Getting the most out of your spotting scope. You are out on a hillside with your top line $2,500 spotting scope the wind is blowing, it's cold and you are glassing on 40X. Is the platform the scope sitting on solid and smooth enough to take advantage of your fine optics? The weak link is the hunter who needs to hold their optics as steady as possible. Even binoculars, especially those over 7X, could benefit from a solid rest. Very recently I've spent a great deal of time looking for tripods and tripod heads for my spotting scope. And found little info on the tripod and heads for spotting scopes on hunting sites. If I'm paying for premium spotting scope or even binoculars why would I put it on a cheap tripod? A few notes gleaned from many hours of searching. 1. Hunting sites are generally not a good source for info on tripods or tripod heads. Photography and birding sites such http://www.dpreview.com/forums/ and http://www.birdforum.net/ hold a wealth of info. 2. Many hunters buy a "kit" tripod/head. Most heads on kits are of low quality. 3. Some buy the wrong kind of head such as ball types. Ball types are best suited for still photography, not spotting scopes. Fluid heads, such as the Manfrotto 701HDV design for video, are better suited for spotting scopes. 4. Cheap, good, and light. You can have two, but not all three. 5. Carbon fiber tripods will cost you more but they are light. Aluminum are less money, don't dampen vibrations as well, and are heavier.