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Carbon tripod recommendation, please. (1 Viewer)

Boogieshrew

Well-known member
Hi all,

I am going to invest in a carbon fibre tripod for use with a Swaro ATM65, no digiscoping just birding. Willing to spend up to £250 but would rather spend less if I can.

Which do you think is the tripod/head combination that is the best compromise between steadiness and weight?

Thanks for your help.

BS
 

johnf3f

johnf3f
2 Friends of mine have one each of these:

http://www.globaltechcommerce.co.uk/feisoluk/9-tournament

I have tried then quite extensively for camera use with lenses up to a 300 F2.8 + a pro body (total about 4.5 Kilo) and found them to be pretty good. No they are no Gitzo's but they are nowhere near the price either!
These are the cheapest tripods, so far, that I would be happy with long term.
 

Boogieshrew

Well-known member
Thanks for the suggestions folks. Particuar thanks to johnf3f for showing me Feisol. Never heard of them. They look very good. And really light weight too.
 

johnf3f

johnf3f
Thanks for the suggestions folks. Particuar thanks to johnf3f for showing me Feisol. Never heard of them. They look very good. And really light weight too.

You are welcome.
My friend, who has the 4 leg section one, uses his for one of the Swaro CTC Scopes and it works well, however, depending on your height you may wish to add the optional center column which is reasonably cheap.
http://www.globaltechcommerce.co.uk/feisoluk/37-ct-3342cckit-centre-column-kit.html
Check out the collapsed lengths of the two models as whilst the 3442 folds a little shorter the 3342 is a little stiffer and slightly better in my opinion.
Happy choosing!
 

Torview

Registered User
Supporter
I use a Giottos Silk Road YTL8283 with VH6011 Birding head with my Optolyth S80 APO, works well and closes up nice and slim.
 

Boogieshrew

Well-known member
I use a Giottos Silk Road YTL8283 with VH6011 Birding head with my Optolyth S80 APO, works well and closes up nice and slim.

Hi Torview,

I had my eye on this one. Good to know it's up to handling your 80mm scope when I only want to use a 65mm.

Just how good is it with your scope? What would you say it's limitations are?
 

Torview

Registered User
Supporter
I`d say any limitation is with the head, its smooth enough but fiddly to lock/unlock and the QR plate could be slicker in operation, the tripod is stable, quick to set up and packs down very slim.

I`v not had anything superior so to me its superb, no problem supporting 1.9kg of 80mm scope.
 

aucarius

Marcus Hunt
United Kingdom
I've got the Feisol 3342 and Manfrotto 700RC2 combination, used with a Kowa TSN-883, and am very happy with it. It was pretty much the lightest most affordable combo I could find, yet is stable enough for digiscoping.

As Torview said, the head is not the easiest but after some practice you get used to it, and it's very smooth.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Looked at Velbon?

I have a Velbon GEO 640E with a Manfrotto 700RC2 head, and I'm very happy with this combination. You might not find the full GEO range on the Velbon UK website. But a search in the internet should be productive, particularly if you search on eBay. The 640 model has four sections, but for most purposes the 630 version with three sections is probably better. You need less clamps to fasten when in a hurry. Make sure you get a tripod with clamps, not one with twist fastening. Clamps, or as they call it lever locking legs, are easier to handle. The 600 series is preferable over the 500 or even 400 series because it has sturdier tubes. So you really get a very stable tripod even when there is some wind.

I have had mine for over 2 years now, had ordered directly from China via eBay. The price (in 2012) was £230 including shipping, with shipping being a ridiculously low amount of around 5£. I had later ordered another one (GEO 630E) for my brother, and in both cases everything went smoothly and it did not take very long. The price quoted was without the head.

Here is a link to the Velbon website: http://www.velbon.biz/product/geo.html The E models have lever locking, the N versions come with the twist lock.
 
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Hermann

Well-known member
Make sure you get a tripod with clamps, not one with twist fastening. Clamps, or as they call it lever locking legs, are easier to handle.

Well, I prefer twist locks over lever locks anytime. Twist locks *never* break, whereas lever locks may.

Hermann
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Well, I prefer twist locks over lever locks anytime. Twist locks *never* break, whereas lever locks may.

Hermann

So it's to each his own, and explains why there are two versions.

Levers may require an occasional adjustment, another potential reason for preferring twist lock systems. I keep a small wrench inside of the center column for such very rare occasions. It's taped to the inside so does not float around and make noise. But with a twist lock, I'm never quite sure whether I tightened it just right. If it's too tight, it does not always quickly open, and if it's not sufficiently tightened, the leg is slowly collapsing when one leans on to the scope to reduce shaking from the wind.
 

Saxatilis

Well-known member
So it's to each his own, and explains why there are two versions.

Levers may require an occasional adjustment, another potential reason for preferring twist lock systems. I keep a small wrench inside of the center column for such very rare occasions. It's taped to the inside so does not float around and make noise. But with a twist lock, I'm never quite sure whether I tightened it just right. If it's too tight, it does not always quickly open, and if it's not sufficiently tightened, the leg is slowly collapsing when one leans on to the scope to reduce shaking from the wind.

Hello Swissboy

that's what exactly happened to my Giottos lever tripod just a couple of weeks ago when counting short-toed eagles in migration...
During an observation day, I had noticed that the a leg was starting to lean forward and was scared by the risk that it could collapse more or less suddenly. A friend of mine without telling nothing went quickly to the tripod that supported my Vortex 15x56 because wanted to see through ... you and me saw the tripod+binoculars falling forward!
By luck the Vortex falling to the ground beat the lens hood without damage, but today I would not buy anymore the lever lock system. My main tripod (with a Nikon Ed 82 spottingscope) is a Velbon GEO N630 carbon tripod with a twist lock mechanism and albeit slower I feel much more confident in this!

Luca
 
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Rotherbirder

Well-known member
Hi Torview,

I had my eye on this one. Good to know it's up to handling your 80mm scope when I only want to use a 65mm.

Just how good is it with your scope? What would you say it's limitations are?

The 'Silk Road' Giottos are excellent tripods IMHO, except for one small but possibly crucial thing: the reduced size of the 'spider' means that the normal leg spread is slightly less than in other tripods. This could lead to reduced stability, especially in windy conditions and with heavy scopes. I use a Leica APO62 on mine and it is generally OK; lighter and much more compact to carry than an equivalent 'conventional' aluminium tripod too. Try before you buy!
 

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