Gitzo GT5562GTS Tripod – Review

Half way through my review of the Gitzo GT5541LS a few weeks ago I was looking for the current prices and couldn’t find any of the usual suppliers with any stock, hmmm I thought, must be something a foot, maybe they will release an updated range soon?

Sure enough in early February Gitzo announced the new Systematic tripod range and you can download the brochure here.

New Systematic Range

A quick look through the downloaded Systematic catalogue had me excited when I saw this paragraph,

Each Systematic Series has 3-section, standard 4-section and long 4-section tripods, with Series 3 and 5 also offering an extra-long 4-section model…

with the exciting part, for me, being the inclusion of an extra long 4-section version of the legendary 5 series tripod. The only complaint that I had with my GT5541LS was that I wanted some extra height for comfort when shooting high subjects, so this sounded ideal and with a trip coming up to Focus on Imaging I wanted to ask why I couldn’t see a GT5542XLS listed in the catalogue.

Where is the GT5542XLS?..

As it turned out there was an error in the catalogue and there was not going to be a GT5542XLS at all, so I gave my feedback to the European Product Manager who was at the show and he promised to take the suggestion back to Italy and if we are lucky it may be released at a later date!

As I wasn’t in a position to buy one anyway, my disappointment wasn’t as great as it could have been but I was persuaded to have a look at the Giant instead and my initial reaction of “I’m not spending over £1,000 on a tripod” saw me being led over to Speed Graphic. They had arranged some special show prices and with £899 being only slightly more expensive than the new price of the GT5542LS it was tempting!

The only problem here was, I couldn’t afford it, could I? Some frantic googling confirmed that the show price was great (£150 cheaper than anywhere else) and that I should expect a good price for my GT5541LS.

So here I am a few days later with a new ‘Giant’ Gitzo GT5562GTS, old tripod has been sold and has a new home, my unused Manfrotto video head has been sold and with other ‘excess’ kit up for sale, almost paid for too!

The Review..

So, the review! I’m sure if you have found your way here that you know what you are looking for so the standard review I was half way through for the GT5541LS has been scrapped and I will concentrate on the new features and differences between the two tripods instead. For an excellent review of the GT5541LS and the reasons why you should buy a Gitzo 5 series tripod I highly recommend Richard Peters’ review which can be found here.

Some of the new features and main differences:-

  • New top casting with triangular design
  • New ratchet lever to tighten top casting
  • Secondary safety catch to prevent top plate from falling out
  • Spiked feet with rubber caps as standard
  • Snow shoes supplied as standard
  • New leg angle selectors
  • Significant strength, rigidity and stability improvements
  • Load rating increased from 25KG to 40KG.
  • Can go as low as only 11cm.


New Design..

The first thing you will notice about the new Systematic range of tripods is the striking new design, if ever a tripod could be described as sexy, this would be it! It really does make my old GT5541LS look old and out of date!

The triangular look to the new top casting looks fantastic and the way it joins up  the middle leg position points, not only looks striking but helps provide extra strength and rigidity helping to increase the maximum load from 25kg to 40kg on the 5 series, an impressive 60% increase. Other increases lower in the range are equally impressive with the 3 series getting bumped from 18kg to 25kg.

The top plate includes the familiar spirit level on the top but I have wondered if they should have also put one underneath as this Giant does extend to 2.77m tall! Also new here is the ratchet lever. This allows you to remove and tighten the top plate or optional centre columns, without having to search for the allen key, helpful touch.

A much requested new feature finds it’s way into the new range and that is the secondary safety catch which has been added to prevent accidental removal (or falling out) of the top plate. This is not something that has concerned me much in the past as if I need to carry the full setup quickly from one spot to another I have always done this as vertically as possible.

Some photographers have invested in a safety plate for their Gitzos but with the new range this as an optional extra that you shouldn’t need to invest in.

The price for this plate and the optional spiked feet that are not standard on earlier models do add around £100 to the price to spec it up to the new one, and with free snow shoes also included too, this is well  worth considering when budgeting.

To work with the new safety catch, the top plate has been redesigned. It is a few mm taller than the previous model and has a groove on the side that lines up with the catch. This does make removing the plate a touch more fiddly perhaps but it is of no concern due to the extra safety it provides.

The top plate itself is completely covered now with the safe lock feature that adds a layer of material between the metal top of the plate and the metal bottoms of most heads.

This helps to reduce vibrations between the two as there is no ‘metal on metal’ and also makes it easier when removing heads.

My Wimberely head does come off of this plate easier than the previous model, that may be just because it is brand new, but it does look and feel like an improvement over the GT5541LS.

The metal castings at the top of the legs have also been redesigned both to compliment the design of the top plate (they do look more ‘streamlined’ than ‘chunky’) and to accommodate new recesses for the wider leg angle selectors.

These allow you to grip the selector with thumb and fore finger with ease which is better from the front, but as I used to push it  from the rear, as it was longer at the back, this is just more aesthetically pleasing for me!

As before there is a detachable hook underneath the top plate to hang a bag or weight from to increase stability.

I’m sure there would have to be pretty severe weather conditions for this hook to be used though!

In use I have never found a need to use it and with the weight rating going up considerably due to the extra stability the new design provides, I’m sure it will never get used!

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  • ibnalhytham

    Thanks so much for your review.
    Quotation from your review:
    “” With the addition of the GS2300 reduction kit in the future I will be able to completely remove the bottom 2 sections to both save weight and get the GT5542XLS that I wanted in the first place. “”

    • Hi

      Thanks for the reminder that I need to update the review! Have added the GS2300 to the kit list so will update soon!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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