View Full Version : Carbon Fiber Tripods
Has anyone tried the new Gitzo carbon fiber tripods with 4x5 or 8x10? My Bogen is a pain in the back to hike with.
Rob "John Henry" Rothman
I haven't used the carbon fibre models, but my experience with Gitzos in general has not been good. The leg locks tend to freeze up and tear up your hands when you try to loosen or tighten them. In fairness, my Gitzo is an old one, and I' ve heard that they've since started using a different material for the internal bushings, which may be better. However, overall, I find the Bogen lever locks m uch easier to use.
I have on occasion played with the carbon fiber Gitzo we have in our studio. It is unbelievably light and very stiff. I would have thought that the legs would bow a bit, it feels so spindly. I put a big studio video camera on the thing an d it was quite stiff. I use carbon fiber masts when windsurfing so I can attest to the durability of the material. We have a small video head on the tripod. By replacing the video head with a medium sized ball head would make a tremendous location tripod. I think that it would support an 8x10 field camera quite well , however, I don't think that my wallet could support the tripod!
I use a Linhof Technikardan 45 on a Gitzo 1348, with an Arca-Swiss B1 head. I'v e found this tripod to be extremely useful for LF. It is lightweight, versatile (it goes very high and very low), and extremely rigid. Even at its maximum ext ension, I can detect no vibration. As reported above, the leglocks can be hard on one's hands. However, they do lock the legs very effectively, and have no pr otruding levers to snag on foliage.
I use a German manufactured Sachtler series 2000 carbon fiber tripod equipped wi th a Bogen 100mm ball head assembly. Also, the use of a rubber Bogen spreader ma kes for a very lightweight, compact, and very solid camera support. The tripod leg locking system consists of a very large wing type knob on each leg that is very positive and easy to release. I use this tripod for a 4x5 Graphic View Cam era, a Super Speed Graphic, and a Canon F-1 with a very heavy Canon 200mm lens. The Sachtler carbon fiber tripods can be purchased used at many of the large ca mera stores in Los Angeles or New York. I suggest purchasing used because Sacht ler products are very expensive when purchased as new.
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