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Thread: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

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    Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Neptune claimed my tripod and consigned it to the deep on a dawn shoot this morning.

    The same wave drenched me, the open camera bag and the 645DF/P45+.... Camera now drying out etc etc and rather hoping that it will be ok when I power it up once I am confident it is fully dry.

    Therefore I am faced with replacing the Gitzo 1325 which has served me so well over a number of years. I like 3 section tripods and don't want centre column. One other constraint is that it needs to readily available in the UK as I am off to Cornwall in 6 days for another shoot. Most of my photography is Coastal and Landscape. I'm happy with Gitzo, apart from the price!

    So what are your suggestions please?

    I was really happy with the Arca-Swiss P0 ballhead and shall replace this like-for-like.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Make sure to look at the Really Right Stuff tripods, their base 3 leg, 3 seg model should be around the same price as the Gitzo.

    Really Right Stuff TVC-33

    Paul Caldwell

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Thanks Paul - I was aware of these when they were in development and sound v interesting.

    There are no RRS stockists in UK and the one you mention is out of stock. I agree that seems like the most appropriate model. Faced with 20% import duty, it makes the cost prohibitive.

    If anyone does know of a RRS European/UK stockist, I'd love to be proved wrong on my research!

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Why not just a simple replacement Gitzo with the equivelent model?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Personally I'm sold on the gitzo 3541 ... but I just hope your camera comes out OK.
    wayne
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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    Personally I'm sold on the gitzo 3541 ... but I just hope your camera comes out OK.
    Yeah that's what I thought...I'd be more worried about the camera's state than about a new tripod...

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by baxter View Post
    If anyone does know of a RRS European/UK stockist, I'd love to be proved wrong on my research!
    I'd send an email to [email protected] / http://www.fotokonijnenberg.be - they sell RRS clamps, hence they should be able to get a tripod as well.

    I have never dealt with them - I've discovered them a few days ago when googling camera plates.

    Chris

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    That's looking most likely solution Ben, but as someone who had the old tripod for 7 years, without feeling need to change felt behind the curve, hence post. Last one even survived being run over by my Merc estate car!

    Thanks for your concern Wayne and Yair. Fortunately camera and P45+ seem to be ok after much wiping, drying and removal of salt. Not convinced the Phase 45mm lens is 100% on autofocus at the moment, feels and sounds slightly noisier than my 80mm LS.

    Obviously I was more worried about state of camera, but knew that time was needed before I could be confident and power it up.

    Paul Whiting's pictures show the size of the larger waves breaking on the Ledge and why I opted to shoot from 4 foot up! His were taken slightly earlier and because the tide was rising, wave action improved. By then I was in camera drying/salvage mode! I was shooting about a 1/4 way down from top on LHS

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulwhiting/5439310724/
    and
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulwhiting/5438563553/

    Here is one of mine shortly before the tripod was swept from this viewpoint. It ought to be entitled 'Tripod's last stand'!

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Thanks Chris - will check them out - we were posting at same time!

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Since you're already familiar with the Gitzo line, I highly recommend their Carbon fiber models. I have a back pack model that I use an H4 with. It's an outstanding tripod! I've used it salt/fresh water and had the ability to strap it to my pack with no appreciable weight gain. The center column is removable and everything folds up and out of the way. In addition it very easy to take apsrt and clean after a salt water adventure.

    Keep us posted on the camera and back as i'm sure this will be an important endorsement on the product line...or not.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    I use one of the Gitzo Carbon models (6X), the GT3530LS. The great advantage for me is that with the legs fully extended and a Cube on top, the Phase 645 DF is at exactly the right height for my eye. (I'm 6 ft tall).

    This makes it much quicker to extend/use - with longer tripods I had to guess (or mark) how far to extend the legs. Now I know it's "all the way", at least usually. And the legs don't rotate so collapsing it is quick and doesn't require locking unless you're storing it.

    The best tripod I own. Good luck with your camera!
    Bill

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Man I'd be pretty sad if I lost my gitzo to the sea...
    Having said that my day in day out full size legs are the 3541XL as well.
    am

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I use one of the Gitzo Carbon models (6X), the GT3530LS.
    Bill
    Me, too. And I've reduced my "tripod stable" to just this one Gitzo model. With the Cube on top. Both highly recommended.
    _________________________________
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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Hi Baxter -

    I cannot recommend the Gitzo Ocean more highly for aquatic adventures. Despite being one of the Traveler line-up - I have had it holding long (300 2.8) lenses with ease. It is incredibly rigid, super light and goes everywhere with me. Sealed against the elements. I would recommend swapping the head out though for a bit more stability - I use one of these.

    Where total stability is a requirement and weight is less of an issue - The RRS TVC-33 is fantastic and deceptively light. Build quality is a step-up from Gitzo. I also use the legs for video with a fluid head and cheap RRS bowl adaptor. So its pretty versatile - albeit at a price.

    M

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Thanks to all. Seems that Gitzo 3 series is most popular. Wondering if anyone has tested 3 series against the 5 series and noticed an improvement. There doesn't seem too much difference in price (depending on the model selected), but there is in weight!

