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Need a fluid tripod head! (1 Viewer)

dougan

Well-known member
I have purchased a new Hawke Endurance ED 25-75x85 scope, my first. A once used 3 Legged Winston Pro 2.0 tripod, I now need a suitable head.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH is top of the list, but I could stretch to the MVH502AH, as I believe both axis are adjustable. The downside is it is twice the weight of the 500, I dont envisage hiking miles with the scope though.

Are these decent choices, or are there others to consider?
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
Hi Dougan,

There have been some very favourable reports here on the MVH500AH. In really windy conditions I think the tripod legs would be the limiting factor rather than the head, so I don't see any real justification for the 502 unless you have long-term ambitions fo something heavier than the Hawke scope.

John
 

CMB

Well-known member
Canada
The MVH500AH is a good head choice for an 85mm scope. It's counter balance spring is set for about 5 lbs and that seems to be about right for the 80-85mm scope range. You can lock the pan, and also add some drag, but there really isn't much need to have fine control over the drag on the pan like there is to control the drag on the tilt. The tilt drag/lock works well. The long plate allows you to get an 85mm scope balanced front to back so that the counter balance spring will work without locking the tilt.

The 502, while very good, is probably more than you need for that size scope. It's counter balance spring is set for about 8.5-9 lbs. The weight of the head is more. One doesn't really need the more refined control of the drag on pan. If you had a larger and heavier scope the 502 might be a better choice.

When a counter balance spring load rating is a good mach for a scope (and the scope is properly balanced front to back on the mounting rail), you can position the scope's tilt, remove your hands, and the scope will stay in that position without having to lock the tilt.

If the counter balance spring is rated too high compared to the weight of the scope, when you position the scope's tilt and remove your hands, the counter balance spring will have enough strength to bring the scope back to level unless you lock the tilt. In this situation you will always be using some force to push against/counter act the spring as you tilt up and down.

Both are very good heads.
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
England
Trying to understand as I've been thinking of getting the 502/504/608....

Does this mean with the spring loaded 500/502 Manfrotto you can never really adjust the resistance exactly for a wide weight range of optics? I thought they came with various positions to balance different weight optics? e.g. from Nikon E11 up to APM20x80 ?

If you are using the tripod in a static position rather than carrying, are the battery powered fluid heads ideal (the 608 for example at 0-4kg?) i.e. do they automatically adjust and keep everything as you want for every weight balanced without locking off the arm?
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
Went through a similar decision a few months back and considered Sirui VH-10, Manfrotto 500AH, Gitzo GHF2W, and Benro S6. All were worthy contenders and not a lemon in the bunch that I can tell - ended up with the Sirui VH010X and am happily running it with my MeoStar S2 82mm. Really enjoy the ability to adjust the panning resistance settings.
 

BKoh

Well-known member
Singapore
I have purchased a new Hawke Endurance ED 25-75x85 scope, my first. A once used 3 Legged Winston Pro 2.0 tripod, I now need a suitable head.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH is top of the list, but I could stretch to the MVH502AH, as I believe both axis are adjustable. The downside is it is twice the weight of the 500, I dont envisage hiking miles with the scope though.

Are these decent choices, or are there others to consider?
I use a Sirui VA-5 to mount my 80mm spotting scope. The scope weighs about 2kg, so similar to your 85mm Hawke scope. The weight capacity is 3kg, counterweight is 1kg. I have no issues with pan/tilt, usually the counterweight will hold the scope fine. If I point way up eg for astronomy, I slide the plate forward to shift the centre of gravity and it works fine again.

The VA-5 weighs only 700g and uses an Arca Swiss quick-release plate with safety catch. Note that Sirui's version of Arca Swiss is slide-in, rather than top-load. I believe there are other satisfied users of the Sirui VA-5 on this forum.
 

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