Gitzo 1548 Carbon Fiber Tripods

Discussion in 'Nature' started by jim_zipp, Dec 28, 1998.

  1. Has anyone compared the Gitzo 1548 carbon fiber tripod versus the 410 tripod in the field? Arthur Morris states that he "has been able to make sharp images with his 600" using one but is it as good as the 410? They are a huge invistment but the weight savings with already heavy 600's could make them worth it only if they are equally steady.
     
  2. Here's what Art Morris says on the nature forum.
    WHAT IS THE BEST TRIPOD ON WHICH TO MOUNT A 500 OR 600mm LENS?
    There are only 2 choices: the Gitzo 410 or the lightweight Gitzo 1548 Carbon Fiber. Both are strong and sturdy enough to routinely produce--with perfect technique on the photographer's part, sharp images at shutter speeds down to 1/60th of a second. Though the 1548 is expensive, and I wish that it were a bit taller, I absolutely love mine; it is my everyday tripod. When working out of and near my vehicle, say at Bosque Del Apache or Ding Darling, I'll opt for the heavier 410 tripod.
     
  3. As an aside, it never ceases to amaze me that people complain about the price of these tripods after spending a minimum of $6000 on a lens.
     
  4. I do not think he was complaining, I think he simply does not want to waste money on an expensive doodad without knowing it works. If you have any extra cash laying around that you care to discard I have a really nice tripod made out of carbon fiber toothpicks for sale only 4000 dollars!!(shipping included) Since thats is only 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a 600/4 I think according to your logic its a steal.
     
  5. Altaf Shaikh is correct in that I was not complaining about the price of the carbon fiber tripods. I totally agree that after investing large sums of money into long lenses it would be foolish to try to save a few dollars on a tripod. I am more than willing to pay the higher price as long as it is as good as the 410, as I stated in my question. If on the other hand I found it to be only lighter but not quite as good as the 410 I would rather shoulder the extra weight instead.
     
  6. Jim, let me add that Moose Peterson uses a 1548 with his 600 mm and swears by it.
     
  7. My personal testing led me to conclude that a 13xx Gitzo CF tripod is nearly as rigid and stable as a 410. The 15xx CFs weren't out at the time, so I bought a 1348 and am very happy with it. If I were buying today I'd probably buy the 15xx because it would be total overkill, and why not for the price increment? It should blow a 410 away. I don't subscribe to the theory that greater weight yields inherently more stable tripods, material stiffness plays a role, just ask any designer of tennis rackets, where CF has caused a tremendous revolution.
    So, Arthur Morris, IMO, is being overconservative by using his metal 410 close to the car and the 15xx only when further away. I think he's probably giving up rigidity. My personal informal testing makes me think I give up VERY little with a 1348 compared to a 410, and gain a lot in stability over a 340 which I've also tried. My photos are sharp. My photos sell, when I care to market them. So ... I'm happy. My 1348 is a GREAT tripod, and it is my major tripod, my 99% use tripod.
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Like Arthur Morris, Art Wolfe also uses the Gitzo 1548 with a Studioball (a very large ballhead) in the field. He wants to maximize stability.
    The G1548 is a very large tripod. I have played around with a couple of them, and they sure give you a lot of stability. However, they also cost $900 and weight 6.75 pounds. Now $900 may not be that much more than a $700+ G13xx, but adding two pounds over a G13xx sort of defeats the purpose of using a lighter carbon-fiber tripod. If you really need the stability, I am sure the G1548 is an excellent choice.
    When the G1348 was introduced about two years ago, I was interested in it too. (I think that was around the time Don bought his.) However, Gitzo has since introduced the G1325 which has 3 sections (2 joints per leg) instead of 4 sections on the G1348 (3 joints). Since I hate those joints, the G1325 would be my choice now although it is kind of long when closed all the way down; I wonder that may be a problem during air travel. Neither the G1548, G1348 nor G1325 has a center column.
     
  9. My choice is a 1325 for use in the field with a 600/4. As Shun says, the 1548 is 2 lbs heavier which is starting to eat into the reason for using a CF tripod in the first place. A 1325 is 4.4 lbs, a 1548 is 6.4 lbs and a 410 is 8.5lbs.
    The 1325 seems pretty stable with a 600/4, though I'm sure a 1548 is slightly better. My "shooting from the car with maximum stability" tripod is a Bogen 3051. If you aren't going to carry it, what does weight matter. It weighs 12.5 lbs, is as stable as a rock and costs under $200. I wouldn't think of carrying it in the field or taking it on an airplane, but on car trips it's fine. It's also overkill for anything but a heavy 500+mm lens, at least in 35mm format. A great studio tripod I guess. You're certainly not going to accidentally knock it over!
     
