Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Digital Photography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 10, 2012, 05:44 AM   #1
Phrasikleia
macrumors 68040
 
Phrasikleia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Over there------->
Another Gitzo tripod bites the dust.

Some of you may remember my thread from two years ago about the material failure (and warranty repair troubles) that I experienced with my first Gitzo tripod. Just last night I had a second one fail in a similar way, this time a 2-Series carbon fiber model:



And I came across a thread on another forum with several other people reporting precisely this failure with the same model (GT-2531): http://www.latogaphoto.com/2009/12/p...-gitzo-tripod/

I had a 5D Mark III with a 17-40 f/4L mounted on it, so it was nowhere near to being overloaded. Like the other people in that thread, I was using it in the cold (-11 C) and simply pushed down on it a bit as I always do to ensure that it was stable--something one ought to be able to do with a tripod. I always carry it in a padded bag and am very gentle with my equipment. I did absolutely nothing in the least bit abusive to it.

I'm now wondering if maybe I should switch brands. I'm not sure I can trust Gitzo anymore so long as they are using this apparently fragile alloy to hold the legs together. I paid good money for Gitzo tripods because I wanted equipment that would not let me down.

Should I be considering a switch to RRS? It looks like they don't quite have a comparable set of legs (something that stands as tall and is just as light). Has anyone had any problems with a RRS tripod? Any other suggestions for me?
__________________
Photography by Phrasikleia
Phrasikleia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:11 AM   #2
avro707
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
It's a predictable response, but why not Manfrotto? I've had one for years and it has withstood everything.

It is used with a 808RC4 head or a wimberley and usually carries a big super-telephoto Nikon lens of some form or another and a D3s or something else like that. I know the 055XPROB I have won't be ideal for hiking, it's heavy - but it's damn solid.

You got lucky that you caught it (I assume you did) rather than having it fail spectacularly while the camera is on bulb doing a long-exposure.
__________________
Website
Mac Pro 5,1 | iMac | iPhone 5 64gb | Nikon D800e | Nikon D3s
avro707 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:36 AM   #3
Phrasikleia
Thread Starter
macrumors 68040
 
Phrasikleia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Over there------->
Quote:
Originally Posted by avro707 View Post
It's a predictable response, but why not Manfrotto? I've had one for years and it has withstood everything.

It is used with a 808RC4 head or a wimberley and usually carries a big super-telephoto Nikon lens of some form or another and a D3s or something else like that. I know the 055XPROB I have won't be ideal for hiking, it's heavy - but it's damn solid.

You got lucky that you caught it (I assume you did) rather than having it fail spectacularly while the camera is on bulb doing a long-exposure.
That last time I looked, Manfrotto didn't have a comparable tripod. My GT-2531 stands 54.3" high with the column down, which puts the eyepiece of my camera at about 64" high with the ballhead under it. And I get all of that height out of the legs with only 3lbs of weight to schlepp around (not including the ballhead).

Also, I really dislike the leg locks that Manfrotto uses. I always used to pinch my fingers in locks like that. Plus they're bulky. I much prefer the Gitzo G-locks. I actually liked everything about my GT-2531. It ticked all the right boxes for me.

Yes, I did get lucky. It didn't fall, probably because the snow was keeping the legs from slipping away. I was wearing snowshoes at the time, so if it did fall spectacularly, I wouldn't have been very nimble about catching it. I actually have a photo of me shooting when the tripod broke. I'll share it here just for kicks...

__________________
Photography by Phrasikleia
Phrasikleia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:35 PM   #4
nburwell
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: PHL
Quote:
Originally Posted by avro707 View Post
It's a predictable response, but why not Manfrotto? I've had one for years and it has withstood everything.
I would have to agree here. I've had my Manfrotto tripod, and it's been through hell and back and has withstood every test I have put it through. Now I don't do a lot of extreme shooting, however, in the 7+ years that I've had my Manfrotto tripod, it has been one item of photo gear that I know I can constantly rely on.

