Even thought I already have a great tripod, in the last 5 years, the Gitzo 2541, and it has been my work horse for all of my photography traveling. So far, no complain, it has basically withstood all of the conditions that I’ve thrown at it, and more. The 2541 basically is all that I would need…and so I thought.
In the last year or so, I have begun to feel its weight a bit (I think it is definitely a sign of getting old :), and mostly its length, when folded and not fitting into the carry on luggage, for traveling during air flights. Yes, I know some of you would say, “its weight is not problem, I carry even heavier ones like the Gitzo 3x and 4x, etc…”! GOOD for YOU. For me, the lighter the better, how’s that? OK, like I said, the weight is manageable, however, I’ve begun to see that it is a bit long and unwieldy when carrying around while traveling abroad mostly. For hikes, it is the weight. Also, It is not as easy to hang it onto your backpack because it is a bit longer than I like (I’m not a tall guy by any mean). One thing to remember is that when you travel outside of US, the carry-on luggage weights and sizes are not the same and usually as if you fly within the US.
Below is the whole thing folded with the Markin Q3 ball head, which is the ball head to use with this one, since when folded, the whole thing would be the most compact combination that you can get.
One of the issue when taking tripod with me on the plane, I never check in my tripods with my baggage, and you know why. These are expensive items and together with the ball head will easily cost more than $1000. So, what I have done is to put the tripod with the ball on the side, into the carry-on luggage. However, it barely fits my luggage, which might be a bit bigger than the allowable size now from most airlines. They’ve been more or less flexible on the carry-on luggage, but I’ve that they’ve tighten up the grips and basically will check your carry-on luggage size and weight more stringent. Which means that I have to get a smaller tripod, lighter if possible, one that can easier fit into the smaller carry-on. With the new and smaller luggage, my 2541 doesn’t fit even if I put it in at an angle. With the new 1544T, it is a piece of cake to place it straight in with room to spare! OK, enough about the size, and one of the reason why I shelled out that much money for another tripod.
The second reason is that while hiking and walking around in cities that I travel to, sometimes, the length of the tripod is a big consideration when folded. The shorter it is the less conspicuous and less awkward to tight it to my backpack, or hand-carry, or whatever! When traveling, smaller is better, period, and this 1544T doesn’t disappoint!
But, here is the most important part. There is no free lunch. If this small, lighter tripod is as good as the bigger, heavier ones, who would buy the heavier ones?
Comparing the 1544T with my trusty 2541, here is what I found out:
- The 1544T is lighter, therefore more susceptible to vibration. I did some test, while taking the picture, using same conditions for both tripods:
- Tapping the tripod body on both tripods, the 2541 has no issue with that, while the 1544T has some minor blur to the pictures.
- With the tripods on a wooden floor, simulation of foot steps caused the 1544T to induce some blur to the images, while the 2541 had no issue.
- If you want to stabilize the 1544T with your backpack by hanging on its tripod hook, then you should make sure that the bag won’t move, due the winds, etc…, otherwise because the hook and the tubes basically directly connected to the ball head, and hence your camera. If your bag moves, the pictures were pretty blurry. For my 2541, basically I removed the center column, and mount the ball head directly to the base of the tripod, and therefore the whole setup is less prone to vibration. With the 1544T, it is not possible to remove the center column.
However, once i took this tripod on travels/hikes a few times, all of the concern’s have vanished! In fact, now when I hold the 2541, I hate its weight and can’t image that I would use it anymore.
The only I can say is that I need to make sure to minimize all possible external vibration as much as possible. It sounds like a pain, but actually, you’ll know what to do in certain conditions and it is not hard. I am using it like the 2541 now and have not concerned too much about the vibration..yet. If I was in a very windy situation, then I just hang my backpack on the tripod hook.
Hope this helps you to decide on whether you want to shell out your hard-earned cash for this little gem. The quality of this tripod is just amazing!! I really love it.
If you want to buy this tripod, please use these links below.