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Thread: Which Gitzo tripod to get?

  1. #1

    Which Gitzo tripod to get?

    I am looking at getting a Gitzo tripod, I cannot afford a new one so looking at secondhand.
    But finding difficult to work out which model of Aluminium Gitzo to get, it needs to support a 7x5.
    Any suggestions please for which Gitzo model to look for.

  2. #2

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    Re: Gitzo tripod

    Older models are easy to know.

    They use to be called "G-1xxx" (four digit), first variable (second digit) is about the series (that is, thicker tube thickness), third and fourth digit are about more specific variations (number of leg sections, height, column, etc.).
    In even older versions (but still perfectly usable, although they lack some, I`d say, non essential features), the name use to be "G-xxx" (three digit), being the first the Series number (again, main tube thickness) and the second and third digit the specific model.

    You basically have to look for the series you want; e. g., for a "true" lightweight 5x7", you may want a series 3 tripod (a series 2 -e.g. G1220-, may be still usable, but somewhat underweighted to my taste). So if you find a say, G1345, you will find that is a Series 3, four legged, tall, removable plate (no central arm) model (great for your camera). So for a "normal" or "heavy" 5x7" I`d definitely get at least a Series 3 model.

    Think that the Series number is related to the thicker (top) leg tube thickness. So a four section tripod will have a thinner lower section that a three section one. It could be (or not) of an issue, like the use or not of a center column (which could be matter of taste). Also, if you are tall, you may want a taller tripod; if you`re short, on the contrary.

    A Series 1 is definitely underweighted, and a Series 4 or 5 could be considered "overweighted" as a portable tripod (well, IMHO no tripod is such thing as "overweighted", the heavier the tripod the better for steadiness).

    Recent versions have an hieroglyphic nomenclature that I`m not capable of deciphering... :O

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Gitzo tripod

    The older ones also went by model names. The Studex, or 300 series, would be fine for 5x7. Even the Reporter, 200 series, the next size down, would be sufficient for field 5x7s.

    If the word "Performance" is after the model name, that indicates the legs can spread farther out than non-performance models.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

    Re: Gitzo tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    The older ones also went by model names. The Studex, or 300 series, would be fine for 5x7. Even the Reporter, 200 series, the next size down, would be sufficient for field 5x7s.

    If the word "Performance" is after the model name, that indicates the legs can spread farther out than non-performance models.

  5. #5

    Re: Gitzo tripod

    Thanks for all the replies that helps me a great deal.

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    Re: Which Gitzo tripod to get?

    In the old Gitzo language, "cremaillaire" meant a crank-up center column.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Which Gitzo tripod to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    In the old Gitzo language, "cremaillaire" meant a crank-up center column.
    Thanks! I thought that translated to "Let's add more weight!"
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8

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    Re: Which Gitzo tripod to get?

    I use two Gitzo's -- a medium-weight Reporter Performance for my 4x5 with a 275 ballhead (I'm sure it could handle 5x7), and a very similar, small, light, Weekender for smaller formats.

    Just as important as the tripod, you need to consider the head -- which does not need to be Gitzo.

    Any reason you are only looking at Gitzos for tripods? Employee discount, or something?

  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Which Gitzo tripod to get?

    I have a bunch of Gitzos of various ages. I would lean towards a series 3 of fairly recent vintage. All of mine are very usable, including the one from about 1970, but what changes is how easy the locks are to turn. I'm a fairly big guy, and so I don't really have a problem with any of them, but a friend of mine is slighter, and he had a bit of a problem with the older locks. (Yes, I've cleaned and lubed all of the threads...) The easiest to use is my 1227 mk II, which is from the mid 1990s. A friend has a series three from the same vintage, and the locks are easy to use. At some point Gitzo changed from riveted legs to glued legs. I think this happened in the early 1990s. Some brochure hunting would help nail that down. I'd avoid the riveted ones as being likely to have harder to use locking collars.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  10. #10

    Re: Which Gitzo tripod to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    I use two Gitzo's -- a medium-weight Reporter Performance for my 4x5 with a 275 ballhead (I'm sure it could handle 5x7), and a very similar, small, light, Weekender for smaller formats.

    Just as important as the tripod, you need to consider the head -- which does not need to be Gitzo.

    Any reason you are only looking at Gitzos for tripods? Employee discount, or something?

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