I'm looking to get a Gitzo 1542T with Markin Q3T ball head. I'm not familiar with higher quality heads so have a few questions.
The Markin has a lever or screw release - which is preferred?
I also want landscape and portrait options - is that what an L bracket is for? Is the Really Right Stuff L bracket something that would work?
It looks like the L bracket attaches directly to the camera. Does the bracket also directly attach to the Q3T or is there another part I need that goes between the bracket and head?
#1. "RE: Markin Q3T" | In response to Reply # 0jacsr Registered since 08th Apr 2006Mon 11-Jun-12 01:16 AM
Markins ball heads use the Arca Swiss standard for their clamps and plates. You will find AS compatible camera/lens plates, L-Brackets and lens replacement feet manufactured by many companies like RRS, Markins, Kirk and Wimberley to name a few.
The Q3T can be bought with either the knob or lever release. Preference is up to the individual and both have their advantages.
The lever release will allow for quicker removal and when using a L-bracket you can change from landscape to portrait quickly. When using a lever release it is highly recommended that you stick with one manufacturer for all mounting hardware. This is due to differences in manufacturing tolerances by the different companies. A Markins lever release can be adjusted so that is will close tightly; if you have different plates with different tolerances this could pose an issue in the field. The last thing you want to do is keep changing the tightness on the lever each time you change lenses.
While it takes longer to use a knob release (maybe a few seconds) you will not have the issue with mounting hardware. You can use any mounting hardware from any manufacturer because you will be manually tightening the clamp. Tolerances will not come into play.
A L-Bracket is especially useful when shooting in portrait orientation. It allows you to keep the camera over the center of the ball head and tripod instead of dropping the camera in the slot and hanging off the side of the ball head. The L will attach to the camera via the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera and it has the groove sections that will attach to the ball head. You do not need any additional equipment when using a L-Bracket.
#2. "RE: Markin Q3T" | In response to Reply # 0olivierrychner Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005Wed 20-Jun-12 10:46 AM
I have this same combination, except the tripod is two generations older than yours (GT1540T). I can vouch for the combo!
And I can only agree with the previous poster. It's a personal choice to go with lever or screw knob, and I have elected to go with the knob. It has now been in use without a glitch on various L-brackets from RRS and Kirk.
Just be conscious that the tripod is not designed for the big guns, and that Gitzo themselves consider it valid up to 135mm of focal length. I have been successful up to 200, but generally with precautions, most often mirror lock-up (MLU) and cable release (Nikon MC 30 but there are plenty of options from a few bucks plus PP to north of $100 on the 'bay).
Apart from that, a great little combo that I could fold back and keep in a simple-looking backpack. Add a 18-200, a 12-24 and a 35/1.8 in a small camera bag with the D300, and I was king of the world! Now the bag is a bit heavier with the D700, and I have not dared extend the 28-300 to its full length on the tripod in question... only drawback of FX so far!
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Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...