A spotting scope tripod is a three-pronged stand designed to give you a stable base to which you attach your scope. By giving you a solid base on which your scope rests, tripods for spotting scope allow you to take smooth, focused images of your target even at maximum magnification. They also prevent vibrational instability, particularly at high magnification values.
Note, however, that you can’t use any tripod model (including those that the package comes with); for best results, you should consider many factors. For instance, you should put into consideration your physical height, the particular spotting scope model, and your intended purpose. Below is a detailed review of spotting scope tripod.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types Of Spotting Scope Tripods
- 2 Comparison Chart
- 3 Things to consider before Buying
- 4 The 7 Best Spotting Scope Tripod Reviews
- 4.1 1. Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod Kit
- 4.2 2. Neewer Carbon Fiber 66-inch Lightweight Portable Camera Tripod
- 4.3 3. Vanguard Alta Pro 264AB 100 Aluminum Tripod Kit
- 4.4 4. ZOMEi Z818 Lightweight DSLR Tripod
- 4.5 5. Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod
- 4.6 6. Bushnell Advanced Tripod
- 4.7 7. Vanguard VS-82 Table-Top Tripod
- 5 Where to Buy The Best Spotting Scope Tripod Online?
- 6 Conclusion
Types Of Spotting Scope Tripods
Spotting scope tripod comes in three varieties; a Table Top, Compact and Full-Size tripods version. Expect the tripod regardless of type to perform exemplary well in many situations.
1. Table Top Tripod
Also called Shooter’s Tripod, tripods under this category are designed for use on a shooting bench or a table. Their heights measure between 8 and 18 inches depending on the manufacturer and the particular model. Most tripods for spotting scopes, nonetheless, do not contain telescoping legs a feature that limits their adjustability range.
Consequently, you can only adjust the tripod using an extendable central column although some models still lack this handy feature. Due to their narrow leg span and limited weight carrying capacity shooter tripods are ideal for small spaces; it is not advisable to attach heavy spotting scopes on them
2. Compact Tripods
Tripods falling into this classification are larger than tabletop tripods a feature that makes them somewhat too big for use on a table. You can, nonetheless, comfortably use the tripod while sitting on a chair. Thanks to their high portability, compact tripods suit mountain hunters and backpackers.
If you plan to use your spotting scope tripod for spotting scopes that do not exceed 70 mm or for a digital point camera, tripods under this category sill serve you best. Compact tripods will not give you your desired outcome if you use to stabilize SLR cameras featuring telephoto lenses or 80mm and larger spotting scopes.
If you are of average height, a full-size spotting scope tripod will allow you to use your binoculars, camera or spotting scope while standing. Do not, however, translate full-size to mean it can support heavy loads. You should match the strength of the model you are considering buying with the weight of your spotting scope.
As a general rule, the low-cost plastic tripods tend to suit lightweight equipment; avoid using them to stabilize heavy spotting scopes. A typical full-size tripod extends from 26 to 57 inches, with the head in place, although they can stretch to 72 inches when the center column is at its topmost point.
|Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod Kit Review||Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod Review||Bushnell Advanced Tripod Review||Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod Review|
|Lowest Price||$149.00Amazon See it||$75.00Amazon See it||$95.00Amazon See it||$29.99Amazon See it|
|Weight||6.3 pounds||4 pounds||4.83 pounds||0.86 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||12 x 6 x 6 inches||32 x 32 x 70.5 inches||4.02 x 20.98 x 4.02 inches||10.25 x 3.75 x 3.5 inches|
|Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review|
Things to consider before Buying
1) Your intended use
How you plan to use your tripod, the place you will use it in and your style determine the type that suits you. For instance, if you intend to use your equipment on a shooting bench/tabletop, a tabletop model is ideal for you. Similarly, if you like capturing your target while standing, settle for full-size spotting scope tripod.
2) Ease of use
Since you will be moving your kit around, mostly on the head, as you use your scope, a tripod with a head that features a smooth rotating and tilting mechanism will go a long way. Such models utilize a smart hydraulic system that delivers a remarkable and stable user experience. They also tend to last for a long time giving you value for money.
3) The accessories the tripod comes with
Tripods suit a broad range of equipment, including video cameras, still cameras and of course spotting scopes. The best models come with interchangeable legs and heads. So, find out, beforehand, if you are getting legs only or an entire kit. For the model that comes with the head, it is important to test to confirm its compatibility with the gear practically.
4) Quick-release feature
Regardless of the type of tripods for spotting scopes that you settle for, you will want to purchase the model that accepts a quick-release plate. This plate pops in and out of an opening at the uppermost part of the center column. Its purpose is to screw onto your scope’s mounting plate thus allowing you to attach or detach your scope from the tripod quickly.
