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Thread: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

  1. #1

    More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    I'm thinking of biting the bullet and getting a Gitzo, I want it for backpacking with my Wista field, so would like a carbon model. but I have some questions.

    1. Are they really that much better than a Manfrotto? (3 times the cost better?)

    2. Is the four leg version less rigid than the 3 leg?

    3. does anyone know the weight a 1348 will take? (dealer has one secondhand)

    4. why does the Gitzo web site suggest the smallest Carbon tripod I need for a large format camera is the GT3530 capable of supporting 39lbs? my camera only weighs 7lbs?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    I would look at Feisol tripods for a good value and quality. http://www.feisol.com/english/feisolen.htm I would do a search on this forum since there is a a member on this forum that is now importing them now here in the States. They have a great customer service., btw.
    Greg Lockrey

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  3. #3

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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    I have a Wista DX that I use regularly with a 300mm Nikkor M lens (my longest) and a Super Angulon 90mm f8 (my heaviest). I use the Manfrotto 3205 tripod with a 3025 head. Both very small and light for a conventional metal tripod. I rarely have stability problems. When I do (usually in heavy winds) it is the camera itself and not the tripod that is to blame. My setup cost about $45 at a Las Vegas photo shop... Significantly less than the Gitzo carbon fiber job.

    I suggest you take your camera with you to a few shops (if you have access to any) and try out a few tripods. If you are going to do a lot of backpacking with your tripod, as you indicate, you want the lightest one that will work for you.

    A little "being careful" goes a long way toward adding to tripod stability and allowing one to use a smaller, lighter support. By this I mean things like letting the camera settle down after pulling the darkslide, observing carefully to make sure there is no camera movement etc. Keep in mind, all you need for a sharp picture is for the camera to be perfectly still for the time you open the shutter.


    Also, I always hang my film pouch on the center post locking knob to help with stability. Sure, heavier tripods might be more "rock solid," but then you have to carry them to... I am happy with my compromise. Check out my website for a picture of my setup in action.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus Scudder

    www.DoremusScudder.com

  4. #4
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Saunders View Post
    I'm thinking of biting the bullet and getting a Gitzo, I want it for backpacking with my Wista field, so would like a carbon model. but I have some questions.

    1. Are they really that much better than a Manfrotto?
    IMO, yes they really are a totally different animal; I have recently changed from a Manfrotto 055ProB to a Gitzo GT2530LVL. the rigidity, even with the centre column extended, is much greater than the Manfrotto.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Saunders View Post
    (3 times the cost better?)
    Hehehe, that depends on how big your pocket is

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Saunders View Post
    2. Is the four leg version less rigid than the 3 leg?
    IMO, due to the thinness of the lowest section, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Saunders View Post
    3. does anyone know the weight a 1348 will take? (dealer has one secondhand)
    Not sure, but the latest GT1530 takes up to 8Kg

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Saunders View Post
    4. why does the Gitzo web site suggest the smallest Carbon tripod I need for a large format camera is the GT3530 capable of supporting 39lbs? my camera only weighs 7lbs?
    I would think that is accounting for a large monorail studio camera, the 2530 is stated as supporting 12Kg and "feels" about right when put with a 4x5 camera; there is a balance in proportions. I, personally, would not want to use the 1 series, I think the legs are just a bit too thin, but for field work, the 3 series is definitely overkill.

  5. #5
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    As Greg noted, look at Feisol. Half the price of Gitzo's and jut as good. I use their travel pod 3441 when traveling light and it gives me good support for a Toyo AII. It's very light and folds up to less than 17".

  6. #6

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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Saunders View Post
    I'm thinking of biting the bullet and getting a Gitzo, I want it for backpacking with my Wista field, so would like a carbon model. but I have some questions.

    1. Are they really that much better than a Manfrotto? (3 times the cost better?)

    2. Is the four leg version less rigid than the 3 leg?

    3. does anyone know the weight a 1348 will take? (dealer has one secondhand)

    4. why does the Gitzo web site suggest the smallest Carbon tripod I need for a large format camera is the GT3530 capable of supporting 39lbs? my camera only weighs 7lbs?

    Thanks in advance
    Dave

    I'm not "up" on the latest CF tripods Gitzo have to offer, but I do have a 1348 - it is spec'd to support 26lbs. I've used it for a 12x20 and it worked fine. Although I also have a lighter 1228, the 1348 is the tripod I like using most - it's extremely rigid and the perfect height without the last leg section extended on a flat surface (I'm 6 1'). I use mine without the center column - you can get a flat plate (look on Ebay). Certainly 110% fine for 4x5 and 8x10 use.

  7. #7

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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    I own a Gitzo 1325. It cost about $600. I also own a Feisol CT 3301. It cost about $200. The Feisol goes with me 90% of the time while the Gitzo rests comfortably in its very own corner of my garage. The only times I prefer the Gitzo are in a strong wind and for architecture and the preference for it with architecture has nothing to do with the tripod, it's because I have a Bogen 410 geared head on the Gitzo.

    With respect to your fourth question, I also own a Gitzo aluminum tripod, it's in a closet upstairs and I don't remember the model number. But I bought it for my 6x7 system because it was rated for nothing heavier than medium format by Gitzo. Years later, when I started with 8x10, I used it with that system for a while and it was solid as a rock. I have no idea how Gitzo comes up with its capacity numbers but I'd ignore them if I bought another Gitzo, which I won't.

    I don't own either of the tripods Joanna refers to so I have no personal knowledge but I do own a Bogen 3221 and the Gitzo mentioned above. I haven't used the Bogen in a long time either but it seemed to me to work just fine with my 4x5 systems on the rare occasions when I used it for 4x5. I certainly wouldn't say the particular models of the Gitzo and Bogen tripods that I own are "totally different animals," they both worked fine for me.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8

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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    Go for the Feisol. I have a Gitzo because Feisol were not available when I bought mine. The one my friend bought is every bit as good as the Gitzo. I would buy a Feisol now if I needed a replacement.

    As you speculated, you don't need such a heavy tripod for a 7 lb camera. Get one that has a weight limit about twice the weight of camera + head + lens. That will be sturdy enough. The three section models are a bit more stable. My Gitzo is a 2 series, and it is capable of holding my Sinar.

  9. #9
    Eric Biggerstaff
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    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    Check out the Giottos CF or Lava series pods. Very rigid, well made, many more standard features than the Gitzo or Manfrotto and priced very well. My favorite is the "classic" series lava pods, they are rigid and dampen vibration better than my Gitzo 1227 CF (IMO). Giottos don't get as much press as other tripods but they should be checked out if you are looking for a new pod By the way, I have no business relationship with the company, I wrote a review of the pods and found them very good, the tripod I own is a Gitzo 1227 CF and it is a very nice pod as well. Mine was made before the anti-rotation collars so it can be a bit of a pain at times, but I still really enjoy the pod and I use if for a heavy Zone VI 4X5 and my Conely 5X7 with no problems at all.
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

  10. #10

    Re: More Tripod questions! (sorry)

    Thanks all for your advice. I've taken the plunge and ordered a Feisol 3371 with CB50 ball head and centre column. Much cheaper than Gitzo and hopefully similar quality.
    If I start posting loads of blurry photos, you'll know I got it wrong!

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