My review of Giottos MT9180 tripod and MH1001 ball head.

Started Feb 16, 2006 | Discussions
brobar Contributing Member • Posts: 506
Re: That is a good idea

I can see where that would make it 10x more sturdy (and safe). I'm going to head out to Lowes and pick up a bolt as well. The only downside I could see is not being able to use the built in 3-way head with just the camera attached and without the additional head screwed on to the top of it (which for me adds about 4 inches of height)... but how many times would you really want to do that anyways? I can't see too many scenarios where you would need to do that.

I couldn't see where that tripod could get anymore rugged and sturdy than it already is... but that little extra piece of mind couldn't hurt.

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-Brock
A few of my images: http://www.brockbarnes.com

denisg
denisg Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Re: That is a good idea

brobar wrote:

The only downside I could see is not being able to use the built in 3-way
head with just the camera attached and without the additional head
screwed on to the top of it (which for me adds about 4 inches of
height)... but how many times would you really want to do that
anyways? I can't see too many scenarios where you would need to do
that.

-Brock

I'm not at all sure what you mean Brock. There is no 'built-in' three way head, just a solid flat plate fixed to the centre column??. All we are doing is swapping the bolt that we screw our ball and socket/pan and tilt heads onto. These are usually 3/8th thread, or should be ;-). Why on earth would you want to mount the camera direct to the tripod without a proper mount??

The centre column unscrews from the tripod mount after releasing a small allen bolt, key provided. Inside the tripod mount is a screw threaded locking plate slotted for a standard screwdriver, remove this and the crappy 1/4"&3/8" bolt assembly drops out with a slight tap. You will really see just how cheap and nasty that vital part is!. Find a high tensile or stainless steel 3/8" bolt of the same length (I made mine approx 1/4" longer as my manfrotto b&s head would take it) and drop it in. Replace the locking plate and remount to the centre column. Place ball and socket/other type mount onto the new bolt and remember to lock the three allen bolts on the base to stop it turning. Replace into tripod and.............well thats it!.

It is really bad practice to mount the camera direct to the tripod, imho.

The point of my rant on this is that the replacement is sooooo easy to to do, why don't they just supply a seperate bolt for each size?. Is that so expensive!!

Denis

Denis.
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brobar Contributing Member • Posts: 506
Re: That is a good idea

denisg wrote:

I'm not at all sure what you mean Brock. There is no 'built-in'
three way head, just a solid flat plate fixed to the centre
column??. Why on earth would you want to mount the
camera direct to the tripod without a proper mount??

It is really bad practice to mount the camera direct to the tripod,
imho.

The point of my rant on this is that the replacement is sooooo easy
to to do, why don't they just supply a seperate bolt for each
size?. Is that so expensive!!

I was referring to this built-in three way head:

The Giottos documentation that should have come with your tripod explains: "Built-in universal 3-way head. You can set camera directly with no need for an extra head on it for the lowest shooting position when using built-in universal 3-way head, just separate the center column from the platform and lock the safety knob. It provide 360 degree horizontal and 180 degree vertical adjustment, quickly and easily. Safety Locking Knob : Remove the center column from platform by unscrewing the setscrew to use built-in universal 3-way head. To set up the platform, pull the knob out and rotate it till "LOCK" is in the top position. To release the platform pull the knob out and rotate it till "FREE" is in the top position."

But like I said... I really can't imagine too many scenarios if any at all where you would need or want to do this.

You are absolutely right about how easy it is to replace the bolt... I went immedately to Lowes yesterday after Brian suggested it and purchased a 1" long 3/8" steel bolt (for 14 cents) and it took about a minute to replace. I even purchased a 3/8" 1 1/4" long steel bolt (for 17 cents) to keep around in case I went with a different head and it required a longer one.

14 cents for added peace of mind is well worth the cost if you ask me!

I was going to photograph the replacement procedures and show people what it looked like... but when I realized just how easy it was to do I figured why waste the time because anybody with a flat-head screwdriver could figure it out with ease.

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-Brock
A few of my images: http://www.brockbarnes.com

denisg
denisg Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
ahh....sorry Brock........

Ahh............that 3 way head, I thought that perhaps you had purchased the tripod with a pan and tilt attached............Sorry!!. Still can't see why anyone would want to use the camera direct to the tripod though but to each their own I suppose. Like yourself I now carry a spare 3/8 and the original for emergencies.

The cost to me was zero as I could probably build a car with all the bits in my garage and 3/8 bsw was a standard bolt some years ago.

