Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions
Frozencpu
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Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
Apr 8, 2013

Hi, I know this question has been asked before a couple of times here and on other forums but, I haven't seen any real comparison between the 2 so any input past or present is much appreciated.

GM5561T

Max Height 61.2"

Folded Length 16.3"

Max Load 55.1lbs

Leg Section 6 Leg Twist Lock

Weight 1.65lbs 750g

GM5541

Max Height 63.8"

Folded Length 21.7"

Max Load 55.1lbs

Leg Section 4 Leg Twist Lock

Weight 1.9lbs 861g

From my research and some decent customer reviews and just by the specs alone seems like the GM5561T is the winner. However my biggest con is the 5 section legs that you have to undo vs 3 sections on GM5541 and for those with experience among Gitzo monopods what are you thoughts on having more sections or less. The other pro side of GM5561T is that it folds into just 16" and weight 750g which is a big plus.

I will be using it with Nikon D600 70-200mm 2.8 VR2 and 300mm 2.8 VR.

Here is the BH links for both of them

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/569172-REG/Gitzo_GM5541_GM5541_6X_Carbon_Fiber.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/582860-REG/Gitzo_GM5561T_GM5561T_Traveler_6x_Carbon.html

Nikon D600
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Frozencpu
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 8, 2013

Stock photos of the Gitzo GM5561T

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lowlander7
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 8, 2013

I have recently bought a 5561t to replace a 4 section aluminium gitzo which I have had for some years. The advantage of the 5561 is its compact size and lighter weight. I don't find the 6 sections any disadvantage at all. I seldom use it fully extended and it's less of a stretch to reach a twist lock to make fine adjustments to height. The only problem I found was due to the diameter of the platform which at 80mm is too wide for my Manfrotto 323 quick release clamp to sit flush due to the "blimp" on the bottom under the lever. I solved this by switching the platform from my old monopod but may buy a Wimberley C12 clamp which I believe fits the wider platform ok.

Hope this helps.

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lowlander7

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afoton
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 8, 2013

Frozencpu wrote:

GM5561T

Max Height 61.2"

I don't know how long you are, but 61.2" is just too short for me. I can use a short tripod, but using a too short monopod is a real pain.

Those extra sections that has to be unlocked and locked, make it slower to work with. How much of an issue it is, is depending of how you are working. If you unfold the monopod and use it for a longer periode before you fold it and go home, those extra seconds of unlocking and locking of sections is of no issue. But if you unfold it, take few picture and fold it again, and do this many times, you will like the few sections. But in the latter case, you probably also will like the shorter folded length. I prefer the fewer sections.

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nkistrup
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to afoton, Apr 8, 2013

afoton wrote:

Frozencpu wrote:

GM5561T

Max Height 61.2"

I don't know how long you are, but 61.2" is just too short for me. I can use a short tripod, but using a too short monopod is a real pain.

Those extra sections that has to be unlocked and locked, make it slower to work with. How much of an issue it is, is depending of how you are working. If you unfold the monopod and use it for a longer periode before you fold it and go home, those extra seconds of unlocking and locking of sections is of no issue. But if you unfold it, take few picture and fold it again, and do this many times, you will like the few sections. But in the latter case, you probably also will like the shorter folded length. I prefer the fewer sections.

Agree w. Afoton: Too many sections slows setup time.  Have the later, and use it for over 95% of my shots.  Have both the long spike & 80 mm big foot.  Very stable, but 1 sec shutter times start becoming hit or miss.

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Frozencpu
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to nkistrup, Apr 9, 2013

Thanks for the replies it's shining some light more towards the GM5561T. I am bout 5'7 and 61" is just around eye level without the camera w/grip mounted so I would actually need to lower it slightly by few inches not to mention I am planning on getting RRS MH-01 head for it which will make it even more taller.

However my other concern is that the grip is some what small/short when you do have it retracted into carrying position with the camera on one of the shoulders, is it easy to grip or does your hand some what slide off towards the twist locks?

Thanks for all replies your help is much appreciated in making the decision.

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Hank3152
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May I suggest..........
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 9, 2013

............the Feisol CM-1471?
This is one of the finest monopods I have ever owned and I've used Manfrotto and Gitzo....quality and design is well worth the cost....... http://www.feisol.net/feisol-monopod-cm1471-rapid-p-6.html .....

