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"In between" - Gitzo Tripod Choices for Weight?
Old 08-09-2018   #1
dubesor
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Lightbulb "In between" - Gitzo Tripod Choices for Weight?

Hi everyone,

I got some great advice in my other Gitzo thread yesterday and am now looking at a GT3541LS (the only working one available used locally) instead of my original choice.

I'm wondering if perhaps other Gitzo options exist that are in between my current 3.2 lbs tripod and the 5.3 lbs I'm looking at with the 3541LS. And that would be similar sturdiness wise.

I'm worried because the 3541LS is going to be quite a bit heavier than my current setup (see below). Going up from 3 pounds to 4 seems doable, but going from 3 pounds to 5 might make me leave the tripod at home more than I should (already guilty of that).

I've read the great tripod 101 article by Thom that came recommended on another thread. Thom has a lighter setup he suggests (see below) but it's going to be much harder and expensive for me to source. Are there other comparable Gitzo options to keep the whole setup around 4 pounds?

* 3.2 lbs including head - my current Manfrotto MK394PQ ; rated for 7.7 lbs and definitely flimsier than the options below
* 4.1 lbs including head - Thom's lightweight idea is Gitzo GT2540 or GT2541 + Acratech Ultimate head ; rated for 26 lbs
* 5.3 lbs including head - Gitzo GT3541LS + Arca Swiss Z1 dp head ; rated for 40 lbs (this is what I'm looking at buying but the 5+ lbs scares me)

FYI I'll be putting a Nikon D750 or Hasselblad 500C with normal/wide primes on this. I'm walking/hiking and cycling a lot with the gear and weight matters since it's not like it's just hauling it in a car. I don't have the best back either. I'll potentially be adding a Pentax 6x7 into the mix; or a Sigma Art 50mm lens for the Nikon - either of these would increase the weight somewhat.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 08-09-2018   #2
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Tripod mass can be an advantage. Not just in windy spots, but in overall stability. I use an old Gitzo Studex Compac Rapid. With the ball head, it comes in at around 10 lbs. I sometimes hang a weight from the center column to add to the overall mass. The weight is usually my small camera bag, if in the field. At times when working both indoors and outdoors, I sandbag the legs and hang a third from the center column. I used this tripod with a Creamular (Fr Sp?) when using a 4x5. It's a sturdy tripod. I've owned it for many years. When I bought it new in the 70s it was $1200 with the center rack and Gitzo #2 head. Since then, I bought a second copy, with a rapid column.

One of the greatest technical complements I ever received, was from a Dye Transfer printer who was making B&W Matrices from one of my Kodachromes. He'd made a number of prints for me that month. He asked me, when I was visiting the Lab, how do you make such sharp Chromes ? They are exceptional. I'd never thought about it. I told him, i use a tripod a lot. I think that may have been rare for 35mm camera users. I'll bet it still is.
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Old 08-09-2018   #3
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You may also wish to look over this thread I started over 1 year ago, on Gitzo vs Really Right Stuff:
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...hreadid=161910
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Old 08-09-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubesor View Post
I'll be putting a Nikon D750 or Hasselblad 500C with normal/wide primes on this. I'm walking/hiking and cycling a lot with the gear and weight matters...I'll potentially be adding a Pentax 6x7 into the mix; or a Sigma Art 50mm lens for the Nikon

Thanks in advance for any advice!
My advice? Rethink either your mode of transportation or gear selection.
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Old 08-09-2018   #5
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I just sold a GT3541LS with a RRS BH50 head. I used it for long lenses with a 500, mostly the 180/4. It was heavy (actually the head was heavy, the tripod was pretty light), and when

I sold the lens I sold the tripod. For normal-wide and a 500 you can go to the 2 series easily, and with a smaller head.
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Old 08-10-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
You may also wish to look over this thread I started over 1 year ago, on Gitzo vs Really Right Stuff:
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...hreadid=161910
Thanks! That thread really helps, especially the comments from the user x-ray who owns 4 different weight Gitzo tripods - he likes Series 2 for his D800 but prefers Series 3 for his Hasselblad or larger cameras (and is his all around workhorse). That's the type of advice I was looking for and pretty much the same gear I have. I might need to just get the bigger 3 Series and get used to it.

