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Tripod for Pentax 65EDII

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Old Monday 7th January 2019, 11:05   #1
sixtus
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Tripod for Pentax 65EDII

Gents any entry level tripods recommended for the above scope. There is a dazzling array out there and I am trying to learn as much as possible to get started. My goals are I'd like something moderately stable for magnifications up to 45x but the ability to backpack it would be nice as well. Its possible the two goals are not complimentary? I spoke to a camera shop and they suggested I should be using a video head to start with. Thanks for any thoughts or links to resources on any of the above.
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Old Monday 7th January 2019, 16:46   #2
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Folks would a manfrotto 190XDB and 804RC2 head serve the purpose? I can pick one up almost new for a steal.
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Old Monday 7th January 2019, 21:13   #3
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I am assuming that your scope is the straight version, and not the angled one. Depending on your height, the 190 series may be on the short side, at least without the center column fully extended. The 055 series will be overkill for the weight of your scope, but will be better as far as the height.

The 804RC2 appears to be a 3-way pan and tilt head. I used a similar head in the past. You can get by with a head like this, but I found that it was difficult to track flying birds with the one that I had. I would recommend a video head. This would be a 2-way head that is designed to tilt and pan smoothly, making it easy to track flying birds. The standard "starter" video head is the Manfrotto 128RC QR.

Stability and packability are not complimentary. Tripods with four leg sections are more compact, but not as stable as three section models. Carbon fiber is lighter, more stable, and more expensive than aluminum. You need to decide what are the most important features to you.
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Old Monday 7th January 2019, 23:42   #4
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thanks jmepler. Its the angled version. I'm 190cm tall btw. I'd probably prefer stability more at this point, I can always make do with something lighter for hiking later on. I might look at the video head you recommended. Would this still be okay for occasional astronomical use, I am juggling a few variables here
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 11:47   #5
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Hi sixtus,
I use old Slik 88 tripods, which weigh about 2.5 kg with a pan and tilt head.
Modern tripods may be lighter, but your height may require a tripod weighing 2.5kg with the head.

I successfully use magnifications up to 100x on spotting scopes and short focus refractors with the Slik 88.
I have heavier photo tripods, some going up to over 7ft 6 inches high, but they weigh nearer 4kg.

Outside if the wind is blowing then photo tripods are not very stable.
A wind shield or fence helps.
Also I have to aim high before locking the pan and tilt handle as the scope angle drops a bit once the handle is locked.
From indoors I can use 120x to 190x without any problems using the Slik 88, but there are no winds to move the scope.

I am also quite used to using refractors with inverted images or terrestrial scopes or laterally reversed scopes. It just needs practice.

The main thing for astro use is to avoid light pollution if possible.
Australia has great skies.
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 12:01   #6
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Due to your height, you have to consider the 055 tripod series, rather than the shorter 190s, otherwise you'd be stooping over, regardless of you having an angled scope. Also this would make looking at night sky objects easier.
I too would suggest a fluid video head for quicker and smoother panning in all 3 planes. The 128rc2 head is and has been the go to system for many a year. There are one or two smaller lightweight heads about dependant on your budget.
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 12:08   #7
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 14:56   #8
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Thanks folks. I notice these are getting into more serious dollars but I guess you get what you pay for. 055 and the 128rc2 head sound like the way to go then.
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 15:04   #9
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btw folks for table top viewing, which I'd like to do from my study on occasion is the usual method to buy something like this? https://www.camerahouse.com.au/manfr...tpixi-b-tripod
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 15:11   #10
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This looks a bit small, it could tip over with a spotting scope.
This has been discussed before, but I cannot remember where.

It might be better to fix something to a desk or table if that is possible.
Not sure if the table or desk is too valuable to adapt.
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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 18:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtus View Post
btw folks for table top viewing, which I'd like to do from my study on occasion is the usual method to buy something like this? https://www.camerahouse.com.au/manfr...tpixi-b-tripod
It costs more, but I gave up searching and struggling when I got a video high hat https://www.benrousa.com/products/benro-hh75av.aspx and paired it with https://www.benrousa.com/products/benro-bl75.aspx. Extremely stable yet totally flexible configuration.

