Gitzo GT2541 vs GT1542T for hiking and exploring

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
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opirox
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Gitzo GT2541 vs GT1542T for hiking and exploring
Jan 18, 2013

Hi,

I need some help in deciding which tripod I should get

I shoot mostly landscapes and night (stars) and the heaviest setup that I have right now is a Nikon D800 with a 14-24mm f/2.8 and Lee filter kit, which weighs roughly 5.5 pounds. I also have a 24-70mm f/2.8 and I am looking at getting a 70-200mm f/2.8 sometime in the future. So the tripod should be sturdy enough to carry a D800 with 70-200 f/2.8 at 200mm, which is something in the order of 6 pounds.

Currently I'm using a Manfrotto 190XPROB, which was good enough for my D7000, but way too heavy and long for backpacking and not steady enough for my new gear.

The main purpose of this tripod (which will be my only tripod) is to be stable enough to carry my equipment but at the same time light and short enough to be carried on hiking and backpacking trips. There is no point in getting an awesome tripod if I never carry it with me, but there is also no point in getting a flimsy compact tripod that can't hold my camera steady Of course I also want to use it when I could potentially carry a heavier tripod, but I don't have the cash to get more than one.

So I think I want a 4-section tripod to have it as short as possible when carrying it around but still have enough height if needed (I'm 6'1'').

After doing some research I'm in between the Gitzo GT1542T and the Gitzo GT2541.

- GT1542T:

Pro: very short folded (16.7in), very light

Con: Series 1 tripod and therefore not so steady, lower max height, lower load capabliity

- GT2541:

Pro: Sturdier, longer max height, more load capability

Con: Longer folded (21.8in), heavier (insignificantly)

Does anyone have experience with both of these tripods? Will the GT1542T traveller be enough to carry a 70-200? I'm not thinking about getting a longer lens at any point, 200mm will be the longest. The traveller would be much shorter when it's folded, so that would be the greatest advantage...

Also I don't want to spend more than $600 on the tripod itself, so unfortunately the GT2542T is out of my range.

I was about to get the GT2541 but then I thought "what if it's too heavy and I can't carry it on backpacking trips?" Then I was about to buy the GT1542T but I thought "what if it's wobbly and I won't use it because of that?". What a dilemma

Also I'd appreciate it if you could recommend good ball heads that are light and not too high (price range up to $350).

Nikon D7000 Nikon D800
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