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Thread started 13 Nov 2010 (Saturday) 21:41
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Gitzo 1541 compared to Triopo GX-1182

 
The ­ Ran
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Nov 16, 2010 17:25 |  #16

So when it goes in the centre column it stops it coming out all the way? I thought it was a seperate part for when you don't use the centre column.


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René ­ Damkot
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Nov 17, 2010 07:39 |  #17

Indecent Exposure wrote in post #11295742 (external link)
all the pieces went back together seemlessly and the groove at the top of the hook base plate lined up perfectly with the hole. All attached and tightened down there is no play or gap.

Same here for a 3530...

Nicely done mod though. :)


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FourStrings
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Nov 17, 2010 10:32 |  #18

Sweet mod, I never bothered to check for a gap when removing the center column. Makes me wonder!


5D MKii | 7D | 17-40L | 24-70L | 70-200 IS IIL | 135L | 50 1.8 II
580 EXii | BG-E6 | BG-E7 | Gitzo 1541T | RRS BH-40 | RRS B2-40-LR | Canon Powershot G10

  
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FourStrings
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Nov 17, 2010 10:38 |  #19

Whoops! Not even the same tripod as mine!


5D MKii | 7D | 17-40L | 24-70L | 70-200 IS IIL | 135L | 50 1.8 II
580 EXii | BG-E6 | BG-E7 | Gitzo 1541T | RRS BH-40 | RRS B2-40-LR | Canon Powershot G10

  
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Nov 17, 2010 11:51 |  #20

I just received my 2531 a few weeks ago and haven't yet removed the center column on it, so I gave it a look just now and I noticed two things:

1) The bottom hook piece on the center column (the one you cut), fits nicely into the bottom of the tripod, so I'm not experiencing any tolerance issues there.

2) When I removed the carbon fiber column and screwed the ballhead base plate directly to the bottom hook piece, it did not tighten down firmly, just as you've pointed out, BUT, a simple counterclockwise turn of the large shaft knob under the ballhead base plate tightened things up very nicely.

Couldn't you have done the same thing or am I missing something?


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firehorse
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Nov 17, 2010 16:58 as a reply to  @ PicSniper's post |  #21

Your not missing anything mate

I just couldn't be bothered unscrewing the thing you mention to make it fit

I don't wanna do that every time I use it, its peeves me off

and besides, it is a snug fit and easy peasy to line up

but hey, whatever floats your boat !


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firehorse
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Nov 20, 2010 02:40 as a reply to  @ firehorse's post |  #22

Well I’m just a guy, who likes photography and really cool, great gear

I am a total noob at this so please be patient with me if I go stupid or am drifting into blabber mouth mode

This is a quick tripod review , and I will do as best I can to bring you the info, without slagging off the products, BS’ing, and the likes

I have no bias toward either product

Just so you know, if I buy a Ferrari I don’t want loose things rattling around
and if I'm in a bad mood I expect a refund and I would not consider this brand again

end of story

If I'm in a good mood, I will ask the makers to fix it, or at least have them consider reviewing their engineering

Just in case I want another Ferrari

If I buy a Jalopy, I don't care what it does as long as it can go A to B

So, if both a Ferrari & Jalopy can do A to B, fine, both tripods will do well

If you enjoy Ferrari, so be it

If you don’t care, a Jalopy is fine then too, isn’t it ?

The above mod on the Gitzo centre column components was on a good mood

Please remember I will compare the Gitzo 1541 Mountaineer only, no other Gitzo tripod is compared in this mini review (that took ages to prepare I had no idea)

I could have used the Gitzo 1541 Traveler tripod in the review compared to the GX1128, but decided I need a general purpose tall tripod and an outdoor tripod

I didn’t want to subject a $700 tripod to outdoor bashing
(although the $1k Gitzo Ocean tripod is starting to get my undivided attention)

I got the GX1128 instead, that way I wont give a damn about snow, mud, ocean, dirt and the likes

I have a feeling that decision may change soon (once I start using both tripods)

Well at this point I can’t separate the conceptual design of the tripods.
Similar core materials, similar locking mechanisms, similar methods of usage.

