Celestron’s Heavy-Duty Alt-Azimuth Tripod is really a useful tripod for use with small to medium-sized telescopes, like the Celestron C90 or C5 or if you want to do hand’s-free viewing through giant binoculars or a spotting scope.
The tripod features aluminium legs, which are light weight but sturdy, and allow height adjustment from 32 inches to a maximum extended height of 45 inches. A centre brace stabilises the legs in place when the tripod is open, and a metal accessory tray is fitted to the centre of the brace, or spreader bars, allowing you to store accessories.
The alt-azimuth head is made of metal and is controlled in two ways. To make large adjustments in altitude, simply grab the mount and move it to the desired location. A friction clutch installed in the head will hold it in position. Large movements in azimuth can be achieved by loosening the azimuth lock and then manually moving the mount. The head can spin 360º with the lock disengaged. Small movements are best made by turning the slow motion control handles. They work great for following objects as they move across the night sky.
Equipment is mounted on the alt-az tripod head using a 1/4”- 20 thread mounting bolt that is pre-installed in the mounting plate. The mounting bolt is free to slide along a slot cut in the mounting plate, allowing the user to adjust the forward and aft location of the telescope, spotting scope, binocular mount adaptor, or camera. The purpose here is to keep your equipment centred over the tripod as best you can. Refractor telescopes and cameras with long lenses will be less stable if they sit too far forward, so the ability to make adjustments to the balance point is a nice option.