Gitzo 1542T Review – the best travel tripod gets even better

I had the opportunity to take the latest Gitzo 1542T for my trekking cum photography trip to the Himalayan Range. It’s a 6days 5 nights trek around the Annapurna –Poon Hill trek to be precise. The letter “T” stands for “traveller”. I have earlier taken a Gitzo 1541T on a similar trip. The tripod was a joy to use and easy on the shoulders. Carrying an extra kg on a trekking trip especially for a 50+ year old man is a chore. The seemingly light weight gets heavier by the hour on a strenuous uphill trek to the highest mountain range in the world.

1.

On the left is the 1541T, center the 1542T and right is the GK1580QR

2.

All 3 tripods with the central column fully extended. Note the extra height of the 1542T

The tripod was coupled with a SER.1 BALL HEAD QR BLACK. The specification of the ballhead is:-

The GH1781QR Basalt ball head, is offered in the new black and flame orange color scheme. It is designed to be an extremely balanced product, that not only guarantee a high max load, but that also maximize other key features, too often overlooked by the end users. These features include smoothness, minimized drift angle, lightweight, low gravity center, greater tilt angles, compactness, ergonomics, safety and the Quick Release system.

·       specs

ball friction setting no
ball locking yes
independent pan lock yes
lateral tilt +95° / -13° tilt range
load capacity 10 kg
material magnesium
panoramic rotation 360 degrees
plate type quick release – with 1/4-20″ screw
quick release yes
series 1
weight 0.35 kg
working height 9.5

There are 4 levelling devices on this ballhead. One can level this tripod in the X,Y,Z directions. I find this ballhead very easy to use especially when I need to put on a glove in the cold morning temperatures. The large knob was easy to turn and you can operate it with the gloves on. The friction was precise and smooth.

3.

On the right side is the Markins Ballhead. At the centre and left are the Gitzo ballheads

What is new?

So what was changed with the new 1542T? Basically Gitzo retained the same high quality manufacturing standards. The jointing between the legs was changed and the central column is longer. Overall the new tripod is about 90mm taller than the 1541T. This is good news to those taller photographers. Photographers who are tall (above 1.8m) will find this tripod a joy to use. The lock for the tripod legs have been redesigned to make it easier to use especially if you have gloves on.

However, there is a compromise. The tripod is now rated at 7kg instead of 8 kg as in the 1541T. It is slightly heavier by about 0.03kg. It now weighs 1kg in weight.

Overall the folded length is about the same as it predecessor. I find it very easy to pack this tripod into the check-in luggage. Yes, nowadays, the airlines insist you check in the tripod. You cannot carry this tripod on board the plane.

4.

Legs release level of the 1541T

5.

The leg release lever is redesigned for ease of operation

5.

Change of design in the central legs connector

Here are the specifications of the Gitzo 1542T

GT1542T tripod combines the compactness and light weight of the Gitzo Traveler System with the stability and size of a regular Mountaineer Series 1 tripod. It is dedicated to the high-end user seeking for a highly portable support with no compromise.

·       specs

centre column rapid
closed length 42.5 cm
level compact
load capacity 7 kg
Load Capacity Short Column 7.0 kg
material carbon fiber 6X
maximum height 149.0 cm
maximum height (with centre column down) 116.5 cm
minimum height 22.0 cm
weight 1 kg

In use

One of the main advantages of this Travellers tripod is that the legs can be folded backwards to reduce the packing length. One just needs to turn back all the 3 legs and release the central column. Extending the tripod legs is a breeze. Just turn the G-lockstm and this will release or lock the legs in position. Yes you can do this even when you are wearing your gloves.

The tripod is very sturdy even when the central column is extended to its fullest. Usually one would only extend the central column last if there is a need for height. There is also a hook at the bottom of the central column where one can hang some weights like the camera bag to sturdy the tripod in heavy winds.

This tripod is a joy to use especially when one is out travelling the world. Most of the PMPE participants have used this tripod in their PMPE photosafari trips and that is the testimony of how good this tripod is to a traveller. The price range of the Gitzo tripod legs and the Gitzo ballhead is about RM3.0K. However, one may find some Dealers who are willing to get a good discount for it.

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  1. The 1541T on the left is mine. I’ve been using this tripod for more than two years now and I will not hesitate to endorse it to be one of the finest tripods I’ve used for travelling. It’s light, it’s compact, it’s sturdy and very efficiently designed for travelling. I’ve found that it can easily support my 5D+70-200 f/2.8 combo and in Africa, I’ve also used it with my 100-400 without any problems. Extending the 4 section legs is a breeze and can be done with just one hand for each of the three legs simultaneously. My only nitpick is that the plate for the ball head shown, can be a bit fiddly in use. The 1541T is serving me well and I believe anybody using the newer 1452T will certainly be very satisfied with it.

  2. Tim

    Obviously smoeone Obviously smoeone has been reading the message board to come up with this statement. Heres reality: the FS100 is a VIDEO camera. the 5diii is a STILL camera first and happens to also do awesome video. Are the images soft on the 5d? Compared to what? Are you near sighted? Are you blind? Are you drunk? I am sick of reading people and moaning about the images being soft, its group internet think: One pro says soft and all the sheep no-nothings follow. The FS and 5D are both awesome cams.

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