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E Pluribus Unum
Picture of JRC
posted
I need to get a good tripod for use with my spotting scope (angled). Primary use will bench, although some prone.

What are you using, and why do you like it?

Thanks.
 
Posts: 1264 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: March 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know about special bench usage. For prone or calling wind from a chair or even when I do test a load at a bench, I use the same setup. Before reading further, I should warn you that the tripod and head I'm about to discuss, cost a total of $600.

I have a Manfrotto MT190 4-section carbon fiber tripod, that collapses almost all the way to the ground. The legs have 4 angles, 25, 46, 66 and 88 degrees. The center column comes out and can be set horizontally in just a few seconds. The 4 sections allow me to reach appropriate heights up to 62 inches, yet still retain a small profile when folded at 20 inches. The thing weighs about 4 pounds, thanks to carbon fiber material. For the head, I use a Manfrotto 327RC2 pistol grip ball head, made out of magnesium, it weighs 22 ounces. The pistol grip format allows me to maneuver the spotting scope very easily with one hand when prone, which is very important to me.

I discovered that such a head is not the best for digiscoping purposes, but for shooting prone or calling wind, it can't be beat.

You can get less expensive tripods from Manfrotto in aluminum instead of carbon fiber and ball heads in aluminum instead of magnesium, but the weight will go up.

Make sure you do not get the MT 190 Go! model; it uses twist locks for the legs and that mechanism is crap. I like the power locking mechanism of the non-Go! model; that's professional grade stuff.
 
Posts: 2669 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For an even cheaper option, search for Bogen-imported versions of the 190Pro.
A little older but same Manfrotto quality. They just get bid up less on Ebay because people don't search for them.
Mine is very much like Nikonuser's, just aluminum and a few years older.
I think I stole it for a $100 bid.

Luck,

Bruce



Hanlon's Razor /prov./ A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, that reads "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

--Leonardo da Vinci

 
Posts: 2439 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E Pluribus Unum
Picture of JRC
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Thanks, Gents...I hoped you guys would jump in. Smile

NikonUser - what are your thoughts on this tripod?
https://www.amazon.com/Manfrot...ords=Manfrotto+MT190

I'm a firm believer that, even with great glass, an unstable base makes use tiresome.

Any similar (maybe lower cost) options to consider?

I see the utility in a pistol grip head, but I don't anticipate lot of position changes each shooting session.

Thanks, guys!
 
Posts: 1264 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: March 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E Pluribus Unum
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RN -

What model is your Bogen tripod? I'm seeing lots of Bogen on eBay, but having a hard time distinguishing models to something compairible to the above Monfrotto.

Appreciate your experience! JC
 
Posts: 1264 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: March 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think this is the one: Bogen 3001
Almost identical to the 190Pro in aluminum. Mine drops down to 4" off the deck and puts the center post on a 90 degree angle so you can lay next to it and look through the scope.
If you want carbon fiber, Manfrotto is your best option. Just be prepared to pay. Wink

Edited to add: the Bogen IS a Manfrotto. Just dual branded. Sort of like the Beretta 1201FP is almost identical to the Benelli M1, just cheaper.
Bruce

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RNshooter,



Hanlon's Razor /prov./ A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, that reads "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

--Leonardo da Vinci

 
Posts: 2439 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by JRC:
Thanks, Gents...I hoped you guys would jump in. Smile

NikonUser - what are your thoughts on this tripod?
https://www.amazon.com/Manfrot...ords=Manfrotto+MT190

I'm a firm believer that, even with great glass, an unstable base makes use tiresome.

Any similar (maybe lower cost) options to consider?

I see the utility in a pistol grip head, but I don't anticipate lot of position changes each shooting session.

Thanks, guys!


That's the tripod legs I have, they just have a different head on it and you get to pay for that head also. It's a good head, for video. I hope your spotting scope is lightweight because that head is limited to 8 pounds and that means it will move with less weight on it. My pistol grip head is rated for 12 pounds (50% more than the one you're locking at,) and while it holds my Kowa very securely, without moving, when I add my lightweight camera to do some digiscoping, the thing moves on me.

Read the specs and remember that they are sometimes optimistic. Oh, and the last thing you want when shooting prone is a tripod arm sticking out at you.

Edited to add; yes, there are cheaper versions, Bogen (as stated above,) Manfrotto with aluminum legs instead of carbon fiber. They also have the 290 model, beware the center column. There are other tripod manufacturers with similar designs. There are stands with poles and so on.

I tried a lot of stuff over the years; between my passion for photography and long range shooting, I spent a lot of bucks on these devices and I have a box full of heads, grips, and various other things. Without going nuts with Gitzo equipment, I find Manfrotto to be the best tripods and heads, but that's only my opinion. My current setup works very well for me and is lightweight and fits in my cart on the range. When you set up, shoot, then packup again several times a day and then do that for two weeks straight, you appreciate the very light weight of the solution, especially at my age. I take good care of my equipment and I even bought the padded bag for the tripod and head and that should last me for the rest of my life.
 
Posts: 2669 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E Pluribus Unum
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Doing some comparative research... what are your opinions of this tripod?

https://www.amazon.com/Vanguar...degree%2Btripod&th=1

Thanks.
 
Posts: 1264 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: March 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know nothing of Vanguard products. No experience with them. I went to their website and looked at the one to which you linked in detail. The specs looks just fine, but that's all I can judge. I know nothing of their durability, finish, ease of use, etc.
 
Posts: 2669 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
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guess I am really old school,

still use Freeland products,



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 6010 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by lyman:
guess I am really old school,

still use Freeland products,

For my use, it's a different game. Freeland is great for service rifle setups. Not so much for F-class and hours of wind calling.
 
Posts: 2669 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
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quote:
Originally posted by lyman:
guess I am really old school,

still use Freeland products,


I'm using a Freeland stand with a Creedmore polecat head. I agree with Nikon that it's not ideal for long term spotting as the 1/2" rod is a bit flexable and it does move around a bit at higher extensions. For 75% of a high power match the scope is is less than 24" off the deck, so the extra motion is only an issue while standing.

The problem with scope stands is they don't fit well on a shooting bench, and I've yet to find a tripod that sits low enough for bench use. I position my stand on the floor just off the edge of the bench. That way all I have to do it turn my head to the left and the eyepiece is right there.


_____________________________
'I'm pretty fly for a white guy'.

 
Posts: 5362 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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