I chose these two tripods as they will suit what I need them for, and that’s all, then taking the cost factor [long term value] for each and compare

Gitzo was around in the 20th century, these new style tripods are in the 21st century

What I’m trying to say is that the Gitzo 1541 was designed and made a very long time ago, and still holds its own very well after a decade or more

World War II, GITZO specialized in producing artillery and machine gun rack shelves

Age is the one reason (amongst other reasons) the Gitzo 1541 cannot be compared in the same class, build wise as the Triopo GX1128, amongst other factors

But only for specific uses only can the tripods be compared with respect to one another, up to a certain threshold of performance (eg: weight support)

So please remember it’s a simple comparison, not a showdown, like Gitzo vs Triopo

I can state the actual results, mirrored to the actual specifications on paper

I have not scientifically tested vibration levels with both tripods OEM's lens size maximum (200mm), so that remains a grey area

Apparently people are using 400mm without issue on the Gitzo

I was going to use an accelerometer for vibe testing, but frankly there's no blur at all for both tripods during a 3sec shutter on the Canon 7D/efs-50mm, using my big toe..

Bah ! Good enough

Don’t over analyze the latter info, I'm not about to bother with a full on scientific test method

They both do the job well, practically speaking, for basic simple quick & dirty setups

If you are considering serious gear, please read on

Both tripods are stable with their specified load limits, but, the Triopo GX-1128 has more flex at higher loads, and the legs bend quite a bit, like inches, at wide spread angles

Gitzo 1541 Mountaineer is more stiffer all the way down through each pre-set angle

The increased bend in the legs of the Triopo GX-1128 is perhaps inherent of tripods at this price as they have different carbon fiber cross layer design & thickness

Try wrapping a cotton thread around your finger as close to each thread as possible

Then wrap the same cotton thread more spaced out apart. Try it sometime

You can feel the difference in pressure if you can call it that, and that result in CF tubing provides tensile strength, or rigidity

Plus there is a tradeoff for CF layering, and thickness

The trick is to use the thinnest layer and more of it per inch without sacrificing strength at the end result, and keeping the weight down, and least important, cost if you want the real deal

Kudos to the engineering people who found that tradeoff

Mechanically the tolerances are finer on the Gitzo 1541 and uses thicker materials in various sections.

This gives the impression of a very firm but light handling build with the Gitzo

And yet, the GT1541 weighs about the same as the GX1128

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I grabbed both tripods & did the rattle & shake test. Both have no loose parts

The difference of manufacture is very subtle across designs, but when added up all the components in a tripod combined & working together, the effect is night and day

Fully extended and set as high as possible, applying 30kg of pressure to the top of the Gitzo and pushing a leg, the Gitzo hardly flinches (who the H uses gear that heavy anyway ?) and can handle a lot more

WOW ! freakin’ unbelievable !

The Triopo GX-1128 under the same weight has a mushy feel, and its legs are beginning to splay if that makes sense. Um, you know, bend

Maybe a stiffer tripod has advantages in certain situations over a softer tripod ?

Such as vibration handling

I don't know those variables, so please comment if you know about that

Hey, it’s a $200 tripod, it does just fine

Plus, I can add a weight to the tripods built in hooks to make them much more stable

Built like a brick dunny , its easy to see the Gitzo 1541 is made to last, & takes no crapola from anyone

And yes carbon fiber is great for vibration control vs steel

I fly radio control helicopters with carbon fiber frames, chassis, tail, blades, and under extreme vibrations handles really well, as well as being warp free, unlike aluminium for example

Look up YouTube for radio control 3D helicopters, most if not all use carbon fibre

Its also lighter depending on the layers, and can flex like crazy & return to shape

When carbon fibre hit the market for tripods, Gitzo was one of the first to the plate, completely blowing away the competition with their modern designs

And you paid for it, as the saying goes (You get what you pay for)

That was a long time ago though, and many OEM's followed suit with carbon designs, following Gitzo (amongst others), designs & features, or at least considered what was starting to be a revolution in tripod making

Carbon fibre tripods at this level today, have basically similar designs and not much difference is to be noted in the way they are extended, locked, setup, adjusted, and put away or stored

If the Gitzo GT1541 Mountaineer is compared with the finish & presentation & attention to detail as other tripods utilizing the latest materials & engineering today – the marginal difference is I guess not a selection factor in engineering wise vs good looks

And marginal improvements is what separates good engineering from average engineering

And for every little % extra in performance you pay an exponentially higher premium

Anyone can make a good tripod for good money these days, drawing from the well of building experience & better engineering of high class tripods which paved the way decades ago

Some people think that some tripod is a knockoff, then all Chinese tripods are knock offs

But how many folks use a ‘knockoff’ from China ?

Paste the following in Google or whatever (click translate if you want English version)

“Brands of tripods in Asia”

you may be surprised

This links to Gitzo and the Australian Triopo website
http://www.gitzo.com/ (external link)
http://www.triopo.com.​au/ (external link)

The Triopo GX-1128 tripod arrived


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From this view, without knowing in advance which is the El Cheapo & which the Gitzo, you would be hard pressed to know the difference

Go on, pick the $600 tripod !

