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Tripod Suggestions for beginner digiscoping

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Old Thursday 19th July 2018, 02:44   #1
B34N
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Tripod Suggestions for beginner digiscoping

I've tried to Google and search the forums for answers but I seem to only get more confused.

My family and I are enthusiastic but beginner/intermediate birders. We recently purchased a Vanguard 82a scope and their digiscope adapter. We would like to find a tripod which we can use at home that will keep the scope and camera assembly reasonably steady for our use. Ideally we would have something steady enough for taking photos of birds/wildlife as well as the moon and other extra-terrestrial objects. Our Camera is a Canon 77D.

#1 should I be doing something to balance the weight of the scope? To me it seems that the easiest way to reduce vibration would be to balance the scope once the camera weight has been added. If so, what the best method?

#2 Which tripods would you suggest for beginner enthusiasts on a budget?

We don't care about weight or size. I thought we would use the setup on our deck, but that seems to introduce more vibrations. We are beginner enthusiasts without a ton of money. I wanted to spend in the $100 range but I'm guessing I'd be much better off increasing that to $200 or $250...but $1000 is out of question.

I've read some reviews and the Velbon Sherpa 200 R/f seems to fit my needs but I would like 2nd opinions and other suggestions if there are other products I should also consider.

Thank you,
B34N
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Old Thursday 19th July 2018, 06:22   #2
jring
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Hi,

the recommended way to choose a tripod and head for scopes (and digiscoping) is to take the expected load (in your case about 1.9kg for the body and 600g for the camera plus maybe 500 g for adapters) and multiply by 2. Then get a tripod which has a mximum load of at least that and err on the safe side.

Other things to look at are 3 leg sections (check) and a height which allows you to keep the center column down or mostly so (check too unless you are very tall).

In your case with 3kg expected load and within the Velbon budget series I would look at the Sherpa 400 at least.

Regarding balance, it is indeed a good idea and the usual way to reach it is to use a head which allows the use of a long plate. My favourite for this is the 500AH from Manfrotto, but others exist (although maybe not as cheap as the 500AH).

Of course if you can get sth along these lines used, that's fine too.

Cheers,

Joachim
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Old Thursday 19th July 2018, 11:38   #3
B34N
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Other things to look at are 3 leg sections (check) and a height which allows you to keep the center column down or mostly so (check too unless you are very tall).

In your case with 3kg expected load and within the Velbon budget series I would look at the Sherpa 400 at least.
Thank you for he reply. I'm not set on Velbron. I just saw that model listed as good in other posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Regarding balance, it is indeed a good idea and the usual way to reach it is to use a head which allows the use of a long plate. My favourite for this is the 500AH from Manfrotto, but others exist (although maybe not as cheap as the 500AH).
That head looks nice. How important is that balance? Will I see less shaking when digiscoping or am I just making myself feel more comfortable that the equipment won't tip over.

That head is about $150...which is a bit above budget. Is there a tripod that you'd recommend to pair with it if I decide to go to the higher price point?

B34N
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Old Thursday 19th July 2018, 18:56   #4
jring
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Hi,

well, if you want to get sth decent within your $100 or so budget, going used seems pretty much mandatory. I would certainly have a look at craigslist or ebay or maybe the classifieds in here... and have patience and luck.

I got my old Velbon carbon legs off german ebay for 90€ and a 500AH which had been dragged around the globe by a pro photographer from the classifieds here for 50 quid or so - some dust from an unidentified desert included. Together it makes for a fairly light and very stable kit.

Or try some well known NYC store...

Used predecessor of the 500AH's big brother - if you have to have a handle, you'll have to get a piece of aluminum tube instead, though...
https://www.adorama.com/us%20%20%201017225.html

and some sturdy but still portable legs - new this time since they don't have sth suitable in the used dept:
https://www.adorama.com/sl700dxlt.html

Or a battered but heavy and very sturdy legend at the other site...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ce_tripod.html

And yes, you really want a way to balance your scope, especially if you have a camera body at the back end. Otherwise you'll have to tighten the fluid controls of your head up until it is not fluid at all...

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Thursday 19th July 2018 at 19:11.
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Old Friday 20th July 2018, 14:03   #5
B34N
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Thank you all for your help and support. I ordered the Slik Pro 700DX with pan head kit for $139 USD shipped. I read a number if reviews and it seemed to be very sturdy. Many complained about weight but that isn't an issue for me. I went with the kit with the head for now since it was in my budget. I'll setup some alerts for good prices on new or used 500AH heads in case we want an upgrade.

Last edited by B34N : Friday 20th July 2018 at 14:08.
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 09:11   #6
jring
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Hi,

have fun with your scope - although I'm sure you will want a better head with the option to balance your kit... especially for digiscoping.

Been there, done that.

Joachim
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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 00:54   #7
B34N
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Hi,
have fun with your scope - although I'm sure you will want a better head with the option to balance your kit... especially for digiscoping.

Been there, done that.
Joachim
Joachim,

I certainly appreciate your advice and I plan to follow more of your advice when I can find the MVH500AH at a great price or when I am ready to spend more. I greatly appreciate your suggestion of the Slik Pro 700DX. I got the kit with the lesser head for now which should be nice for non-digiscoping and may help fill a need for now.

Best regards,
B34N
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 15:23   #8
OakStuddedAcres
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Sirui makes great tripods also
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