the older gitzo tripods
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
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....
"I bought a new camera. It's so advanced you don't even need it." - Steven Wright
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.
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.
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
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.