Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Choosing a tripod for the ATX Swarovski Scope

Dear Eagle Optics,
I just purchased the new Swarovski ATX 85mm and 95mm scopes (I'm still deciding which one to keep). I would like to get your advice on which tripod would be best for these scopes.

I will use my scope for birding out in the field as well as digiscoping. Will the Swarovski CT101 with DH101 head work fine for these new scopes? 

Also, is there a cheaper option that will work just as well for me? I like the Manfrotto tripods. I would love to have several options that you would recommend that will work well with these new scopes, especially for the large 95mm ATX.


Vic L.


Dear Vic,
That Swarovski tripod setup you mentioned is a great choice. 

The less expensive Manfrotto option that would still work really well is the 055XB leg and 128 head.
This is by far our most popular aluminum model.

 How tall are you?
If you are any taller than about 5'10", I'd recommend the above setup.
If you are shorter than that, you could get away with this kit, which is the shorter leg (190XB) with the same head:


Eagle Optics  

1 comment:

  1. I've been digiscoping for several years now and I highly recommend the Gitzo 2180 head. It is substantially more expensive than the Manfrotto 128, but I found that the advantages to a digiscoper are well worth the price. It has a rapidly adjustable spring counterbalance that lets you switch between viewing and digiscoping with a balanced scope with a couple of quick twists of an easily accessible knob, and both the pan and tilt friction controls are conveniently located in the same place on the left .

    The Manfrotto 128 head is excellent - it moves very smoothly, BUT it has two drawbacks that caused me to replace it with the Gitzo 2180, especially for digiscoping:
    - the friction control for panning is awkward to access
    - for digiscoping you will find that the added weight of the camera dramatically changes the balance of the scope on the tripos head. You'll either need to add a balance rail (and adjust the position frequently as you switch between viewing and digiscoping) or really tighten up the tilt friction control (which makes fine tuning your aim very difficult).

    Tripods - I switched from a Manfrotto Al tripod to a Gitzo GT2531 carbon fiber tripod and took two pounds off of my shoulder. That's a noticeable weight difference when you're walking very far while birding. Also, the carbon seems to damp out wind induced vibration better.

    You are spending a LOT of money on your scope. If you can afford it, I submit that you will really benefit from getting the best support for it that you can.

    Don't put cheap tires on a Ferrari.


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