the older gitzo tripods

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by game, May 19, 2006.

  1. game

    game Member

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    Hi,
    I use medium format [pentax 6x7] and will be moving upwards to LF within a year. I used to use a manfrotto, or bogen as you call it, 055B with a 144rc head. It was fine for the 35mm, but for the pentax 67 it's a little to light, and since LF is going to happen in the near future, I am going to buy a heavier tripod.
    I am on a budget, so the older Gitzo's seemed a good way to get a heavy and still affordable tripod. only problem is that I can't find my way trough all the models. I searched this site, but that did not help enough.
    When browsing ebay and similar websites, I usually come along tripods with names like:

    reporter, cremaillere, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, etc.

    how do these tripods compare to each other? Which ones are any good? Which ones are heavy?

    Hope someone here has a clear picture on these older gitzo's that are outthere. Thanks a lot!

    Best regards Sam
     
  2. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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    Not much help but....

    I've been using a Gitzo Reporter series tripod (with geared center post) for a long time now, for 35mm, MF and LF (4x5). After all these years I don't know what the model number was, and I have a faint memory of them changing the model numbers anyway. Sorry if this isn't much help, just wanted to affirm that someone was indeed doing LF using an older Gitzo reporter tripod....
     
  3. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    Someone with lots more knowledge than me will surely chime in, but in the meantime I'll share what I have.

    Reporters are a little small for most 4x5, and surely 8x10. I have a set of series 4 legs that are fine for all LF, just a little heavy. Series 2 and 3 legs are smaller in diameter.

    Some legs spread apart at more than one angle allowing you to get lower with your camera. I believe this feature is called "Performance" but I could be wrong.

    Cremellaire (sp?) means geared center column I think, and I wish I had one. My "Rapid" column (so-called because when you loosen the lock it can move rapidly up or down) is a pain in the neck with a heavy 8x10.

    Buying a set of legs with a rapid column and thinking you'll upgrade the column later turns out to be a false economy. In my experience, the columns go for big money. Better to get the leg/column combo you want at the start.

    I have a Rational 4 head, which is pan/tilt. The Rational heads get beefier as the numbers go up (Rational 2 smaller than Rational 4, etc.). I find a pan tilt head to be a hugeg pain for 8x10. Wish I had a Majestic head or a ball head. YMMV.

    KEH seems to have good deals on used Gitzo. You might also be interested in a Majestic. They are often less expensive and are very stable.
     
  4. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    The 3-series should be fine for 4x5--piece of cake for a 4x5 field. Can't help if you're going 8x10 or larger.
     
  5. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    If you're going up to 8X10 eventually, then anything called studex or super studex (if I remember right) should work for you.
    I've had a super studex for almost 25 years, and other than a few scratches it's good as new. An R4 head is great for any flatbed camera. Dean
     
  6. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    I have a Cremaillere 3 with a no1 3 way head and I love it! Beautiful engineering (if you can get one that hasn't been knocked about). I use it regularly with a 5x4 field camera, and an RB67. The legs are best wiped clean and left to dry fully extended if they get wet, but other than that I'd try to get another if mine met with an accident.
     
  7. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Sam

    I don't know what LF camera you are planning to buy, but my Manfrotto 055 is fine with my MPP Micro Technical camera, and will just about cope with my Linhof monorail. I suspect that a big Pentax may be heavier than quite a few 5x4 field cameras so don't be in a rush to spend money unnecessarily - get the camera first and try it out!


    Richard
     
  8. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I also have an old reporter performance...and agree with the postings.... the reporter would be a bit light for a 4x5, and performance meant it would open wider and go lower, rapid meant the centre column could be raised by hand.
    I've always thought the studex was the way to go.... Now I use a berlebach anyway.
    -Rob
     
  9. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Can't help you on Gitzo (I don't like 'em), but for 4x5 you might consider a TILTALL (the one made by Leitz) or older Linhofs, from ebay.
     
  10. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    I bought a used 326 Studex Performance 10 years ago. It is a great tripod for 5x7 and anything smaller, and passable with a lightweight (~8kg) 8x10.
     
  11. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    One of my rigs is an old Studex (1320, if I recall) with a Bogen 3047 head. After trying many, many combos, this was one that seemed to be tuned right for the P67 and still be somewhat manageable for hiking. It's about 8# and also handles 4X5 field cameras quite easily. Don't underestimate what is needed for the Pentax. When you start making large prints, a proper support will show an obvious difference. I used a laser pointer and borrowed rigs, tried demos in shops, etc and was surprised at some of the results. I concluded that certain pods picked up the P67 vibes, even if they seemed heavy and substantial. I didn't try wooden units but that might just be a good solution, too.
     
  12. game

    game Member

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    I never really uinderstood the whole wooden thing. Same for the carbon tripods. Such light tripods can't do the trick can they?

    Sam
     
  13. game

    game Member

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    and on topic:

    The cremaillure seems to get good responses. Is the studex a newer version? or something compleetly different?
    About the reporters, I saw a reporter no. 4, and that one seemed quite heavy and big. It had the column with a handle too. I guess the number go from 1, which is the lightest, to 4, which is the heaviest?
    So in this case, would there be a substantial difference between lets say:

    the cremaillure 3, or the reporter 4?

