This week I took advantage of a trade-in program offered by Manfrotto and Gitzo, to replace my small tripod with smaller “traveller” model, small enough to pack in a suitcase.
I tend not to be brand-loyal about anything, though I have owned three Gitzo tripods. I looked at Giotto when they began offering carbon fiber tripods a couple years ago, but I did not like the fact that the leg locks require more turning compared to Gitzo. This week I looked at tripods by Fiesol (www.feisol.net); solid lightweight carbon fiber construction and 30% less expensive than Gitzo. However, with a trade-in and a rebate, the cost of a Gitzo was reduced to a price akin to Feisol. Price no longer a differentiator … I bought my fourth Gitzo. (www.gitzo.com)
In the trio of tripods shown here, notice that two do not have a center column. I personally like this configuration because the tripod can lower all the way to the ground without the center column getting in the way. The big model 410 shown here is quite heavy and is overkill for most applications. The mid-size tripod is carbon fiber, to replace the big heavy 410. The small one with center column was just replaced, but I could not justify the large price tag without trading-in the one shown here. The old tripod was more than 20 years old, made in France before Gitzo was purchased by Vitec Group.