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Opticron 77m vs Swarovski ATS 65mm (1 Viewer)

jring

Well-known member
Thanks for your input. One more question I have a friend who has a Swaro ATX 80 mm with the 20-60 mm zoom, that I had a chance to use last weekend. Can you tell me which of the 2 scopes above the Opticron 77mm with SDL v3 or the new Swaro ATS 65 mm with 20-60x zoom would be closest to quality of the Swaro ATX. Thanks,

Hi,

it really depends on sample variation... in theory the 65mm scope has lesser resolving power than the 80mm examples. But in real life the aberrations from manufacturing will be the limiting factor and it is quite possible that the 65mm example (or a cheap 77mm Opticron) might be better. You have to test them - if you get your Opticron, meet up with your friend again and compare - of course masked and with distance ;-)

Joachim, whose old but quite good Kowa TSN-3 with the Opticron SDLv2 has so far held up very well vs. lots of current alpha scopes...
 

ghirl

Member
United States
The quick release plate on the 700RC2 and 128RC has a (removable) locking pin which helps prevent the scope from twisting.

Cheers, Pete
hi Pete, is there a way to lock the opticron scopes into the 128Rc head without the plate. I read on Amazon that both a swaro and meopta scope fit directly into the this head. If not is there any pan heads that it can lock into? And just curious what pan head you recommend for the 77 mm scope. Looking to keep the gear light.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I think that is only correct for Swaro and Meopta - and it only really makes sense for the Swaro 65mm versions - the 128RC is in my opinion not really capable of carrying a full size scope - in case of the MM4 77mm it might be borderline since that is very light for its aperture...

Joachim, who prefers a 500AH for a full size scope.
 

ghirl

Member
United States
One more Manfrotto option the 391RC. Any thoughts, it doesn't seem to have a locking pin. Not sure if this is a big deal and only weighs 1.5 pounds. Do you think the 128RC or 391RC is a better option for the 77mm Opticron. Or any other recommended lighter weight tripod pan heads? I was also looking at the Velbon PH-157Q-3 Aluminum Pan and Tilt head. Will this fit on a Manfrotto Tripod?

 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
Have never tried the 391RC or the Velbon and haven't heard much about either. There's enough poor commentary on the B&H site to steer me away from the 391RC. I'd stick with the 128RC instead.

FYI the 128RC w/plate weighs 1.7lbs on my kitchen scale.

I've just tried out my 883 on the 128RC and had no issue with the scope/plate/head interfaces. The scope is a bit long and heavy for the tripod and most people would. The MM4 77 is about 1.5in shorter and almost a pound lighter. In the 80's and 90's the previous incarnation of the 128RC was the standard head for the flagship scopes of the time, the Kowa TSN 77mm and Swaro 80mm scopes. It should be fine for the MM4 77.

The only other head I care for is the Gitzo GH2FW. However it is rather expensive and I believe the plates that come with it do not provide any anti-rotation ability. I had to buy a $50 Swaro plate to get one with an AR pin. However it is lightweight and works well for my Swaro ATX95 and Kowa 883.
 

ghirl

Member
United States
T
Have never tried the 391RC or the Velbon and haven't heard much about either. There's enough poor commentary on the B&H site to steer me away from the 391RC. I'd stick with the 128RC instead.

FYI the 128RC w/plate weighs 1.7lbs on my kitchen scale.

I've just tried out my 883 on the 128RC and had no issue with the scope/plate/head interfaces. The scope is a bit long and heavy for the tripod and most people would. The MM4 77 is about 1.5in shorter and almost a pound lighter. In the 80's and 90's the previous incarnation of the 128RC was the standard head for the flagship scopes of the time, the Kowa TSN 77mm and Swaro 80mm scopes. It should be fine for the MM4 77.

The only other head I care for is the Gitzo GH2FW. However it is rather expensive and I believe the plates that come with it do not provide any anti-rotation ability. I had to buy a $50 Swaro plate to get one with an AR pin. However it is lightweight and works well for my Swaro ATX95 and Kowa 883.

Have never tried the 391RC or the Velbon and haven't heard much about either. There's enough poor commentary on the B&H site to steer me away from the 391RC. I'd stick with the 128RC instead.

FYI the 128RC w/plate weighs 1.7lbs on my kitchen scale.

