Gitzo travelers

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by raymondc, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Hi, I finally got one and it is fantastic.

    Great for my travel style - one daypack internationals.

    Question. You can take the centre column out and on top you reverse the screw. When you do that the ballhead does not fit anymore, the screw is now smaller - which you can mount it directly onto the camera. This does not provide a lot of movement - camera fixed to tripod legs.
    Can you get ballheads that takes the smaller screw or a screw adaptor?

  2. There are three different Gitzo Traveller tripods in the 2009 catalogue: GT1541T, GT1550T, and GK2580TQR. Which one are you talking about, and which ballhead? By the way, I have the GT1550T with the G1178M head, modified with an Arca-Swiss clamp replacing the Gitzo clamp, so I'm familiar with the Traveller design, and I agree how good it is.
    To answer your question, some very weedy ballheads have a 1/4" BSW/NC female thread at the base, but you probably would not want to use them with anything but a P&S. Most ballheads, even quite light-duty ones, have a 3/8" BSW/NC female thread. You can get a little adapter with 3/8" male and 1/4" female threads, but the problem is how little it is – the usual ones are far too short to provide adequate runs of thread to make a secure fitting.
    But anyhow, I don't see what your problem is. The ballhead you are talking about (did it come with the tripod?) obviously has a 3/8" thread, so why would you want to do anything other than fit it onto the 3/8" side of the reversible stud that is locked in place by the column top plate?
  3. The Leica ball head has a 1/4 screw on the bottom - matches their table top tripod. Not all 1/4 threaded heads are weedy.
  4. My old Leica ball & Socket head (the large one) has a reversible plate on the bottom - 1/4 and 3/8 tripod threads. The head also has a reversible 'bolt' - again both sizes.
  5. I have the G1550T tripod with the enclosed small ballhead from Gitzo, planning on a Markins Q3.
    It works well in std way. If I want to take the centre column off, the top part the screw reverses, it is now much smaller that does not fit the std sized ballheads.
    Or do you suggest me to use the centre column? I prob would use it, but out of curiosity, if I do away the centre column, am I limited to tiny ballheads.....
  6. Ray, on re-reading my post I see that I inadvertently claimed to have the GT1550T when in fact I have the GT1541T (just a typo, brain not fully in gear), which is much closer to a standard Series 1 tripod than the rather one-off GT1550T that you have. The GT1550T comes as a kit with the G1077M Series 0 ballhead, and the column top plate of the GT1550T tripod is clearly much smaller than normal for a Series 1 tripod, so is presumably some weird non-standard fitting.
    I think I see now what you are trying to do, which is to use the tripod without its centre column, but I can't understand why in general you would want to do that except for working close to the ground, since the centre column on its own weighs hardly anything. My experience is that the "ground level kit" arrangement (that is, without the centre column) doesn't work as a solid fitting on my GT1541T, but what works perfectly, and gets me just as close to the ground, is to use the accessory short column GS1510KB in place of the standard column. I suggest you have a look at that solution.
  7. Wow, I logged on this morning to research Gitzo Traveler tripods and this thread was waiting! I think I'll go to Las Vegas....
    Anyway, I've done a little homework and decided on a Gitzo Traveler because I travel for a living and, at 16", it will fit in my carry-on suitcase. But which one? Robin mentioned three different models. Any suggestions on which to buy?
    And what ballhead? I'm leaning toward a RRS BH-40. Is that a good choice or would another be better?
    Many thanks in advance. I'm surprised at how complicated buying a tripod can be. Cheers.
  8. I'd look at the RRS BH-25. Smaller and lighter, not to mention less expensive. My next purchase is the GT1541t with the BH-25 with the lever release.
  9. Thanks, Ted. I just looked at the RRS website and that may be the way to go. I have a 40D and the biggest lens I'm planning on is the 70-200 f/4, so my whole rig will only be about 4 pounds.
  10. Dave, I'd recommend the GT1541T. It will handle a 40D with a 70~200 lens with no problem at all, although I would strongly recommend using a tripod collar so that the setup balances properly. Gitzo are very conservative in the load capabilities that they quote. With the centre column down, I'm happy to put a 5DII with a fully-extended 100~400 on mine, again using the relevant tripod collar and a securely mounted plate that is long enough to provide a reasonable balance point. Although at that sort of weight and focal length a heavier-duty tripod would be preferable, using the GT1541T is much much better than leaving your tripod at home because it is too heavy or bulky to carry. The new Series 2 Traveller looks very nice, but it is somewhat longer when folded, and quite a bit heavier, and also even further up Gitzo's fairly challenging price list! I would not be too happy with the GT1550T myself – five leg sections on a Series 1 tripod is pushing it a bit for a DSLR with a substantial lens.
