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Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods
  
 
m_abukhalid
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


Hello all,

Recently joined the forum after being an avid reader for a long time. I am a hobbyist, and got into photography for landscape, wildlife and City photographs. Im using a Nikon D500 primarily with a 17-55mm Nikon lens. At most I will be looking at a tele zoom (eg. 80-400) and a wide angle lens of some sort. I love my lowepro slingshot 200 AW since its light, easy to access the camera and any accessories, even on long hikes..

Enter the tripod! I decided, for better or worse, to get the Gitzo mountaineer 3431 (well priced used) but now have the conundrum of figuring out how to carry the darn thing when I go on long hikes or just walk around a city Im visiting. The legs on the GT3431 are quite wide and with a head it isnt exactly light, so I havent been able to take advantage of the side mounting on the lowepro slingshot. Can someone recommend a safe and secure way to attach it to the slingshot I have or a solid backpack that could accommodate that kind of tripod? Trying to figure out a solution that is easy and fast to pack and deploy.



Nov 06, 2017 at 08:15 PM
Chris Court
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


I have a 3531. Awesome, sturdy 'pod, but it's ungainly as heck and weighs a ton. I wouldn't even consider hiking with it. Instead, I also picked up a 1541, which is massively lighter and more luggable. Sure, you lose some stability, but by using it thoughtfully (not extending the bottom leg section, avoiding windy conditions etc.) the difference is far smaller than one might imagine.

Of course, it's something else to buy, but hey-ho, welcome to the world of photography!

C



Nov 07, 2017 at 01:45 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


m_abukhalid wrote:
Hello all,

Recently joined the forum after being an avid reader for a long time. I am a hobbyist, and got into photography for landscape, wildlife and City photographs. Im using a Nikon D500 primarily with a 17-55mm Nikon lens. At most I will be looking at a tele zoom (eg. 80-400) and a wide angle lens of some sort. I love my lowepro slingshot 200 AW since its light, easy to access the camera and any accessories, even on long hikes..

Enter the tripod! I decided, for better or worse, to get the Gitzo mountaineer 3431 (well priced used) but now
...Show more

I've never heard of a GT3431, but I would agree with your concern if it is a Mountaineer tripod with a center column. The 3-series Systematic tripods are typically lighter. In particular I prefer the LS (Long Systematic) for bit more height since there is no center column. If you can afford the added ounces, add a leveling bowl.

EBH



Nov 07, 2017 at 05:43 AM
Bobarino
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


m_abukhalid wrote:
Hello all,

Recently joined the forum after being an avid reader for a long time. I am a hobbyist, and got into photography for landscape, wildlife and City photographs. Im using a Nikon D500 primarily with a 17-55mm Nikon lens. At most I will be looking at a tele zoom (eg. 80-400) and a wide angle lens of some sort. I love my lowepro slingshot 200 AW since its light, easy to access the camera and any accessories, even on long hikes..

Enter the tripod! I decided, for better or worse, to get the Gitzo mountaineer 3431 (well priced used) but now
...Show more

Are you sure about that Gitzo model number? A search at Gitzospares.com turned up zero info.

That said, why not consider a tripod strap? OpTech makes a very affordable, and very comfortable shoulder-strap, and it works really well with my Gitzo's. The strap is fairly wide, and it's stretchy,,,, so it "gives" with every step, and reduces "pull" on your shoulder. Sling it over one shoulder, and carry the tripod horizontally, and you should find that very comfortable. Cost is around $25.




Nov 07, 2017 at 06:50 AM
lighthound
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


I have the slingshot 200AW as well and can say you might as well forget strapping any tripod on it, let alone the beast you have.
It's simply not practical with that type of bag and is too awkward. I quickly outgrew that bag and now use their Flipside 400 AW II backpack for hiking. Of course I'm already outgrowing this one too but I digress. It's still somewhat small but the tripod mounts in the center which helps even the load and is MUCH more comfortable when hiking.
There are many other backpacks out there, some better some worse, so if you go that route you'll need to look into them further to find one that works best for you.







Nov 07, 2017 at 06:49 PM
OregonSun
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


I have an older 3 series Gitzo. If I need to carry it long distances or over rough terrain I use a real backpack (backpacking/climbing/mountaineering pack). Otherwise, I just carry it over my shoulder with camera attached (usually my Pentax 67), can't get better access than that . I used pipe insulation to add some padding to the upper legs.

Heron



Nov 07, 2017 at 08:05 PM
m_abukhalid
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


Thanks for the replies and advice everyone! I double checked and the model number is GT3531 (I made a typo in my original post). Its about 5lbs without the head.

The tripod strap seems like it might be a bit of a hassle to carry at the same time as a backpack. Ill check out the 400 AW to see if any stores in montreal keep it in stock. Unfortunately most of the well reviewed backpacks seem to be available online so I was hoping to get some good pointers since "tripod capacity" rarely ever shows up on spec sheets



Nov 07, 2017 at 10:08 PM
 

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Bobarino
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


m_abukhalid wrote:
Thanks for the replies and advice everyone! I double checked and the model number is GT3531 (I made a typo in my original post). Its about 5lbs without the head.

