Reference: Materials and Equipment: Gitzo 1410 Tripod / Bogen 3047
Though it may be "overkill" for some photographers I find this combination to be ideal for my uses. Both the Gitzo legs and the Bogen head do exactly what they are supposed to do and little else, just the way I like equipment.
The Gitzo 1410 leg-set is versatile, stable and reliable. It can be placed very low to the ground and be extended well above any height I have ever needed. The legs have a 3-position variable angle adjustment which is quite useful on uneven terrain and hillsides. The feet have rubber caps over stainless steel spikes. The wing nut locks provide complete rigidity when locked down. You will notice that it does not have a center column, which further reduces the number of components and joints in the system. It can be a bit difficult at times to achieve just the right height as a result, but this is the cost of stability. I have considered purchasing Gitzo's short geared center column, but have not yet felt compelled to spend the few hundred dollars it costs.
These legs are quite heavy, but heavy is stable and stable is the litmus test of a tripod. In windy conditions the more weight you have closer to the ground the better. I carry my tripod on my shoulder, but the bare legs can be uncomfortable. I bought pipe insulation at the hardware store and carefully trimmed it to fit the legs. They were then wrapped in gaffer's tape to improve durability and cold weather comfort. And a little tip... when photographing in rough conditions (i.e. sand, water, snow) it can be a real lifesaver to extend the lowest legs out about 8" in order to prevent the locking rings from being submerged and damaged. I also use Bogen's tripod apron hung between the legs. This is great for keeping essentials (spot meter, Polaroids, etc.) close at hand while set up.
Bogen 3047 head is a standard 3-way pan-tilt head. It is very affordable
while providing great functionality. It has two bubble levels and a hexagonal
quick release head. One thing that I would prefer is an arca-swiss style
plate system. The hex plates are OK, but I would rather have the dovetail
design. For this reason I am considering going to the Gitzo 3-way head
(which does not come with a quick release system) and attaching the Arca-Swiss
style quick release. The forward-backward tilt has a tension adjustment
to prevent camera flop. It is rated to about 26 lbs, and is more than
adequate for most jobs. Many prefer ball heads over the 3-way design,
but I really like being able to adjust each plane independently, but this
is a personal choice. Basically the Bogen 3047 is a simple, well-designed
instrument that does one thing and does it well, hold the camera where
you want it. What more could you ask for?
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