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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a good little bench/prone tripod and a not so great slightly larger bench/prone tripod and a real old POS full sized tripod. It's the latter that really needs replacing.

I'm really looking for something that can be used while seated. My first thought was to head to a camera store but I thought I'd ask here first about a couple things I have seen.

Of primary interest are the vertical rods with really low feet I have seen in use at matches. This is something I'm pretty sure I won't be finding at a camera store. These seem to be fairly versatile and can be used at most any height (depending on the height of the pole of course). I have the impression from a quick check that these run in the $150-$200 range plus accessories, so that's probably not money well spent for me.

Another thing is the "pistol grip" I've seen on the top of some tripods. Looks like it would be a lot simpler than fiddling with a couple different knobs. But again, this could be a pricey accessory that doesn't lend that much added value.
 

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Get a medium Slik tripod with a ball head. Goes from 4 inches off the ground to perfect for sitting in a chair. One handle releases the ball head, and you can rotate about 3 axes instantly. I use one for my rifle, and another for my spotting scope. It's so adaptable and easy to collapse, I don't know that I'll ever go back to a bipod.



This one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/614703-REG/Slik_611_806_Sprint_Mini_II_GM.html

Seems like it doesn't matter what size you get (they have bigger and smaller ones), they run around $80.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I remember you mentioning that tripod. I actually got one of the really short Slik Mini tripods for use prone and on the bench and really like it. I've looked at other Slik tripods as well but there are so many it's hard to sort through.

At the moment, I am considering an idea to build a small center pedestal "table" that I can set my scope and tripod on. It has the advantage of being able to be broken down and adjusted for different heights.
 

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I recently bought a Slik tripod model number 611-849 from Precision Rifle Solutions or (PRS). It is listed as PRS's "Large" version. It would have no problem going from prone to standing. I took off the lower part of my center column to allow me to get lower prone, it screws off and on very easily. I keep the center column stored in my pack, but have never used it. I make my adjustments for height using the tripod legs with their quick lock feature. The tripod is very light and stable, something that is hard to come by. I bought the simple univeral ball joint on my tripod. It is easy to adjust and stays put once I lock it down. I think it would work very well for your spotting scope. I use mine primary as a rifle rest, but plan to buy another Slik tripod from PRS so that I can use one for a rifle rest and the other for my optics. The second tripod will be another "large" version. It is really the perfect height. The SSP2 saddle I bought makes a perfect mount for my Leica CRF 1600, which I found out by coincidence and use all the time. http://www.precisionriflesolutions.com/ ... how/839436
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shane4639 said:
I recently bought a Slik tripod model number 611-849 from Precision Rifle Solutions or (PRS). It is listed as PRS's "Large" version.
Yes, they are selling the Slik Sprint Mini II and Pro II as their medium and large. I got the Slik Mini II (the names are confusing because they over lap in different series) which is a tiny thing but great for the bench top and adequate for prone.

I was looking at the Sprint Mini II as being the right height but thought that the larger Pro II might be too tall. But after what you said, I had another look at the specs and at it's not too large at all. These are really some well thought out tripods and the prices are pretty darn good. Plus B&H handles them and they have had very good service for me in the past.
 

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I took some pictures of it with my rifle on the rest, but thought I would put the spotting scope on tomorrow instead. Without the bottom of the center column the "large" gets very low.



I put my spotting scope on the tripod and moved it to the lowest position possible, with the spotting scope mounted sideways. It measured less than 5" from the ground to the center of the eyepiece. I can't imagine you being able to use it much lower than that. It will adjust all to way up to where you could use it standing. I will take a few pictures tomorrow as I mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
shane4639 said:
Without the bottom of the center column the "large" gets very low.
That's quite remarkable. If I'm reading the specs right, it will go as low as 6.7" and as high as 5.3'. Not sure if that is with or without the head and I can't tell for sure if that is with or without the column extended. Since most full sized tripods will get a camera up to my eye and I'm just a shade over 6', I'm guessing that it does not include the column which is another 12". That puts the max height at 6.25'.

The mid sized version goes from about 6" to 3.6' (4.25' with column). Definitely high enough when seated but not standing. So, for an additional $13, you get an added 2' of tripod with less than 1" different in lowest height. Sounds like a bargain to me.

I'm starting to sound like a commercial for Slik... :mrgreen:

As to the SSP gun cradle, I'm not really sure I'd have a use for that but it could be handy when shooting seated or kneeling. Beats a set of shooting sticks hands down. I think I saw a video of someone (from the Magpul DVD perhaps) shooting from a cross legged sitting position using a tripod on the front and shooting sticks on the rear. They could basically just get the gun into position and sit there hands free.
 

