Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 6 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Saturday 26th February 2011, 21:32   #1
Helios
Registered User
 
Helios's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hillingdon
Posts: 3,133
Gitzo tripod fell apart and broke my lens!!!

Whilst carrying my photographic setup over my shoulder, the Gitzo mounting base unexpectedly fell out, and the lens smashed on the floor. Probably a 6 foot fall onto a muddy path. My old manual 500/4 would probably have been undamaged, but the modern lenses, in what seems to be a drive to reduce weight, are made of less robust material and have little impact resistance. The lens collar is split apart, and has pulled up the thread and lip to the section nearest the camera. The focusing ring is dented and manual focus can no longer be used. Autofocus and VR both seem to work, and I can still use it.

The mounting base had come out as the fixing screw had worked it's way loose. Probably mechanical creep, caused by the stresses of daily use, and maybe also the thermal expansion and contraction of the metal parts. So I now highly recommend getting out a set of torque rings or Allen keys and tightening the tripod setup regularly, say every three months. And also to avoid carrying the setup over your shoulder where possible, especially for extended periods of time.

I'm not insured, so it looks like I'm gonna learn the hard way.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	039rev1.jpg
Views:	1275
Size:	185.2 KB
ID:	310425  
Helios is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 26th February 2011, 21:46   #2
Marcus Conway - ebirder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Highlands
Posts: 5,213
Oh that's awful news.

Mines worked its way loose a couple of times. Fortunately I always had the lens strap around my neck just in case something happened, and it did.

You may be able to claim some of the costs under your house insurance.
Marcus Conway - ebirder is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 26th February 2011, 23:30   #3
assayer
Registered User
 
assayer's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 352
Helios, Sorry to hear about your tripod/lens accident. I had a similar problem a few years back with my digiscoping rig, scope & camera fell off the tripod when I lifted it to my shoulder, fortunately the damage was only minor and mostly to the camera and it was repairable.

So when I got my Canon 600mm and a Gitzo tripod, I also got a NSN Safety Plate to eliminate this problem. See http://www.naturescapes.net/store ITEM: NSN Safety Plates for Gitzo tripods.

I know this info is too late for you, but it may help someone else reading your post.

Good Birding & Photography,

Dick
__________________
dlee
assayer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 27th February 2011, 11:51   #4
Pasquier
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: EU
Posts: 312
What a disaster - the NSN plates are a solution - but I think Gitzo should offer a better tripod for $1000.- they ask.
I'd send them a mail and show them the damage - they NEED to take action.
Pasquier is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 28th February 2011, 21:29   #5
Clive Watson
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.
 
Clive Watson's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Woking, Surrey, UK
Posts: 1,200
I had exactly the same thing happen to me on Fair Isle a couple of years ago, with a Canon 600mm f4. I got away with it, other than a couple of dents and scratches to the bodywork. I managed to sort it out by raiding the observatory shed for a suitable tool, but yes, I totally agree about the Allen key idea.
Clive Watson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 28th February 2011, 21:47   #6
Huntso
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 438
How about loctite on the fixing screw, maybe just the semi permanent one, think that's the blue one
Huntso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 28th February 2011, 21:59   #7
michha62
Mike
 
michha62's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: shropshire, UK
Posts: 4,942
Sorry to hear of your terrible accident. Just checked mine and managed a quarter turn to the bolt. Safety plates are out of stock, so i'm going to ask an engineering friend to knock something up for me. Thanks for the tip.
regards
mike
michha62 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 28th February 2011, 21:59   #8
Duke Leto
Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It's that simple.
 
Duke Leto's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 8,726
Helios I know how you feel, that's an awful failure, I see the plates are out of stock to prevent this but will order one asap. Best I give my tripod a once over. Have you contacted Gitzo? What model was your tripod?
__________________
have a break have a look at my website http://www.ukwildlife.me.uk
Steve
Duke Leto is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 28th February 2011, 22:03   #9
Dave Williams
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,470
I feel for you Helios, that's terrible. I have been eyeing a Gitzo for some time, I am having second thoughts now.
Dave Williams is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 28th February 2011, 22:44   #10
NoSpringChicken
Registered User
 
NoSpringChicken's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: East Norfolk
Posts: 26,091
Sorry to hear about your accident Helios. Looking at the way it is designed, carrying the tripod over your shoulder seems to be a very bad idea. The spigot which fits into the ring at the top of the legs is very wide but shallow. While the tripod is upright, gravity will be helping to hold it in place and it will be exceptionally rigid and strong. However once it is tilted, the sideways forces will be trying to pull the spigot out. Because the spigot is so short, any slackness in the bolt will let it pop out like the lid from a Pringles tube. I would want a secondary securing measure of some sort.

