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Old Wednesday 13th July 2011, 17:39   #51
revs45
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Originally Posted by Helios View Post
Seems to suggest that the tripod isn't suitable for carrying the setup over your shoulder. But I guess we know this now.
I've had mostly good luck with my Gitzo 3530 6x, my collar loosened soon after i got it as well but after tightening it down it hasn't come loose, this is now at least 3 years after the fact.

The only other thing that happened was one of the carbon fibre legs somehow detached while on a shooting trip, again soon after i purchased it.
2 part epoxy worked wonders and it hasn't gone wobbly since.

I carry my 500mm f4 etc. with tripod legs straddling my shoulder and have had no disasters so far (knock on wood).
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Old Sunday 11th September 2011, 18:52   #52
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Wow awfull stuff... still think Gitzo is among the best money can get.... I have the 3541L which should not have this problem. However I did find it too troublesome and tiring to carry the tripod with 300mm f2.8 over one shoulder. The other day I found an old backpack, I took the shoulderstraps and the top piece that connects the two shoulderstraps - and put it on my gitzo tripod. I made a ring of durable nylon strap to put around the leg and attach the shoulderstraps to. Now I have a great tripod harness, that is easy to carry, can stay on the tripod when I am using it - so now I can have both hands free while working my way through dense forest, in hilly terrain or even when going on my bike through the concrete jungle.
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2011, 22:41   #53
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I just bought a Gitzo and put a roll pin each side, The plate carnt come out even if the bolt came off, the pins i used are 3mm by 30mm but i grinded them down to about 18 mm .
Rob.
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Old Tuesday 4th October 2011, 17:47   #54
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Hi

My Gitzo GT3531S has a top plate with "Safe Lock" printed on it. What is the function of this - will it preclude the plate coming out or should I still use Roy C's little trick with the cable ties? ((3.00 in black from B&Q)

Cheers

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Old Tuesday 4th October 2011, 19:38   #55
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NO that plate does not lock the plate in place .
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Old Tuesday 4th October 2011, 20:22   #56
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Despite an earlier post on this thread saying I'd changed my mind about buying a Gitzo I did in fact go ahead and get one. Couldn't resist one offered at a decent price on the Birdforum "For sale" thread.
This thread has certainly changed my view to carrying it around with the lens mounted though so thanks to all contributors. I now do one of three things a) carry it vertically with the lens attached b)Carry it horizontally with me also hanging on to the lens strap or c) Being totally safe and carrying the lens separately which is a nuisance if I need to set up in an hurry.
Unfortunately the seller didn't have or ever recall having had an Allen key to tighten the locking bolt and so far I have had no joy trying to source one. Reading this thread again has revealed I am asking for the wrong thing and I need a Torx key. The hunt continues.
Like Stuart, I too wondered what the safe lock was all about but can find no explanation.

Oh and as for the Gitzo itself. A bit more stable than the Manfrotto Pro 055x, weighs a bit less but best of all and the reason I bought it is you can level it almost to ground level. Am I happy... overall Yes !!
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Old Monday 10th October 2011, 23:00   #57
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Originally Posted by rioja View Post
Despite an earlier post on this thread saying I'd changed my mind about buying a Gitzo I did in fact go ahead and get one. Couldn't resist one offered at a decent price on the Birdforum "For sale" thread.
This thread has certainly changed my view to carrying it around with the lens mounted though so thanks to all contributors. I now do one of three things a) carry it vertically with the lens attached b)Carry it horizontally with me also hanging on to the lens strap or c) Being totally safe and carrying the lens separately which is a nuisance if I need to set up in an hurry.
Unfortunately the seller didn't have or ever recall having had an Allen key to tighten the locking bolt and so far I have had no joy trying to source one. Reading this thread again has revealed I am asking for the wrong thing and I need a Torx key. The hunt continues.
Like Stuart, I too wondered what the safe lock was all about but can find no explanation.



Oh and as for the Gitzo itself. A bit more stable than the Manfrotto Pro 055x, weighs a bit less but best of all and the reason I bought it is you can level it almost to ground level. Am I happy... overall Yes !!
The "Safe Lock" is simply a friction pad to stop your (tripod) head from unscrewing. The earlier top plate had a Hemmerite finish, like the alloy parts of the tripod and was said to be prone to the head loosening. Mine most certainly is not - but the newer top plate is prettier!
As to the top plate "Falling off" there are numerous ways of preventing this - cable ties, safety plates, regular checking etc..etc..
In my case it's simple, the main head I use on my Systematics is a 2nd hand Wimberley 2. The head has a slightly worn mounting thread and is VERY easy to cross thread when mounting. I simply dis-mount/re-mount the top plate and head together, a bit slower but I ALWAYS know the top plate is secure. I trust it with my 600 + 1 Series!
The real problem with carring my setup over my shoulder is the pain it causes!

