• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Compact but stable travel scope tripod? (1 Viewer)

Hermann

Well-known member
Hi Hermann,
I have read somewhere that the Gitzo GT1545T does not have any real locking system/screw to prevent the head from turning/unscrewing from the tripod.
That's right, there's no locking system.
Do you notice any loosening of the head from the tripod, when carrying it around with the scope on it?
Not really. I make sure I screw the head on tight, that's it.
(I would probably be walking, cycling etc with the scope on the tripod and woukdn't want to have to worry about that or to have to check it when on the go.)
Well, I always habitually check if everything is OK when I carry the scope on my tripod. Becomes sort of second nature. Never had any "accidents" in well over 40 years of birding.

Hermann
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
I have read somewhere that the Gitzo GT1545T does not have any real locking system/screw to prevent the head from turning/unscrewing from the tripod. Do you notice any loosening of the head from the tripod, when carrying it around with the scope on it?
Marc,
Berlebach and FLM have cork surfaces on the tripod and Gitzo, I think, some sort of elastomer. If your tripod head has a secure panorama locking function, it should be possible to apply sufficient torque that nothing will ever come undone.
There was even a suggestion (on "The Center Column"?) that grub screws could impair damping, but I think the effects here would be very minimal.

John
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I recently bought an Opticron 60mm MM4 and paired it with a Manfrotto Befree tripod. Didn't feel sturdy enough (nothing is, compared to my Manfrotto 055), so I swapped it for the BeFree GT, which I'm happy with. The biggest difference is that the leg sections are beefed-up on the GT, but it's also taller with the centre column down.

I sold the ball head and swapped it for a Manfrotto fluid head. The scope attachment is like an enlarged Arca Swiss (I'm sure there's a name for it), but with a fail-safe mechanism that prevents dislocation of the scope if things are not tightened up properly.

I used the 055 professionally with my DSLRs, but now I have a mirrorless system the BeFree GT will probably tick all my photographic and bird watching boxes. Although I don't think I'll sell the 055 just yet.
.
 

mbb

Well-known member
I recently bought an Opticron 60mm MM4 and paired it with a Manfrotto Befree tripod. Didn't feel sturdy enough (nothing is, compared to my Manfrotto 055), so I swapped it for the BeFree GT, which I'm happy with. The biggest difference is that the leg sections are beefed-up on the GT, but it's also taller with the centre column down.

I sold the ball head and swapped it for a Manfrotto fluid head. The scope attachment is like an enlarged Arca Swiss (I'm sure there's a name for it), but with a fail-safe mechanism that prevents dislocation of the scope if things are not tightened up properly.

I used the 055 professionally with my DSLRs, but now I have a mirrorless system the BeFree GT will probably tick all my photographic and bird watching boxes. Although I don't think I'll sell the 055 just yet.
.
I wish I had read your post earlier. I hadn't heard of this GT version of the BeFree before. Its specs look quite comparable to the GT1545T, and Manfrotto is a good brand (I don't complain about the 055 I got second hand with my scope).
I agree with Hermann that the gt1545t is very good for its size: I got to compare it recently in a shop to some Leofoto and Sirui of similar,and there was a noticeable difference. Though also a significant price difference normally. But this BeFree GT might be a good alternative.

Could you share your experience with the supplied ballhead (before you sold it)? Which video head do you use and doed it somehow fot between the tripod's legs when folded back?

I got the chance to find a GT1545T (without the Gitzo ballhead)for a (relatively speaking...) low price. I don't know how the shop was able to offer it for much less than all other shops,but the item was suddenly sold-out(maybe a weird marketing thing...). I actually quite like the fold-back option for being more compact. (Sometimes all space saved is welcome.) It would be fun if a small 50mm scope could just be left attached to it when folded back, either stickibg out at the end/proloungement of the legs,or at the end at its side (the scope's foot or quick-plate between two legs).
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Could you share your experience with the supplied ballhead (before you sold it)? Which video head do you use and doed it somehow fot between the tripod's legs when folded back?

I didn't use the ball head, but was probably too quick to sell it, as I'd prefer it - being smaller for my Fuji camera than the bigger one I already have with my Manfrotto 055. If you like a ball head, you'll have no complaints.

I got the smallest / cheapest Manfrotto pan head - can't remember the reference number, but you'll find it on the Manfrotto website, where everything shows retail price. Wouldn't use it with a camera, but I like it a lot with my scope and I think it would be fine if I were to go to a bigger scope - from memory, it has about 2.5kg load capacity.

I leave my scope ready, on the tripod, during transit and while at home, but while the legs do fold back up, I'm not sure it'll fit in the case like that. You do have to realign the handle on the pan head, if you want to fold things up neatly, but it's a simple operation.
.
.
 

WRL

Well-known member
Germany
I didn't use the ball head, but was probably too quick to sell it, as I'd prefer it - being smaller for my Fuji camera than the bigger one I already have with my Manfrotto 055. If you like a ball head, you'll have no complaints.

I got the smallest / cheapest Manfrotto pan head - can't remember the reference number, but you'll find it on the Manfrotto website, where everything shows retail price. Wouldn't use it with a camera, but I like it a lot with my scope and I think it would be fine if I were to go to a bigger scope - from memory, it has about 2.5kg load capacity.

I leave my scope ready, on the tripod, during transit and while at home, but while the legs do fold back up, I'm not sure it'll fit in the case like that. You do have to realign the handle on the pan head, if you want to fold things up neatly, but it's a simple operation.
.
.
The smallest and lightest "video head" (pan/tilt) I could find is the "SmallRig Selection" https://amzn.eu/d/fS93TOK. It weighs less than 300 g (279 g, as advertised) and is only 7 cm tall. Price is about 50 €. It has some motion restistance in both axes. But that is ok in my opinion and prevents the scope (Kowa TSN-554 on a PeakDesign Tripod in my case) from unintended quick movements when the axes are not locked.
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Personal thing, but I wouldn't buy anything on Amazon, and from being in photography for 40 years, I just like Manfrotto and I'm not overly concerned about weight (anything is lighter than an 055 set-up). That said, Sirui stuff is pretty good.
.
 

WRL

Well-known member
Germany
Personal thing, but I wouldn't buy anything on Amazon, and from being in photography for 40 years, I just like Manfrotto and I'm not overly concerned about weight (anything is lighter than an 055 set-up). That said, Sirui stuff is pretty good.
.
No need to buy on Amazon. There are other sellers around (same/similar prices). Even SmallRig itself: SmallRig Selection Kompakter Fluid- Head CH10 3259.
BTW, this thread is about compact and stable mounting solutions for small scopes. IMO, the above product fits this requirements.
 

mbb

Well-known member
One thing I forgot to say that I really liked about the gt1545t: in addition to its great build quality and stability (for its size...), it also extends high enough for me without the center column (also higher compared to the previous model gt1544t): quicker and more stable.

I also read quite some positive feedback on the forum about the Velbon Ultra line. It seems interesting, especially their quick (un)locking system and their very compact folding size. It seems quite hard to find a good source or overview of the specs of the different models: Ultra i , Rexi, with L or D behind... :-s Did anyone compare these to the Gitzo, hands-on?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top