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Thread: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

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    New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    I just got news about the new line-up of Gitzo center ball heads. These heads are completely redesigned and have impressive specs. I'll follow up with availability when I get more info from the Gitzo product manager. Now some pics, specs, and ballpark pricing. All have seperate pan and ball locks.

    First, the GH1780 (non quick release) looks really interesting for M8 use or as a general heavy-duty, extremely light weight head. It weighs a mere 0.6 lbs (9.6 oz) and holds 22 lbs! Only a little over 3" tall as well. About $200.

    For those willing to add a bit of weight for quick release, the GH1780QR has the same weight capacity of 22 lbs, but weighs in at 0.77 lbs (12.3 oz). Check out the dual level. About $250.

    Next, skipping the non QR versions, is the GH2780QR. This 1.1 lbs (17.5 oz) head ups the load capacity to 30.86 lbs and adds friction control as well. This is a nice, still smallish head that holds just about anything. About $350.

    The largest of the bunch is the GH3780QR. It weighs 1.57 lbs (25 oz) and holds a whopping 46.3 lbs. About $400.

    For me, I'm thinking GH1780 or GH1780QR.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    David can they take the Arca style plates

    I like that lever on the rotation a lot. The main dial is also pretty slick
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    they do look good
    but prices seem a bit low; i'll bet they come in a little higher. RRS are comsiderably higher no?

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    They look like they take the gitzo quick release plates which is really too bad.
    I like the levels
    -bob

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    they do look good
    but prices seem a bit low; i'll bet they come in a little higher. RRS are comsiderably higher no?
    I think that's the point Victor.

    Gitzo is tired of people buying their "sticks" and putting RRS heads on. This is a large reason why they really pushed the limits here, and why they are priced very attractively. So, no these are likely to be the actual prices (give or take a few percent).

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    David can they take the Arca style plates

    I like that lever on the rotation a lot. The main dial is also pretty slick
    Guy,

    As Bob just pointed out, they do only take the square Gitzo QR plates. Gitzo has never supported anyone else's plates.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Honestly a bad decision on there part at least from my seat to use a there own plates . One size fits all does not work with all the different body types out there . The heads look nice and i guess you can get the screw thread and mount the Arca style lever clamps. I wish these people actually ask there customer base before building a new toy
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    guy

    I would imagine that they are using a standard size stud so an RRS quick release Arca Swiss could be screwed on to that stud.

    I tried Gitzo ball heads when I first bought a Gitzo tripod about 8 years ago and was not impressed. The RRS heads to my way of thinking get the job done as good or better than any.

    JMHO and YMMV

    Woody

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Woody I know exactly what you mean , never impressed with Gitzo head. But this looks to be like the RRS heads with the ball
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Woody,

    If you look at a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod from 8 years ago and one from today, there are huge advances in technology. 6X tubes which are 30% thinner/lighter and 30% stronger, G-Lock anti-twist locks which are another 30% stronger with almost no flex, ground-level set which gives a built-in short column, etc. Basically, today's 4-section 2 series is as strong as a 3-section 3 series from just a few years ago and weighs the same as a 1 series from that time as well. Ain't technology grand.

    The same goes for the heads now. I agree that a redesign is long overdue. Look at the comparison between the current G1178 series 1 ball head and the new GH1780. The old one weighs 0.88 lbs and holds 8.8 lbs - a strength to weigh ratio of 10:1. The new head weighs 0.6 lbs and holds 22 lbs - a ratio of 36:1. Small improvement to say the least. The new head is also 1/2" shorter to boot.

    Compare this to the RRS BH-40, which weighs 0.81 lbs and holds 18 lbs - a ratio of 22:1. Certainly not bad, but the Gitzo weighs less, holds more, and costs 50% less.

    I've noticed that while many photographers are very quick to embrace advances in computer/camera/lens technology, really nice engineering advances like this go mostly overlooked in favor of the status quo.

    Just my $0.02.

    As far as the Arca-Swiss style plate... I'd certainly be willing to talk to the Gitzo product manager for the US and make the recommendation.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    David,
    There is just so much more variety and utility in the arca style plates, besides, you can get them from arca, rrs and kirk.
    That makes the arca style a defacto standard.
    they are also low profile when compared to the gitzo plates and don't beg for removal when the camera is hand-held.
    -bob

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    David,
    just as an FYI when you chat with Gitzo, I just got an Arca Swiss plate for my traveler tripod. While the RRS plates on both my M8 and D300 will screw into the ball head, I just thought using a quick release plate was faster and easier to deal with. In addition, I can easily remove it from the ball head and throw it in my bag allowing the legs to fold into their proper position. There was no way I was going to get a Gitzo head and then be stuck with two heads needing different base plates.

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    I think the whole QR issue is in serious need of some kind of standardization. It's just a mess.