Worthy of note though is the fact that my friend was so infuriated he contacted the british importer and they sent him a genuine Giottos solid spare by return of post and he had it within 24 hours. So they have the spare....................need I say more........

Denis.
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MillCreek New Member • Posts: 2
Re: That is a good idea

I am probably missing something very basic here. Based on the earlier posts about replacing the head mounting screw, I went to Lowe's Hardware and bought both a 1/4 x 1" and 3/8 x 1" bolt. Both of them will not fit into the bottom of my Giottos MH-7001 head. The 1/4" diameter bolt will fit but will not screw in.

I have the Giottos 9170 and the MH-7001 head. Since the 1/4" and 3/8" diameter bolts did not work for me, does anyone have any other suggestions for the proper size bolt? Thanks for all help and any suggestions.

5D DjD Contributing Member • Posts: 653
Re: That is a good idea

MillCreek wrote:

I am probably missing something very basic here. Based on the
earlier posts about replacing the head mounting screw, I went to
Lowe's Hardware and bought both a 1/4 x 1" and 3/8 x 1" bolt. Both
of them will not fit into the bottom of my Giottos MH-7001 head.
The 1/4" diameter bolt will fit but will not screw in.

I have the Giottos 9170 and the MH-7001 head. Since the 1/4" and
3/8" diameter bolts did not work for me, does anyone have any other
suggestions for the proper size bolt? Thanks for all help and any
suggestions.

Sounds like you got the right size but the wrong thread pattern.
--
...Dennis

OP cleanmaxx brian Senior Member • Posts: 1,086
Re: That is a good idea

Be sure you get the course thread. I took the old parts with me and I compared in the store.

MillCreek wrote:

I am probably missing something very basic here. Based on the
earlier posts about replacing the head mounting screw, I went to
Lowe's Hardware and bought both a 1/4 x 1" and 3/8 x 1" bolt. Both
of them will not fit into the bottom of my Giottos MH-7001 head.
The 1/4" diameter bolt will fit but will not screw in.

I have the Giottos 9170 and the MH-7001 head. Since the 1/4" and
3/8" diameter bolts did not work for me, does anyone have any other
suggestions for the proper size bolt? Thanks for all help and any
suggestions.

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Brian - KM 5D!!! Canon s10-sold and still working! Canon S400-a great point and shoot!
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jhawkinsvalrico Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: Flip Clips Can Fail with Age

I also recently bought this tripod and one of their monopods. Great Build quality, but a bit heavy - at least the aluminum version is - they also other lighter materials versions for more $$$.

One of the reasons that I went with the twist lock legs is my very old flip locks (yes is it an old SLIK so better quality tripods may not have this problem) began allowing slip when I mounted my 5D/heavy 80-200 APO lens. Not a problem with lighter lenses, but anything heavy and it would begin losing height. You'd hardly notice the slip, but if you waited a couple of minutes and came back, the subject would be out of frame. This tripod is over 15 years old and got a lot of use and only started slipping recently. It served me well and was worth every penny. I'm not complaining, but has anyone else encountered this problem with flip locks on their pods?

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John Hawkins

MillCreek New Member • Posts: 2
Re: That is a good idea

I have done some additional research, and the standard threads for tripod mounts are either 1/4-20 or 3/8-16.

taurus73 Contributing Member • Posts: 544
Did a search...

and found you guys with your Giottos tripods! I'm very interested to get the 9170/80 but am wondering if there are any more reviews/critiques/concerns/comments.... from anybody else. Maybe updates on how its going?

Any thing would help. Thanks!
--
Nikon D50
18-70mm DX
Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
Lowepro slingshot 200
loving every minute

brobar Contributing Member • Posts: 506
Re: Did a search...

Had mine out today shooting ladybugs. My macro pics wouldn't be the same without this baby. It contorts and allows me to get into angles and areas not previously possible with my other tripods. It has endured dirt, mud, beach sand, banging around in the back seat of my truck and still looks and works just like the day I bought it.

There has been once or twice where I have contorted it to the point where a slight bump or a good wind would have knocked it over... but a nice sand bag hanging from the hook would have given it a more solid center of gravity.

I haven't had any PRO tripod experience so I really can't compare it to other NICE tripods... but I know for the price it is everything I could have wished for. I love it. I still find it a little bit on the heavy side... but that weight gives me a little extra peace of mind.

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-Brock
A few of my images: http://www.brockbarnes.com

taurus73 Contributing Member • Posts: 544
Thanks Brock!

