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  Reviews by: Neal Oshima  

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Gitzo G1348 Inter Pro Studex Mk2 Carbon Fiber

G1348
Review Date: Sep 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent stability to weight ratio, good value for money, great min/max height. Best equipment purchase I've made in 30 years as a professional phototgrapher.
Cons:
Hard to find a tripod head that's its equal.

I've had this tripod since it came out, purchased in Paris from FNAC right after initial release. I've used it with everything including an 8X10 Philips and a 1-DS Canon with a 500mm f4 w/ 2X and its always been very stable. Its been up every temple in Angkor Watt carrying a heavy 5X7 Linhof Technika. In the studio with a monorail view camera, I'll replace it with a larger and 3X heavier alu Gitzo but I have no doubt that the carbon Studex is equally stable. Lately, on long hikes with a DSLR, have been using a carbon Benbo that's 2+ lbs lighter but am always struck by how shaky it is in comparison.
After all the years and abuse mine still looks fine though the enamel finish on the aluminum head is flaking off. Early on I covered the legs with sections of mt bike inner tube to protect the carbon and they still look perfect. Shooting at the beach its best to lower the bottom leg first so that the threads are out of the sand. Inevitably you'll get salt or sand in them and when turning the threads feels gritty, you should disassemble the whole thing and toothbrush the inner and outer threads with lighter fluid. Dry everything off, relube and reassemble. It takes about an hour and I've done it about 7 times in ten years but mine still works like new.
Best equipment purchase I've made in 30+ years as a professional phototgrapher. Buy it and treat it halfway decently and you will never have to think about getting another tripod.