Wow, pellicle, I thought my Pen F 250/4 looked impressive on the G1 but your Canon FD 300/4 puts it to shame.
Originally Posted by pellicle
I agree that damping is an important factor to consider, with carbon fiber and wood being the best materials to damp vibrations.
In my quest for more information, it occurred to me that searching for "Gitzo GT1530 GT2530" (i.e. for the older models) would yield more results than a search for "Gitzo GT1531 GT2531" and I was correct. A post in one of the forum threads suggested that torsional rigidity is important (when focal plane shutters fire, the entire camera undergoes torque) and pointed to the Gitzo catalog as a source of information.
Advances in technology are helping to gradually but consistently reduce the weight of camera equipment. If you are looking for a support that maximises image stabilisation, maximum load capacity is no longer enough to let you identify the correct support for your setup. If you only consider maximum load, you may find yourself using a tripod that’s strong enough to hold your equipment, but not sturdy enough to properly stabilise your images, no matter how good your camera or lens. While weight is decreasing, the actual lens view angle remains unchanged. A 200mm lens has a view angle of 12°, while a 400mm lens has a 6° view angle. A deviation of 6 degrees projected over a distance of 300m is equal to 31.5m. To take these constants into account, the ideal tripod should really be selected according to its torsional rigidity. The tripod’s torsion angle should always be inferior to the view angle of the longest focal length lens you intend to use.According to Gitzo, tripod torsion rigidity is directly related to lens view angle and a table in the catalog indicates which tripod is appropriate for a particular (35mm equivalent) lens:
Gitzo’s Series numbers help you identify the right tripod: higher Series tripods offer superior torsional rigidity and consequently have a lower torsion angle. We’ve tested our tripods with the most popular lenses on the market to identify which Series provides the best stabilisation performance for different focal lengths. For example, we recommend Series 2 tripods for use with 200mm lenses. If you decide to use a 200mm lens on a Series 1 tripod, you’ll need to pay more attention to keeping your equipment steady and may have to avoid critical conditions like strong winds. On the other hand, if you use your 200mm lens on a Series 3 tripod, erring on the safe side will allow you to use your system in the most critical conditions without having to worry about image stabilisation.
135 mm - Series 1
200 mm - Series 2
300 mm - Series 3
400 mm - Series 4
500 mm - Series 5
A 250 mm lens on a 4/3ds or m4/3rds camera has the same angle of view as a 500 mm lens on a 35mm camera. Notwithstanding the fact that it's in Gitzo's interest to sell more expensive tripods, I've come to the (reluctant) conclusion that I might be best off sticking with my GT 3531.