Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Tripod question

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Tripod question

    I am considering a new GItzo tripod and have narrowed it between the Gitzo GT5531S and GT3531S. I want to know in terms of medium format if the 5531S is overkill. I still have a Canon with 500mm lens and realize the 5531 is probably better for long lens shooting but since i am not using that lens often trying to figure out if there is any advantage in the MF arena.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    54
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Tripod question

    Hi Mark,

    I had a Gitzo tripod for over 14 years model G 410 with the geared collum G 526. Originally purchase for my sinar P2 with the sinar pan tilt head, that is overkill if you ask me.

    These days I use it for My DSLR Nikon or my Hasselbeld with the Manfrotto head # 029, the thing I notice about Gitzo is that pound for pound it is a better platform to work from, never slip or slid on it's legs. It goes higher and lower then the equivalent from Manfrotto.

    Don't get me wrong Manfrotto make good plaforms, accept Gitzo makes it a lot better and simpler to use, there is no need to over tight the locks on a Gitzo. I am sure that you will be very please with a Gitzo platform to set your cameras on.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Oswego, OR
    Posts
    38
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    I use a 3530S carbon Gitzo with an Arca Swiss 4x5 (with up to a 500mm tele) as well as with a Hasselblad film camera and with a D700. It is as steady as a rock with all of these. I know many 4x5 photographers who use Gitzo 2 series carbon tripods with Linhofs. While it is true that size matters with tripods and it's usually better to go larger than smaller, if you are either paying for it or carrying it, sometimes compromise is in order. I can carry my 3530S pretty easily, I don't know what the 5 series weighs or what it costs but I'd probably go with the 3 series unless you have a lot of funds or a llama.

    Good luck.

    Eric

  4. #4
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    I've tested a number of rigs and for me the point where overkill begins (in other words it is a bit more than you generally need but good enough to make you confident when the going gets tough) is at least a Manfrotto geared 410 head but preferably a an Arca Swiss Cube (yes I know they're stupidly expensive but no one has EVER begrudged it once they've tried one) and a Gitzo GT 3541LS.

    Jack's point, and he is so very right, is that tripods with centre columns are the problem, so get one without. Also if you're using a P65+ you'll need to leave a few seconds (up to 6) of MUP time before firing and even then there wll possible be an anti-sweet spot at somewhere around 1/15th of a second where results aren't always great.

    But if you're on a non-mirror, non FPS rig like a Cambo or Alpa or whatever, you can get away with a lighter rig.

    HTH

    Tim

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    Thanks for the comments. I do have a cube and a wimberely head for the larger lenses for the Canon larger lenses. The 5 series is a bit heavier than the 3 series. I am not sure how much difference it will make in the end but i know that small weight differences do add up over time. There is one other small issue that sometimes would be something that would bug me. The minimum height distance is much lower with the series 3. THe series 5 is over 6 inches. For some macro or low level shots this can sometimes make a difference.

    I never use a center column so that is not an issue for me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    2,272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Tripod question

    If you're (insert adjective here) enough to buy a Cube, you might want to look at the Really Right Stuff TVC-33 tripod. It's relatively light, has a minimum height of 4.5 inches, and is very nicely made. RRS specs:

    Load Rating = 50lbs / 22.7kg
    Weight = 4lbs / 1.8kg
    Maximum Height = 58-inches / 147.3cm
    Minimum Height = 4.5-inches / 11.4cm
    Folded Length = 26-inches / 66cm
    Bullseye Spirit Level = 12mm diameter
    Price = $925

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Posts
    2,310
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Tripod question

    If you don't mind me sharing your question, do you think that the 3000 series gitzos are up to holding a 203FE with a 350mm f/4 FE? It is quite a long and heavy lens, and I have found that my 2541 does not seem strong enough to hold it steady, particularly in any wind. I have a RRS BH-55, so the head should be up to the task, but I am wondering what would be a good platform for it, as well as my 4x5 camera. I know that to some extent, wind cannot be overcome (which is a problem for this country), but do you think the 3 series or 5 series would do better for this? Or even a wood tripod?
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  8. #8
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: Tripod question

    Hi Mark:

    I have both the 3541 XLS and the 5560 Giant. If you want, feel free to come over and check both out. I can tell you the 5 series pods are probably overkill for most MF applications. I have it because it's the giant, specifically for by the car when I want to get as high up as possible. And yes, I carry a ladder for that too LOL!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  9. #9
    Member Seascape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    239
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    I have both the 3 series as well as the 5 series CF gitzo, and while the 5 series is used mostly with my 4x5 rig, I don't really think ANY tripod is "overkill" if it isn't too heavy to carry for the situation you are shooting.

    My Gitzo 5530S weighs 5.9 pounds less head, I personally don't find it to be excessively heavy, and the more stable the platform, the better IMHO.

    YMMV

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    Thanks for the comments. Jack.. If you need a ladder-- I have no hope.. LOL.
    Maybe i will take a look at your 3541XLS.

    The RRS looks nice but since i have a gitzo 1541, I would prefer to stick with the same company for now. Plus the RRS tripods are backordered.

