My Gitzo Repair Experience (long...)

Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,118
Location
New York State
Gitzo changed from its original ownership and also the country of manufacture.

My Gitzo Studex tripod (which I bought in the mid-1960s to support medium- and large-format cameras) was made from heavy gauge aluminium and is still functioning perfectly and is still as sturdy as a rock.

It has never needed any maintenance which I could not do for myself.

It's perfect for studio and local use but much too heavy for weight-restricted air-travel.

After Manfrotto acquired the company, manufacturing moved to Italy. I am not certain that it has remained in Italy though — it may have been out-sourced to China?
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,275
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Gitzo changed from its original ownership and also the country of manufacture.

My Gitzo Studex tripod (which I bought in the mid-1960s to support medium- and large-format cameras) was made from heavy gauge aluminium and is still functioning perfectly and is still as sturdy as a rock.

It has never needed any maintenance which I could not do for myself.

It's perfect for studio and local use but much too heavy for weight-restricted air-travel.

After Manfrotto acquired the company, manufacturing moved to Italy. I am not certain that it has remained in Italy though — it may have been out-sourced to China?
According to Wikipedia, manufacturing moved from France to Italy for Gitzo tripods.

Glenn
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,118
Location
New York State
Glen:
I did mention the move to Italy (in my last paragraph) but I haven't been able to discover if Gitzo tripods are still being manufactured in Italy or are simply marketed from Italy while perhaps being manufactured in Asia?

From your experience, it would appear that Gitzo equipment is not now what it used to be?
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,275
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Glen:
I did mention the move to Italy (in my last paragraph) but I haven't been able to discover if Gitzo tripods are still being manufactured in Italy or are simply marketed from Italy while perhaps being manufactured in Asia?

From your experience, it would appear that Gitzo equipment is not now what it used to be?
I believe that the tripods are still manufactured in Italy.

My experience with the equipment is very positive...certainly it is quality gear. My experience with the service center has been less than satisfactory.

Glenn
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,275
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Update:

I just received a shipping notice. I'm now expecting to have my Gitzo tripod on Thursday.

So, they received it on January 3rd and shipped it back on February 3rd. Just last week, they told me that the parts were still in Italy and that it would be at least a month before I would get my tripod...perhaps two months or more.

Now, I'm hoping that the repair work was done properly.

Glenn
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
2,439
Location
NC
Update:

I just received a shipping notice. I'm now expecting to have my Gitzo tripod on Thursday.

So, they received it on January 3rd and shipped it back on February 3rd. Just last week, they told me that the parts were still in Italy and that it would be at least a month before I would get my tripod...perhaps two months or more.

Now, I'm hoping that the repair work was done properly.

Glenn
hopefully, you boldly carved your name on one of the legs to be sure it is actually your tripod :cautious:
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,275
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
hopefully, you boldly carved your name on one of the legs to be sure it is actually your tripod :cautious:
I will recognize it, despite the fact that it doesn't have a serial number on it. :)

For one thing, I had to add one of those protective plates...because people were reporting that the top platform was snapping off and large super-telephoto lenses were crashing to the ground. The plate was a $75 add-on...which surprised me given the cost of the tripod!

Glenn
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,118
Location
New York State
>>>>people were reporting that the top platform was snapping off and large super-telephoto lenses were crashing to the ground>>>>

Really troubling — especially considering the price of those Gitzo tripods.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
946
Location
Eau Claire, WI
Not at all defending Gitzo as I down own one nor have ever owned one, but the problem with high performance light weight components is that they require very tight tolerances to operate correctly.

You probably should have overhauled the tripod a few years ago based on use alone. The old stuff lasts so long because it is usually much more robust, hence the weight penalty.

Off topic, but I busted the rear hub on a high end 1 month old Mavic mountainbike wheelset. They are French, and parts come from the motherland. After 2 weeks of waiting for a response we were told they had been on vacation for a few weeks, and that we would be lucky to get any response in the next month. I ended up ditching that wheelset and going with an American made manufacturer Chris King.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
16,409
Location
Nashua, NH
About 9 years ago one leg on my Gitzo totally froze - I could not loosen it to move the legs. I even went to a machine shop but they could not help.

