New Tripod for the tall... 3LT, Gitzo, Help??
/forum/topic/1167501/0



JeepTX
Registered: Aug 06, 2012
Total Posts: 23
Country: United States

Hey all - been reading here a ton, but haven't really been posting much and diving deeper into photography but I am resolving to change that!! hah

One thing I want to do more of is taking a tripod on trips. I love trying to get quality landscape shots and having a tripod on hand during my annual trips to Colorado and Maine is likely to boost the quality of my shots (especially if I get a D800). My current tripod is a huge, heavy Manfrotto beast - which would be great for self defense, but the size and weight are the reasons I never take it with me anywhere - even local. It's huge because I'm 6' 7" and I didn't like the idea of doubling over to use a tripod.

I've been looking at 3 legged thing (Eric) as a compromise in quality, size and weight and it has a huge max height. But I know tripods aren't an everyday purchase. I want to make sure I wouldn't be missing some obvious solution that's better (another brand), or wasting money if it won't fit the bill on build quality and support (such as gitzo at all cost).

I predict the chorus will be 'get the gitzo and never worry about it' - but then they've got a million models to choose from. Any help on navigating through the ocean of models. If people are cool with the 3LT Eric - I'm worried on extending that multi-section column out and still having stability (D800 stability) - anyone have experience with that?

thanks in advance for your experiences and advice - especially from any fellow really tall FMers that may have found the perfect tripod!

Ed



mpwolfson
Registered: Jan 10, 2006
Total Posts: 43
Country: United States

a Gitzo GT 3541XLS, bought a few years ago. I use a Wemberly head on it for 600VR lens. It opens to 78 inches, has no center column, and is a nice balance between steady and heavy.

I think it has been replaced by a similar model with slightly different number. I paid around $800 for it.



vsg28
Registered: May 07, 2012
Total Posts: 1227
Country: United States

What is your budget? Does it have to be CF only?



spdntrxi
Registered: Oct 06, 2006
Total Posts: 405
Country: United States

I use an RRS TVC-24L... i'm not all that tall though... but the tripod is.



JeepTX
Registered: Aug 06, 2012
Total Posts: 23
Country: United States

mpwolfson and spdntrxl: Thanks for the specific model tips - I'll check them both out and hopefully you won't mind if I have a couple questions after taking a look.

vsg28: Haven't really thought about it, but I know I don't want something that is... well, pointless (i.e. might as well just handhold). I was thinking $400 for legs, but could be convinced otherwise - but I'd honestly rather spend $ on more glass if I can save on a tripod without sacrificing quality and function.

Thanks!

Ed



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7398
Country: United States

Here's a recent 3LT review from POTN written by a guy who's also a member here. Take it as you please:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1248036



TheBearman
Registered: Aug 06, 2012
Total Posts: 103
Country: United States

Not quite your height (6'1") but do prefer a tall tripod myself. I'm about to jump at an RRS TVC-34L(after the holidays). Now this is quite a bit more than your budget but let me share a few thoughts.

I currently am on my 4th tripod, a Gitzo GT3541L. A really good tripod, nice and tall except for the fact it has a center column. I'm finding that I'm not a big fan of center columns when I'm hanging a 500mm off of it.

Anyway, the thought I'd like to share is to try and think long term before you buy. I failed to do that and it has added up to a fair amount of dollars I could have saved if I'd considered the gear I was planning to add to my kit. Sure, you can always sell as you move up, but you still end up losing money. If your plans call for heavy glass, invest in a good tripod now.



vsg28
Registered: May 07, 2012
Total Posts: 1227
Country: United States

JeepTX wrote:
vsg28: Haven't really thought about it, but I know I don't want something that is... well, pointless (i.e. might as well just handhold). I was thinking $400 for legs, but could be convinced otherwise - but I'd honestly rather spend $ on more glass if I can save on a tripod without sacrificing quality and function.

Thanks!

Ed


Ed,

Tall tripods are heavy, CF or aluminum. For $400 for legs, you would want to consider aluminum legs (Gitzo, 3LT, Induro, Feisol and so on). They may weigh 1-2 lb more but will be within your budget easily. At this weight, vibration is really not an issue so the only thing is if you can live with something that weighs 5-7 (or even more) lbs.

Varun



Chris B.
Registered: Oct 07, 2004
Total Posts: 1225
Country: United States

Ed -

I'm 6'5" so I know what you're looking for... Like another poster, I have a Gitzo GT 3541XLS, and it's worth every penny even though it's a bit pricey. Chances are though that you'll never have to buy another tripod unless you break it! Prior to being able to afford the Gitzo, I had an Induro 414, also a CF tripod. It went up to about 78" but then it also had a center column to take it higher. I had no problem using it with a 1DIII and a 300/2.8 +2x, and it was a nice piece when I had it... But the pricing nowadays makes it closer to the Gitzo



JeepTX
Registered: Aug 06, 2012
Total Posts: 23
Country: United States

dcains: thanks for the link! I hadn't seen that, and it sure does make it seem that the 3LT might not be as perfect as many reviewers have said. It's feeding my fear that 'too cheap to be true' is probably indeed 'too cheap to be true'.

Varun: I've got a fairly beefy aluminum manfrotto today (and my head is a big annoying beast). The weight is probably less of the reason that I don't take it with me, but has more to do with the folded size including head (bulk). If I am getting a new tripod (more size friendly?), I was thinking it would be an opportunity to try to save a couple pounds as well. What has been your success at traveling with the heavier tripods?

all: A huge thanks to everyone for the great information! The RRS tripods are certainly... expensive! a little sticker shock when I went to their site, I have to admit. I knew Gitzo was expensive - wasn't prepared for them to be even more. With the Gitzo and the RRS tripods, the weight is pretty good (3-4 pounds) but the folded length is around 24" - and that's without a head attached. Any comments on the 'bulky' nature and how that impacts taking it with you (both around town and air travel)?



