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Author Topic: What's a cheaper alternative to a Gitzo 3541?  (Read 5568 times)
SBP
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« on: July 07, 2011, 06:27:53 PM »
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Thinking about pulling the trigger on a Gitzo 3541 as it will cover any range I could need it for and I like the size and weight of it. I really dont want a tripod more than 4lb.


I'm not an equipment buff so im not quite sure what else is out there right now that is comparable.

Any help is appreciated.

Gene
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NicolasBelokurov
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 07:19:01 PM »
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I was in the same situation some time ago and was reluctant to spend almost 1000 on a set of legs. Tried almost every option and....... ended up buying a Gitzo 3541LS Smiley on a rebate from BH. On my first trek with this tripod and after viewing the freshly developed 4x5s I forgot about how much I paid for it. Fantastic tripod. Just yesterday used it for a pretty large digital pano in strong wind, tack sharp.
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Robert DeCandido PhD
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 07:42:16 PM »
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Benro makes wonderful CF tripods - here is one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270765410719&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

without center column...they make a series of 3-section tripods sans center column - so if this model is too big/small - keep looking - they have others.

Also, I found 4-section tripods a hassle to set up - recommend the 3-section ones instead.
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SBP
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 07:43:42 PM »
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I was in the same situation some time ago and was reluctant to spend almost 1000 on a set of legs. Tried almost every option and....... ended up buying a Gitzo 3541LS Smiley on a rebate from BH. On my first trek with this tripod and after viewing the freshly developed 4x5s I forgot about how much I paid for it. Fantastic tripod. Just yesterday used it for a pretty large digital pano in strong wind, tack sharp.

The replies I was afraid of! LOL
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SBP
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 08:46:41 PM »
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Benro makes wonderful CF tripods - here is one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270765410719&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

without center column...they make a series of 3-section tripods sans center column - so if this model is too big/small - keep looking - they have others.

Also, I found 4-section tripods a hassle to set up - recommend the 3-section ones instead.

The 3 section seem to be less compact when folded. I travel a lot. Weight is a huge concern also. I want to be close to 3.5lb as possible as we backpack a lot.
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Robert DeCandido PhD
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 01:04:54 AM »
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Lighter, 4-section:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Genuine-Benro-C-258-M8-Carbon-Tripod-Leg-Fast-Ship-/310330091390?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item48411d677e

and if you replace the center column with a short-stem you can save a few more ounces.

Look: I have owned a number of tripods by RRS, Gitzo (both aluminum and CF) and Benro. I think high-end Benros are every bit as good as the Gitzos (and RRS)...with some added extras (free padded case; spiked feet; better twist locks; padding on one leg).

You should also look at the options on these two pages:

http://stores.ebay.com/DCs-Photography-Store/_i.html?_fsub=2203154018

See also:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CVTUGU

if you are interested in that one (sold out at Amazon), contact me and I will sell you one.



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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 01:59:55 AM »
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I thought I was crazy when I bought my 3541 XLS. But I wanted to save weight because of my hip problems. I use it without a center column. Camera is a Mamiya Universal. I never regretted it. Great tripod.
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feppe
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 02:10:43 AM »
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Another option is to buy used, you can save quite a bit that way.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 05:42:28 AM »
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Hi,

I have the GT3541LS, too, but I'm not so impressed. That's my main tripod allright but impressed I am not. I also have Velbon Sherpa Pro and I'd suggest that tripod is OK, too. What I don't like with Gitzo? Workmanship. Leg locks are awful and the gummi rings turn loose.

On the plus side, I like the center column less design and the tripod is quite stable.

BR Erik

The replies I was afraid of! LOL
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kdphotography
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 08:46:40 AM »
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Not cheaper by any means---but I recommend looking at the new Really Right Stuff CF tripods.  I bought a RRS TVC-24 CF tripod and was very impressed with the engineering and build quality.  This is the only tripod that I would make a generalization and say equals Gitzo and sometimes rivals Gitzo (weight; center head/collar lock; leg spread click-locks).  I wanted a lighter weight option than my Gitzo 5541LS, and the TVC-24 was perfect.  It is at least as good as my Gitzo CF, and has a couple engineered details that make it even better.  But the RRS tripods also have that same Gitzo price!
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SBP
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 11:45:19 AM »
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Too bad RRS is so dang expensive!!!

Thanks for the Benro recommendation, I will look into them.
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SBP
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 12:02:33 PM »
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Is this the same one on BH but it has flip locks? I definately want the twist locks

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/744087-REG/Benro_C2580F_Classic_C2580F_4_Section_Carbon.html
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 12:48:12 PM »
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Hi,

My view is that flip locks are better than twist locks if well made.

Best regards
Erik

Is this the same one on BH but it has flip locks? I definately want the twist locks

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/744087-REG/Benro_C2580F_Classic_C2580F_4_Section_Carbon.html
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nma
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 12:59:43 PM »
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Thinking about pulling the trigger on a Gitzo 3541 as it will cover any range I could need it for and I like the size and weight of it. I really dont want a tripod more than 4lb.


I'm not an equipment buff so im not quite sure what else is out there right now that is comparable.

Any help is appreciated.

Gene

Take a look at the Feisol 3442 CF leg-set. It weighs 2.1 lb and yet is quite stable and well made.  Its folded length and capacity make it very appealing when hiking. !/2 the price, possibly 90% of the functionality

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aaykay
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 06:18:36 PM »
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Hi,

My view is that flip locks are better than twist locks if well made.

Best regards
Erik


I agree.  I have both the 5540LS and the 3540LS (predecessors of the 5541LS and 3541LS) but still love a prior Velbon Carmagne 640 (CF tripod with Mag-alloy instead of Aluminum in the metal areas) that came with flip-locks, a lot more.
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SBP
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2011, 06:30:58 PM »
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I have a flip lock now and it sucks.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2011, 09:01:48 PM »
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Whatever you get I'd recommend trying it out in a shop. There are all sorts of things to hate about a tripod that are not obvious until you pick it up.
FWIW I have an old Velbon carbon fibre Sherpa Pro with twist locks. With an Acratech ballhead and RRS plate it weighs 4.2lb and is 22 in long. I would much rather have something a bit higher, but haven't found anything as rigid yet that is also light weight. Also it's far too light for windy weather. To get round that I have a steel hook screwed in where the centre column used to be, and loop a bungee cord around the hook and down around my foot. It doesn't move at all, but then neither can I while using it. Roll Eyes
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SBP
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2011, 10:23:31 AM »
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Thanks guys.

Ive definately come to the conclusion I need a tripod that is XL, so 70" or better since im 6'2. I hate bending over a ton just to take a pic and it's a lower back killer if you are panning or shooting animals etc.

So im trying to be under 4lb, over 6 foot, no column.

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Robert DeCandido PhD
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2011, 04:22:23 PM »
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270765410719&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

http://cgi.ebay.com/BENRO-C4770T-Carbon-Tripod-work-w-o-center-column-/310329763186?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item4841186572

the second one is heavier thna you are looking for - but supports more weight; both are three-section
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SBP
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2011, 10:40:41 AM »
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What would be the purpose of removing the center plate?

I know nothing about Benro, I will do some research on it. thanks!
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