Figures on aspects like the weight of the tripod, maximum height, and the weight it can support provide crucial information on the usefulness of the spotting scope tripod. Additionally, if you intend to use your spotting scope for digiscoping, pay particular attention to the carrying capacity of the tripod. The stand should be able to support the weight of the camera as well as that if the spotting scope.
The 7 Best Spotting Scope Tripod Reviews
The following is a list of the top 7 best spotting scope tripod reviews of 2017 with brief details on their features and benefits to guide you in comparing and choosing the most appropriate and the best spotting scope tripod for your needs.
1. Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod Kit
3-Way Pan Head; this feature specifically facilitates ultra-smooth vertical and horizontal adjustment allowing you to track and view your target efficiently. So, Pro GT is incredibly easy to adjust and operate. This head design also provides variable leg spread capabilities, and as such, you can use the tripod on any terrain.
Rubber Feet; besides providing secure footing even on rain-drenched and hence slippery surfaces, rubberized feet ensure your equipment remain motionless while in use. You do not, therefore, have to deal with a moving tripod that can potentially ruin the quality of your track.
Balance Hook; to increase the stability of this tripod, just hung extra weights on the balance hook situated at the center of the column. This feature comes in handy when you are using the tripod in windy surroundings.
Anodized Aluminum Legs; Aluminum is widely known for being exceptionally strong and lightweight. These two properties mean you do get sturdy equipment without the drawback of excessive weight.
Flip Lever Leg Locks; primarily the latest invention in tripod design and manufacture, this feature makes the setup process and adjustment a breeze. You do need special skills to set up, operate or fold up this tripod.
2. Neewer Carbon Fiber 66-inch Lightweight Portable Camera Tripod
Versatile; Neewer is usable both as a monopod and a tripod.
To use it as a monopod, just unscrew the leg (typically covered with significant foam rubber material on the uppermost section). Consequently, this tripod plays multiple roles, thereby providing real value for money.
RSS (Really Right Stuff) Ball Head; the ball head that this spotting scope tripod comes with features the RSS Ball Head, one of the most widely recognized manufacturers of high-quality ball heads globally. This ball head is manufactured from top-quality steel and aluminum. Additionally, it has an ergonomic design that facilitates superior handling and excellent reliability.
Quick Release Feature; quick-release leg locking system provides a more useful leg handling. It also allows you to click your equipment tightly onto the tripod head thus preventing undesirable scope rotation of the scope.
Useable in a wide range of operating conditions; the tripod has excellent heat and corrosion resistance, high-efficiency shock absorption and the right rigidity intensity. It does not restrict you to using it in favorable environments or on specific types of spotting scopes.
Accessories; Neewer comes with a sturdy, easy to carry bag that adequately secures your equipment.
3. Vanguard Alta Pro 264AB 100 Aluminum Tripod Kit
Multi-angle Central Column (MACC); MACC system enables you to shift the central column from zero degrees to 180 degrees angles in different horizontal and vertical positions. The feature principally makes taking micro, wide-angle or any other type of photography shots a breeze.
Three different Leg angles; the carbon fiber and aluminum alloy legs have separate settings for 25, 50 and 80-degree angles. This feature facilitates stable operation on irregular grounds and when using the tripod for low-angle photography. You can easily set different legs to various angles to create a level surface for your spotting scope.
Separate Controls for Pan and Tilt; the included ball head contains a smooth locking knobs and distinct controls for pan and tilt. Setting the SBH-100 head on the slanting column allows you to position your spotting scope quickly and securely at any of your desired direction within a spherical range. You can even adjust any of the dimensions without changing the other.
Advanced head housing; Alta Pro’s Head features the latest housing system that, together with rugged exterior magnesium that contains a hollow interior, provide precise fluid-like motion of a typical fluid ball head without increasing the overall weight.
4. ZOMEi Z818 Lightweight DSLR Tripod
Suits a broad range of equipment; the tripod is capable of holding a maximum of 33 pounds and as such gives you the flexibility to use any of your favorite spotting scope, camcorder or camera. So, if you are looking for a spotting scope tripod that will serve you for a long time, even after you upgrade to a more sophisticated and heavier one, ZOMEi818 is perfect for you.
Easy to set up and use; you do not need any particular skill or tool to set up and use this spotting scope tripod. Just screw the mounting plate unto your spotting scope, and you are ready to go. To remove your equipment for mobility purposes, just press a button.
Adjustable leg sections; the four adjustable leg sections glide in/out with a lot of ease giving you a height range of between 18 and 65 inches. With such a wide height range you can use the stand for different purposes.
