We Review the Portable Gitzo Légende Tripod Kit

We Review the Portable Gitzo Légende Tripod Kit

“The last travel tripod you’ll ever need” might seem like a very definitive statement, but let’s take a look at what Gitzo is talking about and exactly why is this tripod kit worth getting.

On the first week of March, Italian tripod manufacturer Gitzo announced an all-new tripod and bag kit called the Gitzo Légende, and for the first time, the brand is making it available through crowdfunding. This may be an unusual move for such a big and established brand, but the details of the campaign would actually make purchasing it more sensible. 

Beyond Design and Manufacturing

Part of the proceeds of this campaign funds conservation and photography education for children in Africa
(Image from the campaign page)

The Gitzo Légende campaign takes corporate social responsibility to a whole new level. Upon opening the tripod box, the new owner sees a note that informs them of a social change that they are helping make. For each purchase of the Légende tripod or tripod and bag kit, 5% of proceeds help fund the Wild Shots Outreach educational program that brings conservation and photography education to the children around Kruger National park that aims to open eco employment opportunities and instill the value of protected spaces. 

The Eco-Friendly Earth-First Approach

Full carbon fiber legs, aluminum joints and locks, with eco-friendly, cruelty-free synthetic leather straps

The Gitzo Légende, the product, and all the operational efforts around it aim to minimize the environmental footprint that it leaves. The Légende backpack is made up of 65% recycled fabric with its entire exterior sourced from recycled materials. The eco-leather tripod strap and backpack details are made of cruelty-free, environmental-friendly, non-toxic synthetic leather. It’s also worth noting that the entire kit’s packaging consists of not a single ounce of plastic or any other wasteful material. 

This is also reinforced by the unlimited warranty and maintenance of the tripod. The Légende tripod is made up of 170 individually reparable parts that eliminate the need to replace the entire tripod in general. 100% of the tripod’s parts are replaceable, 75% of which can very easily be sent to the owner at no extra charge and replaced by the owner, which ultimately reduces the back-and-forth process of having a tripod repaired. 

Build and Design

The tripod was made to be lightweight and durable to withstand the challenges and conditions of travel, landscape, and adventure photography. Its legs are made up of 100% carbon fiber for maximal weight reduction, better moisture resistance, and longevity of the parts. The precision aluminum twist-type leg locks with a rubber rim allow for quick and efficient operation in setting up and packing the tripod. 

Like any standard travel tripod, the Légende folds up with the center column extended to reduce the overall folded length and effectively reduces the space that it takes up in the photographer’s gear bag. Folded and stowed, it takes just 42 cm of space but extends to a maximum height of 165 cm. It weighs just 1.45 kilograms but is able to safely, securely, and comfortably carry 8 kilograms of gear. The Légende’s center column is also easily removable and replaceable with a short column for extra-low angle shooting, and this process can be done without the need for any tool. The central joint, however, does not allow for horizontal configuration of the center column nor does it have ports for additional attachments. 

Low angle, center column removed

The Légende tripod comes with a simple two-knob ball-head. The smaller knob controls the 360-degree panning, while the main knob controls the ball. Secondary friction control is embedded into the main knob for more precise manipulation. The mounting clamp is compatible with any Arca-Swiss compatible plates and L-brackets. 

Legende Backpack

The Légende backpack flaunts an ultimately eco-friendly design. The minimalist brown eco-fabric accented by eco-friendly synthetic leather gives it an interesting outdoor look that would perfectly match outdoor safari apparel. It is divided into a bottom camera compartment with customizable padding. Overall, it can carry about one or two full frame mirrorless cameras and two or three small- to medium-sized lenses depending on size and position. The top half is a compartment for other non-fragile accessories and personal items. On the back panel is a protective and heavily padded laptop compartment, and on both sides are additional small accessory pockets placed on top of the side access doors. On the left side of the backpack is a double-spiral zippered pocked that expands into a tripod compartment with a tripod attachment strap on the left shoulder. Each of the bag’s zipper handles is also secured by its own respective locks when closed. 

Functionality and Application

The Légende tripod is an all-around compact tripod that was designed to reduce the overall load that equipment adds to a photographer’s gear when traveling. Of course, this tripod is generally usable in almost all situations for as long as the gear matches its payload. 

This tripod would definitely perform very well in outdoor situations. Almost as crucial as carrying and securing the camera, a travel tripod’s point is to be easy on the photographer’s back as they carry it around a certain place. Whether carried individually through the leather strap, placed on the side of the backpack, or even inside even bigger camera bags, the Légende tripod would definitely be easy to bring around, easy to set up, and easy to fold.

The Légende tripod can also definitely be a good choice for more rugged shooting situations. The lightweight composition of the tripod would literally be weight off of a photographer’s back on long-haul treks and hikes. On landscape photography shoots that would entail heavy immersion into the rough environment, it can definitely take the heat, moisture, and dust. Of course, proper cleaning and maintenance might be necessary afterward but definitely easy to do nonetheless. 

Of course, this tripod can perform simpler and more general functions. Gitzo promotes it as a tripod that is sustainable for the next generations, and aside from the fact that it is said to last a lifetime, it’s definitely simple enough for all-around use. 

What I Liked

  • Eco-friendly design and packaging
  • Unlimited warranty
  • Self-reparable parts
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Proceeds partly go to charity

What Can Be Improved

  • No link port 
  • No horizontal center column
Nicco Valenzuela's picture

Nicco Valenzuela is a photographer from Quezon City, Philippines. Nicco shoots skyscrapers and cityscapes professionally as an architectural photographer and Landscape and travel photographs as a hobby.

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I’m sure it’s good. Very expensive though. If there are taxes on top you’d get a bad surprise. The project seems to be US but Gitzo have been a very Italian company. I gave a Gitzo traveller and it’s great. It will do until it breaks.

Just as a further comment when Kickstarter and Indiegogo started off it’s wasn’t companies like this it was intended for. Nice way to advertise and get advanced orders and no need to borrow money. For the customer it’s lower risk than the many cowboy projects on both platform. Neither offer backers any protection or any assistance in the event of an issue. Crowd funding has left a very bad taste in my mouth after a number of complete failures some of which are very dubious.

I've read about some recent scams on crowdfunding sites, specifically that camera portable battery charger. Though when I see established brands on them, the brand is.a good enough assurance.