Carbon fiber with 4 section non-rotational twist lock legs and you can get it from B&H with free shipping. The unit weighs a mere 1.5 lbs and is as solid as a baseball bat. The lower section is as robust as many upper legs of CF tripods........check the lower attached photos.

It's as good as a Gitzo at half the cost.....

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nkistrup
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 9, 2013

The Gitzo also has a belt clip.  With the camera detached, I will sometimes leave it there, when I need both hands free.

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Yorkshireman
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 9, 2013

I have both, so I can compare well. The 5541 is a larger diameter and feels sturdier, but the 5561 is certainly more compact and lighter, so better for travelling. No problems with a 200m f2 on either, so your 300mm f2,8 will be fine.

I find the RRS MH01 head with lever clamp rather than screw clamp the best solution for me, but would only recommend this, if you also use RRS plates on your lenses. Adding the RRS head increases the height of the monopod by a couple of inches and the weight by a substantive amount! I am about the same height as you and have never felt that the 5561 was too short for me.

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NancyP
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Re: May I suggest..........
In reply to Hank3152, Apr 9, 2013

Feisol is excellent, I have their CT3472 37mm leg diameter "systematic" type (no center column) tripod. Ginormous, but weighs only 4# without the leg spikes.

Before I bought the Feisol, I bought an Induro carbon fiber monopod CM25, also very well made, and compact at 17" long, handy for using at low levels.

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nkistrup
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Yorkshireman, Apr 10, 2013

Yorkshireman wrote:

I have both, so I can compare well. The 5541 is a larger diameter and feels sturdier, but the 5561 is certainly more compact and lighter, so better for travelling. No problems with a 200m f2 on either, so your 300mm f2,8 will be fine.

I find the RRS MH01 head with lever clamp rather than screw clamp the best solution for me, but would only recommend this, if you also use RRS plates on your lenses. Adding the RRS head increases the height of the monopod by a couple of inches and the weight by a substantive amount! I am about the same height as you and have never felt that the 5561 was too short for me.

Did you consider monopod heads from Kirk or Custom Brackets? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Custom+Brackets&ci=398&N=4075788737+4099560938+4291388599+4291517608

Looking at 3 brands, Custom Brackets is the heavy weight at a lb, while Kirk & RRS are about 14 oz.

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Yorkshireman
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to nkistrup, Apr 10, 2013

Please bear in mind that I live in Germany. I have never heard of Custom Brackets before, so did not consider this brand. The RRS head is available in a version with a lever release clamp, the Kirk one is not. I prefer the lever clamp, because I find it easier and quicker to mount the lens. A lever clamp is also more compact for transport, because the lever mechanism rests fairly close to the head when closed and does not project laterally so wide as the stem of a screw-type clamp.

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nkistrup
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Yorkshireman, Apr 10, 2013

Yorkshireman wrote:

Please bear in mind that I live in Germany. I have never heard of Custom Brackets before, so did not consider this brand. The RRS head is available in a version with a lever release clamp, the Kirk one is not. I prefer the lever clamp, because I find it easier and quicker to mount the lens. A lever clamp is also more compact for transport, because the lever mechanism rests fairly close to the head when closed and does not project laterally so wide as the stem of a screw-type clamp.

Thanks, I was just curious.  And I agree that the missing lever on the Kirk is a big '-'.

Have a flash bracket from Custom Brackets (USA), so I'm happy with their stuff.  Weight for the monopod head?  Not happy.

Devil's advocate: Will probably go with RRS like you did.  Thanks for pointing it out. 

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Frozencpu
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to nkistrup, Apr 15, 2013

Quick update guys. One of the local calumet stores had one in stock so I was able to check it out in person and I was set to buy it. While I was going to place my order from B&H I noticed the huge price increase from $275 to $399 which was shocking even adorama had the same price. After quick search of all the big online retailers Amazon was the only one that did not yet updated the pricing so I end it up ordering it from them. Seems like all the gitzo products went up in price by a big margin. If some of you ending up reading this Amazon still has 7 more in stock for $275.

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Hank3152
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Re: Gitzo Monopod GM5561T vs GM5541
In reply to Frozencpu, Apr 15, 2013

Frozencpu wrote:

While I was going to place my order from B&H I noticed the huge price increase from $275 to $399 which was shocking even adorama had the same price.

That's making the Feisol look even that much better.........it's virtually as good at a 1/3 of the cost
....... http://www.feisol.net/feisol-monopod-cm1471-rapid-p-6.html

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