    I have a drawer full of this crap ... all of which adds up in cost really quickly.

    Hasselblad has it's QR plate built into all of it's cameras and lens collars and their QR is excellent The Arca Swiss type QR won't accept it. Stroboframe makes an excellent QR for use on their flash brackets, and their brackets have the QR plate built-in. Arca QR won't accept it, and the Strobo QR can't accept the Arca type camera plate.

    I don't like adding the thickness of the arca plates to the Hasselblads which have their's built in so the camera sits flat, or the M8, so I use the thin Hassy camera plates on the M8 ... and will be buying more for my other cameras.

    Gitzo does make a "screw" type QR that will take Stroboframe camera plates, and Arca camera plates as well as their own plates. It's the most universal one I've seen to date ... of course, it doesn't tighten down far enough to grab the Hasselblad camera plates

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    One thing I found out the hard way was that the RRS ball heads with a lever quick release only work with the RRS plates and not the kirk plates. I called RRS and they said the Kirk are non standard sizes. I took them for their word until I decided to try the RRS head on my Arca View camera rail. It didn't clamp tight. It seems the Kirk may be the true Arca size and RRS are just a fraction wider. In the end, I had to order about $250 worth of the RRS plates to use the RRS ball I just acquired.

    The moral of the story is if you have Arca or arca "type" plates, make sure your head has an adjustable lever or the screw method of tightening.

    Robert

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    I think Gitzo is going to find that if you are newly getting into tripods, heads, and plates then those people will more seriously consider these heads/plates. However, any of us that are already heavily invested w/ another system just aren't as likely to dive in when it means replacing everything we have or dealing w/ multiple systems concurrently.

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I think the whole QR issue is in serious need of some kind of standardization. It's just a mess.

    I have a drawer full of this crap ... all of which adds up in cost really quickly.

    Hasselblad has it's QR plate built into all of it's cameras and lens collars and their QR is excellent The Arca Swiss type QR won't accept it. Stroboframe makes an excellent QR for use on their flash brackets, and their brackets have the QR plate built-in. Arca QR won't accept it, and the Strobo QR can't accept the Arca type camera plate.

    I don't like adding the thickness of the arca plates to the Hasselblads which have their's built in so the camera sits flat, or the M8, so I use the thin Hassy camera plates on the M8 ... and will be buying more for my other cameras.

    Gitzo does make a "screw" type QR that will take Stroboframe camera plates, and Arca camera plates as well as their own plates. It's the most universal one I've seen to date ... of course, it doesn't tighten down far enough to grab the Hasselblad camera plates
    Well I agree with Marc that the Hassy clamp system is great. The most wonderful thing is there is a true safety stop which prevents the camera from going to ground if the QR lever is inadvertantly released. I know the importance of this having dropped a 1DsMkII on the parking lot in Arches National Park when the lever on my RRS plate was released. Since then I have used only the screw on clamps from RRS.

    JMHO.....YMMV

    Woody

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    Re: New Gitzo Ball Heads!

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Woody,

    If you look at a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod from 8 years ago and one from today, there are huge advances in technology. 6X tubes which are 30% thinner/lighter and 30% stronger, G-Lock anti-twist locks which are another 30% stronger with almost no flex, ground-level set which gives a built-in short column, etc. Basically, today's 4-section 2 series is as strong as a 3-section 3 series from just a few years ago and weighs the same as a 1 series from that time as well. Ain't technology grand.

    The same goes for the heads now. I agree that a redesign is long overdue. Look at the comparison between the current G1178 series 1 ball head and the new GH1780. The old one weighs 0.88 lbs and holds 8.8 lbs - a strength to weigh ratio of 10:1. The new head weighs 0.6 lbs and holds 22 lbs - a ratio of 36:1. Small improvement to say the least. The new head is also 1/2" shorter to boot.

    Compare this to the RRS BH-40, which weighs 0.81 lbs and holds 18 lbs - a ratio of 22:1. Certainly not bad, but the Gitzo weighs less, holds more, and costs 50% less.

    I've noticed that while many photographers are very quick to embrace advances in computer/camera/lens technology, really nice engineering advances like this go mostly overlooked in favor of the status quo.

    Just my $0.02.

    As far as the Arca-Swiss style plate... I'd certainly be willing to talk to the Gitzo product manager for the US and make the recommendation.

    David
    David

    Thanks for the inputs. I would never disparage Gitzo or any of their products from a quality perspective. I use only Gitzo tripods/monopods and love their products. I just don't want another standard for mounting my cameras. It is already a bit of a pain to use both Arca Swiss release plates and Hasselblad plates and a third plate makes no sense for my workflow. These adapters are very expensive and I would love to be down to one!!!! So if you can convince Gitzo to get with the de-facto standard I think you will do the world a service because then we can get the quality of Gitzo with the standardization of Arca Swiss.

    Best

    Woody

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