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GITZO GT1540T tripod failed due to inferior design / manufacturing.

conger

New member
Greetings Garage residents.

The humble tripod; that thing we all rely on... through thick and thin.

In this posting, I offer a word of warning to those who (like me) chose 'quality' in the expectation that IT WILL WORK... and continue to serve.

My GITZO tripod failed...

I have used the (now out-dated) GITZO G1277M & GT1540T combination for over 5 years, and it has served well. I have never maltreated it, or over stressed it, though I have had it in snow & salt water &... many times. It was for this purpose I paid the premium for GITZO quality.

I was cleaning it recently. I loosened the top collar, and the central pillar (with head on top) dropped about 15cm. The head hit the collar, and the central pillar separated and continued to the floor. Nothing damaged, but I could now see how the central column is joined to the supporting plate on which the head is mounted.

This joint is a simple press fit, without any mechanical securing, or even clear evidence of glue. The collar had been rammed on / in to the column; there was quite a bit of debris on the inside of the column, and a lot of nasty abrasion on the stub of the collar where it had been rammed inside the column. There was no supplementary mechanical fixing (e.g. pins or grub screw...).

This was a joint waiting to fail. Thank goodness that it failed without my camera mounted. That would have been expensive and really annoying. I shudder when I think how often I have carried the tripod over my shoulder with the camera and lens mounted; recently over the cliffs on the south of Crete.

My view of my GITZO tripod up to now has been that I had paid a lot to get a tripod that was beautifully designed and manufactured, and essentially indestructible in use.

I am not whining about my case; my intent is to make other GITZO users, both current and aspiring, aware.

Now... I will have to rethink... and others may be advised to also.

BTW... I have contacted GITZO's here in Germany. That was 13 days ago. Other than an e-mail auto-response, offering me the promise of a timely response, I have not heard anything from them.

-g-

PS... for the technically interested...
This is the central pillar -- https://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images500x500/Gitzo_GS3511KB_GS3511KB_Carbon_6X_Low_548651.jpg
The plate visible at the top is held by the screw extending to the top (this is the screw on which the head is mounted).
Under the plate is the collar that 'fell off'.
I can not see evidence that GITZO has changed this design, so current GITZO tripods are likely to offer the same failure pattern.
-g-
 
This joint is a simple press fit, without any mechanical securing, or even clear evidence of glue. The collar had been rammed on / in to the column; there was quite a bit of debris on the inside of the column, and a lot of nasty abrasion on the stub of the collar where it had been rammed inside the column. There was no supplementary mechanical fixing (e.g. pins or grub screw...).
Yikes! I would think/hope that there was at least some superglue in that interface. I have an old 1257 which appears to have the same design. I'll have to take a closer look to make sure it's secure.
 

4season

Member
I would not expose a tripod made with aluminum / magnesium alloy castings to salt water! Gitzo offers at least one boutique model made with stainless steel castings for this purpose.
 
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