Ron
NoSpringChicken is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st March 2011, 19:13   #11
Duke Leto
Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It's that simple.
 
Duke Leto's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 8,726
Just ordered one of the safety plates from BH in NYC, inc shipping to the UK $113.00 a bit steep but not if considering the benefits, shipping was almost as expensive as the plate.
__________________
have a break have a look at my website http://www.ukwildlife.me.uk
Steve
Duke Leto is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st March 2011, 19:57   #12
Dave Williams
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Leto View Post
Just ordered one of the safety plates from BH in NYC, inc shipping to the UK $113.00 a bit steep but not if considering the benefits, shipping was almost as expensive as the plate.
And you might get stung for import duty as well !
Dave Williams is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 1st March 2011, 22:23   #13
Duke Leto
Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It's that simple.
 
Duke Leto's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 8,726
Yeah I reckon about $50.00, having had my lens in the shop for over a month after my fall last year I would rather minimise it happening again, the bill for my repair from Nikon was 2700, luckily insured, it was surprisingly easy to damage and older big prime, don't wish to do that again in a hurry, hope you have more luck than I did
__________________
have a break have a look at my website http://www.ukwildlife.me.uk
Steve
Duke Leto is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st March 2011, 22:43   #14
Stephen Fletcher
Yes, i did take the photo of the Eagle
 
Stephen Fletcher's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Extremadura
Posts: 522
$1000 for a tripod that falls to bits ? Then you have to buy a "safety plate" for $90 to prevent possible damage to equipment ? Not really a good advert for Gitzo is it.
__________________
Steve

www.extremaduraphotos.webs.com

"When you're receiving flak, you're probably over the target."
George Hurley, NIKE Inc.
Stephen Fletcher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd March 2011, 08:40   #15
Dave Williams
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Leto View Post
Yeah I reckon about $50.00, having had my lens in the shop for over a month after my fall last year I would rather minimise it happening again, the bill for my repair from Nikon was 2700, luckily insured, it was surprisingly easy to damage and older big prime, don't wish to do that again in a hurry, hope you have more luck than I did
Didn't realise you had had an accident too Steve, glad to hear you were insured.
Dave Williams is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd March 2011, 08:44   #16
Dave Williams
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Fletcher View Post
$1000 for a tripod that falls to bits ? Then you have to buy a "safety plate" for $90 to prevent possible damage to equipment ? Not really a good advert for Gitzo is it.
Couldn't agree more Steve ! When I do finally upgrade my tripod from my Manfrotto Pro055x any suggestions as to what with ?
The Manfrotto has given good service, has covered many miles over my shoulder with a 500mm attached and has( touch wood) never let me down.
I would like one that I can get closer to the ground with though, the Manfrotto having a centre column.
I have been rather turned off the Gitzo as a result of reading this thread !
cheers Dave
Dave Williams is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd March 2011, 10:25   #17
Roy C
Occasional bird snapper
 
Roy C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Barnstaple,North Devon,UK
Posts: 16,223
The mounting base on my Feisol 3372 has three equally spaced Allen screws to hold the base in - even so I regularly check the screws in case they have worked loose, not happened yet but you never know.
Roy C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd March 2011, 18:14   #18
seaspirit
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 439
If this would be a car it would be time for a recall .....

Pitty that there is no obligation for the manufacturer to do this, especl. since we are not talking about a $50 department store house brand product ......
seaspirit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd March 2011, 19:38   #19
tomkeet
Registered User
 
tomkeet's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: County Durham
Posts: 127
After reading this thread will interest I sent Gitzo a Email regarding my GT5531S tripod.
This was the reply.
"Thank you for your enquiry into Gitzo products.
To ensure that the camera and lens do not pull the top plate out, the user must ensure that the weight of the camera and lens is distributed centrally on the tripod. The only cause for the top plate being pulled out is the result of poor set-up, the camera and lens weight being positioned too far from the centre of the tripod. There is nothing wrong with the design of the tripod or the quality of the materials used.
Hope this helps."
__________________
Tom
tomkeet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd March 2011, 20:28   #20
hampers
Hampers

 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 1,681
The comments here, which have all been objective and to the point, have meant that I will not buy a Gitzo tripod now, having been on the point of doing so. To me there does seem to be a problem and I am not willing to risk my body and lens. Whilst I can understand the stance from the manufacturer in not just accepting responsibility I would have thought a response of we are looking at the issue may have been more apt and managed their reputational damage a bit better. I wonder how many other people have been put off buying one. Of course I accept that there are many people who are pertectly happy with their tripod.

