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Author Topic: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel  (Read 5457 times)


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Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« on: June 13, 2012, 06:27:14 PM »
Hi there oh wise ones, I am a newb that is in the process of buying a tripod for travel (I work on cruise ships so luggage weight/size is an issue for flying between jobs/also something that I actually don't mind carrying all day out and about instead of it being left behind in my room always as it is to heavy/big). I want to do it right first time so thinking Gitzo. I am down to the GT 2541 and the 1542T.
Then the head I am thinking either RRS 40 or Markins Q3 traveller or have been told to look at arca swiss.
Current set up is a 60D with 10-22, 17-85 and 70-300L. Future will see a full frame but not much bigger in lenses. Best place to buy online with a USA delivery address, tho I am currently in the med in Europe.
Interest for tripod use is landscape/architecture/panorama, mostly in good weather or night (not usually windy)
I am thinking the 1542T with the q3t will fill the need but advice appreciated especially by those that travel.
Any recommendations on other tools I should be looking at i.e. remote to prevent shudder (though I know there is the timer in camera)  and I think they are called quick release plates? so I can get my basic set up together and work on the talent aspect. Thank you for any advice as good advice is priceless.

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Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« on: June 13, 2012, 06:27:14 PM »


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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 04:31:50 PM »
You need to weigh up a number of different factors. You're planning on spending around $1k so you do need to get it right. If you're taller (say bigger than 6'1"/1.85m), I'd feel you were better off with the 2541. You won't feel the difference in weight, and it will be more manageable in use. If you're shorter, then the reverse holds. Either one, with either head will perfectly happily do what you want of it (within limits), both now and in the FF future, but obviously, heavier is better from an image point of view; then again, when you're traveling, the worst tripod you can possibly have, irrespective of cost is the one you don't carry around with you. The reality is, that when you're traveling, 98% of the time, you're not taking pictures, so weight/folded size is what really matters, and here the 1542 has a 5" and nearly one pound advantage over the 2541. That is significant, especially when flying, but it also means that it's the one you're more likely to pick up and take out the door with you when you're wearing shorts and flip-flops. You just need to take that little bit more care and exhibit better technique with the lighter tripod. The Markins and RRS are both really nice, and are appropriate choices. I feel both are better made than the Arca. Having used both Markins and RRS, I have a slight preference for the RRS - I think it's slightly nicer in use (and I may be imagining that), but it's $75 more expensive with a camera plate (incidentally, the QR clamp is the part that attaches to the top of the ball head - you then need a camera plate which you bolt to the base of your camera - that attaches to the QR clamp: nothing to do with releasing the shutter - that's a remote switch. My favored RRS QR is the one that comes on the BH-40LR). The ball diameters on both the RRS and Markins are essentially the same size, so both are similarly rigid, even with a longish lens. I do think the RRS looks a little bit nicer, but I'm picking hairs here. The RRS camera plate is nicer than the Markins. I'm not imagining that. The camera plates are interchangeable, between the two brands. For general traveling usage, I usually just use the shutter delay. Unless you're being ultra-particular and using high-res FF equipment, I don't see much advantage in getting a dedicated remote switch. Here's a question for you - will you have any future need for a decent 'non-traveling' tripod, when your cruising days are over? Do be aware that a good tripod is not just for Christmas. I still have and regularly use the Slik tripod that I originally bought 32 years ago. What if... you were to spend the grand on a heavier tripod, say a 3541 variant, which would be excellent for throwing in the back of the car and for shorter walks/more serious photography when you get to FF, and buy a cheaper lightweight set of legs for now? You would use the same head - they're transferable. I'm thinking Manfrotto/Oben/Giottos or something like that. It's just that $600 is an awful lot to spend on a relatively flimsy tripod, and the cheaper brands do that job similarly well. That way, you'd have a really decent tripod for the long haul and an acceptable fall-back for traveling/current use. Something like buying 'L' series lenses for your APS-C body - investment for the future. Just a thought. I usually use B&H in NY for most of my stuff, and have never had any problems with them (a trip there is a wonderful experience!) but you can buy Markins and RRS direct from their own websites. Hope these thoughts help you focus on what's right for you.

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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 08:00:13 PM »
This may be too late, but I have the 1541T with a Markins Q3 ball head.  I use it with a 5d Mark II and a 70-200 F/4L IS with no concerns about its stability/capability.  What I love about it is how small it can get.  I can pack it into my carry-on roller vertically with no problems at all.  I'm actually planning on adding the 2541 but only using it for day trips, not oversees travel.
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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 09:14:41 PM »
Yo dude.  I have the Feisol 3441T sticks and the q3t head.  One of the best combos on the market with RAL (anti-rotation) legs & CF.  The head is well spoken of and is great as long as you aren't shooting straight up.  The combo is so light, it feels (and probably is) lighter than my 28-70L.


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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 09:23:37 PM »
I just got my gitzo 1830 series one and Gitzo 1780QR and it'll run me about $400 to $500, there was a massive rebate.  Its only around 4 lbs but the head holds 17lbs (way more than a 5d3 + grip + 70-200 2.8 would weigh) and I'm happy.  Love it. 
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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 09:30:56 PM »
I have a Gitzo tripod, but I think I might have been better off if I would have gone with a traveler model with the legs that could flip up.  I'm not complaining about what I have, but I should have thought about backpacks and a Pelican case that doesn't look like I have a sniper rifle going through the airport or in the car at a National Park...

I also had to break it apart and have it take up 50% of the space and weight in my backpack, and was worrying it wouldn't be allowed as overhead luggage when I traveled overseas.  Let alone on how 'easy' it is to carry around the city or down into the Grand Canyon.

The other big debate is to go with a smaller compressed size, but have 4 segments per leg to lock.  Or the quicker 3 segment legs, but have a few more inches.

I have the GT3541LS legs with the Wimberly head with a 90 degree flip bracket...It fits in a Pelican 1700 case all put together, and it has three segments to each leg to extend it.  I could easily see getting a Gitzo GK1580TQR5 tripod if I was going to bike around Europe, hike deep into the backcountry in a bunch of National Parks, or if I had to travel by air a lot.  I have purchased the Gitzo GH1781T Series 1 Traveler Ball Head to attach to the legs, and put black pipe insulation on the top leg sections to keep them from getting dinged up and easier to carry.
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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 11:06:54 PM »
I have a Gitzo 2531EX and a Markins M-10 with RRS clamp - this is a medium weight sturdy setup. For travel I picked up the Benro Traveler (C1681 with ballhead) off of eBay for around $300. I love it! It is a tad smaller than the Gitzo at a third of the price. They come with a nice bag too. The same tripods locally are around $500.
I bought mine from Jon Vola Digital on eBay.

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Re: Gitzo tripod/head recomendation for travel
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 11:06:54 PM »