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Author Topic: Does the number of leg sections matter?  (Read 1479 times)
Wally Vunderland
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« on: April 29, 2007, 08:39:50 AM »

I am in the process of deciding between two different Gitzo carbon tri-pods.  The tri-pods that I am interested in are the GT 1530/1540 and the GT 2530/2540.  My main use will be for backpacking and bike touring as well as general travel.  I have a Canon 20D with my longest/heaviest lens being the 70-300DO.  I donít plan on any larger lenses in the near future.  I am curious as to the stability of 3 leg sections vs. 4 leg sections.  Are the 3 section tri-pods more stable?  Size is definitely a consideration for me, so the smaller the better, but I do want to have enough holding power for semi-adverse conditions.  Any information on these tri-pod is appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2007, 12:31:39 AM »

I have a strong preference for 3 leg sections on gitzos (e.g. 1329).  I do mostly nature
shooting (botanicals and landscapes).  I'm often opening the tripod, shooting a
bit, and closing (or partially closing).  So, 3 sections is as much as I'm willing to tolerate.
I'm not sure that 3 sections is that much more stable than 4.   The tradeoff of 3 vs 4 is
really speed vs. packing length.  Of course, 3 section tripods are a bit longer when packed.
This also means that the minimum height of the tripod (legs collapsed) is higher.

By the way, before using gitzo's I used to use benbo tripods which typically have
2 leg sections.  The lower section is also the outer (sealed) tube, which is a great
design feature if you ever have to immerse the legs.    Benbos are much better for speed.  
I stopped using them, however, because the welds and the splines didn't hold up
over time.  Nor did they make a carbon fiber unit (as of a few years ago).

With the same loads and fairly heavy use (i.e. nikon d2x, pentax medium format, and
contax medium format), i've never had a structural problem with a gitzo.  

On the other hand, if you put a gitzo in sandy water so that the collar is immersed (i did this
once not realizing the problem i was creating), you have to fully disassemble the
legs to clean the sand out.


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