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Here is my Slik tripod and my issued MK4 spotter as low as I can get them to go. I don't think you could use it any lower.



I tilted the spotting scope up, I tried to use the SR25 behind it to show perspective, but I was below the spotting scope when I took both pictures, so the spotting scope looks a little higher than it is, The eyepiece of the spotting scope is just below the height of the riflescope in the second picture.


If you were going to use this tripod standing straight, you could easily do it but you would need to re-attach the lower center column. I am 5'10", I can use it as is but I have to bend my back slightly. I haven't found the need to re-attach the center column yet, but if I did I could do so in less than 20 seconds. It would take more time for me to dig it out of my pack, than it would to re-attach it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shane, thanks for the photos. That really is quite remarkable. I don't think that my mini Slik tripod will go that low, but I haven't tried removing the column. For that matter I'm not sure if I can but I'm going to find out.
 

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The mini slik can indeed go that low (assuming you're talking about the same tiny one PRS sells), but not lower than the medium. I've found that the only advantage the mini offers is how compact it is for carrying. Outside of a need for that, I just use two mediums, as they're a heck of a lot more versatile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RocketmanOU said:
The mini slik can indeed go that low (assuming you're talking about the same tiny one PRS sells), but not lower than the medium.
The one PRS sells is the Slik Mini Pro DQ (ball head). I got the same thing but with a 2-way pan head mainly for use on a bench, but it does work prone as well. Not great but for $20 it beats the heck out of the one that came with my scope!

The med and lg Slik Sprint both look great and both have advantages.
--Both can be used prone but the med is shorter so may be easier to position
--Both seem to be equal when seated
--The med is more compact and lighter and easier to carry
--The lg can be used standing

I can make an argument for either one. The lg is probably better for the range and the med is arguably better for the field. If I had the need for two, I'd probably get one of each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just thought I'd update this with one observation I made after using the large Slik tripod for a while. As much as I like the ability to go from very low to eye height, I find that in the low positions, the legs are so long that it's hard to get them out of my way.

I had been going by the pictures Shane posted showing the scope on the tripod next to his rifle and trying to figure out why that same arrangement would not work for me. And then I realized that I was being tricked by perspective. If I am correct, the scope is quite a bit to the left of the rifle in a position that would be used by an observer. It's not there so the shooter can shift over to look.

I'm not sure if having the medium would make any difference but I'm pretty certain that it would not with a straight body spotting scope. Perhaps with an angled body it might.
 

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I might be able to give some advice here.

The problem you're having with a tripod either being too high or too wide isn't an easy one to fix, it's a quirk of the tripod design as a whole and isn't going to go away. However, Opticron and Freeland scope stands (links below) both have a V shaped base made to fit around a firer in the prone position. I use an Opticron stand to shoot target rifle, and I can have it so close that I can use my left eye for the spotting scope and my right eye for the sights.

It's always going to be a more natural position if you use an angled body scope, too.

Freeland Bipod Scope Stand

Opticron Bipod

Sorry the links are for a UK site - I think they deliever worldwide but I can't comment on cost.#

Hope this helps

EDIT

If you have budget constraints, then it's probably best to go for the Opticron. Some pics of mine below, with an adapter added to allow rotation of the eyepiece (see where the scope stands away pole). Also, note that I've flipped the pole to get the scope lower. Let me know how it goes.

Room Optical instrument
Camera accessory Room
Airsoft gun Room Airsoft Optical instrument
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've looked at those as well as some others based on input I've gotten from some F-Class shooters. Right now, with what I have, I'm trying like heck to make one tripod serve for multiple things. Perhaps that's not the best solution but it's as much a case of just trying to see what's possible as anything else.

However, I am just reminded that I did see something posted elsewhere that got me thinking strange thoughts. Someone commented that they could turn the center rod of the tripod upside down so that the head was between the legs. Made me dizzy thinking about it but that was before I got the Slik tripod. I may have to see if that's possible, just for giggles if nothing else.
 

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That might well work, maybe add a spacer between the pole and the scope too, to make sure the legs don't get in the way? I have to say, I can't stand using regular tripods for this very reason. With the scope above I can use it prone while still in the aim, or flip it and have it extended high enough that it's comfortable to use while seated. If anything, the Celestron scope I have on it is a bit big for the stand, but it balances fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, it is possible. With the legs spread in the middle position, there seems to be room to position the scope right next to the rifle. I'll have to fiddle with this some to see how we'll it would work, but I'm at a disadvantage with a straight body scope. I didn't get it with this sort of setup in mind.
 
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