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I recently bought a new tripod and a few new heads to try out.
I went with a Manfrotto carbon fiber 055 series tripod.
Its tall, its stable, and I would recomend the 055 series in either aluminum or carbon fiber over the 190 series I have been using.
The difference in stability is significant.
I was using a 3 way pan tilt head that is friction operated. The 804 RC2.
This head was ok. But, it would drift when I added the weight of the camera to the back end of the spotting scope.
I could fix this by adding a balance rail, but Swarovski has been out of stock on them FOREVER!
I bought a 410 junior geared head.
Let me tell you, this thing is awesome! Because the gears are interlocking, there is no drift or sag. I can put the spotter on something with my eye, add the TLS APO and camera, the scope has not shifted off of the subject.
It remains lined up.
If the subject moves a bit and I need to adjust, the gear driven system allows for fast, accurate adjustment with no re-drift or sag when you release the set up.
I am sure you have fought this problem if you have done much digiscoping.
The 410 junior geared head solved this for me. I dont even need the balance rail any more.
I made a short video of this geared head.
The other head I have been trying is a ball head.
I have always hated the ball heads that I have had in the past.
They are either all the way on, and too tight to move, or jumpy. Or, they are all the way off and loose as a goose.
Then you lock them down and they sag. You gotta fight it all over again.
Well, I found this hydrostatic ball head from Manfrotto. I watched a couple you tube videos on it.
I was sold. But how does it work with a spoting scope?
How does it work with digiscoping?
Well, its awesome. Once you lock down the ball, you can add the TLS APO and camera and it is still on subject. No drift or sag.
I would recommend either of these tripod heads along with the 055 series tripods from Manfrotto.
They are just fantastic!