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Thread started 28 Dec 2012 (Friday) 12:10
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Tripod help Feisol 3342 or GT1531/2531 - some questions

 
ejenner
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Dec 28, 2012 12:10 |  #1

I’m considering getting at Feisol 3342 with a center column (but also looking at the Gitzo’s GT1531 and GT2531). I believe the center column is reversible on the Feisol by unscrewing the cap on the end that holds the hook (I checked with a rep at B&H). Not sure about the Gitzo’s, can anyone confirm this?

However, I was wondering whether anyone has experience with using Feisol tripods with the legs in a position other than the secure ‘clip’ positions. I realize that the tripod will not be totally secure in intermediate positions, but is it even possible to set it up, or will the legs slide back into a clipped position. The B&H rep said ‘no, not secure’, but I wonder what this really means in practice.

It seems like I can tighten the legs which might help, but right now I have a cheap Giottos tripod (that I actually quite like) that uses a completely different clip system for the legs that allows me to do this and I find quite useful. It looks more similar to the Gitzo system, at least on the GT2531.

I would think that all the Feisol tripods use the same system, so it is probably similar for other models.

Any opinions are welcome (apart from ‘don’t set the legs in a non-clipped position’ – I realize the potential drawbacks).

Other tripod suggestions also welcome, but these are my requirements:

Light (definitely less than 3lb, I take it everywhere). The max it has to support is an ungripped 5DII + 70-200 f4 IS – actually the 5DII + TS-E 17mm is probably more unbalanced since I don’t have a collar for it.

Reversible center column (an absolute must – are the Gitzo’s center columns reversible?)
3 legs, unless there is the ‘perfect’ tripod with 4, but even then I’m not sure. I think even the Gitzo’s will fit in a large suitcase, so collapsed length is not a bit issue even though I will be hiking with it.

I’m not overly concerned about the height, but I do wonder if the GT1531 is a little short. I do mostly landscapes and don’t often need the tripod at 6ft, although I would like get to this with the center column extended (and sacrificing stability).

Price – well clearly I’m going to spend money, but $800 for legs is going to be a hard sell. A perfect set for $600 is doable. The ones I’ve mentioned are all in my price range.

Oh - and it's going to take some abuse, but it seems like all these tripods are pretty well built. No plastic bits or any knobs (esp. plastic) sticking out etc... They will get caught on something and ripped off.

I’ve read that the Feisol legs might be a little narrow at the minimum angle, which is a bit of a concern too – I’d rather have more stability and sacrifice some height. It seems like I’m sacrificing quite a lot of height with the Gitzo’s though – but maybe there is a good reason for that?

Geez, I never had this much trouble deciding on a camera body or lenses. Any help appreciated.


Edward Jenner
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ejenner
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Dec 28, 2012 12:40 |  #2

OK, so the Gitzo center columns are definitely reversible.


Edward Jenner
5DIII, 7DII, M6, GX1 II,M11-22, Sig15mm FE,16-35 F4,TS-E 17,Sig 18-250 OS Macro,M18-150,24-105,T45 1.8VC,70-200 f4 IS,70-200 2.8 vII,Sig 85 1.4,100L,135L,400DOII.
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bsp
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Dec 30, 2012 20:42 |  #3

I'm gonna attempt to answer a few things since you haven't had any responses so far. Let me know if I need to clarify anything or there is something you want me to check specifically with mine.

First off, I have a CT-3441T (external link), which is a taller version of the CT-3441S. It is a 4-section tripod, the one I have is not the 'rapid' anti-rotation setup. I would like to clarify that (for the Feisols anyway) the 4 section system is stout. You mention wanting a 3 section as a requirement. The diameter of the bottom leg on my Feisol is actually larger than most 3 section bottom legs (read that on a review some time ago here on POTN). Just measured, mine is 18mm. Of course with the 4-section the folded height is much smaller, which is handy if hiking with it.

As for the center column being reversible ... yes, I can unscrew the cap on the end of the column and slide it out, then slide it back in in reverse and put the cap back on. No problems there.

As for the legs in the non-standard positions. I tried this (just for you) and the legs held up well enough that I would trust them in use. I would not walk away from the system like this, but then again I wouldn't walk away even if they were in the standard clipped positions. I used my heaviest combo, my ungripped 5d2 with the 135L attached. It worked well and there was no 'slipping' back to a locked position. I was indoors, on a hardwood floor, so the rubber feet did their job well. I would imagine that it would work even better outdoors though, if you were on uneven terrain and the legs needed to be in crazy positions (non-clipped) I don't see why the solid ground underneath the feet would allow them legs to slip at all.

Hope this helps!


Brian
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ejenner
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Dec 30, 2012 22:23 as a reply to  @ bsp's post |  #4

Thanks, much appreciated, that helps. That answered my main question and I totally understand what you are saying.

After watching some videos of people using the Feisol, that was the conclusion I tentatively came to but it's very nice and helpful to have it confirmed.

So given that I have decided to go with the Feisol rather than either of the Gitzo's. I also found info on the leg angles and actually the Feisol first stop is the same as the Gitzo's so that is not an issue either. I prefer the other leg angles too.

The 3-section thing is more of just a personal bias of not having an extra section to undo. I have heard (and believe) that it does not really compromise stability, so it basically comes down to folding to a shorter length vs. having an extra section to deal with. One of those things that I know is probably a bit silly, but for some reason I feel strongly enough about that it becomes a bigger deal for me than it probably should.

I do hike with the tripod, but mostly use a rather large, but very comfortable, backpack. We'll see I guess but it's 'only' 4 inches longer than my current setup, so I think it will be fine.

Thanks again.


Edward Jenner
5DIII, 7DII, M6, GX1 II,M11-22, Sig15mm FE,16-35 F4,TS-E 17,Sig 18-250 OS Macro,M18-150,24-105,T45 1.8VC,70-200 f4 IS,70-200 2.8 vII,Sig 85 1.4,100L,135L,400DOII.
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bsp
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Dec 31, 2012 07:21 |  #5

Glad the info helped.

I understand what you are saying about having to deal with that 4th leg, sometimes I am sure that would be a bother. To be honest though, when I opened up the tripod to measure that section I realized that I may have never opened that section before! With the 2 legs extended (acting as essentially a short 3-section tripod) the eyepiece is ~52" off the ground. That isn't too low for me, and I am 6'2". Main thing, and you said it already, we don't often need the tripod at 6'. I actually struggle more with the fact that I have a center column and can't get low enough!

With that said, I think I will be trading in my 3441T for a 3442 just to lose the center column. I am not sure why it is there in the first place, I have never used it for anything! Maybe I am just not creative enough, but I can't see the use in it.

Either way, Feisol > Gitzo for me but mainly because in my opinion Feisol Quality = Gitzo Quality but Feisol Cost < Gitzo Cost ... by a lot!


Brian
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peter_n
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Dec 31, 2012 09:28 |  #6

I have a Benro traveler and Gitzo systematic and have used both in intermediate positions between the stops. I can understand the B&H rep saying "no, not secure" but if you have the leg joint bolts tightened properly and you're careful with what you put on top you should have no problems.

The Feisol CT-3342 looks like good value for money. You may have seen the recent thread about the fractured base of the Gitzo 2531 in cold weather, you live in CO and presumably have your quota of cold temps. The Feisol has a milled 6061 T6 aluminum base and will never have that problem. Also it takes spikes which will help with your intermediate leg-angle stop requirement.


~Peter

  
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Tripod help Feisol 3342 or GT1531/2531 - some questions
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