    Hope to hear something about this.
    Best regards Sam
     
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  15. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    I wouldn't say the Cremaillere 3 was a lightweight tripod at all. It goes to near enough 6 feet without extending the (geared) column. It isn't too light either, gut lighter than some of the bigger Manfrotto tripods. The legs angle right out, it goes low, it folds up compactly. My only real complaints with it are the paint chips easily to reveal the aluminium underneath - but who cares!, and if I ever scrape or bash an open leg against say, a rock, it may leave small dints in the metal than need smoothing with a bit of fine metal grit paper, or the leg sections become too stiff to slide back together. Also spare parts are still easy to get via the Gitzo web site.
    I too dont really get the wood tripod thing - they dont have the flexibility of metal types, but I suppose they are traditional and they are liked by many - so fair enough.
    If you come across a good condition Cremaillere 3 I think you will find it hard to resist.
     
  16. game

    game Member

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    Thanks a lot for the postage on the cremailure3. Actually I have come along one. But I also came along a reporter 4 with geared column.
    How do these two compare?

    Sam
     
  17. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    Haven't a clue. The only one I know about is the cremaillere 3, but I bet a reporter 4 would be just as good. My concern would be the weight issue, and I know some of the older Gitzo's especially with R4 heads are beasts.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Cremalliere only refers to the crank center column. Not the leg set.
    Rapid is the lift column
    Reporters are amongst the smaller sets Gitzo produces.
    The reporter series is a rough equivalent to the tiltall tripods.
    Differences in models being number of leg sections, height and the ability to spread the legs for low level work(performance)
    The series go in size:
    Totalux...............table top & travel, very compact
    Reporter.............35mm, light MF some compact enough to go in a suitcase
    Inter pro Studex...Gettin serious here, heavy 35mm & MF light LF
    Studex................Anything you want
    Super Studex.......Even more so
    The differences being leg diameter, height & weight capacity.
    Also anything with the word Studex have interchangable center plates in addition to the column so a camera could be mounted at the apex of the tripod rather than on a column.
     
  19. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Don't be misled.

    IMO, the 'series names' such as 'reporter', 'tele studex', 'studex giant' etc... are a secondary naming system in an attempt to be more 'user friendly'. I think it's generally better to just follow the numbering system which is pretty rational.

    first digit = leg diameter (1-5)
    second digit = ? - maybe revision/version number? Most are zero.
    third digit = number of leg sections (hence height) (1-6)

    So - a 504 (tele studex) is a LARGE diameter leg (1.5 inches or so?) with four sections.

    Other terms, as mentioned, like cremaillère refer to a center crankable shaft option.

    It ain't that hard. Forgive me if I've made any omissions. But this generally works for me - and only applies to the older models.
     
  20. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Two critical factors:

    How tall are you ? I'm 5'7", I don't need as hefty a tripod as a 6'0" photographer.

    How small does it need to pack ? Fit in a carry on bag ? Shorter sections, and more of 'em.

    Lens length ? Kind of cameras ?

    These thing setm the rest is easy.

    don
     
  21. game

    game Member

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    That, I dont understand. What does photographers height has to do with you tripod,... nothing IMO.
    To the two previous posters: THANKS a LOT for explaining ow it kind of works...
    I guess I will need a studex ... I use pentax 67 right now and will add a linhof technika or monorail in the future. Tripod does not have to fit a bag.

    But does every older gitzo has such a number code somewhere?

    Game
     
  22. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    It's fundamental how tall you are.

    Gitzo makes many different tripods. If a 6' tall photographer used MY #4 (which holds my 8x10 Deardorff at my eyelevel with serene stability) he would be unhappy. MY version of the #4 does NOT go to 6'. I DON'T need to carry the extra weight. If you were 6'4, you might need a #5, instead of a #4 were one a shrimp like me. OR a talller #4.

    Will you work at eye-level ? Will you work with your LF camera at ground-level ? Do you NEED a crank ? Probably not.

    Will you work in wet areas ? Will you work on uneven terrain ? Gitzo makes different features for those conditions, which adds weight or expense.

    In general, a #4 is more than sufficient for LF and smaller unless you're really tall or working from a ladder.

    You could also get a FOBA, which allows you to add extensions to the legs if you need to go REALLY high. Or a medium format Linhof, which is incredibly light and stable for up to a 4x5. BUT not if you're 6 feet tall.
     
  23. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I'm 5'10" and would find it INCREDIBLY useful to have a tripod that will (with stability) go up to 17'!! But I shoot a foot off the ground alot, too. It's got to do with the picture I'm trying to make. Nothing else, IMO.
     
  24. game

    game Member

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    I don;t know my height in the american system, but I am not really big. I almost never photograph above my eyeheight, and mostly under my eyeheight. I have experienced that I never extend my bogen 055b to its full lenght.
    One thing I do use often, and I know It's not the stabelest way, is that I use the column to go up a little. I find it to much hassle that if one just needs a few inches up or down t go and adjust all three legs, to find your self, when looking trough your finder, that one needs one inch less. So a geared column seems rather helpfull to me.

    Anyway, I noticed that when asking, a lot of people that sell theur older gitzo dont seem to know what gitzo they are using. Responses like "all I can find is a #4" are not uncommon. How can I solve that?

    Game
     
  25. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    http://www.gitzo.com/

    There is all the information right there. You will have to search through the headings under tripod, but each model, and variation, is described.

    Good luck.

    don
     
  26. game

    game Member

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    I looked there before opening this thread off course, but I could only find info about the current line. (or am I looking wrong?)
    I want info about the older stuff because those are the ones I can afford.

    Are the tripods maybe catagorizable by weight? I can ask the sellers about the tripods weight anytime.
    Maybe a studex is in a certain weight area, and a reporter in a different.
    If a tripod weight lets say 6kg, what would it likeally be?
    "And if a seller says it is a no.4 , that all I know", what can I derive from that?

    thanks sam.