Gitzo is a great tripod brand (especially for the price of them), so it's odd that this has happenened to you yet again. It wouldn't hurt write a letter or email to their customer service department and explain your situation to them.
__________________
13.3" rMBP 2.5GHz l iPhone 5s l iPad rMini l 4G iPod Touch l Apple TV l Nikon
nburwell is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2012, 02:33 PM   #5
Designer Dale
macrumors 68040
 
Designer Dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Folding space
Quote:
Originally Posted by nburwell View Post
I would have to agree here. I've had my Manfrotto tripod, and it's been through hell and back and has withstood every test I have put it through. Now I don't do a lot of extreme shooting, however, in the 7+ years that I've had my Manfrotto tripod, it has been one item of photo gear that I know I can constantly rely on.

Gitzo is a great tripod brand (especially for the price of them), so it's odd that this has happenened to you yet again. It wouldn't hurt write a letter or email to their customer service department and explain your situation to them.
What I find interesting in this thread is that a competitor (Markins) makes a replacement part for Gitzo tripods. That tells me that there is something amiss in Gitzos quality control. I was split between Gitzo and Manfrotto when I went carbon fiber and decided on the Manfrotto. I have no complaints and Gitzo is now crossed off my gear wanted list.

Dale
__________________
How to Post, Quote and Multi-Quote Photos - My Google Docs Folder 12/2011
I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
Designer Dale is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:19 PM   #6
avro707
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
What I find interesting in this thread is that a competitor (Markins) makes a replacement part for Gitzo tripods. That tells me that there is something amiss in Gitzos quality control. I was split between Gitzo and Manfrotto when I went carbon fiber and decided on the Manfrotto. I have no complaints and Gitzo is now crossed off my gear wanted list.

Dale
I have to agree with that, it seems like there is an obvious issue with this particular part when a rival builds replacement items for it.

Absolutely the OP should write a letter to Gitzo. Perhaps even suggest that they send one of their people out on a field trip with the photographer, so they can see the kinds of conditions this occurs in. If they are truly dedicated to their customers - they should do this. Gitzo isn't like some no-name budget brand, they are one of the big names in tripods. The problem piece obviously needs a redesign so it isn't susceptible to these failures. People are putting big dollar equipment on these tripods - they depend on them to be reliable.
__________________
Website
Mac Pro 5,1 | iMac | iPhone 5 64gb | Nikon D800e | Nikon D3s
avro707 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 05:34 PM   #7
Phrasikleia
Thread Starter
macrumors 68040
 
Phrasikleia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Over there------->
Just a quick update for those who are interested. I sent the broken Gitzo in for warranty repair and received it back from them today. It took them about three weeks to return it to me, but they were closed for one of those weeks due to the holidays. Before I sent in the broken Gitzo, I purchased a new tripod from Really Right Stuff. It makes me a bit nauseous to have so much invested into a mere tripod (about double what the Gitzo cost), but at least I feel that I can trust this one. It's also more stable and nicer to use; I'm particularly enjoying the ratcheted angle stops and the luxurious leg locks. The bigger feet are great too. Anyway, I'm happy to have this saga behind me!
__________________
Photography by Phrasikleia
Phrasikleia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:38 AM   #8
thekev
macrumors 603
 
thekev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bleh stupid cast collar pieces. I'm not sure what I'd suggest in tripods today. Manfrotto is under the same ownership. I tried the RRS pano head prior to the addition of the really heavy one they label as a Gimbal. I needed something to help make spherical hdris. It was nicely machined, but the puny locks could not properly support a 1DS. It was just irritating that when I told them what I owned, they didn't mention that it might be too much for the kit. The other problem I had with it was the L bracket had a little bit of flex, which only really bothered me as I needed to stitch images. I haven't tried anything from them since. The quality of the overall kit seemed good. It just wasn't designed for heavier cameras. I haven't tried any of their legsets or ball heads.