  11. #11
    tetsrfun
    Guest

    Re: Tripod question

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    If you don't mind me sharing your question, do you think that the 3000 series gitzos are up to holding a 203FE with a 350mm f/4 FE? It is quite a long and heavy lens, and I have found that my 2541 does not seem strong enough to hold it steady, particularly in any wind. I have a RRS BH-55, so the head should be up to the task, but I am wondering what would be a good platform for it, as well as my 4x5 camera. I know that to some extent, wind cannot be overcome (which is a problem for this country), but do you think the 3 series or 5 series would do better for this? Or even a wood tripod?
    The RRS TVC-33 is ~3541xx weight and ~ 55xx load rating. Also no safety plate is needed if that is a concern with the 3541. I don't have a 350mm but a rough size comparison (?) 250mm f/4 + 2x TC.

    Steve
    Last edited by tetsrfun; 1st August 2010 at 18:30.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Posts
    2,310
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Tripod question

    Thanks very much Steve! That looks pretty similar. The 350/4 is longer, but it has a tripod mount on the lens itself. The TVC-33 is very tempting -- I have had my BH-55 for six years and it has not required a drop of maintenance in that time. That said, 900 dollars! That is quite expensive...compared to 675 for the 3531S.

    But does anyone have any experience regarding wind? Is it the case that it is simply the heavier the better, or does the rigidity of carbon fiber make up for some of the mass loss?
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  13. #13
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Tripod question

    I use a 3541XLS with a Arca P1 head
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    tetsrfun
    Guest

    Re: Tripod question

    Is it the case that it is simply the heavier the better, or does the rigidity of carbon fiber make up for some of the mass loss?
    *********
    From my reading, the rigidity has a lot to do with the diameter of the carbon fiber tubes. This concept is "in line" with high-end bike frames; using large diameter, thin walled CF tubes for reduced weight and increased rigidity. I am still surprised at the mental "disconnect" from the visual appearance of the large diameter legs and the actual weight. As far as mass and wind resistance, I would prefer to add weight at point of use when needed rather than carry the extra weight, whether it is needed or not.

    Negatives of RRS vs. Gitzo:
    1) cost, however, in the big picture $225 USD over many years of use is not a major factor...Also, if you carry you tripod with camera attached, the $65 additional cost for a safety plate is probably a good idea.
    2) RRS max height 58", not an issue with the 203 FE
    3)no track record compared to many years for Gitzo
    4)Six week back order

    Positives:
    1)typical RRS quality with CNC machined metal parts vs cast mag.
    2)"fool proof" top plate fixation system
    3)Very rigid vs weight
    4)And most important, IMO, looks better than the Gitzo. :~)

    I am now trying to resist the temptation of the Cube on the RRS.

    Steve
    Last edited by tetsrfun; 5th April 2010 at 09:39.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    California/Thailand
    Posts
    1,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    I, too, am a happy 3541XLS user.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    46

    Re: Tripod question

    What's about Feisol ? Any experience ?

    Michel

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    245
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    Another vote for the Gitzo GT3541LS (or XLS)
    it's my day in day out tripod, but I think I'm going to switch over to an Arca Z1 on top of it.
    am

  18. #18
    Subscriber Member billbunton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Alamogordo, NM
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    10

    Re: Tripod question

    Gitzo 3530 with Cube here. I also have a 5540 with a Wimberley WH-200, though I may sell those when the D3 and 400VR go. I've considered selling the 3530 and getting the RRS...

  19. #19
    R Shaffer
    Guest

    Re: Tripod question

    Quote Originally Posted by sinwen View Post
    What's about Feisol ? Any experience ?

    Michel
    Been using my Feisol 3371 for around 4 or 5 years. Great tripod, really well made. I got it to use it with my nikkor 500mm f/4 & 8x10 camera. It's overkill for my 645 and I would really like to get the 3441S, but I've used up my allowance for the moment.

  20. #20
    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Draper, Utah
    Posts
    871
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    134

    Re: Tripod question

    don't know if you searched, but I asked a similar question not long ago, and in that is another thread. You may want to see what was said there.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12683


    I ended up with the 3541XLS for my PhaseOne system and Cube, and like the combination.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    Wayne thanks for the link. I did a search and did not see that thread. I am thinking i will keep my Gitz 1548 and then get the series 3

  22. #22
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Carmel/Tucson
    Posts
    2,354
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    The safety plate for the Gitzo 3 and 5 series is a worthwhile investment.

    http://www.naturescapes.net/store/ns...ods-gsp35.html

    Also available at B&H, where I got mine for the Gitzo 5541LS. (The plates are specific to the 3 or 5 series).

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    528
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tripod question

    I use the 3540XLS as well. Could not be happier and I have tried a lot of things. I have been at the point of having to choose between the 55 and the 35 as well. The lower weight of the the 35 eventually was most important to me.

    I use it with H2/CF up to the 300/4.5 but also with my 35mm rig.

    I have opted for the Burszynski head which is, IMO, the best ballhead money can buy.

    I am now pondering over a cube for other applications.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •