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p.1 #18 · Lightest tripod rig for 500 F4  
Bliz wrote:
RoyC, thanks for the response. That is the sort of info I am looking for. I appreciate the other "helpful"posts too but can we leave the which brand is better out of it please. If you have a lightweight combo and you have put it on a scale I would love to hear from you still, thank you.
I think you're going to have to go a wee bit heavier than the 3lbs your Gitzo 2531 weighs. The Gitzo 2series are now systematics and the 3 leg section version weighs 3.8lbs. The new systematics are heavier than the previous generation and Gitzo is recommending a 4 or 5series for a 500mm, but I use a 3541LS and an AS Z1 head and it handled a 600mm pretty well. My older 3541LS also weighs 3.8lbs but the new 3542LS weighs 4.3lbs which is too much. The systematics have a big diameter at the top as well which makes them awkward for hiking.
You might want to look at the RRS 2series although it may not be sufficient for a 500mm. Their 2series can compete with the Gitzo 3series and they have a three leg section version, the TVC23 that folds to 23.6" and has a max height of approx. 63" with an optional center column, the same as your 2531. You'd need to ask RRS about a 500mm on it though.
Then there's the Feisol CT3372 which has a max height of 58" without center column and again weighs about 3.8lbs. With a 500mm, are you going to want to use a center column? Could be dodgy. No easy answer I'm afraid.
Yes the sniping and constant snide remarks can get a bit much, thanks for asking for moderation.
