[Tweeters] RFI vest, tripod

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 30 13:18:46 PDT 2014

Dear Tweeters,

I am thinking of getting a new birding vest. My old Columbia one is tatty, and I have never liked the Velcro pocket  closures--they open by themselves, especially when the Velcro gets worn out. For the occasional overseas trip, it would be nice to have a huge pocket or two for those huge field guides, such as the one for Ecuador.

Also, some words of advice might be nice on tripods. I have a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod that is only seven or eight years old, best I can remember. I can't find the receipt. Anyway, the joints keep breaking. I noticed a busted joint the night before I was to leave on an overseas trip. I managed to fix it by fabricating a metal brace and putting it on with epoxy, but when I got to my destination, one of the other joints had failed in the exact same way. The tubular metal piece into which the carbon-fiber legs fit had cracked right through. I managed to keep it upright on the trip, with the help of some duct tape, but that is not a long-term solution.

So, I guess one thing I could do is just buy all the replacement parts from Manfrotto. I know that will be expensive. In fact, I am wondering whether getting all six replacement joints would end up costing more than a new tripod. They don't seem to have a warranty on tripods, the way high-end optics do.

I still like my Bogen tripod head, seventeen years old and still perfectly functional. So, if I did replace the tripod, any recommendations out there for a lightweight tripod? One that could accept the Bogen head? I use a straight scope, so my tripod needs to be reasonably tall. I want two joints per leg, so the tripod is more compact when closed. I also like the feature that most modern tripods have, where you can put the legs at different angles when the terrain is uneven.

Thanks, Tweeters.

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

garybletsch at yahoo.com

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