Modern terrestrial observation telescopes - the ones we use on the hunt for observing, evaluating and photographing - do not carry prohibitive weight. Just over 2 kg, for the larger models. However, this weight is distributed over about 50 cm in length and even more if we apply a camera to it to make images or videos in digiscoping. Managing, wielding and handling these weights / lengths to engage our subject with the greatest possible stability becomes a big problem.
Everything, then, is complicated by the fact that the maxi-magnifications offered by the telescope require stability at the highest levels. The displacement (or even just the vibration) of one millimeter in the observation and / or shooting point at 200/300 meters becomes a real earthquake. This applies to thepure observation / evaluation and, all the more, in digiscoping and in all those situations in which the focus must be as precise as possible. These are the main reasons behind the search for the center of gravity of the equipment. When everything rests on the center of gravity, the weights cancel each other out, there are no passive games, you swing the length with a finger, you focus with precision and, when you get to the engagement, the equipment remains steadily stops and it no longer moves even without tightening the latches.
It is therefore necessary that the center of gravity or, better, its projection (both vertical and horizontal) falls within the base of the tripod-mounted long. It happens (simplified) for the tower of Pisa, which - apart from consolidation - will never fall as long as the center of gravity is within the base of the tower. It happens, too, with the heavy and bulky telephoto lenses used for photographic hunting. It is a fundamental principle of physics.
In practice, in our case, we must be able to to vary - depending on the weights involved - the point where the center of gravity falls. The ingredients of this'recipe for the perfect center of gravity ' are the ones who the SwarovskiOptik, for example, he has put in place great for his longs: a balanced base and a 'professional' tripod head that allows you to move back and forth, up and down, where the base of the long rests on the tripod. Let's see, briefly, the practical 'operation' using, for example, a long of the Swarovki Optik (the company that has grasped this need before others and has solved 'the problem' with two new, very useful accessories):
- In pure observation, the center of gravity falls within the foot of the instrument: all is well and the balanced base it therefore serves to create a greater support surface and to vary the point of projection of the center of gravity in situations of high site angle. Let's not forget that the long was born for pure observation: therefore the center of gravity falls within the foot of the instrument.
- 2. When we practice Digiscoping, we connect a camera, more or less heavy, and its adapter along the length. The overall weight of the equipment not only increases depending on the type of camera, but it does so by weighing everything on one side only, that of the eyepiece. Sometimes the total weight doubles and it does so by unbalancing the whole in a very pronounced way. It is therefore necessary balance shifting the projection of the center of gravity backwards: the balanced base, alone, can 'work' with light digital cameras, but it is not enough with heavier reflex cameras; in this case a is used rocker head that works perfectly synergy with the base balanced and accommodates the projection of the center of gravity. Not surprisingly, since these are 'professional' cameras, the new rocker head from Swarovski Optik is called "Professional PTH head".
- The final effect to be obtained, once and for all, is this: after having found the ideal center of gravity and without having to apply the brakes of the head knobs, the equipment stops exactly where you want it, without any passive play, neither up or down, neither to the right or to the left; when, then, the subject moves, it is followed with great ease without having to open or re-tighten the head brakes. In the case of digiscoping, once the desired engagement point has been reached, after focusing, you take your hands off the equipment and shoot with the remote release, without any vibration whatsoever. Sorry if it is little and if the risk of blur or blur is averted, forever.
For these and other practical reasons, digiscopers, nature photographers and fans of heavy FX SLRs particularly love this type of balance that we can define as "professional" and definitely reject all ball heads that - in addition to the wear of the ball itself - they always have some passive play and, upon unlocking, they orient themselves in a disorderly and random way. Impossible to follow an animal on the ground. Very easy to fall into the risk of moving and lose the salary. That's why the balancing of equipment - perhaps assisted by the left hand that presses (at the engagement) on the focus ring and the right on the camera - it is absolutely fundamental. Essential if we want quality results.
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