Phil
hampers is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 3rd March 2011, 02:44   #21
OBXGuide
Nature Photographer
 
OBXGuide's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: north carolina
Posts: 117
That's a real shame, Helios. Really sorry that happened. I take it you were carrying the tripod horizontally across your shoulder. Every time I see someone doing that with a big lens I cringe. Scares me to death thinking about it. I never liked doing it myself, but I was using a Manfrotto 055 at the time. When I finally scraped together money to get a used Gitzo 1548 with no center column I realized I could carry the thing vertically if I padded it. When I tried out my idea I found that my collar bone no longer hurt, and having the 500mm/camera/tripod held vertically greatly changed the center of gravity. It all felt MUCH lighter, better balanced, and easier to carry. And I no longer had the fear I'd end up with a disaster such as you suffered. I posted my method on one of my web pages (http://naturephotography.fredhurteau...ripodPad-2.htm).

I didn't know about the NSN safety plate. I'll look into that too. Anything to make my 500mm investment safer is worthwhile. And I'll double check the screw too just for good measure.
__________________
Fred Hurteau
central North Carolina, USA
www.CarolinaWildPhoto.com, My Gallery, www.NCBirds.com, The Casual Kayaker
OBXGuide is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 3rd March 2011, 15:28   #22
Duke Leto
Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It's that simple.
 
Duke Leto's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 8,726
I have checked my Tripod and the clamp is actually tightened with a star headed screw, the kind of screw that you find in cars or on domestic appliances, is this a change as some references in the threads are to allen keys, I do have a full set of these drivers but its not a common one for people to own
__________________
have a break have a look at my website http://www.ukwildlife.me.uk
Steve
Duke Leto is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 3rd March 2011, 15:57   #23
NoSpringChicken
Registered User
 
NoSpringChicken's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: East Norfolk
Posts: 26,091
If they do use star headed screws, it seems a little mean if they don't include one with the tripod, as owners will be removing and refitting the head themselves. I bought a set of these from Halfords for a reasonable price, as I have owned VAG cars for the past couple of decades.

Ron
NoSpringChicken is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 3rd March 2011, 16:14   #24
etudiant
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 3,774
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkeet View Post
After reading this thread will interest I sent Gitzo a Email regarding my GT5531S tripod.
This was the reply.
"Thank you for your enquiry into Gitzo products.
To ensure that the camera and lens do not pull the top plate out, the user must ensure that the weight of the camera and lens is distributed centrally on the tripod. The only cause for the top plate being pulled out is the result of poor set-up, the camera and lens weight being positioned too far from the centre of the tripod. There is nothing wrong with the design of the tripod or the quality of the materials used.
Hope this helps."
While this response may have been written to avoid any legal liability, it seems very poor from an enterprise perspective.
To say that there is nothing wrong with the design of the tripod when the head pops off is just absurd. How can anyone believe a business that spouts such nonsense?
Imo, this response is more damaging to Gitzo than the accident itself.
etudiant is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 3rd March 2011, 18:15   #25
tomkeet
Registered User
 
tomkeet's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: County Durham
Posts: 127
Interesting to read OBX Guide “Fred Hurteau” thread about the way he carries his Rig vertically over his shoulder as I have always carried my Gitzo, DLSR and 600mm lens that way but without the padding.
I have been very happy with the GT5531S tripod’s performance since purchasing it excluding the reports of the head plate coming adrift and Gitzo’s response to my query.
Now in the process of making secondary plate just for peace of mind!
__________________
Tom
tomkeet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gitzo Tripod? Sleeper Tripod and Heads 17 Thursday 25th September 2008 23:58
Compatibity Gitzo 1377M ball head with old Gitzo tripod Game Bird Photographic Tripods / Heads 2 Friday 20th July 2007 15:13
Lens fell off the camera! Bjornpdx Canon 2 Saturday 13th January 2007 11:30

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.21878791 seconds with 35 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 11:22.