P.S. Rioja - the Torx key is in the post, should be with you Tuesday or Wednesday.
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Old Tuesday 11th October 2011, 10:39   #58
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From the last entry by John you might gather that I have managed to source the necessary Torx key... or should I say that the Torx key sourced me. In an act of kindness and generosity John simply contacted me by PM and offered to send me one as he has a few spares. It might not be a hugely expensive piece of kit but it was a superb gesture to a total stranger and it's things like this that make cyber space become a real world.
Many thanks John, cheers Dave.
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Old Wednesday 12th October 2011, 18:28   #59
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Thanks for your comments!
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Old Friday 9th December 2011, 19:41   #60
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I had the same problem with my tripod. The plate and head fell off but luckily I caught the strap before it hit the ground.

Naturescapes makes a safety plate that effectively eliminated the problem. I have one for both of my Gitzo 3540LS tripods.
http://www.naturescapes.net/store/ns...ods-gsp35.html
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Old Monday 9th January 2012, 20:43   #61
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Looks like I have the same tripod so I have just checked the clamp bolt , sorry to hear your lens got damaged.

As Manfrotto own Gitzo now and have done for several years you would think that they would sort this problem out . A simple two or three locating grub screws would be a simple fix , maybe even the more handy of us could drill and tap these ourselves.
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Old Monday 16th January 2012, 18:02   #62
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I followed Rob's suggestion of the Roll Pin (sometimes called a Spring Pin).

Less than $1 and 10 minutes of labor and problem is solved.

Thank you Rob. It really was easy and much better than the outrageous price for a metal plate and long bolt.
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Old Thursday 7th June 2012, 17:28   #63
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What astounds me is the way an expensive brand is so disloyal and unsupportive to it's customers. Maybe a court case or two are needed for Gitzo to wake up and stand by their product. It's unreasonable in my mind that such an expensive product A) doesn't like salt water and B) falls apart when long lenses are attached and walked with.
The instructions supplied with my GT3541LS don't mention much about either issues.
So one buys this gear...use it intuatively and when it breaks...we are then told by the manufacturer that it was the photographer's fault....Hmmm sounds wrong to me.
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Old Thursday 7th June 2012, 22:53   #64
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After reading this original post I took fright and lost confidence in my gitzo GT3541LS when carrying on my shoulder. I bought another tripod for my 600 F4 and now use the Gitzo only for my shorter, lighter tele lenses and wide angles.
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2012, 12:38   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
Thanks for your comments!
I made this carrying system, similar ones are rpoduced commercially. It will take alot of weight off your shoulders

http://naturephotos.dk/NaturePhotos_...nu=44&kgf=1145
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Old Sunday 17th June 2012, 01:31   #66
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Last week, I was on a bird workshop and one of the other photographers had one of the new Gitzo 4 series tripods. There seems to be a new clamp device which can be tightened without the use of tools. It looks a pretty sturdy device and clamps well. The over all feel of the new tripods is that the top plate was a little flatter and a bit lighter in wight over the older tripod leg design.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2012, 09:42   #67
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I have the new GT2542LS and Gitzo made two changes to the top plate construction. First the integral ratchet for tightening down the top plate. Second a spring loaded stop inside the plate mount eliminates the risk of the plate falling out even if it isn't tightened down properly.

These changes was what finally made me buy a Systematic. There are also other improvements to the construction.
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Old Monday 18th June 2012, 12:00   #68
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I've just seen the new Ocean Systematic range....finaly a Gitzo that can weather a bit of salt water!!!
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Old Friday 31st August 2012, 02:04   #69
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Originally Posted by Gazzajagman View Post
I've just seen the new Ocean Systematic range....finaly a Gitzo that can weather a bit of salt water!!!
I have 3 Carbon Gitzos (3530 LS, 2531 and 1329 Mk2) - they all work fine in salt water - I have had no problems from the water. What I do have a problem with is the sand getting into the leg locks, so I use my "OLD" 1329 as the leg locks are much easier to clean.
The only caveat I would add is that I would add is that anything that has been in salt water should be rinsed (drenched) with fresh water afterwards regardless of its construction or brand, even gear designed for salt water work, ask any scuba diver.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2015, 02:31   #70
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The same exact thing happened to my Gitzo tripod last month when in Yellowstone.

My Canon 1dx and 500 lens landed on the asphalt road. I just got the estimate for repairs back from Canon and with a 30% CPS discount the total is still $932. New mirror assembly on the body and new mount and repair to the barrel assembly on the lens.

I am "lucky" that I have insurance but I have to pay the $500 deductible.

I was lucky that I could continue to shoot with the combo for the rest of my trip and I have purchased the NSN safety plate and will be much more diligent about making sure the screws are tightened regularly. It was an expensive lesson and I do feel like it's a known defect on the Gitzo tripod. When out shooting I have seen others where the plate was edging out of it's holder but at the time when I looked at mine I knew it looked different but couldn't really figure out what was wrong. Then when I saw another similar tripod that looked the same I figured it was ok. Now I will be sure to alert fellow photographers to the problem.
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Old Monday 13th July 2015, 21:12   #71
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The same exact thing happened to my Gitzo tripod last month when in Yellowstone.