I can think of one that would probably hold up really well in the cold, but I don't think you'd like the idea. I don't think I'd want to to haul haul one of those either along with everything else. I sort of included it as a joke. I haven't seen one in use in a really really long time. I did find a few pages of discussion on another forum involving gitzo and RRS. It doesn't have much, but a couple people on there seemed to like RRS. You could probably inquire how hard they've used them.
__________________
world's largest manufacturer of tin foil hats, none of that aluminum foil crap.
thekev is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:55 AM   #9
Phrasikleia
Thread Starter
macrumors 68040
 
Phrasikleia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Over there------->
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekev View Post
Bleh stupid cast collar pieces. I'm not sure what I'd suggest in tripods today. Manfrotto is under the same ownership. I tried the RRS pano head prior to the addition of the really heavy one they label as a Gimbal. I needed something to help make spherical hdris. It was nicely machined, but the puny locks could not properly support a 1DS. It was just irritating that when I told them what I owned, they didn't mention that it might be too much for the kit. The other problem I had with it was the L bracket had a little bit of flex, which only really bothered me as I needed to stitch images. I haven't tried anything from them since. The quality of the overall kit seemed good. It just wasn't designed for heavier cameras. I haven't tried any of their legsets or ball heads.

I can think of one that would probably hold up really well in the cold, but I don't think you'd like the idea. I don't think I'd want to to haul haul one of those either along with everything else. I sort of included it as a joke. I haven't seen one in use in a really really long time. I did find a few pages of discussion on another forum involving gitzo and RRS. It doesn't have much, but a couple people on there seemed to like RRS. You could probably inquire how hard they've used them.
Yeah, it's hard to beat one of those old-school wooden tripods, but they weigh more than I do!

Could you elaborate on the problem you had with the RRS locks? Is this something I might encounter with my kit? Or is this just a ballhead issue?

Thanks for the Fred Miranda link. I'll look through that thread for nuggets of wisdom. I'm particularly keen to find some comparisons of the leg locks (RRS vs. Gitzo), so maybe that will be in there.
__________________
Photography by Phrasikleia
Phrasikleia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 07:07 AM   #10
Cheese&Apple
macrumors 6502a
 
Cheese&Apple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto
That's too bad about your Gitzo Phrasikleia. It's always disappointing when your equipment lets you down…especially when you believe you've invested in the best.

My tripod story (not that this will necessarily help you but may be food for thought for others)…

I had been using an older and not so sturdy tripod but as I upgraded to a newer, heavier and more valuable camera and lenses, it was time to upgrade my tripod as well.

A couple months ago I was browsing in a second-hand store and noticed a number of tripods. The store owner told me he gets a lot of them as it's one of those things that many people buy but few actually use (???). I went through his inventory and found one that I thought would suit me well. It was coated with layers of dirt but appeared to be mechanically sound. The price tag was $30 (Cdn), I offered $20…done deal.

I took it home and spent 20 minutes cleaning it up and adapting an old camera neck strap as a sling-style carry strap. Granted, it's not the lightest on the market nor is it ball head but it's aluminum, very sturdy, extends high enough for someone 7 ft. (without extending the centre post) and has a wonderful panning mechanism (I think it may have been designed for commercial video).

I don't like to buy used camera equipment as I'm a bit anal about potential problems that I can't see, warranties, etc. However, the bottom line is: $20 and 20 minutes for an awesome tripod that should last for many years leaves me wondering if spending the money for the best is always the best solution.

Btw, looking forward to seeing the post of your shot above...should be amazing!

Last edited by Cheese&Apple; Dec 10, 2012 at 07:16 AM.
Cheese&Apple is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 07:47 AM   #11
Phrasikleia
Thread Starter
macrumors 68040
 
Phrasikleia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Over there------->
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheese&Apple View Post
Granted, it's not the lightest on the market nor is it ball head but it's aluminum, very sturdy, extends high enough for someone 7 ft. (without extending the centre post) and has a wonderful panning mechanism (I think it may have been designed for commercial video).

