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-   -   4 section vs 3? (

eric s Nov 5, 2003 9:22 AM

4 section vs 3?
I currently have a Bogen 3443D (Carbon One) and like it a lot except for 1 thing. It's too short. I have to hunch over to look through the camera. This is rather furstrating when you can see over something (reeds in a marsh) but your camera (on the pod) can't.

I bumped into a good price on a used Gitzo 1348. The big differences for me are:
No center Column. I can deal with that, it looks tall enough. Also, I might get a leveling base anyways.
Has turn, not clip, leg locks. I'll get used to this too. Never had the "squish your fingers" with the clip ones, so I like them.
It has 4 leg segments.

It's this last one that makes me wonder. I can get used to it taking longer to set up (I can always carry it partially extended and it will be the same amount of work to setup.) But I've read that the 4-section is less stable (the lowest segments are quite small and less stable than what the 3-segment is made of, and it has more joints.)

I wouldn't seriously consider this pod if it wasn't steeply discounted. Anyone know anything about this pod or have thoughts on the 4 vs. 3 stability issue?


sjms Nov 7, 2003 4:47 PM

i have a 4 sect G2228. i'm not putting a 600mm on it but i have put a 300mm with a 1.4 ext on it. its stiff enough. no wobblies. i doubt youl notice the difference except having to put out an extra section.

barthold Jan 2, 2004 6:33 PM

Hi Eric,

Did you ever find a different tripod? The 3443D seems pretty tall with the center post extended. Add a tripod-head and the camera and you can still not see through the viewfinder without bending over? What tripod-head do you use?

The CF tripods are too expensive for me. I was thinking of getting the 3001Pro or the 3021 Pro with 3030 pan and tilt head.


eric s Jan 3, 2004 9:22 PM

I got the 1348, it came with an Arca-Swiss B1G for $750. Both are in good shape (the head is basically new), so it was an amazing deal. The big downside is that itís fairly heavy. I didn't want to get that head, I wanted the B1 because it's about 1/2 the weight. The legs arenít much heavier than what I had before... but the head is a killer at 3.5lb. At the price I got it, I could easily sell it for the same price (if not more) so there really wasnít any loss in going for it.

Yes, I still had to bend over with a tripod head and camera. It was about 5 or so inches short (I don't recall exactly how much.) I did raise the center column on the 3443D some times. But I found that the combination wasn't as steady as when I didn't raise it. I found the quality of the pictures were a bit softer from shake. Not always, but some times... and it's my nature to be really bothered by equipment that isn't doing what it was supposed to (i.e. give me sharper pictures!)

The head I am using on the 3443D is the Bogen/Manfrotto 501. Ya, it's a video pan/tilt head. I used it with my 80mm spotting scope (and it works great for that.) It doesn't work badly for the camera and it's fairly ridged. What I didn't like about it (for photography use) is that it doesn't turn very fast. I found it to be a bit limiting. The Arca Swiss turns wonderfully, but it gives me an extra degree of freedom that I didn't have before.... You can turn the camera left right and tilt it up/down, but you can't tilt the entire camera to the side... but with a ball head you can. This means I have another degree of leveling to do. But at least I don't have to level the head with the legs 'cause I can just level the camera by using the ball head alone. So Iím getting used to it.

The weather hasnít been great, and Iíve been on vacation. Hopefully Iíll get out some before it gets cold here (it has been in the 30s, but itís expected to stay in the teens for several days this week.) So if Iím lucky Iíll get some more time with the new (to me) tripod/head and Iíll add more thoughts on it. So far, I like itÖ but I havenít used it enough to really say for sure.


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