I really appreciate it!
--
Nikon D50
18-70mm DX
Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
Lowepro slingshot 200
loving every minute

Shercando Senior Member • Posts: 2,542
Re: My review of Giottos MT9180 tripod and MH1001 ball head.

I just bought the very similar MT9170. I have had the MH7001 ballhead for some time that has bubble levels and a long quick release plate. This head is more suitable for heavier long lenses. It sells for about $55US.

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Shercando

5D DjD Contributing Member • Posts: 653
Re: Did a search...

I have the 9170 and picked it because it is a 3 section leg as compared to the 9180 which is a 4 section. I figured less work extending the legs and 3 less twist locks reduces the chance of not locking a leg tight and having the tripod lean or even tip over. It supports the same 26 lbs, and has the same 32mm dia legs as well. The 70s extended height is 4" less than the 80 it's just under 2" longer though when folded up.

It seemed like the logical choice to me when compared to the other two. The 9160 supports 22lbs is 3" shorter than the 70 when extended and is the same size folded as the 80. It also has a 28mm dia leg...

Watch the descriptions if you surf the web for info on these 3 tripods, I found Adorama has the spec's all messed up.
--
...Dennis

OP cleanmaxx brian Senior Member • Posts: 1,086
Re: Did a search...

I have been using mine quite a bit and I LOVE it! Very sturdy and will contort to any shooting position! I shot a panarama up on lookout point in New Jersey on a wind advisory day! It was blowing so hard I could barely stand. I used my camera bag with my lenses as weight and shot away. ROCK SOLID! Other then this tripod is a little on the heavy side, I would like to see any tripod compare to it even at twice the price! I think it is the best bang for the buck period.
--

Brian - KM 5D!!! Canon s10-sold and still working! Canon S400-a great point and shoot!
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jprny Regular Member • Posts: 180
Any trouble with it moving slightly when you tighten it up?

I was thinking of buying the same, but I read some rather poor reviews from some people. I saw one comment about them improving the quality, maybe that's the case?

People liked the legs, but weren't crazy about the ball head. Most frequent comment was that it always shifted while tightening it up. Many also said that over time, it became impossible to tighten it enough to keep it from drifting (though I think this was about their single lever model, not the one you got).

When you tighten it up, does it stay right on the mark?

Thanks.
-jpr

Shercando Senior Member • Posts: 2,542
Re: Any trouble with it moving slightly when you tighten it up?

jprny wrote:

I was thinking of buying the same, but I read some rather poor
reviews from some people. I saw one comment about them improving
the quality, maybe that's the case?

People liked the legs, but weren't crazy about the ball head. Most
frequent comment was that it always shifted while tightening it up.
Many also said that over time, it became impossible to tighten it
enough to keep it from drifting (though I think this was about
their single lever model, not the one you got).

When you tighten it up, does it stay right on the mark?

No, not in every case. When mounting the heavy 70-200 SSM or the 300 G on the MH7001 it does drop a little and I have to compensate when tightening. It is not the "perfect" head but the best I have used so far.
--Shercando

jprny Regular Member • Posts: 180
Re: Any trouble with it moving slightly when you tighten it up?

Thanks, that's definitely acceptable.
I'm not ready to drop $800 on something better than that ;-).
-jpr

Shercando Senior Member • Posts: 2,542
Re: Any trouble with it moving slightly when you tighten it up?

I have this Bogen Manfrotto 3025 head that I really like for the adjustments which are positively sweet but the head is simply not for heavy lenses. I added a bubble level on mine but will sell it soon. It's only rated for about 6.5 pounds or so and slips badly with heavy lenses.

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Shercando

taurus73 Contributing Member • Posts: 544
Height & center post question

If any of you wouldn't mind answering this...

I've looked everywhere and again, I am finding little to NO information. I am 68 in tall and I'm looking at the 9170 and 9180 because of this. There's a guy that posted on dpreview (not sure of forum) that says he's 6 ft tall and the 9180 is TOO tall for him and wishes he would have gotten the 9170 instead. Now, the 9180 is 71 inches in height. I know a head and the camera itself will increase the height depending on which you're using BUT....and here's my question, Can't the center column be adjusted to decrease the total height? or is the center column not able to be used in a 'mid-ranged' setting? Basically, I'm wondering if that center column can only be set at its very maximum (top) and its very minimum (bottom).

I hope that makes sense. I've emailed some ebay sellers of this tripod but havent received an answer yet and i'm hoping one of you that own this system can answer that for me.

Thank you.
--
Nikon D50
18-70mm DX
Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
Lowepro slingshot 200
loving every minute

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