I don't like to buy used camera equipment as I'm a bit anal about potential problems that I can't see, warranties, etc. However, the bottom line is: $20 and 20 minutes for an awesome tripod that should last for many years leaves me wondering if spending the money for the best is always the best solution.

Btw, looking forward to seeing the post of your shot above...should be amazing!
Thanks for the encouraging anecdote, Cheese&Apple. I have no problem at all with buying used equipment, but I really do need my tripod to be lightweight. I have a closet full of old tripods that do not meet my needs for one reason or another. I use them as light stands now.

And thanks for the optimism about the photo I was taking. I'm too miffed to process it right now. I feel bereft at the loss of such an important piece of gear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoshopper View Post
I LOVE my RRS sticks. I keep trying to find an excuse to buy another set, they are so well-engineered, constructed and aesthetically awesome. Apart from the price, I haven't found anything negative to say for them. Like all RRS products, made completely in the USA.
I only have kept my other Gitzo sticks (for travel/hiking) because RRS doesn't make anything quite as light.
Thanks for the info. I am leaning towards RRS right now. Unfortunately, "travel/hiking" describes the majority of my shooting needs. I fly a lot and backpack a lot. I also shoot on a lot of hillsides where I want to see over trees and need all of the height I can get. The Gitzo 2531 was great for me up until it became a "duo-pod" last night.
__________________
Photography by Phrasikleia
Phrasikleia is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 08:13 AM   #12
MCAsan
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
From my limited experience with them, if I did not have Gitzo, I would go with a Feisol CT-3301 or similar model that will run around $300 instead of $900 for Gitzo. Feisol seems to be good kit.
__________________
Retina MBP 2.7GHz | 16GB | 768G
Thunderbolt Display
iPhone 5s | Silver | 64GB | AT&T
iPad Air | Silver | 128GB | WiFi only
MCAsan is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 07:12 AM   #13
thekev
macrumors 603
 
thekev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Yeah, it's hard to beat one of those old-school wooden tripods, but they weigh more than I do!

Could you elaborate on the problem you had with the RRS locks? Is this something I might encounter with my kit? Or is this just a ballhead issue?
It was one of these. The parts fit together really well. It didn't mention weight or torque limits. I called prior to ordering and they thought it would be fine. With a 1DS + 17-40L or 70-200 F4 (I like the lighter version) the little screw locks were basically at their limit. It did fit together well. It didn't seem to creep when I tightened things down. Their quality did seem good. It's just with that one, it wasn't designed for the weight I was using. They came out with a heavier option much later, but I haven't tried it. I have not tried their ball heads. I have an old Cambo ball head (largest one) that I need to replace. It's not that amazing. Anyway they were nicely machined and fit together exceptionally well. Their legsets are rated for quite a bit of weight, so you might do well there. The design on the RRS legsets looks slightly different in the spot where yours broke.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Thanks for the Fred Miranda link. I'll look through that thread for nuggets of wisdom. I'm particularly keen to find some comparisons of the leg locks (RRS vs. Gitzo), so maybe that will be in there.
Well I read the thread there before linking it. It was somewhat opinionative, but I figured you could always try signing up there and asking some of them. It's just a much smaller company, so I don't see the name come up constantly.
__________________
world's largest manufacturer of tin foil hats, none of that aluminum foil crap.
thekev is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 07:26 AM   #14
Photoshopper
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
I LOVE my RRS sticks. I keep trying to find an excuse to buy another set, they are so well-engineered, constructed and aesthetically awesome. Apart from the price, I haven't found anything negative to say for them. Like all RRS products, made completely in the USA.
I only have kept my other Gitzo sticks (for travel/hiking) because RRS doesn't make anything quite as light.

