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12-29-2014, 08:55 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
That's true... I didn't mean to imply that metal can't break, but as an engineer, I do know that most failures occur at joints, except when I've seen carbon fiber fail. Interestingly, it should be quite a strong material, but that strength is exploited and compromised through using less of the material. Having a #### psi (or kpa) strength doesn't mean much if the cross section isn't adequate to provide a strength larger than steel or whatever other metal you might use.

I do think it is important for people to realize that carbon fiber is not some magical material that is invincible. It's marketed as such, but it's never built as such. Every material has its limits.
Absolutely true. Many times we assume that CF is better than other materials (in tripods, either aluminum or wood) because it is more expensive and/or hyped a lot. Truly, tripods don't stress the tubing anywhere near as much as biking does, while biking doesn't concern itself with vibration reduction or thermal conductivity.

A very good read (from a biking perspective) is this on reports of carbon fiber frame failure. Although that is rebutting an article from the NYT, it also provides a lot of reasonable insight into CF production and structure. Naturally, a tripod has maybe 30% of its total weight coming from the leg tubes, while a CF bike frame is (I think) a bit more of a weight saver.

Related to Gitzo; their CF tubes are better quality (ratio of carbon to epoxy) and more precisely engineered (walls get thicker as tube diameters get thinner) than most other CF tripod legs, but even the cheapest CF tripod (well hello, Dolica) will provide some weight savings and vibration reduction over aluminum. Also, if Gitzo no longer supports discontinued tripods, then anyone like me who has an older tripod with the "Gitzo lifetime warranty" (which they offered up until 2006, I think)will be mighty pissed when a small part breaks... or maybe I'll just get a current model as a free replacement?

Last edited by panoguy; 12-29-2014 at 09:01 AM.
01-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #32
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Location: Central Israel
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Gitzo service - positive experience

I came across this thread a bit late but I hope the following will help anyone requiring Gitzo service.
Gitzo is a Manfrotto company. Manfrotto has a website dedicated to service and spare parts including Gitzo items
You can call them on 01483 548883 or visit
One of my Gitzo pan heads needed a few new parts.
I contacted them via the website, ordered the spare parts, and they arrived without any problem. The price of the parts and shipping was very reasonable.
Hope this helps

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