By: Mary and Dr. Jim Clary
Over the past twenty-five years, we have probably purchased more tripods than most. We were always in search of the one unit that would function as a shooting rest in the field as well as a stable platform for our spotting scopes or cameras. We finally found one that met our requirement.
The Great Divide by BOG (formerly BOG-POD, a BTI Company) does it all and then some. First off, the legs are constructed of high-strength carbon fiber. The entire tripod weighs only 3.5 pounds. That translates into one of the toughest and most useful tripods on the market. You adjust the length of the legs by disengaging the cam locks. When the legs are extended to the desired length, the cam locks are re-engaged. There is a 3mm hex screw on the back side of each cam lock to adjust the tension so that the legs do not slip when extended. Can't have the legs suddenly change height when you're about to shoot a gun or a picture.
The leg angle adjustment is accomplished with the red leg angle pin. There are three preset angles: 20o = standing position, 45o = sitting position, and 85o = custom angle between 0o & 85o.
The center post may be adjusted, as required, based on the leg angle adjustment and desired height of the fluid head. What the company calls “fluid” is about how it moves. Not that there is fluid inside for balance.
The fluid head is compatible with Arca-Swiss attachments. The Arca-Swiss Quick Release System was introduced into the field of photography in the 1990s for ease of use and stability. Unfortunately, a lot of outdoor product manufacturers have chosen to use “their own accessory plates which are not compatible with all tripods. To remedy this potential problem, BOG included an Arca-Swiss Quick Release accessory plate which is compatible with virtually all spotting scopes/cameras/binoculars. They accomplished this by having a 1/4” primary lug screw with a removable threaded bushing with a 3/8” diameter.
The fluid head has an elevation tilt range of 60o and panning range of 360o. The tension of the elevation tilt and panning is adjusted with the knobs on each side of the fluid head. It should be noted that these knobs are Not locks. Do not over tighten them or you will strip the threads.
This is one feature of the Great Divide that we would like to see improved... IE. Make these knobs locking to create a solid elevation and/or pan adjustment. The fact that they do not hold their position under “loading” a positive characteristic. Despite that fact, we still recommend this tripod for field or range use.
The MSRP is $205.99, but is available online for as little as $150 which is a bargain.