Gitzo GT5562GTS Tripod – Review


New feet!


Whilst the feet of the tripod haven’t had as many updates as the top end of the tripod, the changes here are most welcome.

First and most obvious is the now standard inclusion of spiked feet.

On the previous models these were an optional extra costing around £40 so to now have them as standard is good to see.

They have a thick, tight and very tough rubber cap to them so I have no concerns with them falling off and losing them!

To remove the spikes you will need to use one of the allen keys provided.

Top tip: As these rubber caps are very tough to remove, if you do want to use the spikes, remove the caps first before you put your camera and lens on top to help prevent an expensive mistake!

So ‘why would you remove the spikes’ I hear you ask?

Apart from regular cleaning and maintenance, you need to remove the spikes to add the snow shoes.

These are now supplied with the tripod free of charge and come supplied  in their own cloth bag.

Also included in the bag is a full set of spare plastic leg bushings which are used inside the legs to prevent them rotating.

These bushings also prevent the legs from coming out further than they should. It was an unexpected bonus to find these included and will come in handy for future maintenance.

To fit the snow shoes you need to completely remove the spikes, add the supplied adapter into them and then screw them back on to the legs.

The adapters are made of metal and are threaded which explains why there is a long thread on the end of the spikes.

When attached these do feel very solid so that adapter is definately doing it’s job. Attention to detail is a standard feature of Gitzos!

In Use..


So, now we know all the new features in the new Systematic range, the main question is, what is it like compared to my old GT5541LS out in the field? Simply, better and taller is the answer!

On the right here you can see me with the GT5541LS at full height. This is not something that I would normally do with this tripod as you are limited in range, for example I would not be able to shoot anything on the ground as it would be too high.

It would normally be set around 6-8 inches lower so that the viewfinder is at eye level when the lens is horizontal. This would allow me to shoot lower if i stood on tip toes a bit, or shoot higher if I bent down a bit.

This normal setting is best for subjects such as when shooting red kites from a hillside,  and was the best setting if I needed to be moving around as it was the right height to avoid me kicking it when carrying it extended! With the GT5562GTS I only need 3 sections extended for normal shooting height which increases stability even more.

As you can see here, the main disadvantage of having my older tripod fully extended is that if I want to shoot vertically it can very quickly become uncomfortable. Just posing for this shot alone was awkward!

This was the main trade off of not buying the GT3541XLS, height. When I went shopping last year for my tripod I did try out both models and chose the 5 series over the 3 due to the extra stability it provided when using a heavier, longer lens setup.

So, the idea of a GT5542XLS was appealing, stability with the extra height! The GT5541LS tops out at 153cm with the GT3541XLS hitting 198cm which would be more than enough but alas was not to be.

The image on the right show the full height of my old tripod versus 4 sections extended of the new one. Not quite the height of the 3 series but more than enough for what I needed.

So out with the old and in with the new and the first problem you encounter with the new height is getting the heavy kit up there! This can be a bit daunting the first time and with modern top end kit, with camera and lens hitting upwards of £15k, this can be a heart in mouth moment!

Once fully attached though, all worries go away as the strength and stability of this tripod with over 8kg of head, camera and lens, even at this height, is astonishing!

With only 4 legs extended this is around 180cm tall which ended up being an inch or two higher than I actually wanted so ended up lowering it a tad to get it at the perfect height.

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.

Now with the full kit setup you can see that shooting upwards is a lot easier and a lot more comfortable! Whilst my wallet isn’t thanking me for this, my back certainly is!

It really is a delight to be able to stand underneath the camera and just look up and makes shooting subjects such as the Peregrine Falcons in the County Offices tower that much easier.

With spring well and truly upon us, I’m hopeful that I will be able to put it to good use shooting nesting birds over the coming months and will be looking for extra shooting opportunities that the extra height will allow

There are already ideas floating around in my head of getting over higher hedgerows by opening the large sunroof in the car and placing two legs outside and one leg inside to gain extra height, might be awkward to do but will definately try it!

This tripod is known as the Giant and at 277cm fully extended it is 17cm taller than the previous model and makes the GT5541LS at ‘only’ 153cm look tiny! You would need a step ladder to get up there though!

Whilst I may never use it in anger at it’s tallest it’s good to know it’s there should the opportunity arise and if you need even more height there is an optional extending centre column that can add an extra 172cm! I’m sure some adventurous wedding photographers might be tempted in that!

One more thing..


Last of all, strangely enough with all of this talk of extra height, is one feature that will probably get used more often and that is how low it can go! The old Giant got down to 17cm, the GT5541LS was better at 14cm but the new one gets down to 11cm. Might not sound like much but is much more comfortable to use when lying down as I don’t have to stretch up to look throughout the viewfinder.

Hopefully that should cover everything that the new Systematic range has to offer, at least for the 5 series range but should you have any questions or suggestions / ideas, please do fire away in the comments.

Specifications:

Weight: 3.6kg (7.9lbs)
Max load: 40kg (88lbs)
Min height: 11cm (4.3″)
Max height: 277cm (109.1″)
Min closed height: 74.9cm (29.5″)
Leg Sections: 6

RRP: £1,119.95

Official Gitzo Website.

See also:-
Wimberley WH-200 Review
Tamrac Evolution 9 Review

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2 comments

  • 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!

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