo heads. I've come across several people who bought it and ended up switching to another head.

My Gitzo locks in both pan and tilt, independently or together. So did my previous Manfrotto head.
Steve Dudley is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 19:39   #9
Jim M.
Choose Civility

 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dudley View Post
My Gitzo locks in both pan and tilt, independently or together. So did my previous Manfrotto head.
The popular Manfrotto lightweight heads, RC 700 and 701, don't lock in pan or tilt. (By lock I don't mean you can tighten it so that it won't move, I mean there's a separate locking mechanism.) The tightening screws on my RC 700 went "numb" after only a year of use because I would have to tighten so much to get the thing to keep its position.

Regarding the swaro head, I haven't used it in the field, but I know a guy who runs a birding supply shop and could use any head he wanted to for free. He chose the FH101. I know some have been dissatisfied with it, but every head out there has its detractors/horror stories.

Best,
Jim
__________________
My Micro 4/3 photo gallery:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35716495@N08/albums

Last edited by Jim M. : Tuesday 1st June 2010 at 19:41.
Jim M. is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 20:41   #10
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 20,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Moore View Post
The popular Manfrotto lightweight heads, RC 700 and 701, don't lock in pan or tilt. (By lock I don't mean you can tighten it so that it won't move, I mean there's a separate locking mechanism.) The tightening screws on my RC 700 went "numb" after only a year of use because I would have to tighten so much to get the thing to keep its position.

Regarding the swaro head, I haven't used it in the field, but I know a guy who runs a birding supply shop and could use any head he wanted to for free. He chose the FH101. I know some have been dissatisfied with it, but every head out there has its detractors/horror stories.

Best,
Jim
Jim,
I don't understand what you mean, sorry. On my 700rc2 head, there is one knob to tighten for pan, another for tilt, which are independent of each other, and either can be tightened completely, to allow a little movement or completely free, even though I admit that the tilt adjustment is tricky if you have a scope that is not well balanced.

I have no experience with the swarowski head.

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean
njlarsen is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 20:55   #11
Jim M.
Choose Civility

 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Jim,
I don't understand what you mean, sorry. On my 700rc2 head, there is one knob to tighten for pan, another for tilt, which are independent of each other, and either can be tightened completely, to allow a little movement or completely free
Hi Niels,

Tightening screws do not lock the movement.They just apply enough pressure via the screw so that only significant force will move the head. The swaro head has separate locks (I think they are applied via levers or switches) that locks panning/tilting without having to tighten anything. (Though it also has tightening screws to adjust tension of course.) I'm not sure how else to explain it if that's not clear.

Best,
Jim
__________________
My Micro 4/3 photo gallery:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35716495@N08/albums
Jim M. is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 23:13   #12
MalR
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: sunderland
Posts: 449
Wow! Quite a flurry of replies since I last looked on here. Thanks to everyone for their input.

I must point out to Imans that the weight of the Swaro combo that I mentioned in my first reply to him (and which I had taken from the Warehouse Express website) was wrong. The head and legs together actually weigh 2.68kg.

I've been doing a bit more research myself and there seems to be quite a lot of positive feedback on the Swaro tripod legs, but more reservations about the head, particularly its durability.

Like Steve, I'm not a fan of twist locks on tripod legs. The other tripod I was considering was the Manfrotto 055CXPro3. I definitely can't run to Gitzo prices.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone for taking the time to reply.

Malcolm
MalR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 23:39   #13
Jim M.
Choose Civility

 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalR View Post

I've been doing a bit more research myself and there seems to be quite a lot of positive feedback on the Swaro tripod legs, but more reservations about the head, particularly its durability.
I found those reports about the head as well, which is one reason I went with the Velbon PH-157Q head instead. It's cheap but I've found it very durable. (Though like every head made, you can find a number of negative posts about it on this forum). It's also very inexpensive--recently discontinued, so even cheaper now. The only head I know of that allows you to tighten/loosen both pan and tilt by twisting a single handle, which makes for super quick set up when you need to get on a bird fast.

