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  • Spotting Scope Tripod?

    Anyone have a favorite tripod that they take to the sheep mtns? Mine currently sucks (cheap Vanguard) and I'm looking to upgrading. I would like (of course) light weight and sturdy. Gotta 60mm Swaro on top. My current tripod is short and shakey, and I'd like one that is a little taller as well. I'm going in solo for 10 days, if that info helps. I've always made due with my cheap-o, but I'm done taking it out. I'd sure love to hear what you experts have to say on the matter; it's the last bit of gear I'd like to upgrade for this summer's sheep chasing. I appreciate any guidance...

  • #2
    Special forces tripods

    I remember watching some sniper training once and the spotter had made a tripod out of three sticks bound like 6 inches below the top. In the little cradle formed he put a small satchel of sand to rest his scope on. Has anybody tried this? There are plenty of sticks out there and I'm sure a fella could fill a small bag with sand somewhere on a mountain. All you would have to take is a small bag and a bit of parachute cord. Thats the lightest weight option I can think of. Custom and made in Alaska too.

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    • #3
      Perfect tripod...

      Cast & Blast
      Good question, and I am without a great answer.

      I like a tripod that will extend at least high enough so my scope is comfortably in front of my eyes when I am sitting on slightly slanted ground. I like a tripod that has those flip shut levers on the leg extensions, as opposed to the twist-to-tighten squeekers. And because I break my tripod about every second year, I like them to be, be, be, "not expensive". I spend a boat-load of money on gear, so I'm certainly not a cheap spender on gear upgrades.

      Therefore, I have not found the perfect tripod. I use the cheap $25 dollar ones, because from there the price seems to jump up to about $125.00.

      The large heavy ones are great in the wind, but clearly too large for sheep and goat traditional backpack hunts. Little tiny ones don't work 'cause I do not enjoy laying in the gravel/sand/mud for hour upon hour.

      I have not yet tried BigHorse's stick tripod, but I have done the "brace-the-scope-in-the-rocks" method. I have even putting rocks on top of that to eliminate wind vibration. Still looking for somthing more perfect...

      So I, along with you, will be watching for additional answers for...the perfect tripod.

      Dennis
      AK TAGS
      Imagine (It's easy if you try)
      …miles and miles of mountains…wide expanses of tundra...remote wild waters…
      (Whisper words of wisdom) Let It Be

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      • #4
        Benro

        Take a look at the Benro Travel Angels. They would be tough to beat for a compact, high performance tripod at a reasonable price. If you want to shed a little weight go with the carbon rather than aluminum legs. Benro's were originally designed to duplicate Gitzos but at a fraction of the price. The travel angel line folds over the ball head when packing so they are even that much more compact. There are several ball heads and legs to choose from. Each has a maximum load rating. I am in the process of getting a new Benro tripod and look forward to trying it w/my new Leica scope!

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        • #5
          Cullmann.

          Barney's carries Cullmann tripods which are pretty nice. The one I have is small enough that with my enormous 88mm Leica attached it will still fit in the side pouch of my pinnacle pack with my whitesuit wrapped around it and room to spare. It pans pretty well and is pretty steady considering it's size. The three section legs scope out far enough that I can look through it while standing slightly stooped over. I seem to recall it costing around $75 or so. I used a crummy $20 one before and didn't realize how much I hated it untill I sprung for this nicer one. Good luck on the sheep.
          If anything is going to happen, it'll happen out there.

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          • #6
            Have used the Cullmann's for years and seem to work OK - haven't found anything sig'ly better until I get up into the $500+ range or so and just haven't been willing to spend that much .... to date.
            "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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            • #7
              Heading to Barney's!

              Of course, I didn't check my favorite hunting connection store in AK first! I'm heading to Barney's Monday to get my hands on a Cullman tripod. Thanks to shphtr and mmusashi2k. I'll post my feelings on approval or dissatisfaction. Thanks for the tip!

