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Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 14:08   #1
kb57
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Suitable tripod for Gitzo GH1720FQR

I'm the proud new owner of a Gitzo GH1720FQR safari head, currently on offer at an attractively discounted price from Wex Photographic in UK (100 off RRP).

I bought it in the short term because I've never really liked the Velbon PH-157Q head on my Velbon Sherpa 200R tripod, and in the slightly longer term to partner with a carbon fibre travel tripod, to give me a lighter weight setup. I've currently got an Opticron HR66 scope, but I'm going to add an MM4 body for travel and walkaround use.

I'm aware putting a Gitzo on top of a Velbon is akin to putting lipstick on a pig; although it is stable enough, the 'Sherpa' epithet presumably alludes to the fact you really need a porter to carry it around for you! On the other hand, partnering it with a Gitzo tripod is way above my pay grade, so I was thinking about a 4-section Manfrotto - looking for a tripod which can fold up into a carry-on bag for travel, but is reasonably stable (given I'm used to lugging the Velbon around, most carbon fibre alternatives are going to seem light). I'm aware that in going for 4 sections there's a trade off in ease / speed of deployment.

So, thinking of Manfrotto at the moment; does anyone have any experience of the Befree Carbon fibre or MT190CXPRO4? I worry that the Befree isn't going to be very stable, and at a push could get the folded MT190 into my carry-on bag. Or should I be looking elsewhere? Just please don't say Gitzo, 'cos I can't afford one
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Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 15:46   #2
Alexis Powell
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I wonder if you could find a used Manfrotto/Bogen carbon fiber. If so, that'd be good and cheap. With that head, I often use the 3 section version of the CarbonOne (the 441, I think) but a more compact 4 section version was made.

--AP
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Old Thursday 17th August 2017, 13:43   #3
kb57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
I wonder if you could find a used Manfrotto/Bogen carbon fiber. If so, that'd be good and cheap. With that head, I often use the 3 section version of the CarbonOne (the 441, I think) but a more compact 4 section version was made.

--AP
Thanks Alexis, I've just googled and found a 441 on eBay UK...I think the 440 is the 4 section version, so I'll aim to look out for that.

I realised after posting the thread I'm going to have to be careful to ensure I really am making a weight saving. The Velbon Sherpa is described as lightweight (1.65kg), actually the same as the Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4, and has the same folded length! Perhaps the size of my 'scope is the biggest problem...
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Old Thursday 17th August 2017, 16:22   #4
Alexis Powell
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Yes, you are going to have to go with something shorter, more expensive, or flimsy to get under ~1.5 kg (which is my notion of "light weight" for normal use of an ~80 mm scope. For travel, I have a much lighter tripod and 50 mm scope). I have a much taller tripod than my Bogen CarbonOne that is also much more stable yet no heavier, but it is from Really Right Stuff (the TVC-24L) and it thus expensive. I imagine that a smaller model from RRS or Gitzo would be under 1.5 kg but still be as tall and stable as my CarbonOne, but again, would be expensive. I still use the old CarbonOne a lot because it works well enough and has some nice features for my purposes, including built-in clips to hold the legs together, and provision for attachment of a nice shoulder strap that doesn't interfere with tripod use (i.e. doesn't have to be detached or repositioned when deploying the tripod), making the rig very handy in the field.

Even if you save no weight over your current tripod, you might still gain from going to carbon fiber. The aluminum tripod that my CarbonOne replaced was very solid, but it was not as tall, was not as friendly to my fingers in the cold, and it didn't damp vibrations nearly as quickly.

--AP
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