Regarding legs, I love my Velbon carbon fiber legs. Cheaper than Gitzo, but high quality; flip locks are available.

Best,
Jim
__________________
My Micro 4/3 photo gallery:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35716495@N08/albums
Jim M. is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 00:18   #14
lmans66
Registered User
 
lmans66's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Jersey, USA and Tuscan AZ, USA
Posts: 1,886
Blog Entries: 12
So funny for I prefer the Twist....goes to show you, each to their own.
__________________
lmans
lmans66 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 01:23   #15
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 20,232
Thanks Jim, got it now; I don't think I have been behind a tripod with that type of lock on the head that you describe, that was why it was difficult to grasp.

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean
njlarsen is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 08:37   #16
Dale Forbes
SWAROVSKI OPTIK Austria
 
Dale Forbes's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Tirol, Austria
Posts: 401
Blog Entries: 58
The regular Swarovski carbon fibre tripod (CT101) weighs 1.5kg, and the smaller travel version (CT Travel) is only 1.4kg. Both carbon tripods are a carbon fibre with 12% bassalt for vibration dampening. These have been developed in conjunction with Swarovski Optik by an external company.

The new head (DH101) is the only tripod head that I know of that has been designed specifically for observation, and not just taken from photography. I have used it almost exclusively over the last few months (mostly on top of the travel tripod) for my birding and digiscoping and have been very impressed by its stability and functionality. We took customer feedback on our last head (FH101) and integrated it in to the new head. It may not look a whole lot different (except for the reduction in levers and the new automatic security locking mechanism), but the guts of it have been completely re-done. The tripod heads have been completely developed in-house.

It only weighs 550g, making the total setup 1.9 or 2.0 kg (depending on which tripod you choose).

If I am digiscoping in a bit of wind, I tend to hang my backpack on the tripod hook for extra stability. So far, I have always been happy that I have had the Travel Tripod / DH101 combo with.

Happy birding,
Dale
Attached Images
 
__________________
Dale Forbes

www.birdinggame.com
Dale Forbes is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 16:09   #17
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 20,232
How long is the travel tripod when folded but with a head mounted?

thanks
Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean
njlarsen is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 2nd July 2010, 20:42   #18
Sleeper
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 832
Bit late to this thread

I own the FH101 and I can say that it is an outstanding head in both usability and design. I have used several manfrotto heads (128, 701) and this head is streets ahead particularly for digiscoping.

The pan and tilt are set to whatever tension you need when in use and then you never need to change this or tighten or untighten them. You then use separate locking levers one for the pan and one for the tilt. This means that instead of having to set the correct tension for use every time you tighten the knobs up, say on the manfrotto, for when you are walking about or traveling. This means I can go from using the scope with correct tension with my camera attached and then a couple of flicks and the unit is locked up for moving without the weight of the camera making the scope droop, two clicks later the head is back at the correct tension without fiddling with the two knobs to get the best tension. I have had the head a couple of years without any durability issues.

The weight of it is amazing and is silky smooth.

Downside is the poorly designed safety locking feature that always becomes unlocked half way!!

I hope the new one has rectified this although I can not justify changing my FH101 for the new DH101 although I keep telling myself that the head replacement is cheaper than scope replacement if the safety catch does fail!

I shall have a look at this at the birdfair.

I would never go back to the manfrottos now even if given one for free!
__________________
Sleeper is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tripod/Head For Swarovski ATS Scope Upland Birder Tripod and Heads 5 Monday 1st March 2010 20:20
New Swarovski Tripod head Doug Tripod and Heads 16 Thursday 27th August 2009 16:22
Please help - tripod/head for swarovski ATS 65HD tiger3663 Tripod and Heads 1 Sunday 28th September 2008 22:31
Help with tripod head for Swarovski scope LP birder Tripod and Heads 2 Thursday 30th August 2007 17:23

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.21556997 seconds with 29 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 19:06.