Best,
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Old Friday 11th January 2019, 01:16   #12
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Thanks for the link. I'm going to head down the local firearms range and see what they are using as apparently they loan out old olivon scopes for shooters and must be using a fairly decent but budget tabletop mount for them.
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Old Saturday 19th January 2019, 23:51   #13
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So I tracked this tripod down, its used but apparently in good shape. Manfrotto 055B pro. Can anyone tell me what the head shown is on it? Also would 95 USD be a good price for a unit in excellent condition?


https://i.postimg.cc/25XpVjSz/20.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/k5N6mZJF/tripod.jpg

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by sixtus : Saturday 19th January 2019 at 23:53.
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Old Sunday 20th January 2019, 00:23   #14
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Just asked the seller, its a #056 junior head which I assume is not the choice for spotting scopes but its included in the price.
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Old Monday 21st January 2019, 15:10   #15
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Hi,

cannot see the images due to some blocking device in the office... assuming it's a 055XPROB the price seems ok, even if you have to get a fluid head. The legs are very sturdy (max rated load 7kg) and not super lightweight at 2.4kg. They will also carry larger scopes well.

The head mentioned will be sub-optimal for use with a scope...

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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2019, 06:00   #16
Kevin Conville
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My two bits...

Get a Benro aluminum tripod of more height than you think you need. Benro tripods are better made and stiffer than Manfrotto. I've had 4 or 5 of each brand. You will find that a taller tripod is more stable and useful. Taller tripods have a wider footprint. They allow more leg and less center post for better stability. If you find yourself on irregular ground or on the up-hill side of the scope, you'll want the height.

I recommend an inexpensive fluid head like a Manfrotto 128. They're heavy but work well once you convert to Arca. I'd get the Plain Jane version w/o quick release and adapt an Arca clamp to it to pair with an Arca plate on the scope. https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=249059

Google away if you're unfamiliar with this stuff. One more thing, collet locks (twist) on the legs are better (stiffer joints, never out of adjustment, don't get caught on things, and are lower profile for sliding in and out of spaces) than cam locks (flip levers).
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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2019, 08:22   #17
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Thanks guys, this one is the 055XPROB yes and I pulled the trigger and bought it. I am chasing pre-owned prices and it was the only one currently going, I got the price down a little as well. I'll keep an eye out for the 128 fluid head next. Thanks again everyone, and for the general theory provided, all good to know.
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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2019, 10:07   #18
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Hi,

I'm not such a big fan of the 128RC as it has a fixed position quick release plate and is also not too stable. I have retired mine in favour of a used 500AH which has a plate which can be moved back and forth for balancing your scope and there is longer plates available, plus it's a lot more stable than the 128RC.

The balance question is of course a moot point if the 128RC is converted to Arca plates...

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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2019, 19:28   #19
Kevin Conville
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This is the 128 w/o QR.
You can see it would be very easy to attach an Arca clamp to this.

I would use the existing 1/4"-20 screw on the head as well as tapping another 1/4"-20 hole in the clamp to use a second screw for the added security and anti-twist.

One could also drill and countersink a hole through the clamp and use a flat head screw and a washer and nut.
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Old Thursday 24th January 2019, 14:13   #20
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Unfortunately I am not much of a DIY guy, if countersinking and drilling can't be done with a leathermans multitool I'm out of my depth.

Last edited by sixtus : Thursday 24th January 2019 at 14:18.
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Old Friday 1st February 2019, 07:02   #21
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just took delivery of the tripod. Wow these 055 certainly are beasts! Very impressed with the weight and general sturdiness of this my first serious tripod. Thanks again all for the suggestions, this will fit the bill nicely
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