Gitzo Tag

I am not being rude to either you or Gitzo. When you give them money and they hand you a product it may be the last time you see each other. The things they supply are so well made that you would be hard pressed to break them in a lifetime. Their best bet for repeat business is to keep designing unique camera supports - you may never woear out the last thing you bought but you might be so pleased with it that you'll come back with more money. Thus the studio three-way head you see in the top image. The GHF 3W. Under a kilo weight. Supports 13 Kg. Arca/Swiss plate included. Three way fluid damped. Foldable levers. Horizontal/vertical option when tilted. Locking lever to keep camera on head even when you lose yours. Rotatable levelling bubble. The price is serious folding money but if you want a rock-solid head for your rock-solid Gitzo tripod here it is. I can't have one because I haven't finished my Gitzo Studex 5 and large format head yet. It's been holding studio cameras since 1990 and I still haven't chewed it up....

Eventually, every photographer ends up buying a tripod for one reason or another. And no other genre calls for a tripod as much as landscape photography. But the question is, do you buy cheap or go for a gold standard model? If you buy cheap, you put your gear and image quality at risk. If you buy right the first time, your tripod should last a lifetime. We have collated four of the very best tripods ideal for your next landscape adventure. What’s more, we have a list of tips for using a tripod in a landscape setting for the first-timers out there.      Manfrotto Befree 2N1 Aluminum Tripod With 494 Ball Head - Twist Lock   Manfrotto is without a doubt the most popular choice for tripods for all genres of photography and videography. And the Manfrotto Befree range is fast becoming a household name. The Manfrotto Befree Aluminum Tripod With 494 Ball Head is an excellent option for landscape photographers looking for stability and portability.     The 1.5kg tripod supports a load of 8kg and a maximum height of 149.6cm. Thanks to the 4-section...

And be prepared to be horrified. I say this having been told of some of the things that tripods do by the repairman in our shop. He has a set of tales that would have Stephen King sleeping with the lights on. With his encouragement I tested out my tripods and found them wanting. To be fair, they are not new - and they are not the first tripods I ever bought. They came to me over a period of decades when I felt I needed better camera support. In some cases I was not thinking very well at the time. The repairman told me of a test that can be done for the overall condition of the support. Remove your camera and set the tripod open upon a firm floor. Then push down on the tripod head as if you were applying the weight of a camera. If all is well it won't collapse. If it does collapse quickly you have a basic problem - it may be made of flimsy materials or with poorly-designed joints. It may be overextended for the weight-bearing...

And what better tradition than to cut out pictures of the presents you want and leave them casually around the house for the family to see. Or beside their cereal bowls at breakfast. Or nailed to the door. Try to be subtle. I am going to print out several copies of the pictures you see in this column - I have a Gitzo tripod, you see, and at present it has a lesser maker's adjustable head on top of it. Of course that's working fine but in the face of something as magnificent as this device, I am helpless. The advantages of three-way heads are many fold; they can be quite a bit tougher for a smaller profile than their ball-head alternative. They can also be more precise in movement, as you shift one plane of movement at a time. You can frequently come back to the same position reliably. I was dead pleased with what I saw, desiring it mightily...

And you're darned lucky at that. It's a piece of junk. The legs are thin-wall aluminium tubing with a profile pressed into them - so far so normal. They ride in white plastic bushes that are held in place by cutouts in the tubes - again pretty much what you might see in better tripods, albeit a bit flimsy here. But the whole edifice falls into a heap with the leg clamps - they are cheap plastic clipovers that compress a rubber block onto the next smaller tube. I do not decry clipovers - Manfrotto have used them on some of their new tripods and they are a model of good design. Their clips are metal and they have adjustment bolts to let you take up slack as they wear in. But these flimsy clips are just disasters waiting to happen. One's broken - and has been replaced by the only sensible alternative - a car hose clamp. The other two at the same level of the tripod are showing the same cracks that broke the first one, so it's off to Supercheap...