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the leg warmers are easy removable they are a great feel when manipulating the
tripod as they provide a firm non slip grip, or just using it as a monopod,

I will attach 2 leg warmers to the Gitzo as I prefer a better grip on my pods

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Nice legs

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Triopo bubble level housing. Its crooked, not level and useless

Minus


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The Gitzo design. Notice thicker metal plate the column is attached to

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firehorse
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Nov 20, 2010 02:43 as a reply to  @ firehorse's post |  #23

The internal centre column lock mechanism on the Gitzo is one full piece

The Triopo use multiple internal shaft locks, and this introduces added inefficiencies

More parts = more tolerance issues


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The Gitzo uses a one piece metal stud with ¼-20, & 3/8-16 reversible, & due to the design attaches the top round plate in split seconds, as it automatically locks both the centre column and round top disc

Super simple design, very very handy

Well done Gitzo  !!!

Plus
The Triopo uses a single stud but the nut you see there, is not permanently fixed to the stud

It can be Loctited if required though

It’s very fiddly to quickly attach the round disc plate to the centre column
And a PITA to level the stud, just take my word for it

Minus


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I’m not a fan of plastic retention mechanisms, Triopo GX-1128 for eg.
The spring is inside the Gitzo 1541, and tough as nails and solid


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Triopo either forgot to finish it properly or designed it this way, why ? no idea..
I epoxied it back on

When I unscrewed the centre column lock, the frigging centre column fell right through the tripod, I caught it just in time before it hit the floor 

Minus

This is the business end of the lock mechanism

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firehorse
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Nov 20, 2010 02:55 as a reply to  @ firehorse's post |  #24

Built in leveler on the Canon 7d

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I measured the angles at least a dozen times to arrive at an average for each tripod

These angles are about average, and worst case averages

Not super scientific but at least you get the idea

The Gitzo showed 0.00 degrees consistently, most of the time, but what you see is worst case numbers

The Triopo went from 0.7 degrees to 0.4 degrees without consistency


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The only parts that are magnetic

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Please note:
The term "alloy" is sometimes used in everyday speech as a synonym for a particular alloy. For example, automobile wheels made of an aluminium alloy are commonly referred to as simply "alloy wheels", although in point of fact steels and most other metals in practical use are also alloys

THOUGHTS
Anyone can make a good tripod these days with the advancement of materials, and the huge engineering experience from top tier tripod makers, that are frequently used as a reference prior to design

Is that why they are called ‘knockoffs” ?

Functionality, practical, decent build, acceptable performance, and reasonable endurance

But not everyone can make something that has it all, for less than the top tier price

Good engineering technology costs more $$$, always

The Gitzo 1541 Mountaineer clocks on and gets right down to work immediately and doesn’t complain, doesn’t squeak or squirm under pressure

The Triopo bundies on too, but needs some coaxing to get it to get started, and at times just flat out doesn’t want to comply fully to requests for hassle free adjustments or lets get started right away attitude. Legs a bit wobbly but firm

A few quick fixes and its good to go, but do you want to bother ?

This is not unusual for a tripod for the money, under 200 clams, not too shabby

Not everyone has the resources or time or inclination to modify some minor issues with cheaper tripods, so make your break

The build for both these tripods is good and more than acceptable in the field which is what I’m after

Your mileage may very.

But I just can’t help looking at the Gitzo 1541 Mountaineer more often with that glazed blank stare in my eyes and dreaming of where next we will go on expedition together

Its just something deep down that you know about the Gitzo, and it will only happen when its right there in front of you, and screaming “pick me, or else”

Huh ?

Pick me or else ?

Because you don't want a tripod that drops its guts when on the job

You also don't want a tripod that fails to comply to all your requests, all the time, every time without fail or fumble

Ever. Period. Unless you’re a sucker for punishment

But of course, do the homework before the ‘plunge’ for a pro gear tripod

when you demand a long term investment, add up the difference in cost over a longer period of time and you will easily determine that paying a bit more is worth it.

Unless your not too picky and shoot party, birthday, or event, once in a blue moon, value wise, or are starting your new hobby & not sure what to buy

But of course you could start with Gitzo anyway as they have good resale value

Dunno about the Triopo

Triopo is a good investment too

But remember, as you get what you pay for, most of the time, your time is priceless and the less time organizing your shots the more time you have for other stuff

This cost versus performance is evident in the professional arena where gear that slows you down will cost much more in the long run

And customers

But if your not a pro ? Is a many dollar tripod like the Gitzo worth it ?

