Monthly Archives: April 2012
They say a picture is worth a thousand words however in this case it need only be worth two, “Absolute Perfection”. I don’t want to positively bias this tripod review right out of the gate but with Gitzo series tripods let’s face it they are the best tripod money can buy. The biggest mistake I see out in the field is when folks buy an expensive piece of big glass and then buy a flimsy, cheap tripod to support it and wonder why their new $10,000 lens doesn’t take sharp pictures. Besides you’ll eventually be being the best tripod through trial and error so you may as well shell out the coin once and do it right rather then having three garbage tripods in your closet collecting dust.
I’ve been shooting with the 3 series and 5 series Gitzo carbon fibre tripods for many years and they have never let me down, not even once so I decided to pass along my experience through this tripod review. My first Gitzo tripod was the equivalent of today’s Gitzo GT3542 XLS, a 4 section light weight tripod that extends to almost 79 inches. I use it primarily for landscapes however as I moved into wildlife photography it also became my heavy lens tripod for mounting my Nikon 200-400mm. As soon as I purchased the Nikon 600mm which is significantly heavier than the Nikon 200-400mm it became readily apparent that I needed to move to a 5 series and I chose the Gitzo GT5542 LS.
As I mentioned earlier Gitzo makes one of the most expensive tripods on the market so there better more than one good reason to shell out all that coin. Below are eight reasons I think Gitzo makes the best tripod:
- Rigidity and stability is the number one reason why this is the best tripod. With big glass you need a stable platform to eliminate vibration that render images out of focus
- The carbon fibre design makes it extremely light weight so if you hike to locations this is a must. It also does not get cold in winter like metal so you don’t freeze your hands off
- modular, with a top casting element that opens and closes to allow each tripod to be configured with a flat disk, geared or sliding centre column, leveling unit or other specialized center component.
- Built-in hook allows you to hang a stabilizing weight (e.g. a full camera bag or a sand/water bag) from the bottom of the tripod. Useful with long/heavy lenses and keeping your camera bag off the wet ground
- G-Lock is the new Gitzo leg locking system. The locking mechanism achieves a 20% increase in rigidity, faster operation and stronger, safer locking. If you’ve ever dropped a lens you’ll know this is big.
- ALR Anti Leg Rotation system means the tripod can be opened in less than 15 seconds. Simply loosen all the twist locks on each leg at the same time, then pull the leg down and tighten the locks individually.
- Built-in one-piece spiked feet provide a secure footing and fast set-up on all surfaces. Protective rubber caps are fitted for everyday usage.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced amateur your tripod is one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll ever buy and unlike camera bodies that you trade up every two to three years your tripod will serve you well for countless years so be smart and by the best you will not regret the decision.
You can purchase the complete Gitzo line of tripods through NatureScapes.
Let’s face it, photography gear purchases can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned professional photographer let alone an amateur or beginner. There are just so many brands and models to choose from these days it can be overwhelming unless you take hours, days and weeks to do your homework which some of you I am sure are willing to do. However for the rest of us who prefer to buy the right gear once and would rather be out taking pictures than researching the best gear for our needs we turn to a professional camera seller like Peter Waiser at Henrys Camera Ottawa on Bank Street.
There are numerous camera stores in Ottawa to choose from however the options get narrowed down considerably if you are looking for a professional photographer who is also a camera seller, those I can tell you are a rare breed indeed. Many of you will know Peter as the official photographer of Bluesfest. Oh ya, if you get to know him real well you may even score a backstage pass like I did to go shoot the performers like a member of the press, very cool.:))
Sorry I digress, as I pointed out earlier there are so many brands and models of cameras, camera bags, tripods, gadgets, gizmo’s, etc. that you want to make sure you buy the right product to suite your needs and budget the first time around otherwise you end up with a closet full of products that didn’t quite measure up and you’re purchasing another product within the year.
As a beginner or amateur wouldn’t it be nice to have a photography mentor who could advise you on what camera, tripod, tripod head, filters, etc. will meet your specific requirements? Professional Photographers like Peter Waiser of Henrys Camera Ottawa not only know the products, but they use them everyday in their shooting so they can give you the straight goods with no BS on what’s good and what’s not. As a consumer, that’s what I want, quite frankly it is what I demand and you should too.
So am I trying to sell you on Peter Waiser, absolutely, I would not send my followers to anyone else. There’s a reason Peter is the number one sales rep at Henrys Camera Ottawa aside from his extensive knowledge. How’s that you say, well here are just a few of the additional value adds you can expect:
- You’ll get the best deal possible, guaranteed.
- You can expect a blazingly fast response to any inquiries you make even after hours to his personal email, I like that as I am impatient when it comes to new toys.
- You’ll get an email from Peter every couple of days. It might be a joke, a link to a great photography site, new product announcements but he is not a sell and forget camera seller.
- He’ll have his own gear at the store for you to try if you let him know. I got to try his Nikon D800 last week, awesome thanks Peter. And yes I am ordering one.:))
- Invites to shooting events like Bluesfest, rodeo’s, snowboarding, but only if you really get on his good side.
Peter lives and breathes photography so do yourself a favour and drop in to Henrys Camera Ottawa on Bank Street or send Peter an email at firstname.lastname@example.org next time you’re in need of piece of camera gear. I am confident you will very quickly experience the difference for yourself.
Bonus: If you provide Peter with the code “COOLWildlife” you’ll not only get the best deal possible you just might find yourself invited to one of those cool events mentioned above.
Below is a picture of Peter at the Henrys Camera Ottawa store on Bank Street with his first shipment of Nikon D800′s and Canon EOS 5D’s. Ok so he’s not the prettiest guy on the planet but you can’t have everything.:))