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View Full Version : Gizo GT2530 vs. GT3530 for field use



venchka
2-Nov-2007, 06:21
Yes, another tripod buying thread. I've searced here and elsewhere and most of the collective experience centers on the previous models: 1225, 1325, 1348, etc. What I would like to know is this:

For use with a Speed Graphic, Pentax 6x7, a variety of 35mm bodies & lenses and travel by bicycle or backpacking, which current model Gitzo 6x carbon fiber tripod legs would be appropriate? I'm leaning toward the GT2530 or GT3530.

I'll also need a head. I know they are way too expensive and possibly not the best for use with a Speed Graphic, but the RSS BH-55 appeals to me for a variety of reasons.

What say ye? Thanks in advance for your help.

Peter Lewin
2-Nov-2007, 08:21
For use with a Speed Graphic, Pentax 6x7, a variety of 35mm bodies & lenses and travel by bicycle or backpacking, which current model Gitzo 6x carbon fiber tripod legs would be appropriate? I'm leaning toward the GT2530 or GT3530. ... I'll also need a head.
I assume you've used the search tool for prior threads, because you will receive lots of suggestions, many slightly contradictory. Personal experience only: I use a GT2530 tripod and Markins M20 ballhead with my Canham DLC45, and find it an excellent and easily backpackable combination. Since I'm 5'8", this setup, without the center post, is just tall enough, so I removed the centerpost. However, this is an expensive setup. There have been many posts suggesting Feisol as an equally good, but much less expensive, alternative to the Gitzo - I will leave it to an experienced Feisol user to chime in!

Jack Flesher
2-Nov-2007, 09:23
My two current tripods are 2x and 3x series CF Gitzos. While they've supported more weight than advertised in the past, Gitzo "updated" the CF specs to higher weights when they switched to the new leg-lock design, and I feel the current specs more accurately represent what the series can support. Regardless, I routinely use the 3x for my 4x5 and larger cameras, and find it ideal. That said, if I wanted to go real light for some reason or was traveling and needed more compact, I would not hesitate to use my 2x for my 4x5 (even if it was an 8-pounder) --- and would be comfortable going even heavier if I didn't extend the 2x fully...

Cheers,

David A. Goldfarb
2-Nov-2007, 09:24
Peter, is that the tripod you had at the winter LF gathering in Central Park? I thought it was impressively light and compact, and seemed sturdy enough for 4x5".

Songyun
2-Nov-2007, 10:08
BH 55 maybe too big for 2530, as the plate on 2530 is smaller than the base of BH55. I used a Z1 on 2530, it works fine with my field camera. IMO, the weakest part on a tripod is the center column, if you wanna a 3530, get a 3530s. I will buy a 3530s, if I am going to shoot 810, for 45 2530 is good enough, unless you wanna shoot macro, and pointing your monorail down.

Eric James
2-Nov-2007, 12:17
I use a 2530 with an Acratech V2 for 4X5 with lenses up to 300mm - it's a great combination. Since purchasing this set I rarely use my 1348 with Arca Swiss B1. I agree with Songyun - the BH55 and the 2530 would not be a well-balanced combo.

Peter Lewin
2-Nov-2007, 14:28
Peter, is that the tripod you had at the winter LF gathering in Central Park? I thought it was impressively light and compact, and seemed sturdy enough for 4x5".
Yes (and I'm impressed with your memory!). The only change I made for my European vacation trip this summer was to swap an older Bogen pan/tilt head for the lighter and much nicer Markins ballhead (which I learned about on this forum). A quick but relevant story: when I attended PhotoExpo '06 I was torn between the 2530 and 3530 models, especially because the weight of the 2530 with center post is very close to the 3530 which doesn't include a center post; the main difference is bulk. I asked the Bogen rep for his recommendation, and he was strong in his suggestion that the 2530 would be fine for a lightweight 4x5, especially if I took off the center post which made the weight difference more significant; he went so far as to name drop and mention that Nicholas Nixon used the 2530 for his 8x10. To be honest, I love Nixon's portrait series of his sisters, but I wouldn't use the tripod for that large a camera... Nonetheless, my experience supports the rep's recommendation as far as 4x5 goes.

David A. Goldfarb
2-Nov-2007, 16:41
Yes (and I'm impressed with your memory!).

Well, I remember, because seeing how your CF tripod and Pete's handled in the cold led to a new tripod purchase of my own. I ended up with the GT5540LS legs and now an Arca-Swiss B2 head. The whole package is 10 lbs without the center column and holds anything.

venchka
3-Nov-2007, 05:19
Thanks everyone. According to Gitzo and B&H, both the GT2530 and the GT3530 have removable center columns.

I put the tape measure to my old Bogen 3030 and Bogen/Manfrotto 3021S last night. The tubing diameter on the 3030 is 1.25", exactly matching the GT3530. The tubing diameter of the 3021S is 1.125", exactly matching the GT2530. So, I reckon the 3021S will suffice for my smaller, lighter cameras. I can live with the height limitations. "Navel viewpoint" worked for a lot of TLR and Hassy users since forever.

As for which Gitzo to buy, the lightbulb went on yesterday. I may never own a super telephoto but I can sure as heck rent one. A month in Yellowstone with Canon's 500/4 would make for a nice vacation. The Gitzo GT3530 should hold that beast steady.

Curious thing happened: I reached for the phone and my credit card to call Really Right Stuff. My hands locked up. :D The GT3530 & BH-55 are really expensive. I know what I want but can't bring myself to do it. Locked up GAS? Is it serious? Fatal? :)

Frank Petronio
3-Nov-2007, 08:10
I don't think comparing diameters is really a fair comparison... but yes, I'd opt for the #3 series for a more all around tripod, better to have a bit too much than too little.

venchka
7-Nov-2007, 08:31
Thanks everyone. I made my selection yesterday: The RSS BH-55 head and the Gitzo GT3530 tripod. I can't imagine ever needing more.

Jack Flesher
7-Nov-2007, 09:21
Great choices :D

venchka
7-Nov-2007, 09:34
Great choices :D

I sure hope so. They sure will cure me of GAS for a long time. :D

venchka
10-Nov-2007, 18:27
The head arrived first. I used it this afternoon with my Speed Graphic and 200mm Collinear II No. 4. It's a keeper. The lens is a keeper too.