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Author Topic: The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?  (Read 23033 times)

piksi

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« on: June 18, 2006, 11:53:39 am »

Hello,

I'm really in the need of a sturdier tripod now, my old slik is in the stage of disintegration, and it just cannot stand the weight of my RZ67 nor 10D+70-200 combination.

I'm leaving for Ukraine for a shooting trip in the Chernobyl area and volcanic landscapes of Crimea, and in a desperate need for a super light and small tripod for hiking as I will be ascending and descending hills and canyons of over 1km in height.

I browsed through the Gitzo homepages and noticed, that they had introduced a new traveller tripod, G1158T, weighing only 0,9kg and being able to hold 4,5kg of weight. A big plus was also the small size when packed.

My question is - has anyone of you got to test the new carbon fiber (they claim it's 20% lighter and still as sturdy) tripods? I will be shooting with mirror lock up (of course), and stabilizing the tripod with hanging my backpack from the accessory hook. In addition to the tripod, i'll have to carry a tent, the rz67, eos gear and some other important gear, so bulk and weight are very important for me.

The crappy thing about the gitzo was that its retail price seems to be about 600 euros, and i suspect that a light and sturdy ballhead would add at least 200 to the price. Am i stuck with either heavy and bulky cheap tripods or light and sleak and super pricy ones? Is there any compromise?

Sincerely,
Otso Helenius,
Finland
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boku

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 04:30:11 pm »

Frankly, I wouldn't sit an RZ67 on anything lighter than a 13-series Gitzo. I'd lean towards the 15-series, in fact.

I have owned RB67s so I know about the weight.

I also own Gitzo 1228 and 1325 pods. I use the 1228 for travel, but I wouldn't if I still used the RB (RZ in your case).

I'd also make sure the head was up to the weight as well. If I recall, that body, a back, and a 90mm lens went about 8 lbs and it was very bulky. It reminded me of a huge black brick. Travel with that monster seems like quite an undertaking.

But - I'm sure the results will be worth it.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2006, 04:31:54 pm by boku »
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Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...[b

BernardLanguillier

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2006, 07:17:30 pm »

I know it will seem crazy to some, but I have been shooting 4*5 on top of a Gitzo 1227/1257 mostly without problems. There are of course some very windy days when a heavier tripod would help.

Granted, my Ebony might be a bit lighter than Mamiya 67.

Regards,
Bernard

piksi

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2006, 06:41:43 am »

Quote
I also own Gitzo 1228 and 1325 pods. I use the 1228 for travel, but I wouldn't if I still used the RB (RZ in your case).

I'd also make sure the head was up to the weight as well. If I recall, that body, a back, and a 90mm lens went about 8 lbs and it was very bulky.

luckily the RZ body is made of plastic and carbon fiber instead of full metal housing, so witha 110 2.8 + finder + back it weighs about 2,5kg which is about 5 lbs. but i know that it's heavy, and especially the problem of having a thin centre column and a big heavy object sticking on top of it.

I'm afraid the carbon fiber and basalt tripods are too springy (are they?). How well do they dampen the vibrations of the camera body (i of course shoot with mirror lockup, but i need to know whether i need to wait 5 or 50 secs for the mirror slap vibration to disappear). Hanging the backpack from the center column gives nice stability, but since the backpack is about 20kg i'm afraid i might overstrain the tripod. Anyway, afaik the center column weighs should protect also from winds, especially if i lower the column and don't extend the tripod legs completely.

The 1257 seems like a good compromise, only 1,5kg and can bear 3 times the weight of my RZ (that should be enough tolerance, right?).

I think i'll be using the acratech ultimate ballhead because of its lightweightness and ability to hold over 4 times the RZ weight.

Thank you both for good points and suggestions!
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tived

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2006, 03:22:11 am »

I have used my Gitzo 2200 with my Sinar P, and it has been acceptable, but not as stable as my 1548, but then again nothing much is  

However I also use the Canon 1Ds with 300mm f/2.8LIS and extender on the 2200 with my Arca B1 but because of the foot on the 300,it seems well balanced.

