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Author Topic: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?  (Read 1766 times)

rmfagan

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Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« on: August 29, 2013, 05:46:16 PM »
So I'm finally ditching the aluminum Manfrotto I have in favor of a lifetime set of legs. Problem is, which? I want to take advantage of the BH deals so tomorrow is the day. I don't have anything more than a 70-200 II weightwise, though I might splurge for a 300 II in the next 2 years. I AM going on safari next summer in Tanzania/Kenya and will be renting a 500 most likely. I would buy an updated 100-400 if it ever happens. Once a year I tend to make it to Yellowstone and could see renting the 500 for that as well.

Is the 2531 stable enough for this occasional supertele use? I can't afford 2 tripods right now so one for each purpose is out, and I'd hate to carry the extra weight of the 3531 on hikes just to pair with a 24 TSE.

Thoughts? Thoughts besides skip Gitzo and go RRS?

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Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« on: August 29, 2013, 05:46:16 PM »

Jim Saunders

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Re: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 06:01:59 PM »
I had a 5D2, a 300 f/2.8 II and a 2X on mine with no complaints, although that was in a permissive environment; I haven't really put mine through too much of the world yet.

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wsheldon

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Re: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 07:03:23 PM »
My biggest lens is a 100-400, so I bought the 2531 based on price and weight even though Gitzo recommends the 3-series for 400mm+. The issue isn't the weight the 2531 can support -- it's plenty sturdy enough -- it's vibration damping. I found it pretty good natively for long tele, but was never satisfied with the center column so I replaced it with a Markins TB-21 base (https://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/TB-21.php) and that noticeably improves stability without adding weight or bulk. That does bring the price closer to the 3531, but it is still a whole lot lighter. Getting a 2-series systematic without the center column would be something else to consider. Anyway, I put a Markins Q10 on that rig and that's a very solid set-up that's easy to tote along.

The 2531 + Markins Q3 + TB-21 + spikes and leg wraps was marketed by the Nikonians user group (sorry) as the "MAGICA-2" tripod set (3531 + Q20 + TB-30 + spikes is the MAGICA-3), and backed that up with engineering reports on vibration damping. You can Google "MAGICA Tripod" to learn about those packages. Not sure I buy the objectivity of those reports, but they are an interesting read.

Anyway, I think the 2-series Gitzo tripods are a great option, particularly when you catch a rebate or sale.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 07:07:08 PM by wsheldon »
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ForumMuppet

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Re: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 08:06:47 PM »
I do not have anything to chime in on the quality of the two tripods as I have never personally used either one. One thing I will do however is advise you use either an iPhone or iPad app to purchase the tripod through B&H. I have no idea why but the price for the GT-2531 is $60 cheaper when using the iPad/Phone app than it is when using their website store. The GT-3531 is $153 cheaper. I noticed this a few weeks ago when I was in the market for a new tripod.
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scottkinfw

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Re: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 09:29:48 PM »
No experience with the tripods, but likely for weight/size restrictions, you likely won't be able to bring it to Africa.  Also, depending on your safari, you will likely be mostly in a vehicle, and they will likely supply a bean bag.  So, probably don't use this as a decision point.

Hope that helps.

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rmfagan

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Re: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 11:54:51 PM »
Thanks all for your help. I decided on a GT3541 both to future proof and because of the better folded length. I'm inclined to get the Markins TH-300 which replaces the center column and hub with a flat base, reducing weight and increasing stability. Any experience with these? I've seen posts about the TB-21 which I gather is similar.

Thinking a Markins Q10i, and likely a Wimberly Sidekick later. I was concerned about the size of the Q10 and debated the Q20 but for goodness sake! 100lbs seems plenty to stabilize a 500 on the Sidekick for occasional use, no?

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Re: Gitzo GT2531 or 3531?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 11:54:51 PM »