If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent hours browsing sites like B&H Photo Video comparing different tripods, tripod heads, and their features. You may also take it a step further by watching reviews until your eyes burn before you decide to finally make that decisive click and add one to your shopping cart. It’s an understandable practice if you ask me. Perhaps you’re in the market for the best travel tripod money can buy. If that’s the case, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod.
I received the Traveler a few weeks ago and would like to take moment to share with you my initial impressions of this fine piece of photographic equipment. Be forewarned, I really like this tripod.
Let me be candid for a moment. Gitzo is one of the companies I hadn’t spent much time reviewing or comparing online. Gitzo, a leading manufacturer of photographic supports, accessories, and bags has long been regarded for building some of the industry’s best tripod’s. I’ll confess that the main reason for not researching their products further had been their elevated price point, which I now feel silly for doing and I’ll touch on a little further here in just a moment.
- Load Capacity: 22 pounds
- Maximum Height: 64.4 inches
- Minimum Height: 12.6 inches
- Folded Length: 16.7 inches
- Leg Sections: 4
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Reverse-folding Legs
- Short center column
- Arca-type compatible ball head
- Shoulder strap
- Handmade in Italy
Who Is It For?
As the name might suggest, the Traveler is best suited for, well, travelers. Adventure types making a living from photography and those who can benefit from having a lightweight yet durable base for their camera will appreciate this travel tripod. If you’re just getting into photography, the nearly $1,000 price tag may come as a bit of a surprise. No worries here. As you advance, your appreciation for a steady base will increase.
What I Like
Since I’m discussing my initial impressions of the Traveler, now would be a good time to bring up the incredible build quality. Everything about the tripod (right down to the packaging) says high end. From the beautiful Carbon eXact tubing used for the legs to the finely machined metal components used throughout, the more I handle and use the tripod the more the retail cost dissolves into less important parts of my mind. I’ve used roughly a half-dozen other brands and have no problem saying that Gitzo’s build quality is second to none.
Not only does carbon fiber look cool, it's also structurally very rigid and lightweight. It's commonly used in Formula 1 racing and on aircrafts due to that very fact. Gitzo says that the tripod employs Carbon eXact tubing for added strength and stiffness compared to the Carbon 6X tubes. Extending and collapsing the tripod is a pleasant experience thanks to the Traveler’s “G-lock,” a downsized version of Gitzo's G-lock, specifically designed for the Traveler tripods to reduce overall size. Helping provide grip, the tripod’s rubber feet can be easily replaced if they are worn out.
Folding and Unfolding
Folding and unfolding the legs is also an enjoyable experience thanks to their unique and innovative system.
The Traveler kit comes with the Gitzo GH1382TQD Series 1 Traveler Center Ball Head. The beautifully machined head has a separate lock for the 360-degree panning and another to control the movement of the ball which is coated with a tungsten disulfide coating. Gitzo claims that the coating helps keep the ball movement smooth and minimizes irritating “stick-slip.” I can vouch that the head is silky smooth and possibly the best of its size that I’ve ever felt. The head also includes a useful bubble level to help you maintain straight horizons.
What I Dislike
Initially, the retail price of the Traveler left a bad taste in my mouth. That was before I had the tripod in my possession, and before I was able to witness the extremely thoughtful design and impeccable build quality. It’s simply a case of getting what you pay for.
There really isn’t much that I don’t like, other than the fact that I don’t have more than one. This is the best travel tripod I’ve ever used.
The Traveler is the best travel tripod I’ve ever used. I'm not easy on reviews and don't speak lightly of anything (just ask my friends). Gitzo truly makes a product that I’d be proud to use anywhere in the world and would do so with confidence that the product will last.
The Traveler series are sold as legs only or as kits. The kits are paired with Gitzo’s extremely balanced and versatile Center Ball Heads which I’d highly recommend.