I  find the 2200 explorer very handy, and it is not much heavier then its carbon version, though my 1548 (monster carbon pod weights the same I think as the 2200) so it is sometimes odd that I am not using it! Duh! go figur  

My advise is to you would be to look at the 1325, that seems like a really nice compromise to me. Atleast it is on my wishlist

Henrik
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BernardLanguillier

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2006, 12:05:11 am »

Quote
I'm afraid the carbon fiber and basalt tripods are too springy (are they?). How well do they dampen the vibrations of the camera body (i of course shoot with mirror lockup, but i need to know whether i need to wait 5 or 50 secs for the mirror slap vibration to disappear). [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=68518\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not my experience and also not what I have heard.

Carbon is definitely more rigid (less springy) than aluminium.

Regards,
Bernard

Anon E. Mouse

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2006, 12:43:28 am »

While not the models you enquired about, I use a Manfrotto 441 carbon fiber tripod (short center column) with a Velbon PH-253 magnesium alloy ballhead to mount a Mamiya 6 and Horseman SW612 with focal lengths up to 150mm (I've even used my Wista VX 4x5 technical camera (metal) on it sucessfully, but not enough to be able to recommend it). It is a good combination and a good compromise between weight and size, especially if I am on the move. I really like carbon fiber over the other metal Gitzo and Manfrotto tripods I own. It is certainly as stable.

200 euros for a ballhead? I would look at Manfrotto and Velbon heads. Not as nice looking as some, but they get the job done and you don't mind beating them up.
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Julian Love

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2006, 12:45:06 pm »

I have just taken delivery of a Gitzo 1158T and a Markins Q3 ballhead, so will share my thoughts.

First some background. I am a travel photographer and have been looking for a very lightweight travel tripod. My regular tripod is a carbon fibre Velbon 5300 (similar size to a Gitzo 1227) with a Markins M-10 head. Together they are 68cm long and weigh about 1.8kg. It stands 128cm high with the column down, which puts the camera at eye level for me (I am 5'8"). This holds my heaviest setup, a 1Ds Mark II and 70-200 f/4 very well.

For shoots where I will have a car or where walking long distances is not required, it serves me very well. However, for much of my photography I am walking around from location to location all day, and the Velbon is too big and tiring to carry over my shoulder all day long. I also go hiking occasionally. Lightweight is important to me, indeed the moment Canon introduce a 17MP camera in a 5D body I will drop the 1Ds (I need 48MB files for my stock agency).

So I wanted something small and light, but still sturdy enough to hold a 1Ds and 70-200 f/4 in non-demanding situations.

So, my initial impressions of the 1158T. It is very small and light. With the Q3 head attached it is only 50cm long and weighs 1.3kg. It seems very well made. Despite having 4 leg sections it is quick to set up because of the new anti-rotation legs, so you can loosen or tighten all the leg locks at the same time. With the centre column down it stands 118cm high, so I have to stoop a little bit, but not too much (it is taller than the regular 1158 and 1157). The Q3 head is excellent, made just as well as the M10, locks solid with no creep and weighs less than 400g.

How stable is it? Well, for my gear I think it is the smallest size I could possibly use. With a 1Ds and 70-200, the camera vibrates for approx 1/2 second before it settles down. If not shooting in the wind this is probably just about OK, but it is certainly borderline with this setup. If the tripod had no centre column and the head was mounted directly onto the legs, it would probably be more stable. The Feisol 3402 has this option and may therefore be a better choice, but it is heavier by 300g. I will be using this tripod on a shoot in new york next week, so I will see how it performs. I will take the Velbon with me too just in case the Gitzo is not up to the job.

So to answer the original poster's question, I think it would probably be OK for your 35mm kit as long as you aren't using any long or heavy lenses. I don't think it would be suitable for a medium format camera however. By going small and light you do sacrifice stability...even with an expensive Gitzo.

Julian
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piksi

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2006, 04:04:53 pm »

Thank you all for thought provoking and helpful opinions!

I've decided after testing that gitso 1258 is the way to go for me. I will post thoughts later on when i've gathered some experience about this tripod.

I just have one more question, does anyone know where in europe i could order similar center column replacements to this: http://www.kirkphoto.com/tripodaccess.html#FP100200

I don't need lots of height as I dont use the prism finder in rz67, i'll be looking the viewfinder from upwards anyway. I would order the center column replacement from kirk now if I wouldn't have to go through the cumbersome paying via IMO and paying for the customs tax and 22% VAT..

