It's a simple fact that if you ever mean to go beyond casual backyard astronomy, you need a field tripod that's absolutely stable, strong enough to endure some hardcore abuse, and still moves with a smooth fluidity despite all that reinforcement. The Orion Paragon HD-F2 Heavy Duty tripod happily fulfills all three of those requirements, providing heavy-duty support for the largest of astronomy binoculars, cameras, spotting scopes, and telescopes. It is also highly portable, and specifically ideal for use with spotting scopes, cameras, and the smaller refactor and Maksutov-Cassegrain type telescopes.
This model is constructed almost entirely of aluminum, rendering it much more durable at certain key stress points where other tripods tend to fail. It also features large, adjustable legs of aluminum tubing outfitted with robust lock lever clamps for ease of setup and movement. The legs are all designed with graduated reference etchings so that you can quickly extend each leg to the preferred length- a great convenience when trying to setup the tripod in a rush. The legs are tri-braced to the center elevator housing for enhanced stability. The tripod is 72" tall when fully extended, putting the kind of huge astronomical binoculars this piece was primarily designed for comfortably at eye level for most people.
What is more, the Orion Paragon HD-F2 Heavy Duty Tripod was designed with an accurate, two-way fluid-type pan head. It also includes tension adjustment knobs on both axes for splendidly smooth and highly controlled alt-azimuth motion. The pan head's altitude is fully adjustable due to the hinged hand crank on the aluminum rack-and-pinion elevator post; and panning like this is easy to do the 11"-long adjustable handle. The quick release 1/4"-20 dovetail shoe makes attaching and detaching your instruments from the pan head simple. Other useful features include the convertible spike and cushion feet modes, and built-in bubble level.