I'm a new member here and have been researching tripods, and appreciate all the info available. I'm leaning toward either the Gitzo GT2531 or GT3542XLS, prob with the rrs bh-55 head, and would appreciate any advice.
I will be using a tripod primarily for landscape, nature, astrophotograpy, long exposure night shots, hdr (maybe) and macro work, although will also be using it some for family photos. I have a Nikon D7000, and am about 6'3" so need a tall tripod.
Questions -- most of the tripods i've used before have had a central post, but i've read it's better not to use one for best stability. Is the gt2531 stable enough for long exposure type photos? And is it much harder to use a tripod without the center support? Also any other thoughts on pros/cons of these 2 models? Thanks for any help
#1. "RE: Gitzo GT2531 vs GT3542XLS" | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Thu 30-Aug-12 08:21 PM | edited Thu 30-Aug-12 08:23 PM by nrothschild
Welcome to Nikonians
Just a few posts down, still on the front page, is a post I made almost two years ago titled "can you overkill a tripod?". Some sadist resurrected it recently, starting that eternal argument all over again . Might make for a good starter point in your research.
Reading your post, when you talk about astrophotography and long night shots, that argues for the Series 3, even before I ask you about focal length, which is critical.
There is truly no right or wrong answer to your question. The Series 2 will optimize you toward portability. The Series 3 toward sturdiness and your above average height
You need about 60" to get to what I consider comfortable eye level, where you can also peek over the top of the camera to view the controls and switches. That is technically about upper lip height standing fully at attention.
The GT2531 comes up 6" short of that. It would be a mistake to buy a tripod that will require you to routinely raise the center column just to comfortably shoot at eye level or where you need that higher vantage point.
Center columns are not absolutely evil, as conventional wisdom suggests. They are useful in moderation. But I think it is a mistake to rely on it to achieve the height you should have without raising it.
You don't need XLS the height for long exposure work. You will find that even with a Series 3 you need such absolute rock solid sturdiness that you will generally shoot from a much lower vantage point whenever possible, just to optimize the rigidity of the setup.
Because of your height I would suggest the Series 3 XLS, and in particular because of your long exposure needs. There is never a right and wrong, certainly without further discussion of exactly what you plan to do, but in your case you are pushing hard at the Series 3 decision.
Edit: just for you, we fired up our new Astrophotography Forum only a few days ago
my Nikonians gallery.
#2. "RE: Gitzo GT2531 vs GT3542XLS" | In response to Reply # 1Fri 31-Aug-12 12:27 AM
Thanks for the quick reply -- I should have done more research here at nikonians!
I was leaning towards the 3542xls, but when you read too much you start getting confused. it sounds like just what I need (well, just what I want anyway )
#4. "RE: Gitzo GT2531 vs GT3542XLS" | In response to Reply # 3Mon 08-Oct-12 01:00 AM
Follow-up after 2 months of use. So far I love this combo- GT3542XLS with the RRS BH-55 head. The tripod is rock solid. With the head, it is a rather heavy and bulky combo, compared to the (flimsy) tripods I've had before, but I've walked a few miles with it with no problem. The setup is quick and easy to adjust. I find I generally don't miss the center column. Occasionally when I'm shooting downward it might be nice to be able to adjust a little quicker, instead of djusting all 3 legs, but I really haven't missed the center post. I can shoot with the camera at eye level for the first time ever for me, and I really like the way the legs can go all the way out to 180 degrees and it becomes a (large) tabletop tripod. I recently used it playing around with some water shots:
My son goes to Auburn -- we're looking forward to basketball season:(
Thanks for the great advice, and i'm sure i'll be using this tripod/head for many years to come