Spotting scope tripod advice

michiman

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I just purchased a Vortex Razor hd 27-60x85 spotting scope and need some advice on a tripod. I am going out west for a mule deer hunt this fall and will be using the scope. I want something lightweight (carbon?) but strong (possibly use it for rifle as well?), and most importantly i need it to be stable. I don't necessarily have a budget for this i just want to make sure i get exactly what i need/want. It will also be used to spot for long range shooting.

What should i be looking for?

Also, sorry if i posted this in the wrong spot
 

6gunner

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I’m looking to replace my old Manfrotto. I don’t have the scratch for a RRS. I’ve been looking at Innorel RT90C tripod.
 
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cameraland

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The BEST option for you for a light weight tripod would be the Sirui T024SKVA5. 10 layers of carbon , very sturdy, no vibration and the VA5 head is IMO, the best fluid head under $400 on the market.

Forum members thru the end of July get 15% off from us and 15% back from Sirui

Here is a link

The absolute sturdiest and about 1lb heavier is the N series at 25% off and then 15% back.
Here is the link for the N1204SKVA5


I am here today until 6:00. Just mention Snipers Hide

Joel
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theLBC

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The BEST option for you for a light weight tripod would be the Sirui T024SKVA5. 10 layers of carbon , very sturdy, no vibration and the VA5 head is IMO, the best fluid head under $400 on the market.

Forum members thru the end of July get 15% off from us and 15% back from Sirui

Here is a link

The absolute sturdiest and about 1lb heavier is the N series at 25% off and then 15% back.
Here is the link for the N1204SKVA5


I am here today until 6:00. Just mention Snipers Hide

Joel
516-217-1000
thanks joel. don't mean to threadjack but i had a terrible time trying to use a cheap tripod with a spotting scope.

i was trying to setup my cell to record through the scope and when i had the scope aimed and tried tighten it, the aim would shift as i tightened the knob
i was starting to think a geared head would be better.
is this just because i have not used a good tripod or ball head? do these tighten or lock without shifting at all?
 

hereinaz

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Weight rating is everything. Go as high as you can. Balance weight and quality after that. Also, avoid a center column.

The RTC90 is the budget one. I had the 80. Quality on the bits was OK, had a leg stop come off. But, the tripid worked until I upgraded to a better used tripod off the hide.
 
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hindmarsh

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Nice thread. I'm starting to acquire ELR gear and this will be one of them. Thanks for the info.
 

ZiaHunter

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For hunting I use on of the Gitzo compact tripods with a grip head which fits nicely in my pack.
 

theLBC

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i was going to call joel today, but i still can't decide if i want the smaller one for just spotter or rf duty, or get a heavier one and be able to use it to mount a rifle and shoot from it. i have no real need (don't compete or hunt) but it would be nice to have that capability.
the other bummer is the head are arca, and i have a full length pic rail on the bottom. putting an arca/pic adapter is ghetto. i want something made for it.
:p
 

theLBC

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I use RRS tripod with a BH55 for my spotter. I added a 200mm arca rail that has a arca clamó built in and added an extra one so I can have both my spotter and LRF mounted at the same time.
somebody recently listed a decent tripod with a few plates, including one like yours that holds a spotter or binos, and a rangefinder.
pretty sure the seller upgraded to an RRS so he didn't need it.
i missed dibs by 1 minute. dammit.
 

fili.herrera

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somebody recently listed a decent tripod with a few plates, including one like yours that holds a spotter or binos, and a rangefinder.
pretty sure the seller upgraded to an RRS so he didn't need it.
i missed dibs by 1 minute. dammit.
Awe man...that sucks!
 

4065HW

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If you are on a budget look on ebay for Vintage Tiltall tripod . $50-$100 bucks
I used one for years for spotting scope shooting BPCR ,creedmore and schuetzen , still use it varmint and deer hunting. Mine says #4602 tripod
Professional.20200709_200701.jpg
 

Formosan

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2 years ago, I acquired a Cronus 20-60x86 angled spotter and have been using a SLIK Pro 700 DX AMT 3 way pan tilt head very happily at the range.
 
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reich10

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I have the
I’m looking to replace my old Manfrotto. I don’t have the scratch for a RRS. I’ve been looking at Innorel RT90C tripod.
I have the innorel RT90C. Although it’s a good tripod for the money I would not take it mule dear hunting. It is beefy. Almost 6 pounds kitted out. Super stable for comp shooting though.

one thing to consider is that bigger tripods are more stable the taller you make them, but if you are thinking you will be in the kneeling or sitting position most of the time you can get away with a smaller tripod.

might take a look at the Slik Pro and a decent ball head.
SLIK Pro CF-634 Carbon Pro Carbon Fiber Tripod, Black (611-895) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JN5P7VP/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_wMXcFb776T6CS
 
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reich10

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Also take a look at Field Optics Reaearch. They design and carry tripods specifically for hunting and shooting.
 