JeepTX
Registered: Aug 06, 2012
Total Posts: 23
Country: United States

TheBearman wrote:
Not quite your height (6'1") but do prefer a tall tripod myself. I'm about to jump at an RRS TVC-34L(after the holidays). Now this is quite a bit more than your budget but let me share a few thoughts.

I currently am on my 4th tripod, a Gitzo GT3541L. A really good tripod, nice and tall except for the fact it has a center column. I'm finding that I'm not a big fan of center columns when I'm hanging a 500mm off of it.

Anyway, the thought I'd like to share is to try and think long term before you buy. I failed to do that and it has added up to a fair amount of dollars I could have saved if I'd considered the gear I was planning to add to my kit. Sure, you can always sell as you move up, but you still end up losing money. If your plans call for heavy glass, invest in a good tripod now.


Thanks for the insight! After investigating the Gitzo and RRS models, I'm curious to know what's drawing you to the 3541L and 34L models versus the 2542L and 24L models? Just from looking at specs, the 3x models seem to only be a couple inches taller - am I missing some important features?

On center columns - is it also a concern if the column is fully retracted? Reason for asking is it seems the Gitzo models seem to have center columns (the XLS don't seem to be available any longer)

Ed



vsg28
Registered: May 07, 2012
Total Posts: 1227
Country: United States

I have 2 tripods, a Benro traveller and an Induro CT414. The latter is easily over your height but may not be within your budget (PM me if you want to go with this). Unless you go for 5 sections, folded length will be almost always over 22" or more. I would personally have a 4 section for the best compromise. A ballhead is also the most portable kind of head, in case you had a pan/tilt head.



egd5
Registered: Feb 08, 2005
Total Posts: 1030
Country: United States

I'm 6'5". I have a Gitzo I bought here on the B&S forum. I think it's a 3541 something-or-other. I've covered up the model number with insulation for cold weather handling and I don't remember. But it works fine for me. It's a 3 section model with no center column. I have both a ballhead and a gimbal head I use depending on what lens setup I'm using at the time. The gimbal setup is a little taller than the ballhead setup and that helps for no stooping over, but even with the ballhead I don't have to stoop much.
To answer your question to someone else...I'd say the 3 series over the 2 series for stability.



spdntrxi
Registered: Oct 06, 2006
Total Posts: 405
Country: United States

JeepTX wrote:
TheBearman wrote:
Not quite your height (6'1") but do prefer a tall tripod myself. I'm about to jump at an RRS TVC-34L(after the holidays). Now this is quite a bit more than your budget but let me share a few thoughts.

I currently am on my 4th tripod, a Gitzo GT3541L. A really good tripod, nice and tall except for the fact it has a center column. I'm finding that I'm not a big fan of center columns when I'm hanging a 500mm off of it.

Anyway, the thought I'd like to share is to try and think long term before you buy. I failed to do that and it has added up to a fair amount of dollars I could have saved if I'd considered the gear I was planning to add to my kit. Sure, you can always sell as you move up, but you still end up losing money. If your plans call for heavy glass, invest in a good tripod now.


Thanks for the insight! After investigating the Gitzo and RRS models, I'm curious to know what's drawing you to the 3541L and 34L models versus the 2542L and 24L models? Just from looking at specs, the 3x models seem to only be a couple inches taller - am I missing some important features?

On center columns - is it also a concern if the column is fully retracted? Reason for asking is it seems the Gitzo models seem to have center columns (the XLS don't seem to be available any longer)

Ed


speaking only for the 24L vs 34L... the 34L supports more ~10lbs.. has thicker legs obviously... I dont think there is any special feature difference. I've used a 1DX with a 400 f2.8L MKI (heavy) with mine.. no issues.



TheBearman
Registered: Aug 06, 2012
Total Posts: 103
Country: United States

JeepTX wrote:

Thanks for the insight! After investigating the Gitzo and RRS models, I'm curious to know what's drawing you to the 3541L and 34L models versus the 2542L and 24L models? Just from looking at specs, the 3x models seem to only be a couple inches taller - am I missing some important features?

On center columns - is it also a concern if the column is fully retracted? Reason for asking is it seems the Gitzo models seem to have center columns (the XLS don't seem to be available any longer)

Ed


Weight supported, stability and vibration dampening played into my choice. To be honest a 1 series tripod will support the weight of a 500mm f4, 1D and basic head (barely) but the vibration from the shutter or even basic adjustments would be a problem. Yes, it is a pound heaver and a hundred more but I felt more secure with my 500mm attached.

Nothing wrong with a 2 series, just like the more stout 3 series.



Beni
Registered: May 31, 2005
Total Posts: 8444
Country: United Kingdom

I have a 2542L, absolutely love it. Incredibly good tripod. If you have any questions about it I'd be happy to help. Not sure I'd use it with a 500mm though...



spdntrxi
Registered: Oct 06, 2006
Total Posts: 405
Country: United States

There is a RRS TVC-24L on ebay.. start price is 750.. figure to finish around 850 or so..

excellent tripod if you have the coin



rprouty
Registered: Aug 10, 2002
Total Posts: 6838
Country: United States

TVC-24L, you won't be sorry..



Garrick L
Registered: Oct 07, 2011
Total Posts: 288
Country: United States

I'll 2nd the suggestion on the RRS TVC 24L. You will never need to buy another!