Gitzo Cremaillere 3
I have never used a Gitzo, but I have been given a Cremaillere 3 center column and am uncertain about just how it is supposed to work. The crank smoothly winds the platform up just fine, but the lever need to be held down in order to lower it. I assume the lever is for locking the position of the column, but this seems awkward to me because lowering the platform seems to require two hands. Is this the design of this geared column or is this unit somehow defective?
Thanks for your help with this. ---HtheD
I have a Gitzo Cremaillere 3 tripod, and raising and lowering the centre column is as you have described. For additional stability I found that the centre column needed locking by turning the centre column locking grip. Some years ago, I removed the column winding crank and associated lever, and now I raise and lower the centre column by loosening the centre column lock, then tightening after raising the column. I don't raise the centre column very often – I only tend to extend it when the legs are fully extended and I need a bit more height.
My Cremaillere 3 is quite old now but is very solid and stable, and I use it for my 5x4s (and smaller format cameras, too). I hope yours will be as successful as mine has been.