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Quick release question

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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 21:15   #1
dunder
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Quick release question

I tend to carry my scope / tripod on my back using a mulepack, but i'm constantly worried that the quick release mechanism on the tripod head will catch on something and disengage. Am i being paranoid?

What head do you use? I'm ideally looking for something with a 2-stage quick release mechanism (e.g. With a safety lock).

Many thanks for your help

Dunder
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 22:05   #2
Alexis Powell
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Whether you are being paranoid depends on the head you are using. Lever-release clamps can catch on things and possibly open.

Many heads have a secondary retention method. Some of the video heads that I prefer, which use sliding plates (in my case, from Gitzo, Sirui, and Really Right Stuff), have a safety catch that works with some compatible plates (depending on the manufacturer when mixing heads and plates of different makes). I don't consider the safety catch to be necessary. All of the video and ball heads that I use (with the exception of my RRS lever-release heads, which I use regularly with cameras and only rarely with scopes) lock the plate with a screw-down clamp. I like well designed screw-down clamps very much--they operate very quickly, can clamp extremely securely, and the chance of coming loose inadvertently is almost nonexistent. I'm not sure I'll ever buy another lever-release quick release, not even a good one, e.g. from RRS.

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Old Wednesday 8th May 2019, 08:29   #3
Kevin Conville
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Like Alexis I like screw type (Arca) clamps over lever types but I also tether the scope to the head as a safety.
This is done with a short, small diameter (1mm) cord with hangman's knots at both ends. One end is tightened around the foot of the scope and left there. The other end is slipped over the screw head of the Arca clamp after mounting the scope.

With this in place the scope can only fall away from the head maybe 6". Never needed it, fortunately.
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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 06:57   #4
dunder
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Thanks both for your replies, it looks like a screw-type clamp is the way to go. Its often not clear (to me) which heads have secondary safety catches from looking at manufacturers websites. If i were looking for a basic (no frills) but decent pan-and-tilt head for a 1.2kg scope with a safety catch, ideally costing no more than 100-150, are there any particular models you'd recommend?

I like the idea of using a cord to tether 'just in case' - thanks for the tip. I might investigate that if i cant find a suitable head

Thanks again for your help

Dunder
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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 07:31   #5
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One of the Manfrotto fluid heads designed for bird watching should fall into your budget and requirements. Others are available but at a higher cost.

https://www.googleadservices.com/pag...BAgKEAk&adurl=
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...6lLEkIQR1g1yhU

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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 20:09   #6
Alexis Powell
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My favorite heads from Gitzo and Sirui are more expensive, but the Sirui VA-5 might be a good choice in your price range, and as PYRTLE notes, Manfrotto offers a lot of good choices. I think that the Manfrotto MVH 500AH is well regarded if you want something heavier than the VA-5 in your price range.

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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 22:46   #7
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Hi,

I'll second the 500AH - very stable, not too expensive and has a screw down quick release plus a safety catch that'll prevent the rather long plate (good for balancing) from falling out unless you have screwed the quick release all the way out and tilted the lever.

I'd be more concerned about the plate becoming separated from the scope due to vibration - a bit of non-permanent loctite will prevent that.

Joachim
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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 04:10   #8
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I'll second the Sirui VA5. its a perfectly sized and weighted head for a large spotting scope.. great build quality as well as its all aluminium.

I found the 500AH quite large physically where it almost overwhelms the spotting scope to be honest...

https://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a...pslmk4hyrh.jpg

https://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a...psk3gmh6sw.jpg
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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 09:57   #9
jring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safaridreaming View Post
I'll second the Sirui VA5. its a perfectly sized and weighted head for a large spotting scope.. great build quality as well as its all aluminium.

I found the 500AH quite large physically where it almost overwhelms the spotting scope to be honest...
Hi,

if you put the small Gitzo under the ATS65 and the 500AH under the Diascope, it would fit better.

But yes, the 500AH is sth for a full size scope - 65mm and below does not usually need it.

Joachim
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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 11:07   #10
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Though the various tripods have different mechanisms, I've found them all to work. But I broke (and had repaired) two scopes last year, and I now carry the scope I most use in a back pack and the tripod in hand. I use a relatively cheap sports store tripod, as it is just a 65mm scope. I may one day put down the tripod somewhere and forget to pick it up. No great loss!

One scope, an angled Celestron scope, fell over and the scope itself fell off from the tripod, not by failure of the plate but by stripping the scope mount screw hole. The plate was still attached to the tripod! The mount had two screw holes and one was stripped now. The 65mm Ultima is fine with optics, I replaced the eye piece, but the scope is really badly balanced.
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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 21:01   #11
Craig H
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Manfrotto 128RC Head has a lock on the quick release. I've been using mine for nigh on 20 years with no problems.
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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 22:49   #12
Kevin Conville
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The Manfrotto 128 has excellent fluid qualities, especially for the price.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...BI%3A514&smp=Y

If you skip the QR version and get the conventional Man 128 you can easily add an Arca type clamp and have the best of two worlds for a bargain.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ompatible.html

If you go this route, get a plate for your scope that has a lip that catches the edge of the scope's foot, for "anti-twist"
https://www.amazon.com/Fotopro-PL-60.../dp/B008PG7FX6

I personally, would drill and tap another 1/4"-20 hole in the Arca clamp so there will be two screws holding it onto the 128 head. Redundancy for safety and anti-twist are the benefits.
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Old Sunday 12th May 2019, 01:24   #13
safaridreaming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Hi,

if you put the small Gitzo under the ATS65 and the 500AH under the Diascope, it would fit better.

But yes, the 500AH is sth for a full size scope - 65mm and below does not usually need it.

Joachim
hey Joachim, the Swaro scope pictured is the ATS 80 :-)

I've sold the 500ah since then and only use the Sirui VA-5 for the spotting scopes.
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