So if you know good replacements available inside EU, i'm more than happy about hearing :-)

-piksi
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oscarlt

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 08:08:05 am »

Quote from: Julian Love,Jun 25 2006, 06:45 PM
I will be using this tripod on a shoot in new york next week, so I will see how it performs. I will take the Velbon with me too just in case the Gitzo is not up to the job.



Julian,
I am wondering if you could give us your impressions after some weeks of use. I am about to buy the same combination, Gitzo G1158T + Markins Q3 mainly for my 5D with 70-200 F4, andf I wonder if you are still happy or if you would change to a more sturdy combination.

In principle, I do not pretend to go beyond the 5D and the 70-200 F4, but you never know, maybe a 400mm F5.6 could be something to add in the future.

Thanks in advance for your comments
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piksi

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2006, 01:06:12 pm »

Well,

made up my choice and ordered the G1258 from bhphotovideo a few weeks ago. It's light alright (1,4kg) and way way steadier than anything I've owned in the past. So far I've had no stability problems whatsoever. It seems that keeping the center column down and adding a counterweight to the hook keeps my RZ steady enough in all conditions I've ran into so far. I'm very very satisfied and can recommend G1258 over all of the Al-tripods I've used in the past.

There will be a complete review on my homepages later on when I return from the next shooting & hiking trip in the beginning of August with this tripod.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to mention that I'm using the acratech ultimate ballhead with it.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2006, 01:06:52 pm by piksi »
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Julian Love

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006, 01:59:12 pm »

Quote
Julian,
I am wondering if you could give us your impressions after some weeks of use. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70152\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi, I'm now back after 3 weeks shooting in New York and Chicago, using the 1158T and Markins Q3. The heaviest gear I used was a 1DsII and 70-200 f/4 on a Kirk L bracket. My overall impressions are very positive. My main observations are:

1) The tripod really is small and light enough to carry around all day without it wearing you down. I had it strapped to the side of my daypack when not in use. My full size Velbon Sherpa Pro is too bulky and heavy to do this. So whenever I felt I needed a tripod, I had one ready.

2) It really is sturdy enough for this setup. Using mirror lock and the 2 second timer, I have reviewed my shots and they are pixel sharp - no vibration or shake at all. While the camera does vibrate for approx 0.5 sec after you touch it, it settles down perfectly before the shot is taken. I even raised the centre column a few inches on occasion to get some extra height, and had no problem. I would not want to raise the column all the way though.

3) It is short, only 122cm high without the column unextended. I am only 5'8", and while this was not a bother for the occasional shot, when using the tripod for an extended period (e.g. skyline shots at sunset, where you might have the camera set up on the pod for an hour or two) it does become a bit annoying not having it a bit taller. But taller would mean heavier etc, so I am happy with the compromise - when I need a full size tripod I have one available.

4) The new anti rotation legs are great! Why has it taken Gitzo so long to invent them?! Although it has 4-section legs, I can set it up and take it down faster than my 3-section Velbon (which also uses rotating leg locks).

5) The 1158T achieves its very small size by having the legs flip 180 degrees when collapsing it, with the centre column fully extended. This does make it about 5cm shorter than it would be otherwise, but is a little bit fiddly. However, you can also fold it conventionally if you don't mind the extra 5cms or are in a hurry. When I didn't think I would be using it again for a few hours I would fold it up completely, otherwise I would just fold it conventionally.

6) The Q3 seems a very good match for it. In fact, the Q3 is so sturdy that I couldn't really tell any difference between it and the M10 with my setup on my full size Velbon. If using heavy lenses this may be different however.

7) While in NYC I popped into B&H (who can resist) and compared it directly to the main competition in the ultralight tripod category: the regular 1158, 1157, and Slik 614. Although more expensive than all of them, the 1158T folds shorter, stands taller and is just as sturdy as the other Gitzos. The Slik is taller but much flimsier and is not in the same league. It would be fine for a 350D and kit lens, but anything more than about 1kg on the top would be overload IMHO.

