I’ve been debating purchasing another tripod for my night photography equatorial drive.

I have several tripods, most of which are quite suitable for the type of work I normally do, however, the night photography rig can be quite heavy and while my best tripod will handle 26 lbs of overall weight, I’m pushing it to the very limit.  Honestly, I’d prefer to have something that could hold 40 or more lbs of equipment. The answer to that is of course, spend money.

The problem with the “spend money” approach is that I’m a penny pincer. Spending money on something is always my last option, so I’ve been waiting and thinking and deliberating and waiting…

Last week we had a nice snow storm come through Denver. Every time we get a nice snow, I break out the snow blower and clean off the sidewalk in the cul-de-sac, my driveway and the driveway of the lady who lives next door.

My next door neighbor Judy (not her real name) is a retired school teacher from my same home town of Louisville, Kentucky. Neither of us have lived in Louisville for many many years, but we always had something in common. I figure it’s good Karma to help keep her driveway clear of snow and I would certainly hate to see her fall on the ice and hurt herself. I’ve been doing this for years, no questions asked, without a thought.

The other day, someone rings the doorbell, which my wife answers. Moments later I get a text from my wife to come downstairs to the front porch, which I do. Standing there with my wife is my neighbor Judy with a box of Russel Stover Pecan Delights chocolate candy and an aluminum tripod in hand. She wanted to thank me for keeping her driveway cleared of snow and was offering me this tripod, which belonged to her father many years ago. She’s been hanging on to it since he passed away.

So, I’m looking at the tripod and realizing that this isn’t some junky piece of outdated equipment. It’s actually a very well built, professional grade aluminum tripod and it appears to be totally intact and very sturdy. I thank her for the candy and the tripod, realizing the synchronicity of the moment. Her father’s tripod, which has to date back to the 60’s & 70’s, was used by a photographer in Louisville, where I grew up, at the same time I was growing up.

How cool. I thanked her very much and retreated to my office where I ripped into the candy and immediately began an internet search for this tripod.

The tripod is a Tiltall Model #4602.

They are still available and not very expensive, but the original version (this model) was made years ago and designed for professional medium format photography. Upon further research, it turns out this particular tripod has a 44 lb load capacity.


Behold, the synchronicity of doing a good deed for a neighbor who grew up in the same place I did, some 1,200 miles away and 40 years later.

I now have a good, solid tripod for my astro-photography rig and I didn’t have to spend a penny on it.