  10. Gitzo 1548 with ArcaSwiss B2 is the one I use from 500 mm and up to 1000 mm. It is substantial more stable than my Gitzo 1325 with ArcaSwiss B1. A rubber disk is placed between the bottom of the ballheads and the topplates of the tripods to make the connections more solid.
     
  11. I just returned from a week of hauling my 600mm lens and 410 tripod with Studioball around in the tropics of Trinidad & Tobago. No doubt I am tired from the "exercise"! I still prefer the 410 tripod even though it is heavier. More weight means more mass, which only helps in support. I was tired carrying in on a 2 mile hike in the forest, however, the majority of the time I am only walking a short distance with it. Typical uses are working a road in a Naitonal Wildlife Refuge, or walking from my car into my blind; both very short distances.
     
  12. Guys I don't know what all the fuss is about these two tripods, the choice should be easy. I have used both extensivly and to have the CF that holds nearly the same amount of weight as the 410 does but is 2.5 pounds lighter, or two go with the 410 that is a heavy brute, gee which one one would I buy ?? My next tripod will be the 15xx series CF from Gitzo, one hell of a tripod !
    Cheers Rob Hadlow
     
  13. Thank you everyone for the input. From all the information provided I can see that the 1548 carbon fiber tripod is approximately equal to the 410 in performance and either would be a good choice. That was my real question in the first place. Now I will have to decide if the weight savings is worth the difference in price. I would probably come up with two different answers depending on how long a walk I had just taken with that rig over my shoulder. Thanks again, Jim
     
  14. This is not an answer but a question on the same topic. I am about to purchase a new Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod. I am a relatively small but strong woman(over 50) and I travel a lot, sometimes by plane--don't hike a long ways but some. I photograph animals and birds; also like to do scenics. Which is better--the G1548 as advocated by Arthur Morris, the 1325 or the 1348? Also, do you have to order a seperate center column for each of these tripods? I am leaning toward the 1548 but cannot tell if it comes with a column and, if not, which one to order. Currently I have the 1227 which has not come unglued and has withstood all types of weather situations but is not stable enough for a Canon 100-400 IS with 2x TC and probably couldn't handle a 500mm. Would really appreciate some feedback since I need to order ASAP. The big birds are nesting in Louisiana and I don't want to miss out.
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Nancy, either the Gitzo 1325 or the 1348 is sufficient for a 500mm/f4 type lens. Even Arthur Morris agreed on that when he saw me using my 500mm/f4 on a G1325 last November. In fact, a lot of people feel that those tripods are sufficient for 600mm/f4 also, but that is matter of opinion. The 100-400 IS zoom is considerably lighter than the 500/4, so it won't be a problem. Neither one of the 1325, 1348, and 1548 comes with a center column. IMO you are better off without one. However, for those who like center columns, the corresponding models are 1329, 1349, and 1549 respectively. Check Gitzo's web site: www.gitzo.com for more info.
     
  16. I am thinking of buying either a Gitzo 1325 or 1548 aftre reading all the information in the many helpful photo.net threads about these tripods. My question is less opinion and more utilitarian. I am wondering about how the model numbers translate to todays model numbers. I have found the following items on the B&H Photo website and want to make sure they are what I think: G1325 Mountaineer Mk2 Inter Pro Studex Performance Carbon Fibre Tripod Legs (without column)....is this the 1325 that has been discussed? Sounds like this should be more than adequate for a 300 f2.8 G1548 Tele Studex Mk2 Performance Carbon Fibre tripod...I assume this is the 1548? Howard
     
  17. I assure you that I'm not Arthur Morris or Art Wolfe but I have compared a 340 and the 1548. Without an extender, the 340 does just fine with the 600 (non IS). YOu get sharp shots consistently. With a 1.4x attached, the sharpness ratio goes straight downhill - some excellent results but plenty that are not. In the past I've owned a 410 with medium format and the big problem is carrying it. It's long and heavy and without tripod pads, a pain in the shoulder. With a 500 or less, the 13xx would be my choice. With a 600 when an extender is going to be used more than rarely, I'd pick the 15xx. But, that also depends on the overall system. Maybe with a different head (I used the Arca B-1), a lighter tripod could be used. Or, maybe, with a cable release and mirror lockup. You gotta look at everything in the line of fire, unfortunately. Mike
     
  18. do you know if the Gitzo 1321 Leveling Base works on G1548 ?
     

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