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Need tripod advice please

Discussion in 'Tripods, Ball Heads, and Gimbals' started by xrdbear, May 10, 2007.

  1. I would greatly appreciate advice on buying a new tripod. I think I am looking at Gitzo tripods.

    I am 56, 6ft and have back and neck problems which mean that I am very limited on walking. Many days I am down to 50yds before needing to sit but on other days I can get maybe 400 yds. I am also limited on what I can carry together with my stick seat. I made a bit of a mistake and bought a second hand Manfrotto/Bogen 058 which is as solid as a rock and weighs as much as a fair sized one! This means that I can only really get it a few yards from the car. Obviously I need something lighter.

    The advantage of the 058 was the height it can get to without extending the column. I have trouble bending to look through a viewfinder and crouching is completely out of the question so I need as much height as I can get.

    The biggest lens combination I am likely to mount is the 70-200VR plus 1.7TC and I would like to get more into stitched panoramas using the 17-55 DX. I will be mounting my D2X on the Markins M20 together with the Manfrotto 438 levelling base.

    Can anyone give me their recommendations from the current Gitzo range please? I'm getting completely lost in the various ranges and leg combinations.
  2. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I use the 1325 legs with the M20 head. Great combo and solid as a rock. Fully extended, I don't need to crouch (also 6') - I don't like center columns.


    May 1, 2007
    So Cal
    The G3530LSV (this is what I mainly use) is my first recommendation. It is a great tripod! it weighs 4lbs. I'm 6ft tall and with the ball head (RRS BH55) mounted it puts my D200 about an inch above my eye. So when extending the legs I adjust accordingly. This setup is light and super sturdy.
    My second recommendation would be the GT2530 (I have the GT2540). It weighs 3.1lbs. It would support what you need and is roughly 1 lb lighter. With the column down all the way you will have to bend down 3 to 4 inches. You could also extend the center column to your liking but this would make it more vibration prone. I removed my center column so I can't comment on this.
    As far as Gitzos go these are the two that I would look at if I were in your situation.
    I hope this helps!

  4. I have just purchased a Gitzo 2530. "30" models have 3 sections in each leg, "40" models have 4. Because I do not have large lenses (300/4 is my biggest), I considered both the Kirk BH1 (which can handle big glass) and the RRS BH-40. I have a Kirk collar on my 300/4, so stuck with the Kirk ball head for better fit of the quick release.

    The 3530 replaces the 1325 series tripods.
  5. I use the 1325 with the Acratech head. It is quite light. I didn't quite follow your post. Do you use an equipment cart of some sort? You might consider one. Here are two I have:

    The first is a Beach Rolly, a German manufactured cart. The curious fingure riding in it was an attempt at humor...sneaking a long lens into a baseball game disguised as a toddler. This will hold a medium or large equipment bag along with a folding chair and a tripod


    The next are folding and very handy. You can attach bags to the cart with elastic straps found at places like Home Depot.


    In either case I would avoid the camera carts which have tiny wheels like the kind you use for aircraft. In case of sand, stones and gravel, these kind die and you wind up dragging them along. The large wheels ride on top of anything.



    May 1, 2007
    So Cal
    The 3530LSV is the direct replacement for the 1325. The 3530S is 8 inches shorter.

  7. Thanks very much. It looks as though the G3530LSV is probably what I should be going for. The lighter 2530 has its attraction but the extra weight is so little I think I could live with it for the extra strength. My 058 weighs 13.5 lbs so it's a great improvement. I don't really need a centre column as I have a uniloc tripod as well which can do amazing things if I need something for low down shots (assuming I can ever get down and get up again :frown: ).
  8. Thanks for the suggestion Rich. These seem to be available in the UK at £79.
    It's best however that I carry stuff on my back. I need the support of a stick and pulling the trolley would be tricky and create an imbalance which would make the back and leg problems worse. I'm sure that with a much lighter and shorter (collapsed) tripod and trimmed down gear list I will be able to get by a lot better. The suggestions above all seem to lead in the same direction.

    In particular there is a shot I want to get locally of distant hills over the water with a rocky beach in the foreground at sunset. It's about a mile from the house but I've never been able to get there with a tripod. It's a minor ambition but I'd settle for it :smile:

    Now all I have to do is convince myself that I cannot live without a 500ukp tripod. It may take a couple of weeks.
  9. If you're confused... let me tell you :eek: 
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