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VDVSNIPER

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I just purchased a Vortex Razor hd 27-60x85 spotting scope and need some advice on a tripod. I am going out west for a mule deer hunt this fall and will be using the scope. I want something lightweight (carbon?) but strong (possibly use it for rifle as well?), and most importantly i need it to be stable. I don't necessarily have a budget for this i just want to make sure i get exactly what i need/want. It will also be used to spot for long range shooting.

What should i be looking for?

Also, sorry if i posted this in the wrong spot
Is this your first time hunting out west? Which state? Will you be backpacking hunt or road hunting?
 

CageFighter

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I have the carbon fiber Innorel RT90C w a Leofoto YB-75LC leveling base and love it. fairly inexpensive, checkout the SH posts on the tripod below.
 
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OLD308

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I use Tactical Tripods for long observation sessions in the prone or setting (ground or chair). Traditional cheap tripod for standing.
I like the modularity, handling, and portability of the system. Dave is a hoot to talk to. His system is not optimal for standing.
$40 pawn shop tripod for standing has never failed me.
Hop this helps.
 
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michiman

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Is this your first time hunting out west? Which state? Will you be backpacking hunt or road hunting?
Yes it is my first time hunting out west. I plan on doing this every year moving forward. I’ll be hunting in Southwest Wyoming. I hired an outfitter, which we will meet every morning and backpack.
 

VDVSNIPER

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So I also have the 27-60x85 and used it last year to find and harvest an elk and mule dear in Montana. This year I am leaving it behind on the porch and will be finding something a little smaller. A 22-48x65 would be a better choice, Smaller and a little lighter, biggest thing would be the size. I also almost never use it past 40x. I ended up having to use a 4500ci pack to store all my stuff for a few day hunt. Your a little different since you won’t be spending the night on a mountain. So you may get away with the bigger spotting scope, but I think you will found out a smaller spotter would be better. As for tripod I tried a few different kinds and ended up buying a RRS, mad at myself that I spend all the extra money before hand thinking I can get away with something cheaper. Now the tripod can also be used as a gun platform to shoot off of in tall grass or over other obstacles. With practice I am now hitting milk jug size targets out to 500 yards. Goal is 800 yards with more practice. So the tripod can be used as 2 tools. Good advice is anything you bring to the field to have at least 2 uses for it. If you can only find 1 use then it may be taking up space.
 
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Diver160651

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    The money and time you're going to spend for a Western hunt, is going to be significant; DO NOT SKIMP ON THE TRIPOD.

    I just finished a pre-season spotting trip near my Wyoming house and will also hunt Colorado again this year. Wind in the mountains can play havoc on your heavy spotters and rifle when mounted to a tripod. A tiny bit of wind shake will make my $4k ATX spotter perform much like cheap Binos. You can get away with a lot when your Binos are 12x and under, but a spotter in mountain wind or shooting precisely off a lightweight tripod takes a bit of an investment to get the best results.

    Last year I hunted with several guys who thought my RRS was both silly and too expensive. On the ride home, three more tripods were ordered. The RRS corners the market in pack size, weight to stability ratio when used as a dual-purpose setup. The flexibility it provides to a hunt is beyond any other single piece of gear I own.

    A week to several weeks off work has value that needs to be factored into your hunt. Don't cheap out on the most valuable piece of gear you can use for Western rifle hunting.

    The great news is you can buy a tripod setup like RRS, practice shooting a shit ton off it, get really good, then use it on your hunt; if you're not in love with your purchase sell it. The resale values are so high it will be a very inexpensive rental.

    Edited to add: Many people on here compare the cost of a Feisol or other tripods in that price range $699 -$799 to the RRS and claim the RRS is $1300-1400. If we are honest with ourselves, The RRS 33MK with the fixed apex that allows streamlined packing is only $980. So is $189- $281 really horrible for the best setup out there? Well, then you have guys comparing it to Innorel RT90C tripod; that is $650 less and less than 1/2 the price of the better tripods. BUT again we're talking about a 6.5LBS tripod vs 3.7lbs and the RT90C has an insanely large yoke and doesn't pack flat. These are fine for the walk from our car to our square range, but not something I'd ever pack. Again, I have way to much time and capital invested in a Western-style hunt. Hell the OPS tags are going to be close to $700 but the time the taxes are all added in, plus travel, time off work, food lodging etc.

    I probably should update the tripod thread I did a few years ago with my newer spotting setup -- RRS head options and Leg comparison between Feirsol and RRS. The good heads you have to add to any tripod you get anyway, so that is a separate cost.