    Generally I am shooting on Coastline and frequently there is a fair bit of wind. I noticed how much the legs on my 1325 vibrated from the airflow and wondered how much of an adverse effect this was having on picture sharpness. It can't have been improving it!

    Given the amount of lens testing which gets air-time here in Dante's special place, I am wondering if someone might have evaluated the stability of the camera platform too.

    Here are some of the other shots I made before the tripod went swimming.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Baxter,

    Again, please keep us posted to the camera and DB. Obviously, you must have removed the CF card after the "swim", so that's a good indication!

    Nice pics!

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by baxter View Post
    Thanks to all. Seems that Gitzo 3 series is most popular. Wondering if anyone has tested 3 series against the 5 series and noticed an improvement. There doesn't seem too much difference in price (depending on the model selected), but there is in weight!

    Generally I am shooting on Coastline and frequently there is a fair bit of wind. I noticed how much the legs on my 1325 vibrated from the airflow and wondered how much of an adverse effect this was having on picture sharpness. It can't have been improving it!

    Given the amount of lens testing which gets air-time here in Dante's special place, I am wondering if someone might have evaluated the stability of the camera platform too.

    Here are some of the other shots I made before the tripod went swimming.
    Baxter

    I have the 5541 LS and think it is a very fine tripod though a bit heavy for me (I am 73 years old). Both Jack and Guy have the 3500 series (I don't remember exactly which model) and seem happy that it provides the stability they need for their MF Phase systems. I looked at Guys on a workshop last year and it appeared to be as stable as the 5500 series, at least for cameras of this weight. Might be a different story for 4x5 film stuff.

    I also have a 2541 with a cube which I absolutely love. It is stable enough for me (I shoot a Leica S2 which of course is relatively lightweight) and at its weight and bulk is something I can carry around without much stress. Both are Gitzos of course and both are the 6X fiber.

    My personal opinion is there is no reason to switch away from Gitzo unless you find something that meets your needs and is significantly cheaper. I don't think I will need another tripod in my lifetime.

    Hope this helps

    Woody

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Very helpful information Woody - I am heading over to Robert White on Wednesday to have a good look at the range of Gitzos they have in stock. They don't have a wind tunnel facility, so will have to guestimate on this aspect!

    Gitzo seem to have the best this side of the pond. If I was Stateside, then RRS would feature more heavily in my must see/consider, but cost is prohibitive due to Sterling/Dollar then a 20% import tax. My summer trip to Hawaii is to long to wait!

    Johnny the water was predominantly on the outside. Removal of the back at the location revealed a couple of drops of water on the flange between the camera and P45. It was nowhere near the sensor and easily wiped off. Lens removal again showed a few drops on the alloy, but nowhere near the chamber.

    So without wanting to tempt fate, think that the camera ought to be fine.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Gitzo makes a waterproof series too!

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Well while the Gitzo 3 series is fine, I would not compare it with the 5 series, which is a LOT more stable. On the other hand a lot more weight to carry. I had nearly all 1,2,3,5 series, currently I keep a very small 1 series tripod, which I use for hiking and other stuff. I even use it with my Arca camera, it works quite well.

    Next to it is my 2 series tripod, I prefered it ofer th 3 series because it just is a tad smaller and lighter. I finish it off with a 5 series tripod for location work.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Thanks for the further advice and observations. I have now been and bought a 5 series as it was so much sturdier and I think that it will be better suited to the windy locations I use on the British coast.

    Gitzo don't currently do water-wings for their tripods, just triple snorkel tubes....

    Also decided that the P0 head was a bit of a mismatch with the 5 series, so went for the P1. Would have loved to been able to have option of considering the currently unavailable D4 and Linhof heads. Never mind, it all looks like it will serve me well for many years.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Hmm. I'd be more worried, personally, about the DB, here. Salt water and electronics to not mix well at all. It might power up after it dries out, but the corrosion will soon render everything quite useless. Fortunately for me, my most costly loss to the sea was a cell phone; after lengthily letting it dry out, I popped it open, only to see evident signs of corrosion all over the PCB. If you actually got seawater in your DB. . . well, good luck to you.

    On a different note, the GT3530LS with a RRS BH-55 head is what I'd recommend. Perhaps a system of clips and carabiners with strong cable as to securely fasten the setup to your body, as to prevent the occurrence from happening again, too.

    See: http://www.munchkin.com/products/det...10011&pID=1184

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    Please let me reiterate that the water was on the surface only of camera and back and nowhere near the electronics.

    Thanks for your advice, but I now have a 5561 tripod and P1 head. Having just been on a shoot in windy Cornwall shooting even bigger waves albeit from a safer position, the new set-up is working well and is much more stable than the 1325/P0 which went swimming.

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    I have 4 Gitzo tripod with the 4 series [1, 2, 3 and 5], out of the 4 i choose series 5 for local shooting in my country always and series 3 for travel.
    I use RRS and Markins heads.
    Tareq

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    Re: Tripod choice for 645DF - Neptune strikes!

    After weeks of umming and erring, and reading the many excellent comments here, I went for a GT3541XLS - I use this for my Hasselblad H system, and it should suit you down to the ground. It represents the best solidity/flexibility/weight compromise at the moment IMHO.

    Henry

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