Top critical review
169 people found this helpful
Extremely limited usefulness for astronomy
on January 17, 2012
I bought this tripod to mount 25x100mm astronomical binoculars. The binoculars weigh 10.3 lbs. I bought this tripod because the vendor recommended this when I purchased the binoculars. Being an experienced observer, I should have researched the tripod instead of blindly buying it due to the vendor's recommendation & the Celestron name.
Positives: Minus the very cheesy, lightweight aluminum eyepiece tray that bends & dents by just looking at it (which I do not need since I use this for astronomical binoculars), this tripod is well-built and rock solid. Unlike some reviewers, I did not have any issues with "play" as the mounted binoculars are very secure & steady.
Negatives: The tripod, for astronomical purposes, is extremely limited in its usefulness. I would argue the name of the tripod - "Altazimuth Tripod" - to be misleading The tripod is really an azimuth tripod. Azimuth is equivalent to panning a mounted camera and refers to movement left and right - as in 360-degree rotation per compass bearings. What I didn't initially realize is that it is not made for altitude movement in that (1) You cannot observe anything high in the sky; and (2) the limited [altitude] movement it does have requires a wrench to change the altitude screw. To be perfectly clear, it is impossible to view anything overhead - and in fact anything higher than 25-30-degrees is quite uncomfortable if not impossible.
If one lives on a shoreline - and wishes to use this tripod for terrestrial viewing to observe ships offshore along the horizon - this is a very stable tripod. But for use with astronomical binoculars for celestial observation, the extremely limited altitude movement makes this tripod impractical.
NOTE: For astronomical binocular observation, look for a true ALT-AZ tripod that has a load rating at least twice the weight of your binoculars. 70-80mm binoculars typically require a minimum load rating of 16 lbs & 100mm binoculars require a minimum load rating of 20 lbs.