My Canon 1dx and 500 lens landed on the asphalt road. I just got the estimate for repairs back from Canon and with a 30% CPS discount the total is still $932. New mirror assembly on the body and new mount and repair to the barrel assembly on the lens.

I am "lucky" that I have insurance but I have to pay the $500 deductible.

I was lucky that I could continue to shoot with the combo for the rest of my trip and I have purchased the NSN safety plate and will be much more diligent about making sure the screws are tightened regularly. It was an expensive lesson and I do feel like it's a known defect on the Gitzo tripod. When out shooting I have seen others where the plate was edging out of it's holder but at the time when I looked at mine I knew it looked different but couldn't really figure out what was wrong. Then when I saw another similar tripod that looked the same I figured it was ok. Now I will be sure to alert fellow photographers to the problem.
Once properly tightened there is simply no way the Top Plate will come off a Gitzo Systematic tripod. However as you (and others) have found that, over time, it can work loose - as can any friction joint! As posted previously my solution was to remove the head with the Top Plate attached for storage. This ensures that each time you use the tripod you know that the tripod + Top Plate is attached securely.
Since my previous posts on this subject I have replaced the Gitzo Torx(?) bolt with a conventional 6mm stainless steel allen bolt as it involves fewer skinned knuckles. Now it is quicker (and easier) to remove the head WITH the Top Plate attached rather than unscrewing the head from the Top Plate. Additionally I know it is properly secured each time so I have no worries about any method of carrying it. The total cost of a bag of 10 6mm bolts + a few allen keys (one for each camera bag and a couple of spares) was 2.50 pounds. A small price to pay for peace of mind!
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Old Monday 13th July 2015, 21:26   #72
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John - You're mistaken on this one. It's not simply a matter of tightening the bolt. Mine came loose three times in a span of 90 days. The more it moves, the more the finish on the material wears away and the more likely it is to continue to fall out. I can assure you, I tightened mine enough that fracturing the metal was a risk.

The Gitzo top plate and hub was simply a poor design. The material on the plate is cast - not milled, so overtightening makes fracturing the metal a very high risk. And the lip on the plate is square to the inner wall of the hub, so there is nothing in the design that prevents the plate from coming out. This was enough of an issue that Gitzo redesigned the hub and plate.

If you decide to put enough force on the small bolt that holds the assembly in place, you can easily fracture the hub.

Today Markins makes a replacement hub. The Markins replacement hub is milled and better designed eliminating the issue and providing other usability benefits. When the Gitzo tripod was being sold and this issue originally came up, there was no such thing as a replacement hub and you would be faced with getting a new tripod if you fractured hub or bolt mechanism.
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Old Tuesday 14th July 2015, 22:18   #73
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John - You're mistaken on this one. It's not simply a matter of tightening the bolt. Mine came loose three times in a span of 90 days. The more it moves, the more the finish on the material wears away and the more likely it is to continue to fall out. I can assure you, I tightened mine enough that fracturing the metal was a risk.

The Gitzo top plate and hub was simply a poor design. The material on the plate is cast - not milled, so overtightening makes fracturing the metal a very high risk. And the lip on the plate is square to the inner wall of the hub, so there is nothing in the design that prevents the plate from coming out. This was enough of an issue that Gitzo redesigned the hub and plate.

If you decide to put enough force on the small bolt that holds the assembly in place, you can easily fracture the hub.

Today Markins makes a replacement hub. The Markins replacement hub is milled and better designed eliminating the issue and providing other usability benefits. When the Gitzo tripod was being sold and this issue originally came up, there was no such thing as a replacement hub and you would be faced with getting a new tripod if you fractured hub or bolt mechanism.
Thank you for pointing out my mistake?????
After all I have only been using Systematics for less than a decade - so I am a bit of a novice.
Please re-read my post, I remove the top plate every time I am finished with the tripod. It normally carries a Wimberley 2 which makes it very top heavy for carrying! Then re mount it when I am setting up. The securing/tension bolt is then lightly tightened (very lightly considering what a 6mm bolt is designed to stand!) - in this condition I cannot get the top plate to give/slip at all. I could pop it out with a sledge hammer, and ruin my tripod, but applying the heaviest weight I have handy (me at 105 kilos) to the bottom of the top plate does not shift it in any way. Few, if any, safety systems will stand half that weight.
They can work loose over time (so I am told), but my 2 systematics never have. Out of curiosity I ran this by a Professional Photographer friend of mine, who uses one, and he had no idea what I was on about - he has been using them for over 30 years (long before they were called Systematics!).

If yours came loose 3 times in 90 days and you are experiencing wear in the locking collar and/or Top Plate then I would politely suggest that you are doing something wrong. I am not having a go at you but between myself and my friend there is around 40 years of using this top plate locking system without any issues whatsoever - though admittedly the biggest lens he uses is a 500 F4 L IS, hardly a test really.
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