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Gitzo Tripod Choice

twolabs

US
403 posts

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twolabs Registered since 26th Mar 2009
Thu 09-Apr-09 01:02 AM

First of all, since this is my first post ever let me just say, what an amazing resource, this Nikonians.org. I have had so many of my questions answered simply by perusing the appropriate forums.

Brief background: My first Nikon was the N6006. Bought my first digital, a Coolpix 995 in 2001. (It's since been handed down to my son and still works great.) I have been using a D70 since '04 and have enjoyed it very much. On almost an impulse, aided largely by the wave of great press, I stumbled on a "too good to miss" deal on a D300 in mid '08.

Okay, here's the really embarrassing part: other than a few test shots, it has sat unused in my safe like some sort of electronic crown jewel, to be marveled at but not touched. The reason being that I quickly realized that this was not a tool to be used on either Auto or vari-program modes as I have lazily done with the D70. So as time permitted, I enrolled in Photography classes at the local U. in order to "start from scratch" learning how to shoot manually. First introductory class is behind me and I am waiting for "Digital II" to begin. My enthusiasm was really jump-started and I am very eager to soak up everything I can asap in order to not only make use of the D70's capabilities, but move on to the D300.
( I know what you're thinking, "blah, blah, blah...three paragraphs in and we still don't see why this drivel is in the Tripods forum, get to the point, would 'ya???" )

Sorry for rambling, I'll get to it. After a good bit of reading here on the forum and some independent research, I have to agree that continuously "stepping-up" in tripods makes very little sense if you plan to be semi-serious about photography. Since I'm already on my second cheap one, I've decided to take the plunge on what will hopefully be my last tripod purchase. I've pretty well decided on a Gitzo 3 Series and leaning toward the systematic since most of what I've read indicates that raising the center post is not really desirable anyway. My question is: how much attention should I pay to the 3 section vs. 4 section leg argument? Do you really lose that much stability with the fourth leg extended or is it primarily a "packability" issue?

I promise, if I can get a few opinions from you patient and knowledgeable members, I will exercise my very best editing skills in all future posts. Not only to keep the length bearable but also to battle my chronic case of "run-on-sentence-itis".

Thanks in advance.

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