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Spotting Scope Stand...What you got?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Rockrivr1, May 16, 2018.

  1. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    I have a very old spotting scope stand that I've been using for years and is on its last legs so I'm looking for a replacement. I'm using a Kowa TSN-661 so I'm looking for a stable and dependable replacement stand that will have the "Zoom" mount as the Kowa has a rotating head.

    I've looked at Champion, Creedmore, Freeland and others and they all look like decent choices. Wondering what you are using and how you like it. I use my current stand when prone, using a bench and when standing, so it needs to be flexible and easily adjustable.

    Thanks for the recommendations.
     
  2. GE-Mini-Gun

    GE-Mini-Gun Member

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    I have a Manfrotto 526 (I think), purchased it with a Pentax PF100ED...both are beasts...scope comes in around 10lbs and the stand close to 25, stable as heck, even in windy conditions. Not sure if that's what your looking for...
     
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  3. GarySTL

    GarySTL Member

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    I've got this one: https://www.creedmoorsports.com/product/910/Scope-and-Stand-Accessories
    From Creedmoor and i like it. With the included extensions it's good for standing position or remove the extensions for prone or on the bench. I use it with both an 80mm and 100mm scope.

    It can wobble some in the wind when used at full height, but I think anything not clamped to a bench would as well.

    The screws securing the legs are black oxide finish and show signs of rust, other than that, no problems.
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I just use a small camera tripod I got at a pawn shop for $5.
     
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  5. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    You really can't get a rock solid tripod that is suitable both for bench/prone and standing use; there's such a disparity in heights that something has to be sacrificed to make that work. The tripods listed all use extensions to allow the spotting scope to be raised/lowered, and when fully raised will display some sway because the height extensions are unsupported by the legs.

    Depending on the criticality of the use, it may be the better part of valor to have two tripods; a simple bench/prone tripod and a sturdier standing tripod, with QD heads to allow the spotting scope to be moved from tripod to tripod. A tripod designed specifically for use when standing will not wobble, because the legs will fully support the head as opposed to putting the head at the end of a long extension well removed from the stabilizing legs.

    In my experience in a past life doing medium and large format photography, Manfrotto has been a gold standard in optical tripods for professional use for some time. Good stuff. I still have a Manfrotto with ball head - it's an absolute beast.
     
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  6. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    I've got a cheap Tasco 15-45x50 that came with a tabletop tripod. It's sufficed for the last 3 decades or so. If I ever get a better scope, I'll probably just use my Slik.
     
  7. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Back when I had a Kowa, I used the Creedmoor stand linked by GarySTL, or one very like it. More recently I've been using a short, inexpensive desktop camera tripod for the bench, and a Manfrotto 055XB when not on the bench. I've been thinking about buying a new Manfrotto MT055XPRO3. I want a stand I can use for everything from prone to standing, and the MT055XPRO3's legs splay out wide and the vertical column will rotate to the horizontal, which allows you get very low. It's heavy, though.
     
  8. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    One thing that will help all tripods is additional weight. Simply tensioning your range bag (drawing the tripod down) without overloading it will help. Tying a string around the stem and your bag (without completely lifting it) will help steady your tripod.

    That said, I have a herd of Manfrotto tripods. The better sticks make a lot of things easier.
     
  9. mustbe

    mustbe Member

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    I use a GearBuggie stand for highpower and a carbon fiber tripod with the horizontal center column for all kinds of other things.

    After adding an Acra-Swiss quick release to both I can switch out scopes, chronograph, camera, and even a rifle. Very versatile setup.
     
  10. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    I have the same stand, to make it really bombproof I screw a 5 lbs round plate into the bottom. It is really nice for position shooting.

    I also use a short bench tripod that allows me to use it on the bench without taking up too much room.

    To make it easier to switch the scope i have the same Quick Release shoe on both.
     
  11. GarySTL

    GarySTL Member

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    I've seen home made stands that clamp to the bench. Appear to be made from wood working pipe clamps with some adaptor parts added to hold the scope. I'll have to look closer at the next one I see.

    My club has one sold by Sinclair that's really nice. Adjustable for bench thickness and locks down tight.
     
  12. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Start going to estate sales, and look for old photo equipment.
    Tripods will be sold for just a few dollars. They make excellent spotting scope stands.
     
    LUCKYDAWG13 likes this.
  13. jeepnik
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    jeepnik Member

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    Pretty much what I do. Use the one that came with my scope on the table or an old Slik camera tripod when needed. By the way, that old tripod is still my go to for outdoor photography. It's heavy, but amazingly stable and adjustable.
     
  14. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    I use an El Cheapo tripod ($12.95) from Wal Mart,,,
    Fortunately mine has a large hook for a weight in the center.

    I hand a plastic gallon jug of water from it,,,
    That weight stabilizes it perfectly.

    I always have the gallon of water with me anyways,,,
    I use it to wash the .22 lead off of my fingertips when they turn black.

    Aarond

    .
     
  15. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I still use my Al Freeland stand and Bushnell scope from the late 1960s. Great stand but you will need the optional weight for the bottom of the shaft to make it stable when shooting offhand or outside in a breeze. Having the scope close to the shooter and not in the way comes at a price. I purchased another Freeland stand for my son about 15 years ago and the design is still the same, those stands will last forever. Not sure about the scope though get the largest objective you can get and fits the stand. A good scope and stand costs serious money. Of course a tripod will work if you are shooting strictly from a bench or is another person is spotting for you. I cannot speak for anything other than Freeland.
     
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have an old ball/socket cast iron base that I use quite a bit. It’s easy to set and locks down easy and well. I use a cordless drill to screw it to the post quite often so I can call shots standing.

    B918CA30-BDA8-4436-9970-8838A99E7444.jpeg

    Or you can just set it on the bench but it beats any tripod I have.

    Speaking of on the bench, I made a spotting scope mount for one of my rests that is about as perfect of a setup as I have used.

    24449682-AFC3-4DBC-84FD-8710E689971C.jpeg
     
  17. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I have excellent results with a Berlebach tripod. I wanted to upgrade from a Manfrotto that was too light and I was going to spend on a carbon Gitzo, but I learned that wood is actually better for damping vibrations. It's not ultra-light and I wouldn't want to back-pack with the Berlebach, but it's still a one-hand job so it doesn't take a trip to and from the truck by itself. Finding a head I liked was harder. I settled on the Gitzo Series 2 Safari. I'd also suggest checking out the Berlebach Ball Head Magnesit MB series.
     
  18. BilliamB.

    BilliamB. Member

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    I have a Manfrotto also, it with a pistol grip head. It's strictly for range use as it is a bit much to carry, but well worth it.
     
  19. GarySTL

    GarySTL Member

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    After reading and posting in this thread I went ahead and ordered the mount from Sinclair for myself. My Creedmoor unit works fine, but this one won't slide off the bench which is possible with the three legged Creedmoor unit.
     
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