    There is a nice Gitzo case for the GT1541T which provides excellent protection inside a suitcase or carry-on bag as well as being good for carrying the tripod when it is in use. As yet, Gitzo have not introduced a case specifically for the GT1550T or the Series 2 Traveller.
    You need to choose a ballhead that allows the tripod to fold up as designed. That means a maximum diameter equal to the diameter of the column top plate (50mm). The length of the ball stem must be long enough to allow it to fold over the legs with a clamp fitted to it, but not so long that the tripod will not go in its case, into which it is quite a tight fit. Finally, it must be possible to position the knobs or levers on the ballhead so that they do not obstruct the proper folding of the legs. I use the Gitzo G1178M ballhead with a 2" Kirk Arca-Swiss type clamp repacing the Gitzo clamp, and that works perfectly. I am sure other ball-heads and clamps could be used, but it is important to check. If you are thinking about RRS kit, remember that there are compatibility problems over using RRS lever clamps with non-RRS plates.
  11. Thanks, Robin. That's extremely helpful. I had already discounted the GT1550T because of the 5 leg sections but I'm torn between the GT1541T and the GK2580TQR. I'm looking at the latter because it has larger diameter legs and stands a little taller. I'm 6'2" and the GT1541T might be a little too short. Of course, the GK2580TQR is larger, heavier and pricier, and comes with a ballhead, so I don't get to choose the one I want. Decisions, decisions. Thanks again! Cheers.
  12. I have the gitzo 1541T and the 2541EX. Ballhead RRS BH-40. Most of the times I travel with my car so I carry the 2541EX. If I go on a plane trip I choose the 1541 with the BH-40. All combination can handle the d300/700 and the 70-200 f/2.8. No problem at all.
  13. I have the gitzo 1541T and the 2541EX. Ballhead RRS BH-40. Most of the times I travel with my car so I carry the 2541EX. If I go on a plane trip I choose the 1541 with the BH-40. All combination can handle the d300/700 and the 70-200 f/2.8. No problem at all.
  14. Thanks, Nikos.
    Does your Gitzo 1541T fold up with the RRS BH-40 ballhead attached, or do you have to remove it first? And, if so, how long is the tripod all folded up with the ballhead attached?
    Many thanks,
  15. No it doesnt fold up with the BH40 neither with the manfrotto 488. Actually i dont think it can fold up with any ballhead attached unless it is a very small one. When I say it doesnt fold up I mean of course with the legs strait parallel because with the legs not being completely straight and parallel doesnt make any sense.
    You have to unscrew the ballhead but I dont see it as a problem.
  16. The GT1541T folded up as designed (that is, with the column raised and the legs folded up around it) is 42cm long. The G1177M plain ballhead does not add to that, but the G1178M (same but with the Gitzo clamp) and my setup with the Kirk Arca-Swiss type clamp replacing the Gitzo clamp adds about 2cm contributed by the size of the clamp. The tripod folds over this Gitzo ballhead with either the Gitzo or Kirk clamp, and it still goes into its case when folded.
    With the tripod folded in the way that tripods usually fold (column and legs down), the height to the top of the column plate is 49cm and even without a ballhead it does not go into its case (or, at least, the top sticks out and the zip cannot be completely closed). The total height is of course increased by the height of whatever ballhead is fitted.
    There's probably not much point in buying a Traveller if you are not going to take advantage of the special way that it folds up, and that means either having a compatible ballhead/clamp (might be worth checking out the Markins Q3 as an alternative to the Gitzo head), or, as "nilo 4net" says, being prepared to unscrew the ballhead each time the tripod is packed away. The equivalent non-Traveller Gitzo is the GT1541 Mountaineer (don't you just love the way they avoid confusing you with the reference codes!) which is 54cm long without ballhead and weighs 1.12kg – still very light, but a bit more than 0.97kg for the GT1541T. Both tripods are rated at 8kg load on Gitzo's very conservative measurement basis, so the limiting factor for load is likely to be the ballhead. The Mountaineer does give significantly more height (138cm compared to 113cm, in both cases with the column down).
  17. Thanks, guys. I'm about to walk out the door on a business trip, but I'll digest all this when I get home.
  18. Thanks again, guys. I read all your input carefully, did some more research on the Internet, and went down the local camera store this afternoon. They had both the Traveler ( GT1541T) and the Traveler 2 kit (GK2580TQR) on display, as well as plenty of others. I thought I was about to purchase, but unfortunately I wasn't all that impressed. What I saw didn't seem worth the $600-900 they wanted for it, so I'm back at square one. Has anybody had any experience with Adorama Flashpoint tripods? I spend a fair amount of time in New York and I think I'll walk over and take a look the next time I'm there.
  19. I'm looking at purchasing the Gitzo 1541T and one of the following ballheads (can't decide) - Markins Q3T Traveler OR RRS BH-25.
    Not sure what clamp t get to get so if anyone has a suggestion?

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