Travel tripod for NEX6: Gitzo GT1542T or ...

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Rod McD
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Re: Travel tripod for NEX6: Gitzo GT1542T or ...
In reply to MVDH, 9 months ago

Hi,

I have three CF tripods and travel with all of them sometimes........ After a series of Manfrotto aluminium tripods (too heavy for travel).  I bought in this order

  • a Gitzo GT1228 Mountaineer tripod (no longer current but much like the GT1540).  This is great, but bigger than you're looking at and I don't travel with it unless it's short travel and I'm going on a  trip with photography as a purpose.
  • a Sirui CF T025, which is beautifully made and collapses to about a foot long because it has five leg sections and the column reverses.  I rarely use it because it isn't tall enough, and life is too short for tripods with five leg sections - that means you have to unlock, extend and re-lock five sections every time you erect it.  I only take it when I doubt I'll need a tripod, but want one 'just in case'.
  • I then bought a Slik 614 CF which is lighter than the Gitzo 1228, taller than the Sirui and only has three leg sections.  It doesn't pack down as small as the Sirui, but goes up and down a lot faster.  I like it for travel and hiking.

I'd be cautious of short tripods  - what I've found is that although they're light and pack down well, they're sooner or later not up to the task.  1)  They may not allow the camera to 'see' over tall grass and other vegetation that you don't notice at your eye height.  And 2) One day you'll encounter sloping ground, and then having long tripod legs comes into its own because you need a long one on the down hill side to get the total height you need.  And like I said above, five section legs are a total pain.  Never again for me!

Yes, light tripods are affected by the wind, and sooner or later there is a wind that will affect every tripod.  If you are sticking with the Gitzo Traveller Series,  think I'd stick with the Series 1 Traveller rather than the Series 2, because you have the lighter weight advantage (all the time) and the Series 2 has no more height for the extra weight.  You won't need the extra load capacity for an NEX6.  I'd carry a corded bag with you and put a rock in it and hang it under the tripod for extra stability if needed.  I think I would also consider (for me) the Gitzo Mountaineer GT 1531 or GT1540 over the Traveller series.  Why?  They're taller, weigh a whisker more than the Traveller Series 1, and less than the Traveller Series 2.  Their disadvantage is that they don't pack down as small (the four leg-section GT1540 packs down to 52cm).  I guess it depends a bit on your travel and preferences.

I can recommend Gitzo (and the better Sliks).  Gitzo are expensive, but they last, and the company has a policy of stocking parts for many years after the others have stopped (if you can get them at all).

Enjoy whatever you buy,

Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
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