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02-26-2012, 01:09 PM   #1
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Tripod three vs for leg sections

I have almost made my mind about the tripod / ball head.

Acratech GP

Gitzo GT2531EX
or
Gitzo GT2541EX

I plan to do landscape and flower/plants macro shots around the house (wife's garden). From comments and reviews seems that the EX models are flexible for macro close to ground.
My doubt is between the three and four leg sections models. Surprisingly (to me), the 3 section is over $100 more expensive, so the 4 section is more appealing cost wise. Will I be making a mistake going for the 2541 instead of the 2531? Will there be a big difference in performance?





My doubt is between the 3 and 4 section models.

02-26-2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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Are you sure about the 4-section being more expensive? It's usually the other way around, so I would definitely check that. The main advantage of a 4-section leg over a 3-section is that it is smaller when collapsed.
02-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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No, the 3 section is more expensive. But it has less parts and complexity, so it looks to me it should be cheaper, but it is not. I do not plan on traveling much with it. I will get a light monopod for traveling.
My concern relates to comments I have seen about three section tripods being less subject to vibration, more sturdy in general.
02-26-2012, 02:50 PM   #4
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Generally the 3 section tripods have a slightly higher weight rating due to less joints. I worried around this exact issue for some time before I bought mine. I ended up with the 3 section rather than the 4 because the only advantage I could find in the 4 was that it folds smaller for travel. And in my case the 4 was slightly more money so I went with the 3. Check the weight ratings between the 2 and see how much you give up going with the 4. If it is not too much I see nothing wrong with the 4. One more set of legs to extend but if extending just the top 3 is enough for your height that works also and you have the extra length if setting on a slope.

You are going to love the Acratech GP by the way.

02-26-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Not model specific, the major difference is that 4 section should be able to get lower, while 3 section is more vibration resistance from 200mm & up.
02-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TonyL Quote
No, the 3 section is more expensive. But it has less parts and complexity, so it looks to me it should be cheaper, but it is not.
Oops...that's what I meant. Usually, the 4 section is more expensive than the 3 section.
02-26-2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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All I can tell you is that my dad has a decently large three section tripod, and I spent a bit more and got a sturdy travel tripod that folds up nicely (to 14" long). There have been many times I have been out taking photos with him (ones in which a tripod is useful), where I had my tripod with me and he did not.

Based on my experience, I would have to recommend the tripod that folds up smaller (even if you don't plan on traveling much). But, everybody has different thresholds of what they are willing to carry with them.
02-26-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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That was a good idea to check the ratings. They are both rated at 26 lb, but the GT2531EX is over two inches higher than the 41X. That makes it worth the difference for me.

As for the prices, it is a bit crazy. The Gitzo site has the list prices as $750 for the 3 section and $878 for the 4 sections. Interestingly the retail discounted prices reverse to $675 and $564.
The best deal for the 3 section one seems to be at ADORAMA with one of their "lowering the price" kits that includes a 35" nylon bag and a couple of irrelevant cheap items at $654.

02-26-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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Checked the folded sizes, obviously the 4 section is shorter, 21" vs 25". I think I rather have the 2" extra height of the three 2531EX.
If I ever feel the urge for a light traveling tripod, I will look for one, but it is not that likely.
02-27-2012, 12:26 AM   #10
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I'm not the tripod expert, but the 3 legs of the 3 leg one will always touch the ground. Looks far more difficult / time consuming to me to get a tripod with 4 legs stable on the ground (one leg not touching and the tripod is not not stable).

Am I seeing a non-existing problem?
02-27-2012, 12:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I'm not the tripod expert, but the 3 legs of the 3 leg one will always touch the ground. Looks far more difficult / time consuming to me to get a tripod with 4 legs stable on the ground (one leg not touching and the tripod is not not stable).

Am I seeing a non-existing problem?
A tripod (tri: three, pod: leg) always has 3 legs. There is no such thing as 4-leg tripod.

The subject of this thread is the number (3 or 4) of the sections of a leg.
02-27-2012, 03:12 AM   #12
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Yes I know that tri means three. Most have had a DOF moment.

PS google translates dof to dull; the usual term would be 'blond'

Last edited by sterretje; 02-27-2012 at 04:02 AM.
02-27-2012, 03:44 AM   #13
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If you not intending to travel with the tripod you could always take a look at the Dutch Hill tripod. I use this one when at home or working from my car. I also have the Gitzo GT2541 that I use when hiking or travelling on aircraft.
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