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Which Gitzo: GT3532LS or GT3542LS?

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jrista:
I seem to have broken my current tripod. It was a nice, sturdy, and fairly light weight aluminum 'pod, and has served me well for nearly four years. I went to set it up today, and apparently one of the legs no longer lock...it just swings freely. I am not sure when or how I damaged the locking mechanism, but it is well and truly dead (no attempts to fix it have worked).

I already own a Gitzo Traveler Series 0 for long hikes. I love it, the CF design is excellent, it is extremely light weight, very compact, and extremely versatile. I've decided to stick with Gitzo for a replacement to the tripod that broke, and I'm looking at the Systematic Series 3 line. I'm having a hard time deciding between the three-leg and four-leg version of the GT35XXLS. The four leg seems to collapse slightly shorter and is slightly lighter. It also seems to be about an inch shorter.

I need a good, sturdy tripod to handler lenses up to the EF 600mm f/4 L IS II, with a TC, along with either a 7D or 5D III, with battery packs. I currently use a Jobu Pro 2 gimbal head, which might add about 10-12 inches of height on top of the tripod. I need something that will put the camera at eye-level when I am standing (I'm 6' tall). I think the GT35XXLS will do that, the pods seem to be around 58" tall. I need something nice and sturdy, too...which is really where my question comes from. Does the extra (fourth) leg section of the GT3542LS affect stability much?

I'm curious if anyone has used these two tripods with larger lenses, preferably with a gimbal, and a larger camera body. Thanks!

neuroanatomist:
Really Right Stuff TVC-34L.  ;)

Personally, I have a TVC-33 that I use with my 1D X + 600 II, and I've got ~6" of extra height for the VF relative to eye level for me (I'm 5'7").  So I'd suggest going taller than a 58" platform height for you, so you can extend a leg longer if on an incline, etc.   The RRS TVC-34L goes to 68.5"

With today's tripod construction, the impact of a 4th leg section is minimal to nonexistent - you're much better off getting the height you'll need.

For use with a gimbal head, I'd also strongly consider getting a leveling base.

jrista:

--- Quote from: neuroanatomist on February 06, 2013, 10:09:36 AM ---Really Right Stuff TVC-34L.  ;)

Personally, I have a TVC-33 that I use with my 1D X + 600 II, and I've got ~6" of extra height for the VF relative to eye level for me (I'm 5'7").  So I'd suggest going taller than a 58" platform height for you, so you can extend a leg longer if on an incline, etc.   The RRS TVC-34L goes to 68.5"

With today's tripod construction, the impact of a 4th leg section is minimal to nonexistent - you're much better off getting the height you'll need.

For use with a gimbal head, I'd also strongly consider getting a leveling base.

--- End quote ---

The TVC-34L looks pretty nice, for sure! It is fairly expensive, though. And it is backordered. At the moment, I can pick up either of the Gitzo 'pods off Amazon for over $300 less, and get it by Friday. :P The extra 10" of height are intriguing, though...

docholliday:
Ignore what you read about the 3 section being more sturdy than the 4...that may have been true in the old day, but not now. I use the GT3541L (non systematic) and I much prefer it over the 3 section 3531. Nice and sturdy. Be sure it's the newest version, as you'll get the ground level set with the non-Systematics and the new style locking basket with the Systematics. I use the GLS permanently on the pod (despite having both the short and long centers) unless I absolutely need the height.

And, don't fall for the whole Markins stabilizer stuff - doesn't make a difference, especially with the GLS installed. I use my 3541 with a Arca-Swiss Z2 converted to Hasselblad quick release plates (my 1Ds and 1D have custom mount plates that go to the slim Hasselblad shoe) and it's beautiful. I prefer the non-systematics, as they are noted to be more stable than the systematic. The Systematics are nice because you can change for a plate, center bar, or video bowl. If you don't need that capability, the non-S versions work better...if you're using a gimbal, go with the Systematic and add a leveling base!

Get the 4-section, it's much more worth it! BTW, it does make it easier to open with the new locks - spin all the locks a quarter turn, and pull the smallest out, all in one swift motion. It'll pull the next, etc. Then, lock off each section as you go quickly with 1/4 turn again. The 3 section legs are longer, so it's harder to pull the short one all the way out with one motion...

florian:
I got the same issue. I had two Feisol and were not happy with them when I had the 5D III and 600 II on it.
For all the other lenses they were OK, small and just a little over 1,1 Kg nice for traveling.
I sold them and got the GT3542LS. I don´t regret it. It´s a very good build quality with some nice features.
And it`s a solid build. I got my self additional the 75 mm half bowl. So I have never to level my legs again.
Both of them are very good, and I took the "4" because it´s get´s smaller in my travel bag with no lost stability. And with the quick locking mechanism the setup does cost you only a few seconds more.
Sadly they are not very cheap, but it´s the same with lenses, you buy them only once every 10 years.
Only downside is if you need spare parts or send it in for repair it could take a while with Gitzo.

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