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Author Topic: Gitzo LVL tripods  (Read 3503 times)

msbc

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« on: July 29, 2008, 02:37:40 am »

I'm looking to upgrade my tripod and the choice has come down to Gitzo GT2542L or GT2540LLVL. I have a Markins MK-10 ball head and shoot landscapes - some panoramas too.

So my question is: does the LVL feature add anything to the package that the MK-10 doesn't already cover? Seems I'd have two ways to achieve the same purpose i.e. leveling the camera? LVL adds weight and cost - any need for it?
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Mark Connell
Melbourne, Australia

Ken Bennett

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 08:42:49 am »

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So my question is: does the LVL feature add anything to the package that the MK-10 doesn't already cover? Seems I'd have two ways to achieve the same purpose i.e. leveling the camera? LVL adds weight and cost - any need for it?
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The leveling feature is useful if you want to shoot panoramas, though a dedicated pano head is probably better.

Otherwise, no.
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stever

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 10:47:58 am »

a pano head is better -- with the gitzo level you have to level the column, then level the camera on the ball head

normally with a pano base you just use the ballhead to level the pano base

however if the camera is not going to be level, say for a large matrix (and you don't want to invest in a vertical pano base) the base of the ballhead should be level and the leveling base would be useful
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msbc

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 08:56:57 pm »

I'm still not clear if it's a must-have or nice-to-have? I forgot to mention that I use the RRS PCL-1 pano base.

I can see three possible set-ups:
1. Gitzo non-LVL + MK-10 + PCL-1
2. Gitzo LVL + PCL-1
3. Gitzo LVL + MK-10 + PCL-1

With option 2 the LVL feature levels the pano-base, in option 1 the ball-head does the leveling. Option 3 gives me two options for leveling - ball-head and LVL - but it adds weight and height/less stability.

What would people recommend here?
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Mark Connell
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stever

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 12:25:43 am »

option 2 is useful if you're only going to shoot panoramas and the camera will always be level (not tilt the camera up and down for mosaics)

option 1 will work as above for shooting horizontal panoramas (no camera tilt) - you use the ballhead to level the PCL-1 instead of the LVL.  If you want to shoot mosaics with camera tilt, then the base of the ballhead needs to be pretty level manually (depending on how many images you're taking), then you disable the PCL-1 and use the ball head base for panning

option 3 lets you level the base of the ballhead more conveniently than option 1 if you want to tilt the camera for mosaics (PCL-1 still disabled) and basically accomplishes nothing for purely horizontal panos using the PCL-1

option 4 - foget the PCL-1 (and the considerable investment) and use the LVL with a bubble level on the hot shoe for purely horizontal panoramas

option 5 - if you're serious about shooting mosaics with lots of images use the LVL with your PCL-1, then add the RRS omni-pivot package with the second PCL-1 (about the cost of a ball-head)

i'd suggest shooting a bunch of test panoramas with whatever you have and a test copy of PTGui (or whatever you want to use, but the software makes a difference)

if you primarily want to shoot distant subjects, with 5-7 verticals, you can probably do it hand-held.  If you want to shoot mosaics of interiors or landscapes with lots of foreground then you probably need option 5.   really does depend on what you're shooting - and again, the software makes a difference
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stever

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 12:54:01 am »

option 6 - LVL + PCL-1 + MH-01   requires a bubble on the camera to shoot straight horizontals, but should do pretty much what option 5 does without the cost, bulk, and index marks (which are probably not much use anyhow).  and you'll have the MH-01 to put on your monopod

sorry for simplifying so much
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Ken Bennett

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2008, 07:10:42 am »

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I'm still not clear if it's a must-have or nice-to-have? I forgot to mention that I use the RRS PCL-1 pano base.


I'd vote for none of the above. Not really necessary with a ball head and the PCL-1 pano adapter.
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marcmccalmont

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Gitzo LVL tripods
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 11:37:50 am »

For the last year I have used a 2530  LVL/ RRS BH55/ RRS panning clamp. The short answer is it is very useful. Many times you are in a valley shooting up or on a hill shooting down. In this case I level the tripod allowing a level pan at the base of the ball head. I then compose up or down  (and level left/right) using the ball head and the grids in the viewfinder. You can then pan keeping the images in the same position relative to the horizon from the base of the ball head. I use the leveling feature a lot since I have it.
Marc
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 11:43:07 am by marcmccalmont »
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Marc McCalmont
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