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Swaro DH101 or Gitzo GHF2W

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Old Friday 29th March 2019, 13:16   #26
henry link
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Glad to hear that the GHF2W worked out for you. I had my doubts when I saw how back heavy your set up is.

The pan motion on my GHF2W is really quite smooth, certainly just as smooth as my GH1720, smoother than my GH2720. Is the pan locking knob on your GHF2W free to completely unscrew from the head as mine is?

Henry
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Old Friday 29th March 2019, 15:49   #27
Saxatilis
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Glad to hear that the GHF2W worked out for you. I had my doubts when I saw how back heavy your set up is.

The pan motion on my GHF2W is really quite smooth, certainly just as smooth as my GH1720, smoother than my GH2720. Is the pan locking knob on your GHF2W free to completely unscrew from the head as mine is?

Henry

Yes, completely unscrewed.

I will try my new Gitzo GHF2W with the Nikon Fieldscope ED 82A and the Velbon GEO N630 carbon tripod although I am doing just great since 2009 with the Manfrotto 701HDV, a pretty underrated model

Last edited by Saxatilis : Friday 29th March 2019 at 16:04.
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Old Saturday 30th March 2019, 10:28   #28
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I bought a B26 plate. It works fine with my wife's Brunton scope, but one of the longer plates listed by Alexis Powell in the post below (or the Swaro plate) would probably have been better for balancing with a variety of loads.

https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...7&postcount=18

Doesn't the foot of your ATX scope fit directly into the Arca-Swiss type clamp on the GHF2W?

Henry
Hi Henry, my ATX does have the foot that can fit directly on to an Arc-Swiss clamp. I think I would rather keep the foot in mint condition, you never know what the future hold. I imagine that clamping it will tarnish the finish.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 16:02   #29
forent
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Gitzo GHF2W

Glad you like your new Gitzo head as much as I do!
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I bought the GHF2W two weeks ago and up to now I am very satisfied. The head takes my ATX 95 without any problem so far: no vibrations, no wobbling, due to the counterbalance spring no tilting. The material (die cast magnesium?) is strong yet lightweight and superior to the reinforced plastic of the G2180. The movements are smooth and well damped. The horizontal plane has slightly too much resistance for my tastes even fully unfastened and the twist grips provide only 1 cm of slideway to adjust the friction. Left and right from this small area the two axes are either fixed or completely open. As I tend to leave the grips loose while observing (because the head/scope combo stops in every position I want it to) these issues are peanuts for me. I can imagine that some people would prefer a beefier fluid head weighting >1kg especially on a heavy tripod but as I said at the beginning: I am very satisfied.
Concerning the AS Arca-style foot of the ATX: Maybe they have changed the design recently or there is considerable sample variation but the AS foot of my one year old ATX 65 lens is slightly to narrow for the clamp of the Gitzo GHF2W while the foot of my new ATX 95 lens fits just fine. I had to glue a 1mm thick metal plate under the 65 foot to solve this issue.

Last edited by forent : Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 16:09.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 18:39   #30
Tringa45
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I had to glue a 1mm thick metal plate under the 65 foot to solve this issue.
That sounds dodgy and there's probably no safety retention anyway. If the clamp loosens you are likely to have an expensive accident. Put Arca-Swiss plates on them with the appropriate safety retention.

John
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 20:35   #31
forent
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That sounds dodgy and there's probably no safety retention anyway. If the clamp loosens you are likely to have an expensive accident. Put Arca-Swiss plates on them with the appropriate safety retention.
John
I don't think that "dodgy" is the appropriate description.
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 20:56   #32
Alexis Powell
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I don't think that "dodgy" is the appropriate description.
Maybe the right word is "shimmy" :)

--AP
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Old Thursday 4th April 2019, 07:23   #33
forent
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Maybe the right word is "shimmy" :) --AP
Sorry, but the subtleties of the English language are beyond my poor school knowledge. I suspect that "shimmy" too means "bricolage".

Let's face it, Arca-Swiss plates are no rocket science. A solid steel sheet exactly tailor-made for the ATX foot and glued with extremely strong 3M double-sided adhesive tape is rather a reinforcement than a degradation. Moreover, the cut-out still allows for locking the foot with the safety pin of the Gitzo clamp. I can't imagine a screwed-on additional QR plate could be more safe. But everyone to his taste!