The tripod strap seems like it might be a bit of a hassle to carry at the same time as a backpack. Ill check out the 400 AW to see if any stores in montreal keep it in stock. Unfortunately most of the well reviewed backpacks seem to be available online so I was hoping to get some good pointers since "tripod capacity" rarely ever shows up on spec sheets


In Montreal, I generally shop at L.L. Lozeau. They generally have a fair amount of stock on display, and they carry the OpTech straps, as well as other solutions. You could try various bags and straps, with a number of demo tripods, to see which works best for you.

I wouldn't be so quick to discount the tripod-strap solution until you've actually tried it. It really doesn't interfere with the back-pack at all. If you think about it for a moment,,, when you stop to shoot, the first thing to slide off your shoulder is the tripod. You're set to go in seconds. Then remove your camera from the back-pack, and mount it to the tripod-head. When you're done, you store your gear into your back-pack, then you fold up your tripod, and you're off to the next shot.

In the field, if you're moving short distances between shooting locations,, you don't even bother with a strap,,,,,,, just gather the legs together, and toss the still-extended tripod over your shoulder.

One reason why I like the strap solution is, it's probably the quickest route to a fast set-up. Also, with the strap set at an ideal length and carried horizontally, you can keep one hand on the tripod head, and rest your forearm along the legs. This prevents the tripod from moving around as you're walking,,, and you can "steer it" through narrow openings.(walking through brush, saplings, etc. or,,, along a crowded street.






Nov 07, 2017 at 10:38 PM
Melancholia
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


Personally, I don't like carrying the tripod in the center of the backpack. With a 5+ lb tripod, you can feel the pull backwards. For short walks as I explore a particular location, I'll just handhold it. But for longer hikes back to the car, carrying it in a side pocket is preferable. I currently employ a Mindshift Firstlight 40L. On one side pocket, it can store up to a 3L hydration bladder. On the other, I carry a Gitzo Systematic 3 (head off) to balance the weight.

Mindshift bags are not cheap in Canada but they're worth it.



Nov 07, 2017 at 10:40 PM
GroovyGeek
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


I use a series 3 Gitzo LS only when all of the following are met
a) need rock solid performance, e.g., night photography or high wind expected
b) less than a couple of miles distance from the car
c) not more than 500 ft or thereabouts elevation gain

For all other hikes I recently went with a Benro TMA27C which is an excellent balance between stability and weight. I used to have a Gitzo 1 series that I recently sold. It is just too much of a compromise in every respect - not tall enough, not stable enough in all but lightly demanding conditions.

As others have said, I always carry the tripod in the center of the pack. Some carry it on the side, but my back just would not put up with that for more than half an hour. The F-stop Mountain series carries tripods well and is a good hiking pack, but as documented extensively on this forum you have to be willing to put up with a lot of crap. Alternatives are the Mamut Trion Pro and the Gregory Targhee 45, both of which carry weight much better and can easily be retrofitted to carry a center mounted tripod. Check my posting history for my solution.



Nov 08, 2017 at 06:04 AM
WestTexas Sky
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


A Gitzo 3 series tripod is a phenomenal tool. I now own two of them the 1325 and 1348(predecessor to the 3541). Super stable. Best everyday tripod I have used. I do long day hikes with my 1348 either strapped to the side of my F-STOP Tilopa BC or I carry it over my shoulder. Sometimes even with camera on it.

I will often do ten to twelve mile hikes that way. Wade the Zion Narrows or similar too.

Now when I backpack I do switch to a smaller tripod like a Gitzo 1541T.

You might consider more of a backpack if you want to strap it on the side. A bigger pack will handle it better than the little sling bag.



Nov 08, 2017 at 02:44 PM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


If you have room in the budget, I can highly recommend picking up a Markins TH-300 for your Gitzo. It will pretty dramatically lighten the load coming from a Mountaineer Gitzo. You just detach the legs and attach them to the Markins spider. I've done this with my 3541LS and not only does it lighten the load, it decreases the diameter at the top and makes it much easier to strap to the side of a your pack. I'd also recommend keeping the head separate while hiking, and attaching as needed, to balance the load.

https://www.markins.us/product-page/tripod-hub-th-300

I used a Feisol 3441T for a long time and it's a great tripod. These days I've diversified a bit and use my trusty Gitzo 3541LS with the hub for difficult conditions, but otherwise my little Gitzo 1555T to keep things as light as possible. All three shown below.

DSC05908.jpg by uscmatt99, on Flickr

DSC05907.jpg by uscmatt99, on Flickr



Nov 08, 2017 at 09:15 PM
TooManyShots
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


See if you can get a tripod bag with straps. With a slingshot, I won't want to put too much weight on on the bag. Is just too much weight for one shoulder to bare....backpack is doable...You can strap it on the side with the legs being supported by the side, water bottle, holder. Just tight the head to the bag's top handle...


Nov 08, 2017 at 09:42 PM
Two23
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Hiking with the Gitzo 3 series tripods


I've been using a Gitzo 1325 300-series for over a decade. Great tripod when I need something really sturdy. More & more though, when I'm doing long hikes etc., I bought a second tripod. It's a Feisol 3441T. Very light & compact. It easily holds my D800E + Nikon 80-400mm AFS, and I also use it for my Chamonix 4x5 field camera.


Kent in SD



Nov 09, 2017 at 01:41 AM







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