Without a doubt, I will say yes, from what I’ve tested

It works for me & I’m fussy about my gear

Is the Triopo worth it ? (remember I’m fussy)

Yep, but to be fair its sloppy around the edges so to speak & will need some attention here & there to bring out its best

I did NOT expect it to be as good as it is, and frankly I would buy again if need be

Reliability can be a vague area with tripods that look like and smell like the pro tripods, and only time will tell

I do not want to judge the Triopo harshly as it had some minor but significant defects

The reason is that, given the materials used are similar, wear & tear should last as long as the Gitzo, though I suspect the Triopo may require more frequent servicing

I am quite familiar at assessing mechanical wear, as I fly helicopters, so that’s my qualification for the tripods’ components wear observation

The Triopo really is a good tripod, and its one of the best you’ll get for under $200 USD

And for those who like the finer things & super high performance along with unmatched quality & build for under $1k , my money is on the Gitzo

I just ordered another taller Gitzo (2542L), I’m in love again. 

Ahhh, I met my match 

There, I said it (for you die hard Gitzo fans ! ) 

SPARE PARTS
Gitzo have a spare parts catalog, I don't know about Triopo, their website is half Chinese, and English, it may be there somewhere ???

CONCLUSION

I’m no Mark Twain, I hope this review made some sense

At the end of the day, minor quibbles aside both are great tripods in their class, for the bucks you pay

regards,
Adrian

7D, ef50mm 1.8 II, 24-105L, Markins Q3e, RRS L, RRS QR, GX1128, GT2542L

  
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redjamesg
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Nov 20, 2010 03:13 |  #25

Excellent comparison, very well thought through.


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mayuka
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Nov 20, 2010 03:19 as a reply to  @ firehorse's post |  #26

Thanks for the lengthy review.

bw!

btw... You wrote that the triopo is sealed against water and dirt? Have you actually tried this?




  
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firehorse
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Nov 20, 2010 03:57 as a reply to  @ mayuka's post |  #27

Sorry if its too lengthy a review
I was hoping to cover as much without going on too much
I couldn't get it shorter without adding indifference

I just got the Triopo and will go to the waters this week to test both tripods

I wrote:
"I got the GX1128 instead, that way I wont give a damn about snow, mud, ocean, dirt and the likes"

I didn't write its water or dirt proof

Its possible to strip the tripods down and clean them internally, spray with silicon, WD40 whatever

stay tuned


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TuanTime
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Nov 20, 2010 06:35 as a reply to  @ firehorse's post |  #28

THanks for taking the time to do this review, much more detailed than I could have done and I appreciate that.




  
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mayuka
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Nov 20, 2010 09:23 |  #29

firehorse wrote in post #11316330 (external link)
"I got the GX1128 instead, that way I wont give a damn about snow, mud, ocean, dirt and the likes"

oh okay... sounded like the triopo was designed for dirt and the likes..

The top round plate is really thin. Do you think that the tripod legs (and the metal-like material) are stable enough to withstand higher loads without breaks? I would worry about that... :eek:




  
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Nov 20, 2010 10:15 |  #30

Well, I have to say I'm surprised and impressed at your conclusion. After you immediately tried to find fault with the Gitzo, I had thought for sure the cheapie would have been the "just as good" winner. Your thoughts are exactly what I have seen when comparing my Gitzos to Benro.

A knock-off is a copy, an imitation, usually without permission. Because they sell for less the quality is usually (if not always) less too. Technology "knocked-off" the original. There is usually more savings than just a technology rip off, lesser materials that look the same: less CF, more resin, thinner walls, cheaper lesser alloys, stainless steel vs steel.

I have always been one that's willing to pay for quality, buy it once. I have been through the Thom Hogan progression. (external link) I started higher on the list, but still I've gone from decent name brand to Gitzo. I've gone from decent name brand ball head, to the pinnacle. Some of the name brand stuff just plain flat didn't work. I think some of it depends on your standards.

There is a difference, my difference was mostly in weight savings. Some of the difference is like a Chevy vs a Ferrari, but some is like a Yugo vs a Chevy, the Yugo is worthless after a few years, but the Chevy will keep going for as long as you maintain it.

So you have to decide whether it's worth you paying half to a quarter of what a good name brand tripod costs and place thousands of dollars worth of equipment on your bargain tripod. I know I don't have any desire to place $8500 worth of equipment on something I am not sure of. The bargain for me was dealing with the weight of aluminum vs CF. I lived with a 5 pound legset and a 1 pound ballhead, it was heavy, a little short, but was extremely stable.


Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal -ekg-

  
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Gitzo 1541 compared to Triopo GX-1182
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