Saturday, October 11, 2014

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tripod

I wanted to find a more suitable tripod than the flimsy Benro A350EX, and less clumsy than the Vixen Polaris tripod.  I initially purchased a Sirui N2204X, carbon fibre, with detachable leg, etc. It was not terribly stable (about 4-5 seconds damping time) in spite of its alleged 33lb rating.

But, due to a 20% discount promotion at KEH, I was able to purchase a beat-up Gitzo G1340 Pro Studex tripod, without centre column.  That last part is important, because the centre column induces instability. Coupled with the rubber bungs on the Gitzo's feet, damping time is now 2-3 seconds. The Gitzo is actually more stable than the larger aluminium tripod from my Vixen Polaris. This is a tripod that's rated 20lb.  The total weight of this setup (Stellarvue SV80ED, diagonal, eyepiece, mount, and tripod) is just a hair under 20lb, and can easily be lifted and carried around.

Of course, Gitzo tripods are eye-wateringly expensive new; a major drawback.  A new 2-series Gitzo carbon tripod and the Star Adventurer would cost very close to an Atlas or EQ6, so definitely not cost-effective anymore.

I guess we all can derate Chinese tripod weight ratings by 50% now..