Anyone have a field report of the Markins Ti spikes for Gitzo tripods? It's looking like I'm making a photo trip this July and maybe it's a good excuse to purchase some more gear . I like the idea of getting some tripod spikes but I do have some concerns about the Markins spikes.
They look awfully short. I was in the park the other day with my tripod and I found myself setting it down on long grass that had been packed down/felled by the winter. It was pretty springy and I had to put pressure on the top of the tripod to get it to sit stable in the ground. I thought that spikes would help here but honestly the thickness of the grass and weeds was a few inches, longer than I think the Markins spikes would handle. I do not see this amount of grass/weeds as uncommonly high and would expect to encounter this kind of ground cover often. Thus, would the Markins spikes be too short?
Does anyone with the spikes confirm or deny this? The gitzo spikes are significantly longer (at least judging by the picture) and IIRC you can even get extra-long spikes as well. I like how the Gitzo spikes are cheaper than the Markins but I do not like the weight. I think the steel spikes of the Gitzo are like 200grams? About half the weight of the ballhead, and IMO not insignificant. The Ti spikes are only 60g which is much lighter but they do seem awful stubby.
P.S. the Nikonians leg wraps in the ProPhotoShop: can we buy them without the logos? I think it might be nice to get the wraps as sometimes when I carry my tripod over my shoulder it is a little uncomfortable because I am skinny and have bony shoulders. However despite being a fan of the website, I am not a big fan of the huge "Nikonians.org" logos written up and down the wraps. As the Nikonians wraps seem to be a little cheaper than the plain ones from B&H I was wondering if the ProPhotoshop sold plain ones too.
A suggestion to Nikonians would maybe be to create a "v2" leg wrap design with a more subtle logo. Perhaps instead of orienting the text vertically along the wrap, have it much smaller and wrap around the wrap? I have seen others comment here on the overtness of the logos on the wraps too- leading me to believe some of us would like Nikonians wraps if they were not so blaring.
Fri 15-May-09 11:29 AM | edited Fri 15-May-09 11:39 AM by nrothschild
Here are the weights for the Gitzo components, measured on a gram/grain scale probably accurate to 1/10 gram or better (reads 0.01 gram increments- not a postal scale). These measurements are each piece; multiply by 3 for a set.
Spike: 22.35g Lg washer: 8.42g Sm Washer: 4.48g Lg Rubber Tip: 29.23 Sm Rubber Tip: 15.90
The most likely setup:
3x spikes: 67.05g 3x sm washer: 13.44 ------------- Total w/o rubber tip: 80.49g
With Sm Rubber Tip: 3x Sm Tip: 47.7g ------------- Total with rubber tip: 128.19
You can see that any possible configuration, even large washer and tip (about 180g), are well under 200g.
On my 3 Section Series 4 I use the small washer and large foot. I could use the small foot too. The small washer is just slightly narrower than the bottom section, the large washer significantly larger. I think the small washer is obviously correct for my legs. I use the large foot because... well, if you could see how big the legs are you would understand that the large foot does not look that big (these are big, long, fat legs). I could just as easily use the small rubber feet. At 8.4Lbs, saving 40g or so weight will not make much difference
I would assume that the large washer is intended only for a 3 section Series 5. The large washer is 32.5mm diameter. The small washer is 24.7mm. The small washer is perfect for a 3 section Series 3, and a bit large for a 4 section Series 3, and quite a bit larger than a 4 section Series 4 lower leg.
The large rubber foot matches the diameter of the large washer within 0.5mm or so. Same with the small parts, respectively.
The washers are threaded, just in case you are thinking about replacing them with a different size. I assume the threading helps keep the spikes in place, although never tried non-threaded washers.
That should be the definitive set of measurements for these spikes
Now we need someone with Markins spikes to do the same!
Spikes are 1.17" long without rubber tips, 1.40" long with tips. Both rubber tips are the same length/height. This measured from the end of the leg section to the tip of the spike or rubber tip (not counting the washer, which is 0.157" thick). You can see that the 1.5" spec is approximate, and apparently includes the rubber tip and washer. These spikes may not be any longer than the Markins spikes. Gitzo has uber long spikes, too, of course.
