Gitzo GT3540L Questions

Started May 5, 2008 | Discussions thread
KBAM New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Gitzo GT3540L Questions


To f/u on open Gitzo/RRS questions/issues (all reasonable)...

1) As mentioned, the Gitzo GT3530LSV tripod includes both the 75mm bowl adapter (mounts fluid-heads designed for video) AND the flat-plate for use with ball-heads (e.g., RRS, Markins, etc.).

In contrast, the upcoming model, GT3531LSV, appears to delete from the kit the flat-plate accessory (creating, in effect, a back-door price increase). This part, #G349, is, however, available separately for ~$25. (Other diffs between the 3530 and 3531 are unknown.)

2) The RRS PCL-1 is a panning clamp that's normally configured atop the ball-head in lieu of a non-pano clamp (quick-release or locking knob flavors). In turn, the ball-head mounts on the 'pod's flat-plate or GS5120LVL leveling base (if set up in lieu of the plate). Gitzo's leveling base offers quick/convenient leveling of the system (15° tilt), making leg-tweaking unnecessary; it is neither a pano device nor a clamp. A cam-mounted bracket/L-bracket, ball-head, and clamp or pano-clamp are deployed in any case.

3) You said:

"I've been trying to decide between the trade off of the GT3530LSV (about 3" longer) and the GT3540L with four sections (potentially less stable and more time to setup). I plan on doing some backpacking with it. Do you think I'll be more annoyed by the 3" difference or the 4 sections?"


A tough call. Compromises aside, shorter collapsed length enhances mobilty and can be essential. Still, if backpacking is, say,

4) You said:

"If I did go with the GT3530LSV, would I have to use the bowl-adapter if I didn't get the GS5120LVL leveling base?"


This issue seems to have been addressed in the thread, but to review: The 75mm bowl adapter is useless for ball-head work. It's to be removed and banished to a drawer. Instead, install the #G349 flat-plate that's also included with the GT3530LSV. (As mentioned, the new GT3531LSV may not include the #G349 accessory; if MIA, simply purchase one.) Again, the #GS5120LVL leveling base is strictly optional; it's installed instead of the #G349. The Markins Q-Ball M10/M20, RRS BH-40/BH-50 or other ball-heads will mount to the #G349 or #GS5120LVL. (See pic in link.)

5) You said:
"If I do get the GT3540L, can I use the GS5120LVL on it?"


Believe it's a "no." The "S" (Systematic) series is a purpose-built, modular/'Erector-set' approach. The diameter of S-series mounts--including the GS5120LVL--is wider than non-Systematic (3540L) center column assemblies.

6) One thing more to confuse you: Along with some other Gitzo products, the part number of the GS5120LVL leveling base is changing; it will become #GS5121LVL. No apparent difference except a higher price.

Mastering cam-support and rationalizing the Gitzo and other systems--especially for new users--is a daunting exercise. (Gitzo's printed catalog helps a bit--its and Bogen's Web site are really deficient.) Getting up to speed is...a career; take it one step at a time.

Hope this all helps.

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