Giottos Opinions

Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by kennyg92, May 8, 2007.

  1. kennyg92

    kennyg92

    304
    Oct 23, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I'm considering the purchase of a Giottos CF tripod (MT-8170) and was wondering if anyone has had experience with their products (good or bad).

    Your opinion is valued highly, so please don't hesitate to speak up! :smile:

    As a qualifier, I need a sturdy tripod for use with my 300-800 Sigma glass (HEAVY!) - One that won't collapse suddenly and can handle the weight (16+ lbs with camera).

    Thanks!!

    -Ken
     
  2. Hi Ken. I had a GT-8160 (or it may have been an 8170). It was a solid tripod but it went back. Fit and finish was ok. I really didn't care for the installed head. This was a couple of years ago so details are a bit sketchy. Have you conisdered a Feisol? I had their biggest 3 section and really liked it. I just recently upgraded to the new Gitzos because of the anti-rotation legs. The Feisol was a really nicely built tripod and fit and finish was incredible. Fast shipping from Taiwan too. Good luck!
     
  3. billg71

    billg71

    693
    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I used a friend's Giotto recently while trying to decide which CF tripod to buy. I was not impressed at all by the leg locks. The legs would stick in the retracted position and need to be rapped on the end to get them to come out. They would also occasionally stick in the extended positions, same remedy.

    Somewhere during this, I disassembled the legs and cleaned everything but very little change in action. I will say it was an older model, probably 3 years old or so so maybe they've improved.

    I bought a Gitzo. You might want to read this if you haven't already: Tripod 101, it might save you some money in the long run.

    Hope this helps,

    Bill
     
  4. I bought the Giottos GB-3150 last year and it's built like a tank. I went to all the camera shops around town and one or two out of town looking... most had the bogen/manfrotto line which I wasn't too impressed with for the money. I ended up with the Giottos for about half of what a similar bogen model would have cost and got a better built tripod IMO.

    I would definitely recommend them. :wink:
     
  5. kennyg92

    kennyg92

    304
    Oct 23, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I'd looked at the Feisol tripods, and talked with another owner who'd said that he'd had problems with the leg locks. That's what steered me away from them. Don't need a sudden collapse with 18 pounds of equipment.

    I appreciate the input on the Giottos tripod! Thanks!

    -Ken
     
  6. kennyg92

    kennyg92

    304
    Oct 23, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, it seems that leg locks always surface as a big issue with most all tripods.
    I'm not sure I like the twist locks, even on the Gitzo's. Been spoiled by the Bogen clamp locks which are as solid locking as you can get.

    I have a Bogen 3221 which has been fine, but when loaded with the Sigma 300-800 I experienced a bit of leg rotation when panning which worried me.
    The legs aren't all that big in diameter either which makes it seem a bit flimsy when extended to the maximum height.

    Thanks, Bill, for the input!

    -Ken
     
  7. kennyg92

    kennyg92

    304
    Oct 23, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Well, Brian, that muddies up my decision (again) :smile:
    Had somewhat convinced myself that maybe Giottos wasn't the way to go, but now there's your "satisfied customer" input..... which I appreciate completely, but just makes it tougher making that decision. :confused:

    Guess I'll go find a local store that has them, drag my lens down there with me, and give it a go.

    Thanks again, Brian!

    -Ken
     
  8. Add another to the list. Uncle Frank recommended them to me (he has the same one I do) so that makes at least two satisfied customers. :biggrin:
     
  9. billg71

    billg71

    693
    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    "Guess I'll go find a local store that has them, drag my lens down there with me, and give it a go."

    I think that's the best thing to do if you can find one. Try out a couple in the store and see how they work for you and your gear.

    I think the one I used was the MT-8160. I definitely didn't like the rotateable /horizontal center column, it added too much weight to the tripod and I don't use that feature. Their MT 2 series doesn't have the "universal head" and looks a lot like a Gitzo. According to their website they have added anti-rotate legs and a "sandproof" leg lock. But I can't find anyone listing them for sale in CF so I have no idea about pricing.

