Birder's Guide

DEC 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 18 of 43

17 November 2015 | Birder's Guide to Gear proprietary quick-release plate. The pan- ning function feels pretty fuid, but the tilt is pretty much on or off without much in- between. Fair on the "leave where pointed" test and good on the bump test. • Vortex Pro GT (kit with integral head): $149.99 (legs & head), Weight N/A, 10 lb. maximum load. Reviewer comments: Another system ready to go out of the box. Unique among the heads tested here: both tilt and pan tension/lock are controlled by twisting the handle. It also has a proprie- tary quick-release plate. Poor on the "leave where pointed" test (this head works best as "on" or "off" for movement) and fair on the bump test. • Leica VH1 Video : $249.00, Weight 0.8 lbs., 5.5 lb. maximum load (price and specs from B&H Photo, 2 November 2015.) Re- viewer comments: Surprisingly sturdy for its weight. Tilt controlled by typical ten- sion/lock knob, while panning has a lock lever and separate tension adjustment screw. Leveling bubble on base of head nice, but seems redundant if using on legs with their own leveling bubble. This and the Gitzo GH2720QR were the only heads I tested with a sliding quick-release mount for balancing the scope, an especially use- ful feature for digiscoping. Good on the "leave where pointed" test and excellent on the bump test.

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