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Leica APO-Televid 65 + Gitzo tripod (1 Viewer)


first of all, a warm welcome to birdforum!

The Leica subforum on here is not as busy as its bino counterpart. We also have a special tripod subforum which is quite active. Maybe a moderator can move the thread there?

Some general remarks on scope tripods:

  • forget what you might know about tripods for photography with long lenses. Your scope at 48x is the equivalent of a 2400mm (sic!) long lens. 60x would be 3000mm. To make things worse, for photography you only need to be stable enough to have less than visible movement for a tiny fraction of a second while with a scope you will observe for many seconds or minutes.
  • you want the center column down or mostly so for best stability. No center column is the most stable option but makes things a bit more cumbersome if you want to in- or decrease height by 10cm...
  • you want as few leg sections as your constraints like carry-on compatibility allow because more joints = more wobble and also more leg sections means a thinner and less tube for the lowest section. With Gitzo you can get away with 4 sections, but maybe don't take the lightest model.
  • you want a fluid head in most cases. Ideally it allows for a longer plate so you can balance your scope. Some users of very heavy scopes prefer a gimbal. 3 way heads tend to be too fiddly to reposition and ballheads just work for very light scopes.
  • plan what tripod height with column down or mostly so you need. With a straight scope you absolutely need the eyepiece at eye level (your height - 10cm is a good guess) and even quite a bit above when observing higher objects. With an angled scope you want 10-20 cm below eye level is usually fine and lower is no big deal for a quick peek unless you have a bad back. You can add 10-12 cm for a fluid head (Manfrotto 500AH is a very popular choice, Gitzo also has a good but $$$ fluid head) and 10-15cm for an angled scope (depending on EP). For a straight scope it's 5-10 and obviously the EP size does not matter.
  • twist or lever joints both can work well when in good order, twist tends gradually fail and can be easier coerced into working good enough for the remainder of the excursion. But with Gitzo it's probably a non-issue as they tend not be fairly rugged and also lever joints are not on offer...



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