Looking to Upgrade: Slik 634 with Manfrotto Befree Live or...

rob86jeep

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Dec 19, 2017
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Colorado
I currently have a Slik Sprint Pro tripod (I believe) with the stock pinhead that came with it. I'm going to upgrade this year and am looking at getting the Slik 634 with a Manfrotto Before Live fluid head. I can also get the Sirui VA-5 video head for about $50 but it does way a little more as well. I only plan on using my 10x binocs and an Athlon 15-45x spotter. Just looking for opinions on the 634/Befree setup before I pull the trigger.
 

Brian Fahs

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Feb 25, 2014
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634 is my favorite especially if packing it in.
As for heads there are a lot of nice options around $100.
I personally owned a couple manfrotto 700 rc2 heads and there are nice for the money but bulky.
I ponied up the cash and got an outdoorsmans pistol grip with panning attachment for bino work. Love it. For my kowa 884 I prefer the outdoorsmans panhead or gitzo 1720 fluid head.
 
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rob86jeep

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Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
378
Location
Colorado
634 is my favorite especially if packing it in.
As for heads there are a lot of nice options around $100.
I personally owned a couple manfrotto 700 rc2 heads and there are nice for the money but bulky.
I ponied up the cash and got an outdoorsmans pistol grip with panning attachment for bino work. Love it. For my kowa 884 I prefer the outdoorsmans panhead or gitzo 1720 fluid head.
I'm pretty sold on the Slik 634; mainly wondering if the Befree is the best option for quality/weight/price or if I should consider something else or if the Sirui VA-5 will be worth the extra $50.
 
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realunlucky

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I've used the befree for a couple years and it's worked well. I have a Kowa 77 and it'll balance it along with a novagrage and my phone. It's lighter and cheaper than the VA5. I do think the VA5 is a slightly smoother head and ordered one for my window mount due to its slightly lower height profile. 15% off with rebate makes it a hard choice

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 

Camera Land

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Jan 13, 2017
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No better head on the market in its price range then the VA5 and the best setup is the Sirui /VA5 kit
 

flashgordon

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May 5, 2012
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Eastern Washington
634 with VA5 is a fantastic setup. Use mine nearly daily with el10x42, slc15x56 and 884 spotter. I like the VA5 way better than Outdoorsmans pan or micro head. It weights a bit more but performance is far superior!
 

Turkeygetpwnd38

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Aug 11, 2017
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493
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Florida
I have the 634 with the be free head and VA-5 head. If I’m running my large spotter or weight isn’t as big a concern, VA-5 is the way to go. It’s definitely smoother and more stable than the be free. The be free does well though for the long pack ins and just using my 10x or 15x binos. I’m sure it would be fine with smaller spotters. I don’t know what the specs say the weight difference is between the two heads, but just from carrying/using/holding them, it is substantial. There isn’t a wrong choice, depends on your uses.
 

rodkazempour

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May 7, 2018
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Northern CA
Promaster SPCH20 may be worth looking into. Just bought one today from the guys at camerland. The specs and reviews look good for a lightweight panhead. Looking forward to trying it out when it gets in.
 

passinggas33

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Dec 10, 2017
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Pullman, WA
I put promaster SPCH20 on my slik 634 and it has been an awesome setup! It will handle any spotting scope on the market. Its nice and smooth and also lightweight. My setup is exactly 3 pounds.
 

pc3

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Jan 8, 2020
Messages
139
I put promaster SPCH20 on my slik 634 and it has been an awesome setup! It will handle any spotting scope on the market. Its nice and smooth and also lightweight. My setup is exactly 3 pounds.

I have this as well on my promaster 525 carbon fibre tripod. It handles the s2 (not lightest spotter put there) well, and thus far I am happy....I do wonder if the Va5 would have been a better choice, but at the time it was twice the $$.

Camera land also told me it can handle a few more ounces in weight than the Va5, correct me if I am wrong.
 
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