    BTW anyone is interested, I am doing an online- spin (because COVID is in the way of the free field match spin-ups clinics) for our sold-out ULD Field Match in November. You might want to see the tripod tips and tricks if our hunting the first time with a tripod as many of the tips are transferable. It is the third link or so on this index page. https://www.snipershide.com/shootin...-ukd-team-challenge-match-11-22-2020.6980614/
     
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    Dobermann

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    Yes it is my first time hunting out west. I plan on doing this every year moving forward. I’ll be hunting in Southwest Wyoming. I hired an outfitter, which we will meet every morning and backpack.
    Western -- backpack -- hunting.

    Three words that suggest you might want to talk to the folks at Outdoorsmans: https://outdoorsmans.com/ Their compact tripod is just about perfect for that application.

    Possibly also check out the discussion over on Rokslide, as that's where a lot of the serious Western hunters hang out: https://www.rokslide.com/
     

    Wading

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    I use a Manfrotto carbon fiber CX PRO4 tripod with Manfrotto 3 way head with my Meopta S2 HD spotter. The Meopta is a heavy scope and the Manfrotto gear handles it with ease. Total cost for my tripod and head, depending on sales and where you look is about $500-$550. The higher quality tripods are definitely worth it to ensure you have a stable platform and smooth head to make full use of the high end Meopta optics.

    I burned through a few cheaper tripods in years past. Waste of money. The Manfrotto tripods and heads are built to last a lifetime.
     

    Diver160651

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    Funny I posted from an AO hunt in the West. Back out now. 2:19amPST

    Edited to add: saw some shooters but they out smarted us by staying just off public land. :(

    Well at least we watched them a bunch on the Swaros -
     
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    Diver160651

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    What would be a good 300.00 and under tripod for spotting scopes not worrying about weight?
    In my option - If you are just talking about walking to the range and putting only a spotting scope on, not shooting feild matches or hunting, you can get away with just about anything heavy with a pan tilt head.

    For others with ultra tight budgets that want to pack a dual purpose tripod, you’ll find used Fesiols on the hide as people upgrade to the RRS. These are light and robust.
     

    theLBC

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    What would be a good 300.00 and under tripod for spotting scopes not worrying about weight?
    this one is light, but doug @ camerland recommended this one, which i believe is 15% off with another 15% rebate until end of july.
    he said the fluid head is really good for the price for a spotting scope.

    i would give them a call since they have so much experience, and work at getting forum members the best deal possible.
    if you don't care about weight, maybe he can recommend a cheap but solid tripod that is heavy as fuck, and maybe you can get the fluid head separate.
     

    T-TurtleWang

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    Just bought a Two Vets No Name JR for a hunt next month, really like how lightweight it is and compact. Got an Anvil30 on top and I find it easy to use for glassing. For the range im using a leofoto 364c. Works Well. If I had to do it again I would be looking at the RRS new 22i or the similar tripod setup from Two Vets.
     

    Schütze

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    Innorel RT90C
    If you are taller, I'm 6'5" there is also the RT85C. I have this one, use it manily for spotting and mount a range finder and kestrel on it. It has a center post that extends highter than the RT90. Did shoot my RimX from it too (arca mount) and really enjoy it.
     

    260284

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    I use the Feisol 3342 with a RRS universal leveling head for hunting. I bought a RT90, the @midwestoffroad adapter, and the RRS Anvil 30 this year for matches. It is a lot heavier than the Feisol, but it is very solid. I would probably take the Feisol on any backpack hunt.
     
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    T-TurtleWang

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    The specs on that Feisol 3342 look great. Max height of almost 56 inches and only 2.5 pounds with a weight cap of 55lbs. Now that is great value ultra light tripod if you ask me. Should have bought one of those instead of the leofoto.
     
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    hereinaz

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    i was going to call joel today, but i still can't decide if i want the smaller one for just spotter or rf duty, or get a heavier one and be able to use it to mount a rifle and shoot from it. i have no real need (don't compete or hunt) but it would be nice to have that capability.
    the other bummer is the head are arca, and i have a full length pic rail on the bottom. putting an arca/pic adapter is ghetto. i want something made for it.
    :p
    RRS has an ARCA and Pic clamp. Comes on the Anvil 30 and can buy separate too.
     

    260284

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    The specs on that Feisol 3342 look great. Max height of almost 56 inches and only 2.5 pounds with a weight cap of 55lbs. Now that is great value ultra light tripod if you ask me. Should have bought one of those instead of the leofoto.
    It gets used a lot for coyotes and deer here in Kansas. I would rather be standing than sitting down so I have a better field of view.
     

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