I called support and they could send me a new leg for $595, which was $5 less than what a new one cost.

Last Gitzo for me.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,118
Location
New York State
I reckon Gitzo "ain't what they used to be"?
The hefty (and heavy) aluminium Studex (which I bought to use under a large-format camera in about 1960) is still providing yeoman service. The rubber grips, for tightening the legs, perished; and I could replace them but have made some homemade ones from foam and gaffer tape which work well enough.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,491
Location
Riverside, CA
About 9 years ago one leg on my Gitzo totally froze - I could not loosen it to move the legs. I even went to a machine shop but they could not help.

I called support and they could send me a new leg for $595, which was $5 less than what a new one cost.

Last Gitzo for me.
I have the exact same problem with my Gitzo. Completely frozen leg. It's useless. I'm not even a heavy user.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,491
Location
Riverside, CA
I will recognize it, despite the fact that it doesn't have a serial number on it. :)

For one thing, I had to add one of those protective plates...because people were reporting that the top platform was snapping off and large super-telephoto lenses were crashing to the ground. The plate was a $75 add-on...which surprised me given the cost of the tripod!

Glenn
How do you like the Benro? With a frozen leg, I'm looking to replace my Gitzo.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,712
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
How do you like the Benro? With a frozen leg, I'm looking to replace my Gitzo.
I've looked at some Benro stuff, thinking about the geared head. I have 2 of their MeFoto tripods, they work well enough for the interior/still life stuff I do sometimes. I hope to do more landscape stuff in the future (hence the geared head) and I know Benro will be on my list. Not sure if it will win, but I'll look.

It appears to be a quality tripod, but I haven't used it! My Gitzo tripod came back to me earlier than estimated. So, it was just a short time between when I purchased the Benro (as a backup) and when the Gitzo arrived. I've been using the Gitzo all along.

Glenn
How is the repair holding up?
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
6,419
Location
N Idaho
RRS has a series of Tripod maintenance videos, They might help you fix your frozen leg. I think there are 6 of them, here are links to the first 3, they'll give you an idea if they can be of any help.




Moose Peterson has a tripod maintenance video with a Gitzo.

 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,491
Location
Riverside, CA
RRS has a series of Tripod maintenance videos, They might help you fix your frozen leg. I think there are 6 of them, here are links to the first 3, they'll give you an idea if they can be of any help.
Thanks I have completely disassembled and reassembled my tripod several times. I did this each time it would freeze, and then it would work for a little while. Now it has totally frozen to where I can’t even disassemble it anymore. As much as I really like the product, I cannot see myself spending several hundred dollars to get a tripod that cost me $500, 12 years ago, fixed.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
4,586
Location
Redwood City, CA
I reckon Gitzo "ain't what they used to be"?
The hefty (and heavy) aluminium Studex (which I bought to use under a large-format camera in about 1960) is still providing yeoman service. The rubber grips, for tightening the legs, perished; and I could replace them but have made some homemade ones from foam and gaffer tape which work well enough.
I have one of those old Studex's too. When the rubber grips dried out in the late 90s I brought the tripod to my local B&M. They had new grips in stock and replaced them for free.

One of my Gitzo CF's needed a bit of glue, but none of my other Gitzo CF tripods or monopods has failed. Neither has my RRS, so I feel I've gotten quality for the money from both brands.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,275
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
I've looked at some Benro stuff, thinking about the geared head. I have 2 of their MeFoto tripods, they work well enough for the interior/still life stuff I do sometimes. I hope to do more landscape stuff in the future (hence the geared head) and I know Benro will be on my list. Not sure if it will win, but I'll look.


How is the repair holding up?
The repair is holding up. I have used the tripod quite often since it was repaired and it works like it is new.

Glenn
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom