Gitzo Traveller 2 Tripod - Head

By Cliff Smith
Reviewed:

Awards

  • Editors choice
Gitzo Traveller 2 Tripod

Summary

Our Score

10/10

Review Price £556.60

The GK2580TR ball head supplied with this kit is also a superb piece of kit. It is made from cast magnesium coated with a scratch-resistant crackle finish, and weighs just 392g. I'm not usually a big fan of ball-and-socket type heads, but the GK2580TR is a pleasure to use. The low-friction PTFE coating on the ball and socket and the large locking lever mean that it is possible to carefully regulate the freedom of movement, so for example when photographing wildlife you can set it to be just loose enough to pan the camera to track your subject, but still still firm enough to be assured of a steady shake-free shot.

The head has no less than four built-in spirit levels, including one inside the middle column which can be used when shooting in portrait format. The kit comes with a small selection of tools to disassemble it for cleaning, and a small tube of PTFE lubricant to keep it operating smoothly.

The only part of the head I'm not particularly keen on is the quick release mechanism. Like most pro tripods the Gitzo has a removable mounting plate, although unusually this one is square and can be mounted in any of four directions. It is held in place by a two-part latch mechanism, with a spring-loaded quick release catch and a stronger pressure clamp which can be adjusted by a screw on the side of the head and released by flipping a wide paddle-shaped lever. It is very secure, but compared to the simple but reliable locking catch used on Manfrotto tripods it is somewhat fiddly.

Despite this very minor niggle, the Traveller 2 with the GK2580TR head is without a doubt the best tripod I've ever used. It provides a rock-solid support for cameras weighing up to 7Kg, which is more than enough for a full-frame DSLR with a big telephoto lens, the standard kit for most wildlife photographers. It even comes with a full five-year warranty on all parts and materials. It's hard to think of any way in which it could be improved, apart from halving the price.

Verdict

The Gitzo Traveller 2 GK2580TR kit is unquestionably one of the finest pieces of photographic equipment on the market, and is perfect for travel, wildlife and landscape photography. The design, build quality and performance are all of the highest standard, and it is guaranteed to provide many years of reliable service. It is enormously expensive, but as all keen photographers are aware, if you want the very best you have to pay for it.

Previous page
Next page

Billy Bean

June 6, 2010, 7:27 pm

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.

Hans Gruber

June 11, 2010, 4:05 am

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. :)

comments powered by Disqus