8) I have been using the 1Ds with a Kirk L-bracket, meaning that I do not have to flop the ball head for verticals. I cannot confirm how stable the setup would be with the ballhead flopped, but I would imagine that stability would suffer considerably. With a smaller, lighter body this may be OK however.

Overall, I think Gitzo have done a great job with it. It is not a replacement for a full size tripod, but is a very useable alternative when weight and size are at a premium. The only drawbacks with it are the inevitable ones associated with making an ultralight tripod and I think that in the 1158T they have made fewer compromises than any other model. If given the choice again I would still buy it.

Ref: using a 400 f/5.6...I have not seen this lens so am not sure exactly how long and heavy it is. However I would imagine that it would be fine if using the tripod collar, but verging on unstable if not.

I hope this helps those considering this tripod. If you need ultralight, are aware of the limitations (short, no long heavy lenses) and can afford it, I think you will be happy with your purchase.

Julian
« Last Edit: July 24, 2006, 02:09:36 pm by Julian Love »
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KenRexach

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2006, 11:17:31 am »

I used a gitzo 1228 for my pentax 67 when travelling. It worked very well. I mean I wouldnt lean on it heavily but it did its job. It fit in my carry-on luggage perfectly and that alone was worth it.  It doesnt have as much height as id like but for travel is probably the best all round tripod for medium/small sized gear.

At home I use a 13 series studex. For the heavier gear I use a Arca B2 head and its a very sturdy combo.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2006, 11:17:51 am by KenRexach »
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piksi

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2006, 02:20:16 pm »

I went ahead and bought G1258 with Arcatech ultimate ballhead. It handled even my RZ67 very well and was light enough to carry on the side of my jack wolfskin 75 liter backpack. With a safety net it travelled easily in the airplane containers. I've been very satisfied to both products - even hiked on top of a 600m "mountain" with them to take pics :-)
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BernardLanguillier

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2006, 08:39:07 pm »

One small word of warning about the 6X Carbon Gitzo tripods.

I have been using a 1257 for about half a year, and an overall very happy, but I have recently found out that they are not as resistant to impact as previous Carbon Gitzo (like the 1227) appeared to be.

The following occured a few weeks ago. My tripod was fixed on the outside of an Osprey Aether 90 pack whose content must have been about 20 kg at the time. The pack fell from the inside of a small Chinese bus and the tripod was the first area of the pack to hit the metallic edge of the bus doorstep. The height of the fall must have been no more than 70 cm.

As a result, the carbon layers broke on the line of impact (lenght of damaged area is about 1 cm) leaving a clear cut where the carbon fibers have ruptured.

As of today, there is no appearant consequence in terms of usabilty of structural strenght of the tripod, but I will now be more careful handling the tripod. It is clear that the thinner walls of the 6X have a consequence on the shock resistance of the pods.

Cheers,
Bernard

yoni

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The new carbon fiber Gitzo tripods?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2006, 05:21:57 pm »

For ultralight travel I use a Gitzo 1155 with an acratech head. I have used it effectivily with lenses as large as 300 f4 IS and 70-200 2.8 IS mounted on 5D (no grip). With the head its rated to 9lb. When possible I avoid opening the last segment which is pencil thin, I don't feel confident enough to walk away from it, and I hang my bag off the hook. Its remarkably light and even more importantly for me collapses down to ~14".
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westbourne

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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2006, 04:25:42 am »

Quote
Thank you all for thought provoking and helpful opinions!

I've decided after testing that gitso 1258 is the way to go for me. I will post thoughts later on when i've gathered some experience about this tripod.

I just have one more question, does anyone know where in europe i could order similar center column replacements to this: http://www.kirkphoto.com/tripodaccess.html#FP100200

I don't need lots of height as I dont use the prism finder in rz67, i'll be looking the viewfinder from upwards anyway. I would order the center column replacement from kirk now if I wouldn't have to go through the cumbersome paying via IMO and paying for the customs tax and 22% VAT..

So if you know good replacements available inside EU, i'm more than happy about hearing :-)

-piksi
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=69467\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Piksi

Have a look at Warehouse express. They list them for 64.99 along with a whole host of Kirk gear.

Ian
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