Gitzo GT-2530 Tripod and Markins Q-Ball Q3 Emilie one year later


I’ve had this tripod for a year now and I must say it was super expensive, but worth it. The tripod is $520 and the head is $270, so don’t lose it, but on the other hand, there are lots of photos I couldn’t have gotten particularly landscapes without it. The only real hiccup has been that when you travel through Japan, they require tripods to be less than 60cm and this one with the ball is more like 65cm, so you have to take the whole thing apart including the legs to get through. Caveat emptor. It is plenty sturdy for a DSLR and a 100-400mm lense. It is a series 2. Here is what I’d buy now and where. You have two real options, a really lightweight kit built around the GT-1540 that is small and handles small dSLRs and 70-200mm lenses that is good for travel or a heavier GT-2530 that has double the weight capability and is more stable so good if you aren’t backpacking through Nepal:

h3. The Sturdier kit GT-2530 based

* “Gitzo GT-2530”: This is the carbon fiber tripod 1.4 kg that is 65cm tall with up to 12kg of weight supported. To get around the height problem in airports, another option is the “GT2430”: which has 4 secion and is 56cm long, but a little less convenient with the additional section when you deploy it

Most folks can get away fine with the Markins Q3 Emilie, but if you really want sturdy then the Q10 is probably better.

To travel around, you can get the Kinesis T720 as a looser fit while the T620 is a tighter one. I’d say the T720 is more versatile in case you get a bigger tripod or have more junk. You also need the T220 Foam liner so your back doesn’t get sore. I do think a backpack makes some sense as a way to carry a tripod. The H245 makes sense as the backpack carrier as it is heavier and better for bigger loads.

h3. Traveler’s GT1540 based

And if you don’t do really big lenses, then the “GT1530”: does just 8kg of load and is 62cm tall and weighs just 1.1kg so it a great choice for really packing around as the “GT1540”: which has four sections so is a tiny 54cm. Basically, B&H has the GT-1540 for $535 not inclucing shipping.

“Markins Q3 Emilie”: seems to be a very nice choice. $270 from either “”: or direct from for the same price. This is the ballhead that goes on top of the tripod. You really do want to get a nice smooth one.

Since you’ll be traveling, you either stick the tripod into your backpack and then when you are light and taking photos, get the “Kinesis T620”: The small tripod bag is a nice way to carry all the stuff. $46 direct and the T220 Foam Insert ($13). And you also need the “H344”:” ($29) for light loads or the heavier “H245”: which is a harness to turn the tripod bag into a backpack $43. Kinesis has a good “chart”: comparing their systems. So with a small tripod like the GT1540, the T620, T220 and the H344 are probably just fine.

BTW this stuff comes without instructions, so the hidden file “SuspenderInstruc.pdf”: is incredibly valuable to figure out the tangle of belts and loops.

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