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Safari Traveller/Birdwatchers Kit - Series 2 GK2520FT

Gitzo Safari Traveler Birdwatchers Kit Tripod
Manufacturer
Gitzo

Reviews summary

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Overall rating
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Compactness, Stablility, Lightweight, Great design
Cons
  • High cost
Much as I like my Manfrotto Carbon One 443 and 128 RC head I have to say that I really like the new Gitzo Series 2 GK2520FT Safari Traveller Kit. It is a real pleasure to use, not to mention the design and green colour mean it looks good too!

From the outset the high quality expected of Gtizo products is obvious. It comes in a rather nice looking box with the tripod in a cloth bag and even has a plastic pouch with tool kit and instructions for making adjustments and aid long term care. The compactness is obvious due to the unique reversible leg design for travelling and storage.

The sleek looking design is lightweight yet retains good stability with little in the way of vibration. Its so lightweight 1.96 kg for both head and legs - I barely felt the weight on my shoulder strap. The special G-Lock - Ocean Lock legs are easy to use requiring little movement to lock the legs in place and release them. I never had cause to try it in water so I cant comment on the water seal feature but the leg sections certainly extended and retracted very smoothly. The centre column has a hook on its bottom for hanging a weight for increased stability though I never had the need to use it. Also the column is reversible should you so desire. The standard feet are removable using the included tool kit to reveal spiked feet as an alternative.

Being a kit it comes with the GH 1720 FQR tripod head. Both pan and tilt are operated from one control. Previously Id only used heads with separate controls for pan and tilt but it didnt take long to get used to the new system. Tension can be infinitely adjusted with very little pressure and operation was silky smooth. It was certainly smooth enough to pan when taking video with my DSLR of waders wandering around. The head plate position can be adjusted forward or backward to aid balance if need be. A separate button needs to be pressed to release the plate from the head in addition to releasing a tension lever, a good feature to protect against accidents.

The kit recommended for lenses up to lenses up to 300mm though can take heavier weights. I was mostly using it with a Canon 7D and Canon 400mm f5,6 lens, often with teleconverters as well. It even handled my Swarovski ATS80 scope comfortably.

The max. working height is quoted as being 129.5 cm with centre column down and 164 cm with column extended. Whilst not the tallest tripod available, at 188cm I had no difficulty in using it for photography or with my angled scope.

The price point is fairly high but as they say you get what you pay for and quality certainly isnt a concern. Its well designed and constructed with the bird photographer in mind and Im sure will last a lifetime.
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