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Observations - Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fibre v Velbon

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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 06:25   #1
wolfbirder
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Observations - Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fibre v Velbon

Hi

I have been fortunate enough to purchase a superb Kowa 883 to replace my damaged Opticron, and as advised purchased a more secure tripod to hold my expensive new scope securely.

I bought a very nice condition but older carbon fibre tripod a Manfrotto 055CXR03 plus a Manfrotto RC128 head - both which are well known and tried and tested.

There is no doubt that they are more secure than my old Velbon 200 Tripod and head.

But a few fundamental observations...........for anyone vaguely interested (:-

Firstly, the weight increase is very noticeable, I am struggling to carry my new scope and tripod around. The head is particularly heavy.

Maybe it will take time to get used to the RC128 head, but I find the arm that you hold to move the scope around is not as secure despite screwing it in hard. It slips easily.

Also one clear advantage my old Velbon pan-head had was the arm could be twisted in one simple movement to lock it tight into a position, and then released quickly to scan around again. The Manfrotto head does not have this (I am sure there are more modern more expensive ones available now). To secure the viewing position on the Rc128 head you have to find the 2 tightening knobs on the tripod controlling pan and tilt.

But returning to the weight issue, I think I am going to have consider how far I am going to have to walk before choosing which tripod/pan-head to use.

Just a few observations.................
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Last edited by wolfbirder : Monday 24th June 2019 at 06:28.
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 14:32   #2
Tringa45
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Hi,

Apart from transporting scope and tripod in a trolley or carrying the scope in a rucksack, I don't think there is any solution to the problem. I have done the latter only once for what was going to be a very long birding day.

The Manfrotto 055 CF tripod is pretty good according to these tests https://thecentercolumn.com/rankings/ and you are unlikely to find anything lighter and affordable offering the same stability. Either a Gitzo GHF2W or Berlebach 510 head would be adequate for the 883 but the overall percentage weight saving would not be that significant unless it improves the carrying balance. Despite foam-covered tripod legs I find it uncomfotable to carry the scope over the shouder and usually carry horizontally holding a tripod leg near the apex. The weight of my 883 rather upsets the balance so I sometimes opt to take my ATM 65, which is a good 500 g lighter.

John
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 15:53   #3
wolfbirder
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Thanks John, appreciate your thoughts.

I don't think I can lug my new scope/tripod for more than a mile, I'm 56 and not getting any younger (:-.
I might even put my Kowa on the Velbon if its not windy.
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 15:57   #4
jring
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Hi,

not sure what the current weight of your setup is - mine is about 5kg total and I would not lug it around in my hands for more than 100m. But with a scopac it's no problem for a few miles...

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 25th June 2019, 11:50   #5
wolfbirder
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I think I might have to look for a scope-pac.
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Old Tuesday 25th June 2019, 14:11   #6
Robert Wallace
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I find my Mulepack tripod carrier very effective. Not sure whether there are significant differences between Mulepack, Scope-pac and the Viking model.
I have walked over 8 miles with the Mulepack carrying the Swarovski ATS65 on a Manfrotto 190 carbon fibre tripod with a Benro S2 head.
I also think the Manfrotto RC128 head rather heavy and personally would look to trying a lighter head.
When I bought my Swarovski ATS 65 two years ago my choices were very much influenced by their weight and I changed the RC 128 for the S2 to save about 600 grams (I'm now 73 years old).
The ATS 65 was my first angled scope previosly I used a Nikon 60mm ED2 and for "old times sake" a Swarovski 30x75 draw tube typically using a Gitzo monopod and very occasionally a Manfrotto 190 aluminium tripod with sling.
I heartily recommend tripod carriers, if I was in the market for a new one I would look at the Viking model.
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Old Tuesday 25th June 2019, 18:00   #7
wolfbirder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Wallace View Post
I find my Mulepack tripod carrier very effective. Not sure whether there are significant differences between Mulepack, Scope-pac and the Viking model.
I have walked over 8 miles with the Mulepack carrying the Swarovski ATS65 on a Manfrotto 190 carbon fibre tripod with a Benro S2 head.
I also think the Manfrotto RC128 head rather heavy and personally would look to trying a lighter head.
When I bought my Swarovski ATS 65 two years ago my choices were very much influenced by their weight and I changed the RC 128 for the S2 to save about 600 grams (I'm now 73 years old).
The ATS 65 was my first angled scope previosly I used a Nikon 60mm ED2 and for "old times sake" a Swarovski 30x75 draw tube typically using a Gitzo monopod and very occasionally a Manfrotto 190 aluminium tripod with sling.
I heartily recommend tripod carriers, if I was in the market for a new one I would look at the Viking model.
Great advice Robert, many thanks. Plenty of food for thought
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