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Thread: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

  1. #1
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    Jan 2009
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    Patagonia Argentina
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    Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    Hello board,
    I've been doing a lot of multi day mountaing trekking lately, using an Xprob190 tripod to support my Toyo 45A and a 210mm lens. It's not rock solid but I figured out how to use it (mainly half extended and weight stabilized) to get sharp shots even in windy conditions.
    After my latest journey I decided to lighten up my whole camping equipment and the tripod I'm using. So I'm buying a new down bag, a new tent, etc.
    So now I need an ultralight pod. I've been looking at the Gitzo mountaineer 0 series, mainly the 0530 and 0531 models. They weigh about 700gr. If I add a compact leveling base or a Kirk BH3 head I'm on the one kilo range. The big question is- Anyone has this Gitzo pod? Will it be enough for my camera kit if properly stabilized with a backpack or a bag with stones? I read on the web about folks using it with 1ds Canon cameras but would love to hear from LF shooters.
    I also considered the feisol tournament 3342 but I'm really attracted to the more compact Gitzo.
    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    I use a Gitzo G1027 with a Leica small ballhead. It weighs 870gr.

    It's so light that I barely notice when I add it to my pack, and I don't get tired carrying it around one-handed.

    It's too light. I lost two shots due to vibration in a light steady wind. True I forgot to hang the bag of stones, which would have helped.

    So I'd "budget" a little more weight for the tripod. Maybe you can make up the difference somewhere else, for example I saved half a pound by replacing my Pentax analog spotmeter.

    There is a good forum site, backpacking light, where you can get more advice how to save weight. Be sure to check it out before you buy the tent and sleeping bag.

  3. #3
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    Thank you Bill, right the type of first hand experience I was looking for. I'll go for a larger tripod and continue shaving grams from the other equipment.

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    Too light. Vibration in wind will be one issue; a bigger problem will be wind picking up
    the whole camera and potentially tossing it. The rig will be just too top-heavy in relation to the wimpy legs. Two things I'd avoid : a ball head and an extended center
    column. I install my 4X5 directly onto my Gitzo carbon legs using a solid quick release.
    But it's a littler bigger Gitzo. An extra pound or so of legs, with a little more diameter, can make a huge difference in practicality, and still be extremely portable. A bought a
    much bigger Feisol carbon tripod for my 8X10 and am quite pleased with it. The bigger
    platform-style top is superior to the Gitzo system, though I use carbon tripods only
    for airline use or long backpacks where trimming weight is essential, and Ries wooden tripods otherwise.
    in

  5. #5
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    Yes, actually I never used the central column on my M190Xprob except for some around house snapshots with the digicam. The extended column feels like a monopod on a set of legs. Here in Patagonia I always shoot with light to strong wind so adding weight is almost mandatory. I googled the small series 0 tripod and saw a photo of it, definitely tiny. That's why I'll go for a larger CF one.
    The wooden tripods are really good looking and I used at least 5 of them, although not for photography- telescopes and theodolites.

  6. #6

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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    I used (both CF) a Gitzo series 0 (four leg sections) and a series 1 (three leg sections). The series 0 was too wobbly and the bottom leg sections were impossibly thin to have any rigidity, so I sold it. The series 1 is much more usable (I use it with a 4x5 Gowland and a Horseman SW612). For anything bigger I use a series 3 w/o center column.
    They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
    -Francis Bacon

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    Bill - I don't know about some of those "backpacking light" sites when potentially serious weather is in question. I'd be dead a long time ago if I took that kind of advice.
    In my youth I did get up into the high country quite a bit minimalist style, but don't
    think I'd try that again at my age. Sometimes snow campers in the winter can get away with certain lightweight fabric shelters, just because the cold keeps the snow
    from thawing; but later in the season or in summer storms, some of those single-layer
    ultralight fabrics are guaranteed misery. Wind can be an even more serious problem.
    I've certainly paid my dues and learned the hard way. Nowadays it's a Bibler tent for
    me! I've never been to Patagonia, but my nephew has trekked and climbed there a lot,
    and apparently the wind is persistent.

  8. #8
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    Jan 2009
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    Well, actually The BD firstlight is on my top priority list right now. I actually ordered one a couple of months ago to a local dealer but he never got it into the country. It's based on the Bibler frame. Several people I know use it here in Patagonia and it's completely reliable.
    But the ultralight folks do have a lot to share. For example, I began to use a simple homemade alcohol stove for short hikes and the weight reduction has been really great, never had a failure. I switched from a huge and heavy polartec sweater to a really compact down jacket as the second layer and it also is great. I stopped carrying a complete cooking setup and just use an ultralight pot for everything, never missed the rest of it.
    Camping on snow is a different story of course

  9. #9

    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    I agree with others that a 0 series might be too light for any 45 unless you can attach and secure the weight of the entire backpack to it. I have used both the MSR habahaba and Big Agnes seed house feather weight tents and both held up fine in fairly extreme three season weather conditions. MSR pocketrocket is great for weight reducing cooking solution.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Thinking about an ultralight Series 0 Gitzo tripod, a couple of questions.

    A lot of wt can be saved in the camera kit itself - bubble wrap around lenses, and the
    4x5 wrapped in the down jacket, plus a plastic bag of course, so no need of an extra
    padded case. Choosing more compact lenses like Fujinon A's, C's or Nikkor M's rather
    than traditional plasmats.

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