Manfrotto 190CX3 vs Gitzo Traveler 1541T

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by color, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. I am considering buying a carbon fiber tripod. My intention is to use it for travel. I want light weight, good quality, good value and dependability. I am interested in the Manfrotto 190CX3 and Gitzo Traveler 1541T. I am not interested in Velbon or Benro. Please don't tell me why I should be. Which of my choices would you choose and why?
  2. The traveller looks more like my Gitzo 1228 Mountaineer with the screw 4 section legs. I've liked mine very much. The other one is cheaper and seems to use the old Bogen leg lock system. I wasn't fond of the screw to tighten system at first, but it grew on me and now I like it. My old Bogen with the other system needs periodic tightening with a screwdriver. I've had good service out of the 1228 so I'd go with the 1541 if it were my choice. Get a good ball head. I used a Bogen 3262QR because it was cheap, light, and reasonably decent. I'm sure there are better ones now.
  3. Thanks, David. So far it's a toss-up for me. I like the flip locks on the Manfrotto legs, but the Gitzo looks like better quality.
  4. Well, I chose the Gitzo GT1541T as my travel tripod, and am very happy with it. The only aspect that does not work as advertised (for me, at least) is the "Ground Level Kit" arrangement whereby you remove the column and screw the column top plate and screw directly to the hook unit, then tighten the column locking collar against the top plate, It comes undone at the slightest provocation. However, I discovered that what Gitzo call the "Medium Length Colmn" (short to you and me) sold as an accessory is exactly the right length to get you just as low as the Ground Level Kit arrangement, and works perfectly.
    To take full advantage of the way that the Gitzo Traveller tripods fold up, you need to be very careful about choice of ballhead, else you will have to remove the ballhead each time you fold the tripod, which rather spoils the fun. The Markins Q3T (note: Q3T NOT Q3) is specially designed for the Series 1 Traveller, and is probably the best, although expensive, choice. I use a Gitzo G1177M head (actually a G1178M with the Gitzo clamp removed) with an Arca-Swiss type clamp fitted to it, and that works fine. The Gitzo G0177M head suppled with the 5-section GT1550T Traveller is far to feeble for use with a DSLR.
  5. The GT1541T will be better choice it fits your requirements better, lighter, dependability and good quality.
    In addition, the Gitzo one is more compact and stronger and you don't need to adjust the leg locks regularly to get best performance.
    The only plusses for th 190CX3 are cheaper price and for some the flip lock mechanism.
    If you go with the traveller make sure you get a head that is not too wide if you want to fold it compactly.
    The best one I found for this purpose is the RRS BH-25 ballhead. Most other ballheads are too wide including Markins Q3T and will not allow the legs to be parallel to each others in the reverse fold position.
    Even the ballhead platform that comes with the traveller is too wide so I had to remove it.
    Here are a couple of pictures to give you an idea of its size.
  6. With the 1228 I removed the center column and bought a very minimal smaller sized center column. It's a little lighter and I never raise the column. And the 3262QR wasn't the best ball head, it was in fact the smallest one I could find to maximize portability. I detach the ball head and put the tripod in my luggage and when attached it doesn't add much to the weight. There are certainly better ballheads though. My cameras are typically small enough to not need something more heavy duty. It's worked out very well.
  7. Thanks Guys for your feedback. It will factor in my decision.

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