I don't know that I have shot much in thickly matted grass. My sense is that the spikes will "cut through" the matted grass, if you have reasonable weight on the total system, which you need anyway. But I have not seen your grass
_________________________________ Neil Nikonians Team My Gallery
I have no idea if these are the same tips on a Series 3, for example. You'd have to check the exploded parts BOM to even get an idea although that would not be conclusive unless the part number happened to match. Mine match the large rubber tips, more or less and I guess that's why I chose those for use. You can measure your Series 3 stock tips and compare. _________________________________ Neil Nikonians Team My Gallery
I would think that Titanium spikes would wear better than the aluminum (I think) Gitzo spikes. I have not seen excessive wear on my Gitzo spikes but they are relatively new and I use rubber tips - always - on hard surfaces.
I have some concerns with tip wear on my G1410 because the tripod is very heavy and any wear to the rounded spike tips will likely result in sharp edges that might hurt something or someone some day. _________________________________ Neil Nikonians Team My Gallery
I've wondered, myself, what exact problem they are trying to solve with almost 5" spikes. I can understand 3" or so. I can see a military use for 5" spikes, but not a photographic use . They must have something in mind? _________________________________ Neil Nikonians Team My Gallery
Tue 19-May-09 06:35 PM | edited Wed 20-May-09 02:01 AM by timberline12k
Gitzo is trying to compensate for wear over time since they are made of stainless steel rather than titanium. After several million uses they may wear down to 3".
They may be trying to add some height, but since I have the GITZO GT3541XLS tripod that is not a problem even with my 6'5" height.
I cancelled my $140 Markins titanium spikes after they had been backordered for 90 days. I thought I was saving $30 by getting the set of three X-Long spikes until you pointed out I could have bought three monopod spikes and saved another $30. Then you show me the DIY approach and I could have save the entire cost and spent about what the shipping was. Hopefully someone else will learn from my mistake.
At least my tripod will get more use since I am getting into large format photography.
I will try to weigh the spikes tonight.
David D700 | 21/2.8 ZF.2 | 50/2 ZF.2 | 85/1.4 G | 100/2 ZF.2 | 200/2 G | 24-120/4 G
David, if you have buyer's remorse about your 4.7" spikes, it's important to mention it to help-out fellow Nikonians when you post a photo like you did in post #12.
As I understand from your post #14, 3.5" would be optimal for you and you find them too long? Is that correct?
If somebody never tried spikes and has hesitations before spending the $ to get the real thing, they may try with 2" or 5" 3/8 bolts without cutting the heads. It works, you just need to apply a little bit more pressure to get them in the ground or you can just cut the head off without bothering with shaping them. Ask a friendly mechanic to cut them if you don't have the tools.
Just bring a stock Gitzo rubber end to match the threads of the bolts & size of the washers at the hardware store.
The advantage of the Gitzo & Markins set over my DIY's besides resisting to corrosion is that they include rubber ends, practical for shooting indoors & avoiding scratching floors and also prevent harming somebody or something during transportation.
I live in a village & the small local hardware store does not sell furniture rubber ends but I will be hunting next time I go to the "big city". A smaller hole diameter than the bolts & maybe sculpting a notch on the spike should prevent loss but I'll get a few spares...
I wonder if photoproshop will ever correct the spikes weight data. OTH the 200g vs. 60g thing surely helps the sales of the Markins spikes.
Neil: "They must have something in mind?" - grounding in case of lightning strike, stability when shooting tornadoes or other extreme weather situations, weapon against mad grizzlies or mean punks, anchor for winching the 4x4 in muddy remote exotic shooting locations, combines photography with oil exploration, can be used to replace a lost tent stake, stylish stilettos look on a hard surface for fashion shoot, etc.
Thanks for the measurements regarding length and weight. You might be right about the short spikes "cutting through" matted grass, etc to get to the bottom and plant in more solid ground. The Gitzo spikes do look about the same length as the Markins, excepting the extra long spikes (or should it be pikes? )