I've just tried out my 883 on the 128RC and had no issue with the scope/plate/head interfaces. The scope is a bit long and heavy for the tripod and most people would. The MM4 77 is about 1.5in shorter and almost a pound lighter. In the 80's and 90's the previous incarnation of the 128RC was the standard head for the flagship scopes of the time, the Kowa TSN 77mm and Swaro 80mm scopes. It should be fine for the MM4 77.

The only other head I care for is the Gitzo GH2FW. However it is rather expensive and I believe the plates that come with it do not provide any anti-rotation ability. I had to buy a $50 Swaro plate to get one with an AR pin. However it is lightweight and works well for my Swaro ATX95 and Kowa 883.
Thanks Bill for weighing the 128RC. B and H has it listed as 2.2 lbs. I appreciate your feedback. I did see a Youtube video review of the 391RC2 that made it look appealing. Here it is:
 

pete_gamby

Birds? What Birds?!
Regarding direct attachment to panheads - no, Opticron scopes don't have that fitting.

The 391RC does have a locking pin (the red plastic pin shown in the video and which is movable to three positions on the QR plate).

We haven't tried that head so can't comment on performance. Panning handle is short which could be interesting for some people that don't like the long handles of the 700RC2 and other Manfrotto offerings.

The PH157Q will fit on a Manfrotto tripod - it has a removable 3/8" to 1/4" reducer in the base plate.
 

ghirl

Member
United States
Regarding direct attachment to panheads - no, Opticron scopes don't have that fitting.

The 391RC does have a locking pin (the red plastic pin shown in the video and which is movable to three positions on the QR plate).

We haven't tried that head so can't comment on performance. Panning handle is short which could be interesting for some people that don't like the long handles of the 700RC2 and other Manfrotto offerings.

The PH157Q will fit on a Manfrotto tripod - it has a removable 3/8" to 1/4" reducer in the base plate.
Thanks Pete, The 391RC also supports an 11 lb. load vs the 128RC supports an 8.82 load. Is that something that would make much of a difference with the 77mm scope? Also the 391RC can flip the scope to the side, I can tell if the 128RC supports that, do you know? I believe the 77mm also has a function that allow you to turn the scope, is that correct?
 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
Thanks Pete, The 391RC also supports an 11 lb. load vs the 128RC supports an 8.82 load. Is that something that would make much of a difference with the 77mm scope? Also the 391RC can flip the scope to the side, I can tell if the 128RC supports that, do you know? I believe the 77mm also has a function that allow you to turn the scope, is that correct?
Manufacturer/retailer specs for tripod and head capacities are to be taken with a semi-load of halite.
 

bcskr

Well-known member
I used the 700RC2 head for both the 60 and 77 and found it to be an excellent match for either. I did cut the arm length down a bit and was completely satisfied. I have a photo with the 77 on that head but not sure how to attach photos. Unfortunately I sold the head so can’t give precise information regarding mounting a quick release plate with two screws to the scope mounting base, but generally I try to use the two screw holes even if it means drilling a hole in a quick release plate.
 

pete_gamby

Birds? What Birds?!
As Bill says, it's prudent to take the specs for what they are - the manufacturer's "get out of jail card" when you tell them the head broke when you put 20kg of fully loaded camera body, battery packs, spotlight and long lens on it :)

Pretty much all tripod heads are designed with cameras in mind and, in general, the balance of a camera is not the same as a scope - typically there's a more even weight distribution between lens and body on a camera and/or a large lens will have a tripod mount point itself for better balance. Most scopes are front heavy so a reliable locking system (no "twist and droop") and the ability to move the centre of gravity (sliding plate) would be higher on my priority list than a max load that's 3x the scope weight.

The 128RC and 700RC are two way heads so no QR plate tilt. 391RC is 3 way head but as you mention the MM4 series scopes have rotating tripod rings anyway.

Cheers, Pete
 

Singlereed

Well-known member
I tested both the MM4 60 and 77 with the SDLv3 and for whatever reason I found I got a better view in the 60mm version. That’s what I bought. I use it with a Benro Wild tripod and head and it’s a good combo, although the tripod is a bit bulky & heavy for a stealthy small backpack. I’m n the lookout for a travel tripod and may actually get the Gitzo 2 way head for a more smooth action - partly as I also use it it a camera and long lens, the gear supplied is fine for just the scope.
 

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