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Thread: Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

  1. #1

    Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

    I am looking for an intermediate size tripod for my wood field 4x5 (Wista DX). For many years I have been using a Bogen 3001 with small ballhead for backpacking/long hikes and a heavy solid Gitzo 1326 with the old Bogen Super3D pan/tilt head for car trips and short hikes. I am now looking for something in between (to fly with actually). I want to stay with Gitzo but just can't stomach the price of their CF line. I am looking at the three or four section series 2 Basalt tripods (GT2932 or GT2941) as they are not much heavier than the CF and significantly less expensive.

    Does anyone have any direct experience to share about these?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    217

    Re: Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

    I made the change two years ago from a 1327 Gitzo to a basalt Gitzo. It works very well on my small Ebony SW 45.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    79

    Re: Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

    Richard, scope out the Feisol carbon fiber line carried by Kerry at www.ReallyBigCameras.com. I too was looking for a tripod I could fit in a suitcase for travel, yet light and tall enough (without any center column extension) that which would comfortably support my medium format and 4X5 systems. Feisol makes a nice travel tripod that is around 17" folded, but it's height (without the column extension) was just shy of what I was looking for. I ended up going with their CT3401, which by removing the center column from the leg set, easily allowed it to fit in an 18" tall suitcase. The tripod being carbon fiber only weighs 2.62 lbs and the price is half of what the Gitzo Basalt legs go for. The quality, fit and finish of these tripods are truly remarkable for their price. Kerry's service and knowledge is outstanding. It would be worth your while to look into this line and compare it to the Gitzos.

    Mark

  4. #4

    Re: Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

    Terry,

    Do you have a series 2 basalt tripod? Which one? Did you switch because of size and/or weight?

    Mark,

    Thanks. I was a big fan of Kerry's years back. I looked at the Feisol US web page and they do look nice for the price. Do you happen to know the difference between the 3401 and very similar 3402. They both are listed as 4 section but have oddly different height specs.

    Thanks guys!
    Richard

  5. #5
    www.reallybigcameras.com
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    203

    Re: Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Ross View Post
    Do you happen to know the difference between the 3401 and very similar 3402. They both are listed as 4 section but have oddly different height specs.
    Richard,

    The two models are very similar. The CT-3402 is a little smaller (shorter extended height, shorter folded length, lighter weight). The differences aren't huge, but the CT-3402 is a bit on the short side for photographers of average or greater height. You can compare specs side by side in the table here.

    The optional center column kit for the CT-3402 has two-piece column. It extends higher than the one-piece center column for the CT-3401 to help compensate for the shorter legs.

    Of course, in actual practice, there is no reason you can't use a CT-3402 center column on a CT-3401 tripod, or vise versa.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    79

    Re: Gitzo Basalt for wood field camera ?

    Richard,

    Kerry was quicker to answer your question. For your information, I elected to go with the 3401 because of the slightly taller height without any center column extension as Kerry noted. An even lighter tripod than the 3401 but still reasonably priced in comparison to the Gitzo, is the Feisol 3442. It's construction employs more pricey carbon fiber tubes and a milled head making it a stronger, yet lighter design. Why it didn't work for me was the less compact folded nature of the design. Yes, it's equally short when folded (18.9") but the larger diameter base plate (which spreads the leg tubes) creates a more bulky package making it less suitcase friendly when traveling.

    One thing I did note about the 3401 I bought, is in comparison to the Hakuba carbon fiber tripod I've been using to date (which is also an excellent pod but too large for overseas travel) the footprint or spread of the legs has a smaller diameter circle. A smaller footprint equates to steeper angled legs which gains you a taller height with shorter tubes. The downside is that the tripod is slightly less stable because of the steeper pitched support tubes. Just a thought. But I should note that I would feel entirely comfortable using my 4X5 on my new Feisol. The hook on the bottom of the center column provides the opportunity to further stabilize the tripod with a hanging weight or a guyline secured to the ground. I carry a lightweight aluminum tent stake (.5 oz.) and a thin adjustable webbing strap in my 4X5 bag for just that purpose. It's amazing how stable and vibration free it makes the tripod. I admit the only time I've employed it is on some windy ridges in the backcountry where I was concerned about the camera and pod taking off while I was reaching for a different lens or filter.

    With the Feisol lineup Kerry offers, there's virtually a tripod for every application. If the 3401 model I purchased is representative of the whole Feisol line, they are very fine tripods indeed.


    Mark

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