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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Gitzo Studex 320 Tripod: Opinions Sought

    Can anybody comment on the Gitzo Studex 320 tripod? For or against? Likes and dislikes, etc.

    I'm 5'11" and would want to use it in the field for long exposures, sometimes under windy conditions, with a 35mm body with lenses up to 70-200 f/2.8 or 300 f/4. I would have to backpack it most places I go.

    I have an opportunity to purchase one from an estate sale that comes with a Giotto MH-3000 panning ball head, but it's not convenient for me to see it, I don't think it's made anymore, and I don't know much about it. It's reportedly in good condition.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Maine, USA
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    I bought a used one several years ago. Likes: quite stable; very little resonance from shutter/mirror vibrations; and tall (I am 6'3", and with a ballhead on the 320 it is perfectly functional for me to use without backaches). Dislikes: the locking collars are a bit tedious if you are used to Manfrotto style lever-locks; heavy - if you can afford a carbon fiber tripod you will like it better, especially for back-packing; it came with simple rubber plugs for the feet that cannot be unscrewed, although you can break the glue bond and remove them. I would like to put spikes on the feet for field use, but have never been able to get a definitive answer whether Gitzo makes ones that are compatible with the unit. The 1320 tripod that replaced this model has integral spikes for the feet.

    It is more than enough tripod for the setups you mentioned. I know people who shoot large format on them.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Montgomery, Il/USA
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    I agree with macrorie about the usability of the Studex series. If it's a "performance" model it also has low level capability(with a short column).
    It heavier than CF but it also leaves your wallet healthier. For value(you didn't ask) I'd think anything less than $150-$200 would be an excellent deal, above that I'd learn patience.
    The last Studex I had cost $5.00 at a Goodwill store & I traded a Kodak Stereo camera for a Gitzo Giant. Still haven't used the Giant outside the house.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Humboldt Co.
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    I used a Studex 300 for years -- MF to 5x7. It was the basic model (with centerpost). Not quite sure what, if any, difference there is with the #320. For 4x5, a Gowland pocketView, the pod was more than it needed -- which is not always a bad thing! I am 6'3" (use to be 6'4" not that long ago!) and the height was nice. I had a Gitzo Ballhead #2 on it -- the lighter weight head made up for the heavier pod, but still was solid).

    I might have gotten away with the 200 series (Reporters), but I would have had to use the centerpost more. But it would have made all those backpack trips into the Grand Canyon carrying that #300 a few pounds lighter on those long hikes out!

    Take apart and clean the locking collars every once in awhile and you'll have less frustration in the field. They are nice tough pods.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #5
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Portland OR USA
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    I am pretty certain mine is a Studex Performance and it has a double extension in the column and it can go pretty high. Though that height isn't important to me. I use it with a Gitzo ball head. It is pretty sturdy and I am not afraid to put an 8x10 on it in the field. Though it's usual job is to hold a Rolleiflex. Those twisting tightners can be a nightmare but the good thing is that they can be taken completely apart and cleaned and lubed with a little industrial machine lube. Then it works great.

  6. #6
    skahde's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Germany
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    I have a later 1320 since 2002 and like it quite a bit. For my needs from 35mm with 4/300mm till 6x6 SLR with a 5.6/250mm it seems to be just what the doctor prescribed. I recommend getting the short column: Just enough play for a bit flexibility when doing macros but you can work closer to the ground without using the column upside down.



 

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