Two-axis balancing is the key.

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alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm

Two-axis balancing is the key.

Post by alt-az-builder » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:30 pm

To unlock the great potential of the Hitch Hiker, one must become adept at two-axis balancing. When fully two-axis balanced, your scope or camera will just seems to float in air. Aiming and tracking become effortless. And the Hitch Hiker is so compact and lightweight that you will completely ditch your ball-head, pan-tilt head, and fluid-head mounts.

Although a full set of user tutorials has not yet been produced, the website has a page devoted to two-axis balancing. The sequence of photos on this website page provides a very good step-by-step procedure for obtaining two-axis balance. The procedure involves adjusting the load both fore/aft and up/down -- as explained in the photo sequence.

The most sensitive test of two-axis balance is to give your scope or camera little nudges up and down -- testing dynamically. It's easy to feel small differences in the force required to accelerate the load in one direction versus the other direction. When balanced, these forces will be the same.

Two-axis balancing is easy once you master the basic procedure. For zoom lenses which change length when zoomed, set the lens to your most used focal length when balancing. The fore/aft component of balance will change when the zoom factor is changed, but only fore/aft balance adjustment will be required. This adjustment is easily accomplished by sliding the quick-plate back and forth in the saddle. Remember to always hold your camera securely when loosening the clamping lever. If using the side-saddle or the portrait mode of the payload platform, hold the full weight of your camera while closing the quick-plate clamp. (It's best not to loosen the quick-plate clamp on the payload platform when the camera is rotated to portrait mode.)

Charles

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