Last edited by dubesor : 08-10-2018 at 22:56. Reason: tweaking
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Old 08-10-2018   #7
Richard G
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For new there is the option of a Leofoto carbon fibre which is cheaper than Gitzo and very nice. They weren't available locally when I decided on a G1545T but I do have a ballhead CB40 by Leofoto and this is beautifully made.

I agonised over 2545T v 1545T and decided on the lighter model. I can carry it over one shoulder for miles with no fatigue. This is relevant to the OP's requirements. For the Hasselblad in quiet conditions with the waist level finder and a 60 or 80, and with the centre column down and often the smallest legs not extended it seems fine.

The ultimate requirements depends on conditions, and the ultimate fate of the photographs. Michael Kenna uses Hasselblads with the prism finder and seems to have pretty spindly tripods. But his exhibition prints are not large.
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Old 08-10-2018   #8
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UPDATE: I bought the heavier GT3541LS I mentioned above (Gitzo Series 3 Systematic). I couldn't resist the price - I paid $380 total for the Gitzo, Arca Swiss Z1 sp head, RRS B2-AS-II lever clamp, and a tripod bag. This seems to like an amazing deal compared to over $1300 for new versions of the same.

While I might look out for a Series 2 or even Series 1 Systematic on the used market if one becomes available, for now this seemed a really good move.

Richard, the Leofoto also seems like a tempting option! Re Hasselblad, mine's got a prism finder and usually the 50mm Distagon. I think those add some weight...
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Old 08-11-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubesor View Post
UPDATE: I bought the heavier GT3541LS I mentioned above (Gitzo Series 3 Systematic). I couldn't resist the price - I paid $380 total for the Gitzo, Arca Swiss Z1 sp head, RRS B2-AS-II lever clamp, and a tripod bag. This seems to like an amazing deal compared to over $1300 for new versions of the same.

While I might look out for a Series 2 or even Series 1 Systematic on the used market if one becomes available, for now this seemed a really good move.

Richard, the Leofoto also seems like a tempting option! Re Hasselblad, mine's got a prism finder and usually the 50mm Distagon. I think those add some weight...
Let me know if your set-up turns out to be too heavy. I'd be happy to buy it for $380!
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Old 09-13-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubesor View Post
UPDATE: I bought the heavier GT3541LS I mentioned above (Gitzo Series 3 Systematic). I couldn't resist the price - I paid $380 total for the Gitzo, Arca Swiss Z1 sp head, RRS B2-AS-II lever clamp, and a tripod bag. This seems to like an amazing deal compared to over $1300 for new versions of the same.

Richard, the Leofoto also seems like a tempting option!
That is an incredible price you got for that Gitzo/A-S bundle. Congrats and I hope it's working out for you!

WRT Leofoto products one needs to be careful. I bought a Leofoto LS-284C travel tripod in January and it was up to spec: the leg angle is at 25 (as specced) but many of these tripods are at a leg angle of 22 which reduces stability. I bought mine directly from the distributor but those sold on Amazon seemed largely to have the 22 angle. This is simply poor QC on the tripod apex at the Leofoto plant in Zhongshan (probably run by Sunwayfoto).

Having said all of that mine is well made and finished, the hardware is CNC machined from billet aluminum, the carbon fiber is high quality TORAYCA and this particular model is a copy of the RRS TFC-14 traveler. An identical copy in function but with some surface design variations.

It's an excellent value at $200. When you look at Dave Berryrieser's travel tripod rankings the TFC-14 is far and away the best in terms of stability but the Leofoto is fourth in that list. The TFC-14 costs $835.00 to $935.00 and the LS-284C costs $200 and when you compare the two models across each column they are almost identical. I can only think that the difference in stability is down to the carbon fiber. Rangefinders and TLRs are light cameras and the Leofoto is more than capable of handling them, but if you buy one just make sure that the leg angle is ~25.
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