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?