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Review: Gitzo G1126MK2

ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,924 moderator
edited December 5, 2004 in Accessories
I have a need for equipment that's easily packed on the motorcycle. And in
such a way that it's not visible from the outside. One piece of equipment I
didn't have is a small tripod.

The tripod arrived today and after putting it together, I thought I'd post a
quick review.

I settled on a Gitzo G1126MK2. The key feature is size. It collapses down to
just a tad over 16" (without the head) and will easily fit in either of the side
cases. Extended, it's 42" tall (with the head and w/o extending the column).
The legs are 4 sections and the tripod is claimed to support 10lbs.

The head is a Acratech Ultimate Ballhead. The head is a nice piece of
engineering. It will support a lot more than the tripod. There are two
adjustment screws. One allows pan type adjustment at the base and the
other clamps the ball--very little force is required to keep the camera
from moving. Using a combination of pan and tilt, it's possible to move
the camera almost any way you can think of. The head is available with
a quick release (which I chose). The plate is manufactured by a company
called Novoflex and slides easily into the quick release which is then
tightened using a thumbscrew.

The quality of the head and tripod is excellent and I would recommend either
item with no qualms.

The plate is machined from aluminum and of the three items, is the most
disappointing. It works properly. However, it's slotted and the mounting
screw slides freely as you'd expect. But! The screw is held in place by what
amounts to a foam earplug. Lose the plug and you'll likely hunt for the screw
in the bottom of the bag. You must also use a dime or similar driver to
tighten the screw making it inconvenient to move from lens to camera or
vice versa.

Usually, a screw like this would be kept in place by a small clip that is larger
than the opening the screw goes through. Difficult to remove the clip but
keeps the screw and plate together.

I haven't used the setup yet but just playing around this evening, it seems
pretty solid given its light weight and size. It's not going to be rock
solid in a gale but I think it's going to work out fine for its intended
purpose.

Ian
Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?

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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited December 3, 2004
    thumb.gif Let us know how you like tripod after you've shot with it.

    I got Really Right Stuff quick release plates, no problems with them.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,924 moderator
    edited December 4, 2004
    Here are a couple of pictures of the Novoflex plate. On the left are the
    three components that make up the plate. The right, the completed
    assembly--notice the plug wedged into the hole.

    12229052-S.jpg

    This shot gives you an idea for the size difference between the
    Gitz and a Manfrotto 3021.

    12229053-S.jpg

    Apologies for the bad light...I'm working on that :D

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited December 4, 2004
    Weird set-up. headscratch.gif The RRS plate simply screws on, no fuss or muss. I wonder why Novoflex adds this complication? FWIW, I doubt losing the plug would make much difference once you have the plate securely screwed-in.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,924 moderator
    edited December 4, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Weird set-up. headscratch.gif The RRS plate simply screws on, no fuss or muss. I wonder why Novoflex adds this complication? FWIW, I doubt losing the plug would make much difference once you have the plate securely screwed-in.
    Once the plate is attached, it doesn't make a difference. I have two different plate
    styles. The Bogen/Manfrotto and the "Q" plate. So at some point, I will be changing
    plates.

    I'm working this morning and am going to re-shoot the waterfall building when I'm
    done (using the Gitz). So more later.

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,924 moderator
    edited December 5, 2004
    What's it like to use?
    The most notable difference is the size. The tripod, at full height, is only
    about 42". The head might make it 45".

    In this image, I've got the 1D with 100-400 and x1.4tc on board. The
    camera and lens are heavy enough that extending all four sections causes
    the legs to flex. What you see are three sections extended. I suppose I
    could extend the column for additional height but feel (in general) that the
    legs and not the column should be used for height adjustment.

    12318359-M-1.jpg

    In use, I was kneeling. I notice a fair amount of camera shake compared
    to the Bogen.

    As I was walking, I'd see a shot that I wanted and either have to drop to
    my knees to shoot or fold the legs and set them on my belt and use the
    tripod as a brace. The brace method worked well. And now I know why the
    sports shooter's wear knee pads :D

    I shot at Shoreline Park in Mt. View today. Unfortunately, it was mostly
    a duck butt day :D and will likely be mostly throw-aways. I can only dream
    of catching shots like Harry or Greaper.

    Whoops. Forgot to summarize.

    In summary, for what I need, it'll work well. However, for every day use,
    it's not what I'd prefer.

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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