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Thread: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    currently using an Induro 413, decided to get a new tripod without a center column. have it pretty much narrowed down to these two. Head is an Arca Swiss Cube, I mostly shoot with PhaseOne DF with p65+ back. Also I'm considering a technical camera such as the Alpa 12 MAX in the next 6 months or so.

    I know the 3541 is a very popular tripod. Local dealer doesn't have a 5541 so I can't get a feel for the differences. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Here is a similar thread I started recently.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11679

    The 3 main differences between the 3541XLS and 5541LS are weight, max. load and height.

    The 3541XLS weighs about 2kg, can carry 18kg, and is almost 2m tall (78").

    The 5541LS weighs about 2,8kg, can carry 28kg and is only 1,50m tall (54").

    I personally find the 5541LS too short. As soon as you are standing on a slope, you will have trouble getting significantly off the ground. I also don't think that you need a 28kg max. load for MF. Maybe with a 1000mm lens or 8x10 camera.

    My other consideration was the 5561SGT, which is giant, about 2,6m, but you need a step ladder to use that at max extension, and is weighs about 50% more than the 3541XLS, so I decide that it was too specialized for my uses.

    I ended up with the 3541XLS which arrived just this past week. I didn't find the time yet to go out, but perhaps this weekend. It is very robust and the operation is such an improvement over my old Manfrotto 055C. I must admit to being surprised at the diameter of the top plate. The tripod diverges significantly towards the top. I think 2/3 the diameter would have been sufficient. My rather large Manfrotto 405 has loads of room up there. Anyway, it is what it is, and I am happy with my choice so far.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    I bought the 3541xls more than a year ago thinking I might use the extra extension a few times a year, but discovered that I use the extra extension just about every time I shoot and almost feel naked without it (unless I'm shooting on a flat parking lot, and they don't have too many of those out in the woods where I live and work). I use mine with a Photoclam cube (w/P45+ Mamiya) and it is a perfect combo, and actually not all that heavy (I carry this deep into the woods, often miles at a time). The only issue I've had is that two of the three legs have come loose and had to be repaired by Gitzo, plus all three of the leg tips have simply fallen out, again repaired by Gitzo with no issues - but I expected better quality out of an $800 tripod. Frankly if there was any other brand available at this height and weight I would buy it instead, but I can't find one so the Gitzo is it and I just carry duck tape in case the legs come loose again or another tip falls off. I have about a dozen tripods and the xls is always the first one I grab...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    I have the 3541XLs and really like it . Yes I agree with Carsten the top diameter is big but any tripod that I need a ladder for is what I want for doing all sorts of work. Okay it can be said i need a ladder anyway using any tripod but I really do need a ladder for this one, not just a step up. I use a Gitzo 3870 ball head with Pano clamp and i could almost sit on this setup. I'm cubeless and such a loser. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    If you can afford only one tripod, OR just want one, than the 3541XLs is probably the perfect choice. I for one prefer to have the 2 series, because it's nice to carry around when hiking. However, I have a 1 series gitzo for my M camera and a 5 series for working out of the car. If I only had one it would only be the 3541XLs.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Wayne,

    Ditto the 3541XLS -- I am 6-6 and fully extended it is over my head. HOWEVER, I like the extra length for those times the tripod is downhill from me I think the 3 series is adequate for all MF work. If you have some big DSLR glass, like 400/2.8, 600/4 or 800/5.6-ish size, or use a larger view camera, then the 5 series is probably the better choice.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Another VERY happy 3541XLS owner, using Mamiya/Phase One and Canon gear. No big teles like a 600 though. I'm waaaaayyy shorter than Jack and still love the height and use it often.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    I have an older 1548 CF which essentially an earlier version of the current 5541LS.

    What the 5-series adds over the 3-series is lots of torsional strength in the wider leg sections. This is really only important when using long lenses (large mass placed far away from center), or very large cameras with center of gravity far above centerplate, like 8x10. So unless you plan to get into big glass a 5-series might be overkill.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    tetsrfun
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Another option is the RRS TVC-33...it "splits" the difference in specs between the 3541XLS and 5541LS . TVC..wt=1.8 kg, max height 58", load rating= 22.7kg

    Steve

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    very helpful. My main concern was the stability, since the 3541 is a smaller diameter tubing than my current induro - just not as much mass. I assumed (maybe incorrectly since I can't see one) the 55 series was more like the induro.

