Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question
"Do you have to use a Markins TB-21 base in order to mount a Markins Q10 ballhead on a Gitzo 2542L tripod with the center column removed?"
I've been trying to find the answer to this question for the last two hours and, although it might be right in front of me, I can't seem to wrap my head around it. My wife and I have been going to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and the Canadian Rockies for the last four years, and plan to return again in September. We frequently go on 10 to 12 mile hikes. I just purchased the Nikon D600, and am using the 24-120 f/4 for my walk around lens, and also have the 16-35 f/4, and 70-300. I carry all three lenses when we hike, along with a Manfrotto 190XPROB. I am 6'00" tall. I am looking to update my tripod, while cutting down on as much weight as possible. I am interested in the Gitzo 2542L.
My plan was to remove the center column, and hoped to be able to attach the Markins Q10 ballhead directly on the tripod. This seemed like a good combination for less weight while hiking, along with providing more stability.
In looking at the Markins website, I came across the TB-21 base, which they advertise as "a tripod base to enable to remove the rapid center column of selected Gitzo Series 2 tripods". However, they also say that "Tripod bases are not required at all to use Markins ballheads". These seem to be conflicting statements. So, do you have to use the TB-21 when you remove the center column, or is it just recommended to provide more stability? I trust that someone here has run across this before. I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
Thanks so much,
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#1. "RE: Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question" | In response to Reply # 0WD4MLA Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Sun 23-Jun-13 07:17 PM | edited Sun 23-Jun-13 07:51 PM by WD4MLA
I have a GT2531 and my instructions indicate that you can remove the top disk and bottom hardware from the center column and replace it without the center column. I have never tried it. If it works like it shows in the instructions, you would not need a TB-21 base to mount a Markins head. However, if you plan to leave the center column out, a TB-21 would help to add stability. Here is a link to a couple of photos showing the 2531 with the column removed. Note the top disk is ready for a head. http://www.scottbideauphotography.com/ultimate-tripod/
You might want to read this pinned thread as there is a lot of information on this subject. https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=159&topic_id=36077&mesg_id=36077&page=
Neil brings up an interesting point about removing the center column from a Mountaineer. If you only remove the column leaving the the top "wing" nut in place, you are talking about a couple of ounces of weight savings. Removing the Gitzo "wing" nut and replacing it with a TB-21 is where the weight savings comes in.
Have you thought about getting a Gitzo systematic and avoid the center column all together. I haven't priced them lately to see if they are still higher than the mountaineers.
Great Smoky Mountains
of North Carolina
#2. "RE: Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question" | In response to Reply # 1Sun 23-Jun-13 07:58 PM
Thanks for the information, Jerry. I did look at the Systematics, and it looks like the Systematic GT2542LS would give me the same height, but at a $220.00 bump in price and about a pound in weight. Since I made the original post, I came across a thread where this came up. On 7/1/09, nrothschild said
"You do not have to put a TB-21 on the Mountaineer because the latest models will go to ground level without that add-on, simply by removing the center post. (that was a major feature back before the removable center posts). The TB-21 will add stability and give you peace of mind that it's conical shape is absolutely rock solid, verses the "figure 8" geometry formed by the mount, wing nut and platform. The TB-21 is also the most solid and goof-proof connection possible between your expensive payload and the mount. Everything is screwed and bolted together such that I think it is impossible to have it spontaneously release, even if you are careless with maintenance. I have shot an older G1228 Series 2 and TB-20 for almost 5 years now."
Does anyone else use the TB-21, and if so, do you think it is worth the money, weight and increased height in order to get more stability?
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#3. "RE: Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question" | In response to Reply # 2WD4MLA Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Sun 23-Jun-13 09:57 PM
I never removed my center column and never experienced any problems. Most people seem to agree that some stability is gained with the TB-21, however.
I think you will reduce weight and at least not gain too much height,if any, when you remove the "Wing" nut and column and add the TB-21. Check out these photos.
Great Smoky Mountains
of North Carolina
#4. "RE: Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question" | In response to Reply # 2jrp Charter MemberSun 23-Jun-13 11:28 PM | edited Sun 23-Jun-13 11:34 PM by jrp
Neil made that remark for someone wanting to go down to ground level.
That is a side benefit of the TB-21. The TB-21 was mainly designed to increase sturdiness and stability on Series 2 CF tripods as he said further down.
I have a TB-21 on my Series 2 Mountaineer and it works beautifully.
To make sure it is locked firmly it is best to use a a rubber strap wrench for both the TB-21 and then for the ball head itself.
Have a great time :-)
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Mainly at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story
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#7. "RE: Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question" | In response to Reply # 2rbaskin Nikonian since 05th Feb 2007Tue 25-Jun-13 09:15 PM
When I received my 2531 I removed the center column to use the ground set feature and never put it back in - I never did like raising the center column anyway.
I added the TB-21 after using the 2531 for about 3 months without the center column and found improved stability nicely. Highly recommended.
Hope this helps.
Ralph in CT
#6. "RE: Markins TB-21 and Gitzo GT 2542L question" | In response to Reply # 0
I don;t have the exact numbers but when I compared weights of my TB-20 and my vintage G1228 parts, I did not see much of a weight savings. With ground level set there may be less weight savings.
As Jrp said, the main point of the TB-21 is stability.
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