I'm in the process of purchasing a monopod and I've narrowed it down to 2 that I would like but would like some feedback.
I'm interested in both the Gitzo GM3550 and the GM5540. I'm leaning toward the 3550.
The price is lower on B&H, they are both CF6x. The 3550 can extend to about 6'5" and the 5540 only to 5'3". I like the extra height if needed even though I might not. I can just not extend the thinnest section or extend it partway to my needed height.
The part that I'm concerned about is the load. The 5540 can hold 55lbs, but I don't think I'll ever come across a rig where I would need to mount that much weight or mount it on one leg when I have a tripod available.
The 3550 can hold about 40. Looking at the biggest Nikkor at 600mm (which I don't even have) it's only a 10lbs lens, I would only think my D200 full mount without lens could get up to maybe another 10lbs at mose with a flash, mbd200, and maybe an L bracket if I even use a BH on the monopod.
So I don't think I'll need the extra weight capacity.
Should I be prepared for another factor in my descision?
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#1. "RE: Gitzo GM3550 or GM5540" | In response to Reply # 0briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Tue 17-Apr-07 07:05 PM
I was debating the same choice, and went with the GM3550. It's still on back-order, so I can't offer any first-hand experience with it (yet...). I'm expecting to be able to use it with a D2Xs and 200-400mm f/4.
#2. "RE: Gitzo GM3550 or GM5540" | In response to Reply # 1jdbower Registered since 12th Jan 2006Tue 17-Apr-07 07:17 PM
Me too and I went with the GM5540 (also on back order). I'll have to brush up on my fencing and then head across the pond to figure out which one was the right choice
I figured the 5540 is tall enough for what I'd probably typically use it for and it's probably a bit more stout.
#3. "RE: Gitzo GM3550 or GM5540" | In response to Reply # 0
I went through the same considerations... the GM3550 vs. GM5540. I eventually bought the GM5540, because I prefer dealing with four sections rather than five sections.
I have since received the GM5540 and am quite happy with it although somewhat surprised at its overall diameter. However, the monopod is light weight and has a nice carry-feel but does take some-time getting acquainted with leg extension and photo techniques (more than I thought, even after reading and employing JRP's monopod-use suggestions).
Whichever model you chose, I'm sure you'll be satisifed!
A Nikonian in California
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#4. "RE: Gitzo GM3550 or GM5540" | In response to Reply # 0
Same thing here. From the Gitzo brochure's pictures it was hard to really compare the monopods and no store had them in stock to look at and get a feel.
I decided against the 5 section (GM3550) and went for the 4 section (GM5540). The specs were similar but the 5540 could carry more weight. All this with the same size when folded and total weight. Not that I really needed the extra maximum weight. But at the same time I thought I would never ever buy another monopod (until next time!).
By the way, I am 6'1" and the GM5540 is tall enough for me with the RRS monopod kit, L-Bracket and battery grip on the camera. I added the long spike as well. I get above eye level with this setup. It means that on uneven terrain I should be fine.
As mentionned in a previous post, the diameter is big. No wait it is HUGE!!! You have no idea until you see it. I too was not sure when I saw it first. For a second I thought of cancelling the order... I will stick to it and see after shooting with it this summer.
Build quality is Gitzo, you can't go wrong though. The locks work exactly as advertised and 1.9lbs is light for such a big tube.
Hope this helps,