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              • #8
                Outdoorsmans

                This is the kind I have they are very pricey. I stalked ebay for over a year and found one for $200. It is awesome in wind no shake at 30 mph +. 2.4 pounds. A bit heavy but worth its weight in the wind when others can't see. Have lighter options but that is where the $$ comes in. I have the original about 4 years old.

                http://shop.outdoorsmans.com/category.sc?categoryId=3

                If you need more stability in a cheaper tripod you can take a small sleeping bag stuff sack and fill with snow or sand and place on top of scope or around it with the draw string. The added weight/mass is harder for wind to shake.

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                • #9
                  Outdoorsman's tripod...

                  dieNqvrs: That looks like a nice, streamlined light-weight tripod! Are the extensions clip or twist style? Does one have to purchase the mounting head as well or is it hidden in the pictures they post?

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                  • #10
                    Velbon Ultra Maxi SF

                    I have used this tripod sheep hunting the last 3 seasons and on all my backpack trips.It weighs 1.6 lbs and is very sturdy.Used it with a Leica 77APO and now a Swaro HD 65mm scope and performs great.
                    Doug @ Cameraland can hook you up with one if your interested.

                    I use to have an Outdoorsmans tripod w/pistol grip and it wasn't worth the money or weight.
                    A Bushnell Titanium would be better money spent for that size tripod.

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                    • #11
                      Velbon Maxi F

                      Originally posted by coues32 View Post
                      I have used this tripod sheep hunting the last 3 seasons and on all my backpack trips.It weighs 1.6 lbs and is very sturdy.Used it with a Leica 77APO and now a Swaro HD 65mm scope and performs great.
                      Doug @ Cameraland can hook you up with one if your interested.

                      I use to have an Outdoorsmans tripod w/pistol grip and it wasn't worth the money or weight.
                      A Bushnell Titanium would be better money spent for that size tripod.
                      I have almost the same tripod except I have the pan-head version:
                      http://www.z9electronics.com/Shop/Co...d/0/rid/130328

                      Right at 2 lbs. Folds down to 14" extends to 60". Personally I like the twist lock legs. Fast for me to setup and take down the tripod and also to get set on uneven ground. At first I thought I hated them, but they grew on me
                      Last edited by Alaska_Lanche; 04-14-2009, 21:32.

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                      • #12
                        Tripod

                        I think this subject is in the archives. I spent about 20 hrs researching liteweight, quality tripods. I settled on a a Gitmo with a magnesium head. I think the set was around $400 and I have been extremely happy. It handles a 60x Sworovski in windy conditions with nary a wiggle and weighs a bit over a pound.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cast&Blast View Post
                          Of course, I didn't check my favorite hunting connection store in AK first! I'm heading to Barney's Monday to get my hands on a Cullman tripod. Thanks to shphtr and mmusashi2k. I'll post my feelings on approval or dissatisfaction. Thanks for the tip!
                          My Cullman Tripod, has been on active duty for 21 years. Never had a problem. If it got destroyed somehow I would buy the same unit. Bought it at Barney's.
                          "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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                          • #14
                            Great topic

                            I am also in the research mode for a tripod for a new Leica APO Televid 82. Have pretty much narrowed it down to a Bogen or Gitzo (presently leaning towards the Gitzo carbon fiber). I want the best available compromise of lightweight and stability with $ really being no object, because I hopefully won't ever replace the tripod and head I do decide to purchase. I have used Bogen Manofrottos among many others in the past with no experience with the Gitzo. Also, still trying to determine what head to use with this setup. I have been through quite a few less expensive and usually more compact spotter combos that always left something to be desired. It has taken me a long time to get to the pinnacle (no pun intended) of my optical journey, but, along the way I have come to realize that on the spotting hill, the expense of quality optic equipment is money well spent.
                            sigpic

                            "AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE."

                            JOHN VIII - XXXII

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                            • #15
                              another vote for

                              the Velbon Ultra Maxi SF. Lightweight and sturdy enough for a large spotting scope. I also have a Cullmann lightweight tripod from Barney's. The Velbon is a much better choice IMO.
                              Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
                              - Frank Zappa

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