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Understanding quick release systems and my Viper HD 20-60x85 angled scope (1 Viewer)


New member
United States

I'm new to the forum and scope-birding in general, so I apologize in advance if this is a very basic question!

I've been having trouble with my tripod head lately (https://www.birdforum.net/threads/problems-with-mhxpro-2w-tripod-head.406744/) and am considering buying a new one entirely. If I do decide to buy a new tripod head, it seems like it would be nice to get one that directly accepts the foot of my scope, rather than needing to mess around with quick-release plates. But I don't really understand what kind of foot I have. In the product manual, Vortex says that this scope has an Arca-Swiss Foot (photo attached.)

scope arca swiss.JPG

But then in a promotional YouTube video, they say that the foot is RC2 compatible.

scope rc2.JPG

So is it Arca-Swiss? RC2? Or is it both? I don't quite understand the world of quick release systems yet. I feel like I need to understand this to know which tripod heads I could buy. If anyone has any resources to help me understand more about these systems, that would be much appreciated.


Well-known member

The scope foot shown in the Youtube video would indeed seem to be RC2 compatible and probably fitted directly into your Manfrotto mhxpro head.

Arca-Swiss plates come in a large variety of lengths and have a 45° dovetail approximately 39 mm wide. There are minor dimensional variations between manufacturers, but if the clamp has a screw knob (you seem to have had enough of lever clamps) they are universally interchangeable and are to be recommended.
The scope foot has a 3/8"x16 thread (which I prefer) and an adapter to reduce to 1/4"x20 plus a hole for an anti-rotation pin (usually 4,5 mm but can be
4 mm or 5 mm) so will accept any Arca-Swiss plate supplied with a video head. Some plates may have a lip at one end in lieu of the anti-rotation pin.

There are a number of Arca-Swiss video heads which would be suitable for your scope, the Berlebach 510 and 553, the Gitzo GHF2W and the Sirui VH-5.
The last named is quite reasonably priced and has received good critiques here on the forum.

The only caution is to look out for compatibility of the safety retention system if buying additional plates from another manufacturer. A loosend clamp could otherwise lead to the scope falling off the tripod.


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