Compact; this tripod measures 18 inches tall implying it is small enough to fit in spaces that other models in the market cannot. This feature makes it possible to carry it anywhere. In addition to the removable legs, the pan, and head, locks are separable for added portability.
5. Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod
Fully adjustable legs; the aluminum legs that TrailSeeker comes with are entirely adjustable both in length and in angles. Besides, extending the center column, the tripod delivers a max length of 70.5 inches. Like several other high-range models, each leg comprises of four sections that you can shorten or lengthen using a simple lever lock.
Retractable Balance Hook; unlike standard tripods for spotting scopes in which the center column simply goes up and down, in this particular model the hook features a folding balance hook. This feature makes a huge the difference in the stability of the entire tripod. Just hung your excess luggage, or anything else heavy and you will increase the stability a great deal.
Two-way fluid pan head; at the top of the spotting scope tripod is a two-way fluid pan head that contains handy control knobs. The knobs allow you to conveniently and smoothly adjust the tension and lock the head in place. The quick release plate feature makes it very easy to attach a camera, binoculars, small telescope or spotting scope on the tripod. The plate easily snaps into place when you insert it into the pan head.
Leg wraps; in addition to rubber feet intended to keep it from sliding on slick surfaces, TrailSeeker features padded wraps that protect your shoulder while transporting it. The covers also make adjusting and targeting your equipment on cold weather a breeze.
6. Bushnell Advanced Tripod
Well-designed sturdy and operates amazingly well; given its great artistry and high-quality materials the tripod suits sophisticated optics like spotting scopes and cameras with huge lenses. The tripod’s leg material is robust and durable aluminum and as such is bound to stand the test of time.
Universal head Design; the tripod comes with a universal head that fits a full range of spotting scopes, range finders, camcorders, SLR cameras, binoculars and much more. The fact it is a full-size model also means it will suit a wide variety of purposes.
Stable and sturdy; with a weight of 5.5 pounds, this tripod sits quite securely on the ground. You can comfortably use Bushnell Advanced Tripod in an area with a light breeze. You should, nonetheless, avoid touching it because doing so at 60 Power will create a small wobble effect that diminishes rapidly with time.
Great value; Bushnell Advanced Tripod despite its many attractive features is affordable. Although it delivers on its promise, it is not suitable for backpacking especially in an area that is only accessible by foot since it is relatively bulky.
Separately adjustable legs; the strong legs (made from aluminum) are separately adjustable to various heights or angles. Consequently, you can use the tripod on an uneven surface and for different purposes.
7. Vanguard VS-82 Table-Top Tripod
Lightweight; weighing in at less than one pounds, VS-82 is attractively portable. It is also compact enough to fit your pockets or even purses. Consequently, you can take the tripod to any of your preferred destinations regardless of the nature of the landscape.
The absence of jagged parts; this tabletop spotting scope does not contain sharp sections that could otherwise hurt/pinch your hands when carrying it around. Consequently, you can pick it and walk away without worrying about the tripod tearing your purse or pockets.
Does not wobble; being a tabletop tripod, the fact VS-82 measures approximately 9.8 inches when you fully extend is perfectly understandable. However, on extending the legs fully, they provide a great wide stance. The non-slip feet further make the tripod secure; it does not wobble at all provided you place it on a flat surface.
Allows precise aiming; The two-way pan head rotates 360 degrees, tilts (forward and backward) and locks allowing you to aim your equipment precisely. These features make the tripod one of the most reliable, stable and lightweight spotting scope tripods on the market. Vanguard VS-82 Table-Top Tripod is, therefore, a vital part of your photography equipment.
Where to Buy The Best Spotting Scope Tripod Online?
To get your desired spotting scope tripod that will give you value for your money, you should buy from a reliable source. One such highly dependable supplier is Amazon.com. The site has put in place measures to ensure the products available on its platform are genuine and hence perform what they are marketed to do.
So, apart from the actual manufacturer, make an effort to always but from the online retailer for the best deals, and to safeguard you against unscrupulous individuals who are out to fleece you of your hard-earned cash. The ordering procedure on Amazon is also amazingly simple.
When shopping for your ultimate spotting scope tripod, take your time and check the details carefully. Make sure the model you are considering contains all the features and accessories that are crucial for your intended purpose. Additionally, besides looking for the above important feature, accessories, functionalities, make an effort to always buy from a credible supplier.
The above tripods for spotting scopes contain virtually all the necessary features. If you opt to buy from a local retail outlet, take the salesman’s words with a pinch of salt; ask as much information as possible. Also, measure the dimensions and test practically everything you can.