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Tripod for ATS65 Scope

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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 17:23   #1
Grousemore
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Tripod for ATS65 Scope

I would be grateful for any practical advice on a suitable tripod for the Swar ATS65 scope.
I'm fairly sure that I'll get this scope,a major factor in my choice being the light weight/size for carrying around.A lightweight but steady tripod is what I'm looking for,also suitable for a tall person.

Any information would be most welcome.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 17:53   #2
IanF
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Hi Grousemore,

I dare say you've heard it before, but for using a scope, really you need a pretty stable tripod, which usually means 'heavy'. I use the Manfrotto 190NAT with 128RCNAT head, because of it's height and stability, but that also means weight. Having said that I've seen a few carbon fibre tripods get blown over whilst mine has remained pretty steady. My only gripe is that the head could be better. I believe the 501 head is far better. The 128 head does the job for normal use of the scope, but isn't as stable as it could be once a camera is attached.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 19:08   #3
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Thanks for the information Ian and having seen you in action at Bempton,I agree your's is a steady tripod.However I don't intend to use the scope for digiscoping and as I travel a lot,weight has to be a significant criteria and is largely the reason I have not utilised a scope previously.
I'm prepared to forgo some stability in very windy conditions for a general weight advantage.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 20:32   #4
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Manfrotto carbon fibre 443 for me. I had the metal one before and it was a struggle carrying it round for any length of time. I don't think the old one would have been any more stable in the wind we had at Flamborough, and I would have come home crippled from carrying it.
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Old Friday 13th June 2003, 10:18   #5
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me too... swaro 65HD, manfrotto 443 with the new 700rc head. No problems yet and I've carried this kit for miles on long walks.
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Old Friday 13th June 2003, 11:33   #6
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If I may, just a comment from a tyro on this matter. I don't digiscope (yet anyway) so I just go down to the local camera shop and pick up a real cheap, real light Velbon or something (right now it's a Konica DashVT-315, but that's arbitrary). I HATE extra weight but I've never had any serious wind trouble with even the lightest pods I've bought-- as long as they crank high enough to keep me from stooping they seem to be solid enough, and they must have those friction clamps to extend the legs instead of screw/twist types that allow the bird to fly far far away before you get set up.

Sorry to interrupt this arcane conversation-- I only spoke because I've got the Swaro 65 HD on it.
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Old Friday 13th June 2003, 12:50   #7
Andy Bright
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I'm of a similar view as Charles..... and I am a digiscoper! A featherweight Velbon carbon and a lightweight pan & tilt head for me.... you can get away with a slightly less stable 'pod with a big heavy 80mm scope, but you do need something solid for one of these new generation lightweight scopes.
If I had to carry a couple of extra kilos around with me (there's plenty around my waist as it is!), I'd enjoy birdwatching less and maybe not get about quite as much in the field, and there are ways to make your tripod more solid once you're out there (lowering, opening the 'pod legs wider, stone bag)
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Old Friday 13th June 2003, 16:10   #8
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I still have not got around to making the purchase,so the new info. is valuable and appreciated. I am reassured that the concensus seems to be that you can get stability without excessive weight.
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Old Friday 13th June 2003, 18:17   #9
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Hi Kevin,
I'm 6'3" and am used to crouching for any number of activities!
Seriously though,thanks again for the empirical information,which is invaluable in situations such as this, where the manufacturers specifications (maximum ht,weight etc.)are meaningless to the uninitiated.
I'm definitely going the carbon fibre route for a tripod,,but made the fatal mistake of looking through a Kowa 663 scope recently and was most impressed.This would give a weight saving over the Swar ATS65;but as usual,I couldn't try them 'side-by-side'
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Old Friday 13th June 2003, 18:52   #10
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Kevin,
Thanks for the offer,I'd love to meet up for a spot of birding locally and try the kit,if you let me know your preferred venue I'll make it there for sure.Perhaps we can arrange things by PM,so let me know your availability.
On the subject of feet,I take 13's which was always a problem until I first went to America.Over there they have megasizes and are substantially cheaper.For example,Timberland Goretex hiking boots are a third of the price you pay in the UK.
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