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  1. #21

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    My old Manfrotto carbon 441 has just started to fall apart (I have abused it somewhat) so I decided to return to Gitzo and just bought their GT3530S. So far I'm very impressed with the build quality and ease of use. Their new anti leg rotation and G-loc system is a vast improvement over my old aluminium Studex Performance tripod which is gathering dust in my loft.

    The payload for the 3530S is 18kg so there is plenty to spare when using my Ebony and Manfrotto geared head.

    The 3530S is part of the Systematic range so does not come with a centre column (which I rarely use) but has an oversized top plate. A column (geared or rapid) can be added as an optional extra.

  2. #22
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Crone View Post
    The payload for the 3530S is 18kg so there is plenty to spare when using my Ebony and Manfrotto geared head.
    18 kg is the weight of a small child... No ordinary photography tripod can carry that! Just imagine a 5-year old toddler sitting on top of your tripod

    Anyway, the weight a tripod can carry is usually not so much limited by the tripod itself, but by it's tripod head. Looking at the Gitzo website (http://www.boeringa.demon.nl), I am pretty much convinced the true payload of this tripod is more in the 4 - 6 kg range (including tripod head), as Gitzo recommends this one for 300-500mm lenses.

    The 18kg is probably a figure that denotes the TOTAL weight the tripod might just be able to withstand theoretically, including how much weight you can hang BELOW the tripod to strengthen / stabilize it, NOT the weight on top of the tripod.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    18 kg is the weight of a small child... No ordinary photography tripod can carry that! Just imagine a 5-year old toddler sitting on top of your tripod

    Anyway, the weight a tripod can carry is usually not so much limited by the tripod itself, but by it's tripod head. Looking at the Gitzo website (http://www.boeringa.demon.nl), I am pretty much convinced the true payload of this tripod is more in the 4 - 6 kg range (including tripod head), as Gitzo recommends this one for 300-500mm lenses.

    The 18kg is probably a figure that denotes the TOTAL weight the tripod might just be able to withstand theoretically, including how much weight you can hang BELOW the tripod to strengthen / stabilize it, NOT the weight on top of the tripod.
    That's what they quote in their brochure (www.gitzo.com), and the instructions advise the user not to exceed the max specified load.........but I'm sure you may be correct it may be more of a theoretical breaking point. However their 2007 brochure does seem to illustrate one of their carbon tripods carrying a load of 99kg! Hype?....I don't of course know, one would have to take this up with Gitzo.

    The fact they mention it for 300-500mm lenses is more about stability and not payload for the series 3 Studex range is somewhat lighter then their series 4 and 5.

    Anyway my Ebony with my largest lens weighs no more then 4kg and my Manfrotto geared head has a published payload of 7.5kg and weighs a mere 1.6kg.

    Also it comes with a 5 year warrenty (conditions apply) so if it gives way under normal use I'll be on to them like a 'ton of bricks'.....or should that be 18kgs of bricks?

  4. #24
    Bandicoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    18 kg is the weight of a small child... No ordinary photography tripod can carry that! Just imagine a 5-year old toddler sitting on top of your tripod

    [...]

    The 18kg is probably a figure that denotes the TOTAL weight the tripod might just be able to withstand theoretically, including how much weight you can hang BELOW the tripod to strengthen / stabilize it, NOT the weight on top of the tripod.
    My Gitzo Series 5 will easily take the weight of this 42 year old toddler

    I do think you are right though: there's a differnece between the payload that might damage the tripod and is likely to be the basis for the manufacturer's calculation of a quoted maximum load figure, and the amount of mass that you'd want to put on top of the tripod and expect it still to be stable and able to control vibration. Unfortunately I don't know any tripod manufacturer that adequately explains that distinction or the basis for the figures they quote. Surprise surprise...


    Peter

  5. #25
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    I think $200 is a difficult price point for both the tripod and the head, so perhaps used is the way to go. I have a Berlebach wooden tripod with an Acratech ball head. Quite pleased with both. The low weight of Carbon Fiber looks appealing but for the cost of a Gitzo I will just hire someone to carry me.

    I like the idea of testing tripod stability with a laser pointer. Had not thought of that.
    Jerold Harter MD

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    18 kg is the weight of a small child... No ordinary photography tripod can carry that! Just imagine a 5-year old toddler sitting on top of your tripod
    Golly! only 18kg. Iremember the day when Lester Bogen ran advertising pictures of himself seated on 3056 legs.
    Must not have been OSHA compliant.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by junqbox View Post
    Hi, I've been using a Manfrotto 190 for years now with Nikon 801, Toyo studio 4x5 and new D300 and never had a problem. nice light and compatc to carry as a bonus.

    Cheers,
    Brett
    I have a Toyo 45C and a Manfrotto 190XB. I honestly didn't think the legs were strong enough to support the LF camera. Which head are you using? I've got a 3 way head for this tripod.

    Navy Moose
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
    CAPT. John Parker, Massachusetts Militia. 19APR1775

  8. #28

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    Thanks for all the input. I ended up with a lightly used (from the photos)3021/3047 from ebay for reasonably under $200. It should be arriving on Friday. I'll post more once I've tried it out a bit.

    Dan

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    A small caveat. I have found carbon fiber tripods to be unstable in wind with the sail a field camera creates. I actually prefer a heavy tripod for the 4x5. (until I have to carry it )
    I agree with JBrunner. I have managed to aleviate the effect somewhat by suspending a rock from the middle column of the tripod. I put a rock in a mesh bag ditty bag like you get at the camping store and tie the pull string to the column. It adds mass to the system so the tripod will not move.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgallb View Post
    I agree with JBrunner. I have managed to aleviate the effect somewhat by suspending a rock from the middle column of the tripod. I put a rock in a mesh bag ditty bag like you get at the camping store and tie the pull string to the column. It adds mass to the system so the tripod will not move.
    But if you have to carry a rock around, what's the point of having a carbon fiber tripod?
    Charles Hohenstein

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