Replacement Ball Head for Gitzo Traveler Tripod.
I've been using the Gitzo Traveler tripod for awhile now and love it's lightness and size.
My problem is the ball head that came with it just doesn't hold up to my gear.
I usually use my F5 or F6 (sometimes with a SB-800 flash) with the following lenses.
80-400mm f/4-5.6 VR
Even with the 24-85mm the ball slips when I try to mount it vertical or on the side of the ball head. It just keeps slowly dropping down.
So, what would be a good replacement that isn't TOO big & heavy for the tripod?
William J. Slater
#1. "RE: Replacement Ball Head for Gitzo Traveler Tripod." | In response to Reply # 0James23p Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Wed 17-Sep-08 05:51 PM | edited Wed 17-Sep-08 05:57 PM by James23p
Markins now makes a ballhead just for this tripod called the Q3T Emille. I have the original Q3 and find it handles even my heavy loads without a problem. The only lens you have that maybe a tad rough to find the sweet spot is the 17-35 f2.8(due to being front heavy the 80-400 has a tripod collar so it will be fine on the Q3) but if you lock it down it will stay and you still will be able to find a sweet spot it will just not be as smooth as the larger Markins(M10 and M20) and it will be a tad harder to find.
As far as you 24-80 f2.8-4 it will handle this like a charm it handles my 28-105 with ease and it even handles my 500 f4 Ai-P without a problem(again the tripod collar helps due to the center of gravity is balanced).
Sorry this is a mess of a post I am at work and typing fast to get finished.
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I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy
#2. "RE: Replacement Ball Head for Gitzo Traveler Tripod." | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Thu 18-Sep-08 03:00 PM
To add to Jim's comments, the main issue with a head on the Traveler is the ability to fold the legs over the head. The traveler, and any head that works well with it will be somewhat compromised if you want to fold the legs over. The Q3T is likely the best choice and compromise because it has the highest payload/weight ratio of any head in it's size that might possibly work well with a Traveler. With your nose heavy 17-35, the payload/weight ratio, and it's indirect affect on the sweet spot performance is critical to optimum performance.
The Q3T is a modified version of the Q3, with a shorter clamp knob stem and a slightly smaller diameter base. The T version was designed expressly to fit the Traveler with the legs folded over the head.
From comments here from some early adopters, it appears that Markins did a good job with the redesign, the only possible caveat being the fact that the main locking knob and pan lock are at an angle that is not optimum to get things tucked between the 3 legs, which is a difficult problem.
With that said, you should do a search here on recent discussions of the Q3T to get further insights into it. here and here you will find some recent opinions on the fit of Q3T and the Traveler.
My own assessment of this (based on the stream of discussions here) is that even the Q3T is an imperfect solution, but there is likely no perfect solution because the extreme size and geometry limitations placed on a head that fits fully between the legs are somewhat at odds with all the basic requirements of good support.
my Nikonians gallery.
#3. "RE: Replacement Ball Head for Gitzo Traveler Tripod." | In response to Reply # 2airgunr Nikonian since 05th May 2004Fri 19-Sep-08 12:42 AM
James & Neil,
Thank you gentelment for your suggestions and the links (which I am opening as I type). It sounds like the Q3T is the best solution for my needs. I would like to keep the portability and as much as possible, lightness for travel.
I appreciate your help!
William J. Slater