Author Topic: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?  (Read 180 times)

ocgisfulctel

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Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« on: December 29, 2017, 10:07:08 PM »
I like to use video fluid heads with my scopes for visual observing. Often I get such positive feedback along with surprise from other observers at star parties, etc. Most people seem surprised by the stability, ease of movement, and comfortable viewing position when they try mine. Any others share my enthusiasm for them? If so what video fluid head, tripod, and scope combination is your setup?Dennis

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hutualyli

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 08:33:22 AM »
I use fluid heads for both day and night observation if the fluid heads are adequate for the instrument on top.

Binoculars on RRS FH-350.
High power spotting scope (40x-96x):
Small dual scopes:Added 80mm f/6.3 picture.

Tammy

Jim Parker

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 04:25:05 PM »
An interesting variant on this is that I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and found out that fluid heads are not so fluid at temps below about 0F. I have a simple Bogen version (much more basic than the photos) and it pretty much turns into a rock at those temps. Because it is much less complex, I am going to relube it with an ultracold gear grease that I use on my regular GEM mounts. I suspect that it won't be as stiff at regular warmer temps, but will be able to be used at colder temps.

Always an adventure figuring this out in the cold, but we do get Northern Lights as a treat!

tyrrcencifunc

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 09:26:38 PM »
I use a Sachtler DV-6SB head on ENG-CF-HD 100mm tripods with my TV Bizarro-85. But, this is mainly because the scope is a balance nightmare and benefits from the features of the head, including variable counter-balance/resistance for tilt. Given that the cost of just the tripod, spreader, and feet is more than entire high-end astro alt-az setups with encoders and computer (such as Discmounts), I would probably not use them except that I already own them for professional production, so they get double-duty.

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An interesting variant on this is that I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and found out that fluid heads are not so fluid at temps below about 0F. I have a simple Bogen version (much more basic than the photos) and it pretty much turns into a rock at those temps.

For about 11-yrs I worked outside for about a week or two each winter in temperatures down to -20F before wind chill, in extreme conditions to say the least. Professional film or video shoots in alpine conditions, constant exposure to snow and ice, elevations over 10,000 FT, various Sachtler fluid heads bounced around in containers on sleds pulled by snowmobiles, set up in snow with no base, and literally pushed to the limits of keeping stuff working. The Sachtler heads were mostly 18P or 20P models. Performance-wise, slightly more resistance was felt on pan or tilt in the most extreme cold; nothing that affected performance, or wasn't accommodated by a lesser resistance setting. Conversely, I used the exact same heads on the opposite side of the extreme spectrum, at temps well over 100F, in baking deserts or humid swamps, also with no weather related impact on performance.

For those not familiar with the nomenclature, keep in mind that there's no fluid in professional fluid heads like Sachtler. Fluid refers to the smooth panning and tilting movement under load.

Mark Deutsch

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 11:32:29 PM »
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I use fluid heads for both day and night observation if the fluid heads are adequate for the instrument on top.Binoculars on RRS FH-350.Tammy
Tammy, I like your Really Right Stuff FH-350 Fluid Head. Very nice!

teoknoxparli

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 05:10:47 PM »
Dennis and Tammy,

What are the tripods in these photos?

Bill Pham

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 04:09:34 AM »
I've hadin my mind to buy a high end fluid head to try on my Gitzo tripod. Would someone care to list a coupleof options at the top end.

Donnell Keown

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 05:28:42 AM »
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I like to use video fluid heads with my scopes for visual observing. Often I get such positive feedback along with surprise from other observers at star parties, etc. Most people seem surprised by the stability, ease of movement, and comfortable viewing position when they try mine.

I guess any well-made purpose-built mount is fine, but I think that for astronomy people prefer isostatic mounts, simply because easy handling and smooth operation can be achieved with great simplicity and at (comparatively) low cost. Mount designs where the scope (almost literally) balances atop a ball require much more engineering to work well.

ilinsubesch

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 03:18:43 PM »
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Dennis and Tammy,

What are the tripods in these photos?


They are Gitzo G1325, RRS TVC-33, and TVC-43.

I use them mainly with camera, small refractors (50mm-80mm), spotting scopes (50mm-95mm) and binoculars (50mm-95mm).

Tammy

Joe Wellard

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 11:28:00 AM »
I have a few for everything from a SV 50mm, TV60 and a 5" S/cass, pus a couple of birder scopes, all Manfrotto but I can,t remember the model numbers off hand D

Daniel Ferguson

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 12:52:07 PM »
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Dennis and Tammy,What are the tripods in these photos?
The Takahashi is on a Davis & Sanford 3-25 mount and tripod with a homemade wedge as this one does not have full +90altitude.The Pronto is mounted on an older Manfotto 503 head reversed to achieve +90 altitude and the tripod is aBenro A3580F.The C8 is riding on a Libec H85 head mounted to a Desmond Gitzo 100mm bowl adapter/riser and with a modified Orion Sky Pro legset. This head (not the tripod leg set) can easily handle up to a 12 inch Schmidt and has full 90+/- altitude movement. All of these setups have dampening time of 2 seconds or less.Dennis

Nathan Harper

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 08:24:54 AM »
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I've hadin my mind to buy a high end fluid head to try on my Gitzo tripod. Would someone care to list a coupleof options at the top end.
Some high end video fluid heads are Sachtler, Miller, Cartoni, Libec just to name a few. Purchased new, and depending on load capacity most of these run in the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Manfrotto also has some fine heads in their line at a considerable lower cost.Dennis

sihealhdoggse

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 12:48:42 AM »
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I've hadin my mind to buy a high end fluid head to try on my Gitzo tripod. Would someone care to list a coupleof options at the top end.

Some high end video fluid heads are Sachtler, Miller, Cartoni, Libec just to name a few. Purchased new, and depending on load capacity most of these run in the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Manfrotto also has some fine heads in their line at a considerable lower cost.
Dennis
I know Manfrotto, but haven't used any of their fluid heads, how do they rate? On second thought, I'm not sure I want to spend thousands on a piece of gear I probably won't use all that regularly. I have several other mounts, and there's only so many clear observing nights to share around amongst all my gear.

Jason Harlan

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2018, 12:50:18 PM »
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<p class="citation">Allan Wade, on 04 Nov 2017 - 4:15 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=8195784" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-time="1509804955" data-cid="8195784" data-author="Allan Wade">I've hadin my mind to buy a high end fluid head to try on my Gitzo tripod. Would someone care to list a coupleof options at the top end.
Some high end video fluid heads are Sachtler, Miller, Cartoni, Libec just to name a few. Purchased new, and depending on load capacity most of these run in the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Manfrotto also has some fine heads in their line at a considerable lower cost.Dennis
I know Manfrotto, but haven't used any of their fluid heads, how do they rate? On second thought, I'm not sure I want to spend thousands on a piece of gear I probably won't use all that regularly. I have several other mounts, and there's only so many clear observing nights to share around amongst all my gear.
My little Manfrotto 503 I picked up used for $95.00 and it is one of my favorites. So you don't have to spend a lot of money especially if you have a scope of around 12 pounds or less. These video fluid heads are comparatively lightweight and not having to deal with counterweights is great also.Dennis

Bryan Sonian

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Re: Who likes video fluid heads for astronomy?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 09:30:16 AM »
501HDV on a Manfrotto 3251 Tripod. Works for quick viewing sessions.