Tripods are the Photographer’s best friend as well as a pain to have around, ask anyone and the emotions are always coupled together. They are needed, and they justify their place when a landscape photographer is out in the field doing what he loves the most but carrying them does take a toll. Hence many manufacturers have invented lightweight tripods that are designed to circumvent this problem but then there cropped up other issues owing to this, but then I am digressing early in the article . Let me first begin the article …
This post is about the Gitzo 3542 LS systematic series tripod from the Gitzo stable. Now this is my first Gitzo product and prior to this I was a loyal Manfrotto user (having used the entry level tripod and thereafter graduating to the Manfrotto 055 series which I am still in awe of ) . But then times change and I decided to look into the offerings of Gitzo based on the reviews and also understanding what serious professional photographers generally prefer.
A bit of a research and I homed on to the Systematic Series ,3542LS. The Gitzo systematic series I think are the best available tripods in the industry as on date. The 3542 LS is super strong, very stable and rigid. It has set up the industry standard in safety, security, stability , strength , ease of set up ,use and ergonomics.
Okay so lets talk about the 3542 LS,
3: this indicates the numeric series number and also the strength/rigidity of the model. Gitzo also has the 5 series model in this aspect.
5: it implies that this model uses Carbon fibre as the material.
4: this refers to the number of leg sections that the model has and in this case it is 4 .
2: this implies the number of upgrades that has happened on the model series and in this case I have the second upgraded version.
L: this stands for version Long
S: this stands for the systematic series
The tripod is capable of taking 25 kg worth of weight without sagging from the pre-set position, with its rubber dome shaped foot end giving a great purchase on most terrain and the legs moving independently to really lower the height of the tripod substantially
Not many I can think of other than the necessary ones
Note: In case you wish to invest your hard earned money and are into serious photography as either a hobby or a profession, then there is nothing better than the Gitzo systematic series.
Now I have the option of pairing the tripod with a Gitzo GH3382QD centre ball head. Earlier I used to use the Wimberly WH200 gimbal head ( read here )and I still do but then decided to have a sturdy ball head too which is useful on certain occasions.
Few thoughts on GH3382:
This ball head is rated to hold till 18 kg of weight which speaks a lot of its durability and constructional features. The ergonomics in design and operation are a pleasure to work with and I am yet to see a ball head that is as stunning to look at as the GH3382 QD.
All the knobs are quite easy to use and the entire feel of the ball head is very solid and also Gitzo has embraced the standard Arca -Swiss standard clamp and plate system with these ball heads which I think is a welcome feature indeed.
I did use this ball head during my recent trek in the mountainous regions of Kashmir and they performed flawlessly and am mighty impressed with them. On the downside, the price is again a factor that occupies attention but then for state-of-the-art workmanship, pricing will generally be on the higher side.
So these are my thoughts on the tripod that I am currently using, and as I was saying early in the article, there are lightweight offerings from many manufacturers that are easy on the pocket, but then would you be totally at ease dangling your precious camera and lens on something which has been compromised and purchased ?? think about it ….