I also have and use their ballheads and L-plates, which I also consider top-notch, for the reasons listed above. I can't imagine how one of their solid aluminum machined L-plates could have "flex".
Photoshopper is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:20 AM   #15
compuwar
macrumors 601
 
compuwar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern/Central VA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Should I be considering a switch to RRS? It looks like they don't quite have a comparable set of legs (something that stands as tall and is just as light). Has anyone had any problems with a RRS tripod? Any other suggestions for me?
Ugh! After two, I'd be out too- fortunately my Gitzo is holding up, and it doesn't get babied at all- quite the opposite! A quick Google of "Feisol broken tripod," "Benro broken tripod," and "RRS broken tripod" shows the former two breaking and the latter being used as a replacement for broken tripods- I think that's about as good as it's going to get- but I'd call and talk to RRS and see how they are to deal with.

Paul
__________________
PaulDRobertson.net Have I been helpful? How about a print for your wall? US, UK and CA fine art sales!
compuwar is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:49 PM   #16
Designer Dale
macrumors 68040
 
Designer Dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Folding space
Have a look at this one at B&H.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...bon_Fiber.html

It has a forged chassis and is temperature tested from -40 to 100c. Made in the Third Industrial District, Wuguishan Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong,China...

Dale
__________________
How to Post, Quote and Multi-Quote Photos - My Google Docs Folder 12/2011
I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

Last edited by Designer Dale; Dec 11, 2012 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Corrected an assumption...
Designer Dale is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2012, 06:04 PM   #17
dcains
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Made in Canada??? Don't think so.
dcains is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2012, 06:55 PM   #18
snberk103
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: An Island in the Salish Sea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
Have a look at this one at B&H.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...bon_Fiber.html

It has a forged chassis and is temperature tested from -40 to 100c. Made in Canada.

Dale
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcains View Post
Made in Canada??? Don't think so.
Interesting company... and I wish we could take credit for it... but, alas... not made in Canada. But the Canadian branch seems to offering a 6 year warranty on it's equipment.
__________________
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton
snberk103 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:30 PM   #19
Rowbear
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Gatineau, PQ, Canada
Ouch...sorry to see your high dollar equipement failed At least you didn't break a lens or camera.

Here is another suggestion: A few years ago, I purchased an Induro CT313 and I realy like it. I also purchased the short center column. I'm 5"10, and the viewfinder of my 7D + grip is at eye level with a Manfrotto Hydrostatic ballhead. I just didn't want to bend at all and this setup works perfectly for me.

http://www.indurogear.com/products_details_CT313.html#4

The CT-314 is 4 sections and will close shorter than mine.
__________________
Robert
www.robertgravel.ca

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
Rowbear is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2012, 09:21 PM   #20
Designer Dale
macrumors 68040
 
Designer Dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Folding space
Quote:
Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
Interesting company... and I wish we could take credit for it... but, alas... not made in Canada. But the Canadian branch seems to offering a 6 year warranty on it's equipment.
Fixed that...

Made in The Third Industrial District, Wuguishan Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong,China 

Dale
__________________
How to Post, Quote and Multi-Quote Photos - My Google Docs Folder 12/2011
I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
Designer Dale is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2012, 02:52 AM   #21
Phrasikleia
Thread Starter
macrumors 68040
 
Phrasikleia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Over there------->
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowbear View Post
Ouch...sorry to see your high dollar equipement failed At least you didn't break a lens or camera.

Here is another suggestion: A few years ago, I purchased an Induro CT313 and I realy like it. I also purchased the short center column. I'm 5"10, and the viewfinder of my 7D + grip is at eye level with a Manfrotto Hydrostatic ballhead. I just didn't want to bend at all and this setup works perfectly for me.

http://www.indurogear.com/products_details_CT313.html#4

The CT-314 is 4 sections and will close shorter than mine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
Fixed that...

Made in The Third Industrial District, Wuguishan Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong,China 

Dale
Thanks to you both for the suggestions. The Induro tripods also use a cast magnesium for the spider piece at the top, and that Sirui tripod is nearly twice as heavy as my Gitzo.

If I'm going to buy something new, I want to feel confident that it will be more reliable than my Gitzos have been. Otherwise, I'll just stay with Gitzo and take my chances. If money were no object, this decision would be so much easier.
__________________
Photography by Phrasikleia
Phrasikleia is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Digital Photography

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:02 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC