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They say that the best camera is the one you have with you, and with tripods this is even more true - you can have the best tripod in history, but if you cannot be bothered to bring it because it's too large or too heavy, it's a waste of money. This tripod (one of which I am fortunate enough to own) is brilliant. Its light, tiny (it fits in a backpack) and can take standard heads if you so desire, for example Really Right Stuff or Kirk. It is amazingly rigid when up, and can take quite a heavy load - really surprising for its size and weight.
Mainly on the strength of reading this review, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod. It's an amazingly solid and elegantly crafted piece of engineering (he says, sounding like someone who's talking about steam engines rather than something used to support a camera).I've removed the central column and might get the tools out (the ones they give you not my own bodge-job shop ones) and see what else I can do, since I'm not a great believer in the centre column, preferring absolute rigidity and want to take the twisty thing off altogether. Paired with my old Kirk BH-3 ballhead and very easy to use Acratech quick leveller, the Gitzo makes a nice setup. The Systematic (series 5) range were what I really would have liked but I'm not displeased with the one I've got since it supports a whopping 18 kilograms and is very strong.This review was much appreciated, for its deceptively simple and straightforward style and the much better pictures since I'd not seen any comparable photos of Gitzo's tripods elsewhere, with even the official Gitzo site using very low res shots that bare little resemblance to the actual product in the flesh. The 3 section Mountaineer tripod I have is extremely chunky but you'd never know from the pictures available on the web. You'd made a lot of sense out of the technical info out there, Cliff, many thanks. :)
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