I currently have the Manfrotto 128RC video head, mounted to a Manfrotto 055XB, totally adequate for my Swarovski ATS65HD, and I'm sure it would be fine with a spotting scope somewhat larger than that. This remains a fine combination for typical day trip birding, in and out of a car, stable enough so I don't worry about other people using the scope, etc.
I am looking however, at developing a second and LIGHTER kit, carbon fiber legs, likely Sirui N-1204, and the VortexRazor 11-33 x 50 angled scope once it becomes available, which would be an outfit half the weight, more compact to pack, and with that better for air travel.
I would like to consider to complete that kit with the Gitzo G2180 head, BUT, have some questions about it:
- can the square foot of the Swarovski fit directly into the G2180 without a plate?
- can its tilt drag be adjusted to hold a 4-lb scope nearly vertical but not locked?
- is the G2180 panorama drag smoother than that of the 128RC?
- can one completely lock the G2180, such as for hiking?
Associated uses for the tripod plus head would include: casual astronomy with my Stellarvue SV50A:
video with a small Canon camcorder, and support for a 400/5.6 telephoto lens; the tilt drag question pertains mainly to the Stellarvue.
- finally, any idea when the Razor 11-33 X 50 will be available?
Thank you for any information or at least, opinions.
Thanks for your interest in Eagle Optics. I’m not familiar with the leg you are interested in getting, so I can’t tell you for sure that the Gitzo head would fit.
The first thing is that the Gitzo heads do not have standard tripod thread screw attachment points on the underside, and because of that, generally only fits well on Gitzo legs.
That being said, the Swarovski does not clip directly into the Gitzo heads and you would need to use the plate that comes with whichever head you purchase.
The adjustments of the 2180 should be just find with a 4 pound scope not all the way locked. There is a wide range of adjustments/balance available with that head, but you will need to test it with your exact equipment setup and go from there.
Yes, the movement in general (any direction) of the 2180 is more smooth than on the 128 RC.
Yes, you can completely lock down the 2180, again, assuming your setup isn’t too heavy for it in the first place. It’s specified to hold 8.8 pounds and I suspect you’d be ok balancing anything around that weight and still be able to lock it.
We are expecting small numbers of the 50mm Razor in stock in early May. Because we aren’t prepared to receive big numbers in the first batch, would you like us to email you when it arrives? That will allow us to set one aside for you when we get them and ensure that we have one for you to order if you’d like at that time.