    Hope you find one to check out, I'd like to hear how the new ones perform.

    Bill
     
  10. Hi Ken, I have the MT8180 with a homemade gimbal head on it but my longest lenses are a 200-400mm and Sigma 500mm f4.5 and it is fine with either one. Most importantly MY!! 600mm AF-S arrives tomorrow:biggrin: so hopefully in a day or two I will have more info for you.
    My guess is it will be marginal but suffice for now. By the way I don't use the center column.
     
  11. whyhan

    whyhan

    301
    Jun 14, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Giottos no longer make the MT-8170/60. Why don't u wait for the new models(lighter+many improvements)? I contacted the US distributors a few months ago when i was looking for a new tripod, they mentioned they'll be available sometime in summer.
     
  12. kennyg92

    kennyg92

    304
    Oct 23, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Well, because I need something now, not later in the Summer.
    Besides, my local camera store has the 8180 for $200 off (checked yesterday)...very tempting.

    -Ken
     
  13. kennyg92

    kennyg92

    304
    Oct 23, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Hi Gregg. Thanks for the input!
    I checked out the 8180 yesterday at a camera store and it did seem to be pretty sturdy.
    Your lenses are right in the ballpark of what I need it for....good info.
    I'm 6'2" so I don't know if I'll be able to go without the column, but the locks on that also seemed to be adequate.
    The store is going to let me use an 8180 and if it doesn't work out I can return it for a full refund. Not too shabby. Plus they've knocked $200 off the price as they're going exclusively Gitzo and Manfrotto.

    -Ken
     
  14. tomb18

    tomb18

    149
    Sep 28, 2007
    Montreal
    I talked to a sales rep at B&H Photo recently about a Giottos ball head. I said to him that it seems that you get a lot for your money with Giotto.
    He said, you get what you pay for...almost any of their products will break in a fairly short period of time.
    Too bad, they really seem like good value.
     
  15. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I use a bunch of the Giottos products... I have a 9180 tripod and it is just fine. I do get a stubborn leg lock now and again, but it isn't a big issue. It is quite solid and the head mounting can be adjust fifty ways from Sunday if you choose to do so. I have taken the center column out and don't use the head adjustments letting the Giottos MH 1000 ball head do all the adjustments. The MH1000 ball head works just fine as well. It accepts the Wimberly with no complaints. But I wish the tilt slot was at a different position because when the head plate is tilted to portrati position to mount the Wimberly, the drag adjustment knob hits the bottom of the camera body at a not-to-steep angle.

    Now the bad.. I've used the MH656 & 657 quick release clamps with the plates. Both are supposed to be Arca Swiss Compatible...but the build tolerances are real loose. My Wimberly Sidekick fit in one Giottos clamp and not another... The twist style clamp doesn't open fully..you can only slide a plate in, not drop it in. One clamp had it's bubble level inset to high and my Kirk lens plate wouldn't slide in..I had to tap it flush to use anything other than Giottos plates. All my clamps have been replaced by either RRS or Wimberly clamps.
     
  16. vettenut

    vettenut

    Feb 27, 2006
    Tolland CT
    I purchased the Giottos MT8160 not too long ago and overall I am quite pleased with it, it is a great value for the money. I will not say it is perfect, the legs can stick a bit sometimes and I prefer the quick release levers over the twist locks personally. You have to make compromises sometimes but the tripod is built like a tank, it should last a very long time. - Jeff
     
  17. NYRich

    NYRich

    139
    Jul 27, 2007
    New York City
    As another GB3150 owner I have to agree. It's really built well and is an excellent value. Frankly, I was less than impressed with the Giottos ball heads and decided on a Kirk BH3 ballhead instead. That combo is worth every cent that I paid for it.....and then some.
     
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