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Archive 2013 · Gitzo travel tripod information?
  
 
MrEMan
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gitzo travel tripod information?


I've tried searching this forum, but there is a bewildering array of information regarding Gitzo tripods ... so I'm going to beg your indulgence for a question that might've already been asked in a variety of manners.

I need to augment my current tripod (a Gitzo Studex Performance and an original Arca-Swiss Monoball that I bought back in the '80s) with a lighter version appropriate for travel. I'm headed back to Nepal and need something light ... yet stable enough to support a Canon 1D series (or possibly a 5D series), with nothing longer than a 70-200mm f/2.8L, for panorama photography. It also has to be able to close down, with a head attached, to a reasonable length to strap onto my backpack.

I'm currently looking at the GT1541 (in the Mountaineer series), the GT1542T and the GT1544T, but I'm having a tough time puzzling out the differences between the three. Weight and closed length favors the two traveler series tripods, but the maximum height (I'm 6'1") favors the 1541. Can anyone give me a more practical comparison of these models?

I'm also planning to use a RRS BH-30 ball head, but would be interesting in hearing arguements in favor of the BH-40. I'm not retiring my Arca-Swiss, so my thought process is that I can lean toward the smaller of the two ... the BH-30 certainly has the rated load capacity to support my gear.

Thanks in advance ...



Jan 31, 2013 at 07:07 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gitzo travel tripod information?


Well you seem to have figured out the major differences for yourself; weight, folded length, max height. I would add to those max height without center column extended, which the 1541 wins by a whopping 9 inches, and also that the 1541 takes spikes and the two travelers don't. If you can deal with the the 1541 being 4-5 inches longer than the other two when folded it appears the 1541 is a good solution especially given your height. I particularly like its max height without center column extended spec as that's good for stability.

WRT ballheads, if you buy a tripod with foldback legs a general rule of thumb is that the diameter of a ballhead shouldn't exceed 50mm so that the legs can fold back more-or-less parallel to the center column. The BH-30 has a diameter of 40mm whereas the BH-40 has a diameter of 53mm.




Feb 01, 2013 at 02:01 AM
MrEMan
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gitzo travel tripod information?


Thanks Peter ... I very rarely extend my center column, in fact I use a short column with my studex so it never gets raised (admittedly, the studex is tall enough for me to use without ever raising the center column). So that was the max height I was thinking of when I posted. But even taking into account the added height of the head and camera, any of them will be a compromise in terms of height. I should probably just pull the studex out and try to set it up at the various heights to get a better feel for how much I'm willing to compromise.

The foldback legs are interesting ... it's obviously been a long time since I've looked seriously at a new set of legs, so this is a new concept to me. While I intend to carry the tripod with the head attached while attached to my pack, I have always removed the head when traveling by air, car, etc. Regardless of whether I try this feature or not, it is another arguement in favor of the BH-30, which is the direction I'm leaning.

Thanks for your input ...



Feb 01, 2013 at 02:28 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gitzo travel tripod information?


MrEMan wrote:
... any of them will be a compromise ...


Tripods used for travel are by their very nature a compromise. We all attach different priorities to the various design features but I've found over time that my use has changed as a result of experience with carrying the tripod all day. When I bought my first two travelers, I was obsessed with folded length and whether the legs would fold back properly. Now I carry the tripod differently, use a short column and don't fold the legs back at all. Luckily the tripod I use has a flexible enough design and the accessories that allowed me to change its configuration enough that I'm still very happy with it.




Feb 01, 2013 at 02:47 PM
MrEMan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gitzo travel tripod information?


True ... just a matter of where your priorities lie. My current tripod sacrifices weight for height and stability. This one will sacrifice height, and to a smaller degree stability, for weight. Just can't see humping a heavy tripod day in and day out at those altitudes ...


Feb 01, 2013 at 03:06 PM





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