Last edited by forent : Thursday 4th April 2019 at 07:26.
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Old Thursday 4th April 2019, 16:43   #34
Alexis Powell
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Sorry, but the subtleties of the English language are beyond my poor school knowledge. I suspect that "shimmy" too means "bricolage". ...
No, no, my joke was meant entirely respectfully. I was making a non-standard English adjective out of the noun "shim". A shim is a perfectly valid and very robust solution for making clamped connections more secure. The joke was that although being a technically correct English adjective, the resulting word if mistaken as a noun or verb means something like "wiggly", which is obviously not desired here, nor is it the result of your excellent work.

I am also a great admirer of 3M VHB adhesive film and tape.

--AP

Last edited by Alexis Powell : Thursday 4th April 2019 at 16:50.
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Old Thursday 4th April 2019, 17:19   #35
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Thanks for the explanation!
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 19:31   #36
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My opinion on the Swarovski DH101 after owning one: I wouldn’t touch another with a ten meter cattle prod. A tripod and scope tip over which damaged my Swarvoski scope totally destroyed the DH101 head. Completely inoperable. Only a one year warranty. Of course, the head was past the warranty period. Swarvoski “generously” replaced the non repairable head with a very used copy. This for the owner of one each of their binoculars and spotting scopes purchased new from authorized dealers. As was the head and the Swarvoski tripod to which it was attached. I shortly after bought Gitzo and have remained happy ever after!

Addendum: Swarvoski charged me for the scope and eyepiece repairs. None of their famous freebies here. Took them two tries to get the eyepiece right. My dealer, the late, lamented Eagle Optics offered to intercede but I figured I was wearing big boy pants and could handle my own affairs. I really miss EO! As I later found out from Ben, EO was going to replace the DH101 from their own stock and take the financial hit themselves and deal with Swarvoski at a later date. One of the reasons they eventually went out of business. Along with WAY too many taking advantage of their generous “try and return” business model.

Also looking back on posts on Birdforum of contributors picking up Swarvoski binoculars in dismal condition and “convincing” Swarvoski to return them to as-new state for free may well have had something to do with a less than generous attitude on their part.

Last edited by DocSarvis : Sunday 16th June 2019 at 23:53. Reason: Addendums
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 10:09   #37
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So which gitzo head did you end up with? I tried asking my magic 8-ball, but all it would say is that the dh101 was no good
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 20:40   #38
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Gitzo GH2720... the larger of their two “birdwatching” heads; as Gitzo then were marketing them. I also bought a three section 2-series Gitzo tripod at the same time and am very pleased with the combination. The Gitzo warranty is also much longer on their tripod heads. The Swarovski tripod and replacement DH101 head have been relegated to backup status. I should have bought Gitzo or Really Right Stuff from the get-go. The Swarovski gear really wasn’t any cheaper! I haven’t tried the newest Gitzo heads, but retirement doesn’t let you replace perfectly fine gear just to have the very latest until the older stuff gives out.
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 21:58   #39
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I'm working with a Leica branded Gitzo tripod head (DH1). Still works good but sometimes it creeps and well it's starting to show a bit of age.
So I'm starting to look for an upgrade should a discount opportunity arise. So far the gitzo gh2720 and the berlebach 530 are on the shortlist, but I've yet to see either of them in the field.
The Berlebach is hard to see, it's not a big brand so very few stores carry it, and I was unlucky with the gh2720, they were out of stock on the two shops I went to try it out.

I did see the 'new' swarovski tripod head the CTH but from what I hear it's another more expensive gitzo rebrand. It worked nice though so it's also on the list.
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 19:55   #40
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Please be sure that Swarovski gives as long a warranty period as Gitzo on a so-called “rebranded” item. You may wind up needing the warranty and you don’t want to hassle with Swarovski over a short warranty period.
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 21:56   #41
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Thanks for the advice. I haven't had the need to use Swarovski service yet, but from what I hear around me their support is great over here. I usually buy local, the biggest bird watch organization is located less than 10 miles from my home and they also happen to be the largest sellers in binoculars and telescopes in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg (Benelux)
But they dont carry the new tripod head yet, and a tripod head is not the same as glass. I think camera gear shops usually have a wider selection in tripods and tripod heads.
For what it's worth (to display the support from that large local store), I carried the leica head with me while trying for a new tripod bag. They noticed I had replaced a screw for the aiming arm (not sure if that's the right term, but its the stick you use to aim your scope). So they went to their own supply room, mind you this model was no longer for sale when I bought it, since I bought the last one in 2012, and they gotten a replacement screw for mine. Apparently they had one still in store in case spare parts were needed (or temp replacement?). Gotten it free of charge. Very nice.

Anyway none of that tells me what to expect from swarovski, but I've yet to meet someone who has had a bad experience with them. the best customer support is the one you don't need
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