At long last, birdwatchers have a tripod head designed specifically for following the action of birds. Gitzo incorporates fluid cartridges to guarantee exceptionally smooth and controlled manuevering for tracking at a long distance and close to friction-free repostioning when the action speeds up. Once the bird settles in one spot, a single large control knob makes it a cinch to make pan and tilt adjustments to the head positon or lock it into position without any give or play. Add to all this the exceptionally light weight of only 1.5 pounds, amazingly low profile of 4.2 inches, and impressively strong load-bearing capability of 13.2 pounds, and this tripod head becomes the must-have for serious birdwatching.
|Quick Release Plate
||Allows quick attachment of equipment to a tripod head.
Nice Spotting Scope Head
John R from TN
I have been looking for the holy grail of tripod heads for my spotting scopes for the last several years. I have had several scopes from Nikon, Pentax, Leupold and Swarovski in both angled and straight. I have used Manfrotto heads, (Model 3130), ball heads, and most recently the Swarovski DH101. I could never get the 3130 to keep the correct tension, especially on the pan adjustment. The Swarovski is nice but the non-metal head leaves a concern about durability and a recent return to Swarovski due to issues with the pan, started making noise, bears that out. My current scope is a Swarovski ATX 85 so a Manfrotto or Swarovski head allowed the scope foot to snap into the mount with no adapter plate needed. With the recent issue with the Swarovski head I decided to switch over to the new Gitzo head for bird watching.
The mount is definitely well built. Although an adapter plate is now needed it is unobtrusive. It requires you to slide it on and then tighten a side lever to lock it in place. To remove you loosen the side lever and then you have to push in a button on the opposite side to lower a pin that secures the mount from coming out even if the locking mechanism is loose. A little more hassle but easier to use than it sounds and with the cost of the scope a feature I like. The single adjustment for tension and to lock the mount is a bit sensitive but it is easy to get used to and I really like the single adjustment to lock the scope. If you want to be able to adjust the pan and up and down movement separately then you may want a different head.
Finally the handle can be easily adjusted for angle with the use of a coin to loosen a slotted head bolt. On the Swaro head you have to remove the scope to get at the screw that adjust the handle angle.
Bottom line is for me this head is the best compromise for the features I was looking for. If the foot of the Swaro scope would fit in the head without an adapter it would be perfect.
Finally the best thing about this is the technical support you get from the Eagle Optics crew. I have been buying from EO for about 15 years and they always give the best support in the business.
Dan E. from Massachusetts
I originally purchased this tripod head with digiscoping in mind. I really liked the idea of locking down both pan and tilt with one knob. What I found, however, when I connected just my scope (Swaro ATX 85mm) was that I really had to crank down on the nob to lock it into place and in the process kept scraping my thumb knuckle on the metal base plate. Even when trying to be careful and mindful that I have big hands, I kept scraping my knuckle. I'm sure this is a quality product, but I found the Swaro DH-101 tripod head a much faster and more solid to lock into place and more user friendly option with the added bonus of clipping directly into the ATX spotting scope versus needing an adapter that the Gitzo birdwatching head needs.
Don from Florida
Easy to find and follow birds or planes, with a device that can tighten up and/or down with one large knob.