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Thoughts on GITZO GT2541 Series 2 Mountaineer Tripod or Alternative?

Mycenius

Auckland, NZ
335 posts

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Mycenius Registered since 25th Feb 2006
Fri 14-Jun-13 11:41 PM

Hi All,

I’m looking at potentially upgrading in the next few weeks to a reasonable quality tripod, from the current lightweight consumer/entry level (Velbron) one I have. At present my main criteria are:

  1. Can be customised with good aftermarket head/ball mount, etc.
    Is fairly light and collapses up reasonably small (e.g. 60c-70cm, about 2’-2½’) – while 65%-75% of the time I will be carrying in the car or only going a few hundred metres from the car, the remaining time I will potentially want to be able carry it on day treks & bush walks (either strapped to or slung from a day pack or separately over my shoulder in a tripod bag).


  2. Has fair flexibility (e.g. able to be used for high angle shooting like night sky) and height adjustment (e.g. adjust legs to lower overall profile, etc).


  3. Will be used primarily for Landscape/Cityscape, Micro/Macro and some creative photography (e.g. time lapse, astronomical/night sky shooting), and just occasionally for action/sports/high-speed events. This is a mix of what I’ve traditionally done and what I’m hoping to start having a go at over the next 12 months...


  4. Current equipment is a D90 (this will be replaced shortly by probably a D7100, but maybe just a D7000), and largest lenses/heaviest lenses are currently my 18-200mm Zoom and 105mm Micro, but I do want to over spec to leave some capability to add a 70-300 Zoom or similar in future.


  5. Cost is flexible but would prefer to not go silly – and not sure yet if usage will be enough to warrant spending US$1,500+ on it? But I do envisage if I get a reasonable one it will last me for some time so investing extra money can be justified.


  6. Not critical but preferably a brand available here in New Zealand, as shipping costs are getting pretty prohibitive for some mid-price large items from USA (e.g. shipping might be 35%-50% the value of the tripod plus the Import Tax here of 15% on the value + shipping costs)...


At this stage the GT2541 Compact Mountaineer seems to fit the bill – fairly light and small when folded up, plenty of flexibility and options, can handle the weight and range of camera/lens combination I’m looking at (now and future possibilities), can be enhanced with the Markins products in the Nikonians’ Store, and is available locally in NZ for around US$1,000 equivalent.

So – questions please:

  1. Do many people use the GT2541? What’s the experience been like? Is it a good investment?


  2. Is it better to bite the bullet and go up to a GT3541 (Series 3) Compact Mountaineer (add 20% cost but presumably heavier duty and can take heavier load/is more stable)?


  3. Is there something similar from another brand…? I’ve not seen a lot of the Manfrotto stuff, have no experience with the Magica range, and of the other brands in local camera stores not sure how well they are regarded? Any alternate suggestions…?


  4. On a related note how many people fit pads/protectors to their tripod legs? Are they worth the investment? I’ve never bothered with these previously, because I’ve only used basic mid-range consumer quality tripods which haven’t warranted any investment in accessories/upgrades...


Appreciate any feed back, thoughts, experiences, advice...

Many TIA,

John
Kiwi Nikonian
D90 | 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 | 11-16mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.8 | 105mm f/2.8 Micro

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