    However, the extra length is critical. (thanks for reminding me) Even though I'm somewhat vertically challenged, most of of the time I'm shooting in the mountains here in Utah. the lighter choice will also be nice.

    Thanks for the great comments. Glad I bought that 300mm lens from Guy ... got a great lens and found a great forum.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Quote Originally Posted by tetsrfun View Post
    Another option is the RRS TVC-33...it "splits" the difference in specs between the 3541XLS and 5541LS . TVC..wt=1.8 kg, max height 58", load rating= 22.7kg

    Steve
    I was looking at that tripod, it does look very nice. Not sure I'd buy a tripod that I couldn't actually see unless it gets more widely used and gets some good reviews. Not even sure when it's going to ship ...

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    RRS Tripod

    Wayne,

    I spoke to RRS last week and asked about their new tripod. They're already shipping, but have a waiting list. I was told they were producing about 14 'pods a week and had a waiting list of about 50.

    Steve

  13. #13
    tetsrfun
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    I was looking at that tripod, it does look very nice. Not sure I'd buy a tripod that I couldn't actually see unless it gets more widely used and gets some good reviews. Not even sure when it's going to ship ...
    Here is an informal review..they have been shipping for about a month but at a production rate of 10-14 a week it will probably be after Jan 1 before the back orders are taken care of.

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/837451

    Steve

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    It's too bad that they didn't go taller with the RRS design, or offer a second model with greater height. Perhaps they will in the future. In rocky, mountain or coastal terrain the height of the 3541XLS is a huge benefit to me... and I'm 10" shorter than Jack.

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    Member Ebe's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    I find the two tripods I use the most are the
    5561-SGT "Giant" and the 3541-XLS.

    Without a center column get a taller tripod, even if you don't use the
    extension every time. I use it way to often to have a short tripod.
    Both are tall enough to work on un-even ground. I often stand on a boulder
    with the ‘giant’ to get the angle.

    I have both Mamiya/Phase and Canon with 500&600 lens.
    An exceedingly stable and functional tripod is more important to me than weight.

    If I had to pick one tripod it would be the 5561-SGT.
    I use it’s height, it is compact when folded and
    extending the first 3 of the 6 sections you have an eye-height
    extremely stable tripod. With most 4 section tripods you have to
    use all the sections most of the time and I find that using the 3
    largest sections of the ‘giant’ gives me more stability than using
    the 4th leg of a shorter tripod.
    That said when hiking, I often take the 3541-XLS (3 pounds lighter).

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    There's also the rare situation when you have to set up on a steep hill or in a staircase, when the giant's long legs are quite useful.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Hi Wayne,

    I'll cut against the grain slightly here.

    I opted for the Gitzo 5541LS over the 3 series because I already had another CF tripod very similar in specs to the 3 series, albeit a Giottos, and so went for the bigger tripod---and have been very happy.

    The 5541LS is actually a hair over 60" max extension; add the cube and camera on top---and it's perfect for me, with plenty of room for adjustment. And I'm vertically challenged too. Hell, Guy is taller than me.

    The RRS tripod raises my eyebrows because of its specs (closer to a 5 series) yet it weighs two pounds less. That's huge.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    The RRS tripod raises my eyebrows because of its specs (closer to a 5 series) yet it weighs two pounds less. That's huge.
    Blatant Gitzo design ripoff... I hope nobody here is even considering participating in that theft of intellectual propety.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  19. #19
    tetsrfun
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Blatant Gitzo design ripoff... I hope nobody here is even considering participating in that theft of intellectual propety.
    Well, I'm taking a chance on the Rip-off.:>) I ordered some new RRC plates and the CNC machined quality is impressive. It also appears that the tripod plate fixation system with the RRS may be superior...we shall see.

    Steve

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    HOw do these newer models especially the series 5, with the old 1548.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Mark,

    Main differences are the newer tubes are thinner and thus lighter, but purportedly just as strong and more rigid. The other thing is the legs don't spin, so easier to lock and unlock them.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: gitzo 3541XLS or 5541LS

    Jack thanks for the information. I never liked the locking mechanism on the older Gitzos. I guess i have to decide if it is worth the price to upgrade. I have to take a look at one to see how much lighter and thiner.

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