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Author Topic: Gitzo tripod or no?  (Read 5585 times)

Jay Khaos

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 10:57:36 AM »
PS - Gitzo has a $150 rebate right now too.  So actually the gt1542t will end up costing $350 (although it may not work because I don't think I bought it from an authorized retailer...)

http://www.gitzo.us/springrebate2013
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 10:59:13 AM by Jay Khaos »
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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 10:57:36 AM »

MrFotoFool

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2013, 11:20:06 AM »
One thing that has not been mentioned (unless I missed it in skim reading) is what kind of connector you want to open and close the leg extensions.  Most (perhaps all) Gitzo's have the screw locks which I personally hate.  It is just too uncomfortable and time consuming to unscrew and screw the round collar.  I much prefer a simple flip lever, one of the reasons I use Manfrotto.  I had an aluminum Manfrotto for years, it is still in great condition, but I bought their carbon fiber equivalent a few years ago 055CXpro4.  A bit pricey, but one of the best photo purchases I ever made - the weight makes a huge difference when walking around all day.

The only problem I had with it (and I think someone mentioned this earlier on their Gitzo as well) is that I lost one of the rubber pieces that covers the leg bottoms very early on.  I contacted Manfrotto, they sent a free pack of three for replacement, and I promptly attached the new one and two remaining ones with crazy glue.  No problems since.

And for those of us who care about such things, Manfrotto is made in Italy and most other brands are made in China.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2013, 11:31:38 AM »
One thing that has not been mentioned (unless I missed it in skim reading) is what kind of connector you want to open and close the leg extensions.  Most (perhaps all) Gitzo's have the screw locks which I personally hate.  It is just too uncomfortable and time consuming to unscrew and screw the round collar.  I much prefer a simple flip lever, one of the reasons I use Manfrotto. 

And for those of us who care about such things, Manfrotto is made in Italy and most other brands are made in China.

Choice of locks is a personal thing, I suppose. 

I had the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 tripod and 694CX monopod with lever locks, now I have two RRS tripods and an RRS monopod with twist locks.  I liked the flip locks, but having used the twist locks for a while now, I find them much faster.  I can grab the whole stack of collars and unlock or lock them all at once when the legs are collapsed, and they require less force than the Manfrotto levers.  It takes only 1/4-turn to unlock/lock the twist locks.  Fully extending my RRS TQC-14 (same number of sections as the 190CXPRO4) takes me about half the time that it took with the Manfrotto lever locks.  Worth noting that if you have used a cheap tripod with twist locks, those often don't have anti-rotation on the legs, so you have to hold each leg section as you twist the collar - I had an old Slik mini-tripod that was like that, and it was a PITA. 

For those who care about such things, RRS are the only CF tripods made entirely in the USA.
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symmar22

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »
I can vouch for my Gitzos, being French that was the obvious choice when I bought my first pro tripod back in 1987 (a Studex series n°3), since they were still made in France at that time. I've series 1 and 2 aluminium as well. The Studex n° 3 is still the tripod I work with,  after 25 years of good service, I will finally replace it with a systematic 3 or 4 series. I bought a mountaineer 2 series a few month ago, and the added ease of use convinced me to finally replace my old Studex with a carbon equivalent. I've worked with Linhof and Manfrottos as well, I don't like the lever locking too much but that's a personal preference.

In fact I never had to replace one single part, I have 3 tripods only for different purposes. If you treat it decently, a well chosen Gitzo could be the only tripod you'll ever need.

I use Manfrotto 410 and 405 geared heads for precise levelling, they are very practical to use but don't last forever. In case some wonder, the 405 is IMO very overpriced, and doesn't bring much over the 410, except a few more spirit levels and 60% more weight and bulk. I had Gitzo heads as well, but they did not impress me too much, though the GH5380SQR and GH2780QR don't look bad. The Acratech Ultimate seems quite impressive.

It seems RRS makes good tripods, but bad distribution in Europe and very high prices make IMO, the Gitzos more realistic buys over here.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 12:06:12 PM by symmar22 »

jasonsim

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2013, 01:39:57 PM »
I have three Gitzos, a series 2 explorer, a series 2 Basalt w/center column and new series 4 systematic with 4 leg sections.  All have been great and will last a very long time.  They are extremely serviceable and most camera shops will carry them and might have replacement parts on hand.  The new systematic line truly sets the gold standard with innovative features.  After all, RRS modeled their top tripods after the older Gitzo systematic. 

RRS is a great product, I have plenty of their stuff:  two ball heads, clamps, plates, monopod, etc.  They are sexier / prettier to look at, if that is possible to say about a tripod.  They also have slightly better load maximums in their respective series.  These things come at a price premium of course.  I am sure no one is going to miss that once in a lifetime shot because they were not using a TV-34L and instead using a GT3542LS.  :-) 

With the rebates, there is argument that Gitzo could be a better value.  Just depends on what you feel is worth your hard earned money. 
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scarbo

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2013, 01:46:08 PM »
It seems like Gitzo is kind of universally accepted as "the best" when it comes to tripods.  But if I try my hardest to ignore the fanboy-esque reviews and comments I see about them online, and don't let myself be tempted by their slick branding materials, it seems like there has to be a better and cheaper alternative.

Currently I have a manfrotto (it was around $100).  I'm pretty sure it's made out of aluminum. It is sturdy even with my 5d3 w/ 70-200 on it, and that's probably the largest rig I'd ever have on a tripod unless I can afford the 200mm f2 IS someday lol.  But the head isnt changable, there is no level, and the head sinks too low when I tilt the body on its side (even when it's as tight as possible).

I like the Gitzo traveler tripod (gt1542t).  The weight, max/min height is cool, weight limit is good, but the price is pretty steep even for that one at $670.  I went to a local camera shop and looked at them in person, ready to buy one if it proved to be on par with the hype online.  The rubber foot stops seemed loose on most of them.  One model's legs slid completely out and detached.  Small problems, and possibly only because they were abused as floor models.  But still, considering the price and their "...forever" tag line, I lost confidence in them.  I searched about those issues online and found reviews about the same thing happening to other people.

Does anyone have a tripod in mind that they swear by... built to last, useful features.... lightweight is a plus, but not necessary?  Was my experience coincidence and is the Gitzo really as great as it's cracked up to be??  Or is my gut right, and they are over hyped?
You should have a look at Induro tripods. They're very good quality and they look very good. They have padding at the top of the legs for a comfortable grip and they come with a nice bag with enough room at the top for a head.

Jackson_Bill

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2013, 02:55:40 PM »
...
  I can grab the whole stack of collars and unlock or lock them all at once when the legs are collapsed, and they require less force than the Manfrotto levers.  It takes only 1/4-turn to unlock/lock the twist locks.   

For those who care about such things, RRS are the only CF tripods made entirely in the USA.

Exactly! - same here.

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Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2013, 02:55:40 PM »