First, what size scope did you get? You can get by with a smaller, lighter tripod
and head with a 60 or 65 mm scope than you can with an 80 mm class scope. Big mistake, though, to go cheap on a big scope when it comes to the tripod
Personally, I hate small ball heads, a la the Ridgeview, for any size spotting scope
. You are going to get much better balance and stability with a two way video head or a three way head, though all you will ever need is a two way head on a spotting scope
. (That extra axis on a three way head is useful only for photography.) Point is, it takes a large ball head to handle a large spotting scope
, unless you opt for a premium Gitzo or Arca Swiss ball head and then you'll spend more than $300 just to get such a head, alone. A standard large ball head, a la a Bogen
saves you nothing as far as weight and is still inferior in terms of locking the head and stability, compared to the 128RC.
I'll take a standard video head, any day. The head on the Vanguard
will be better than a small ball head, but it is still a long way from being a 128RC. No, no one ever accused the 128RC of being a lightweight, but if you have an 80mm scope, bite the bullet and go with the 128RC. It is far superior to what you get on that Vanguard
or other two or three way heads in that $100 price range. You'll be glad you have the 128RC on top of the 190 when the wind blows, I promise you.
Bottom line: if you want and need the stability it takes to use an 80mm class scope at 60x in the wind, the Bogen
190/128RC is the MINIMUM I would recommend. Only negative is the weight. If you want that same stability AND you also want lower weight, it will cost you another $100 -300 plus. You lose that stability by going cheaper. Going cheaper only gets you lighter. Can't have it both ways under $200 or even $300