I’ve used a Gitzo G1228MK2 Mountaineer tripod for mountaineering and travel. Although it is a good portable tripod, I’d always wanted to reduce the weight of my backpack. Gitzo just renewed their Traveler Series tripods. The latest models seem to have some great advantages over their predecessors:
1) By adopting the Carbon eXact technology, the final leg of the new traveler tripod is 22.5% thicker than its predecessor, and thereby providing better stability
A Sunway Foto levelling base is installed in the tripod. The height of the car in the pic is 1665mm. If your height doesn’t exceed 6 feet, you don’t feel the viewfinder is too low.
3) Although it provides better stability, the weight remained nearly the same (1.34kg/2.9lb)
4) The folded length is 44.5cm (17.5″) also remained nearly the same, and so it can be carried in the hand luggage.
The tripod comes with two centre columns, one standard column (31cm, 119g) and short column for ground level shooting (8cm, 42g). For me, the standard one is too lengthy but you cannot put on the weight hook to the short one because it has no screw hole. I also noticed that the centre column weight hook was not included in the package, which was rather disappointing. Because the tripod is light-weight, the weight hook can be handy when the wind is strong.
Honestly speaking, I don’t want to carry two centre columns and change them frequently. I ended up purchasing a GS2511KB short centre column (19.5cm), which comes with the weight hook. The ground level shooting isn’t possible in a strict sense but you just need to extend the centre column by 1.5cm to do near-ground level shooting. The weight is slightly lighter (97g) too. I wanted them to include a 18-cm centre column with a weight hook rather than providing too lengthy and too short centre columns, since the short column doesn’t have to be that short. It just shouldn’t touch the ground.
I attached to the tripod a Gitzo GLEVEL2 bubble level and the Benro B00 arca-swiss compatible ballhead, which weighs only 227g and features a separate pan lock function. Because I sometimes take panoramic photographs by stitching multiple shots, the bubble level is necessary. Needless to say, if you can carry a levelling base, it would be much more handy but they usually weigh over 200g. I want to make my setup as lightweight as possible. To perform flawless panorama stitching, the ballhead must rotate on the base and be locked separately. So far I’ve never found any usable ballheads lighter than the Benro B00. For example, an RRS BH-30 Pro with B2-mAS clamp weighs 280g and Markins Q3iTRQ-BK weighs 380g.