Techniques : Why Use a Tripod? : Our Equipment : Gitzo 1329
It's a tough call on how to rate our Gitzo carbon fiber tripod for value. On the one hand, it is more expensive than most other tripods. But on the other hand, the lower weight and higher load capacity make it an excellent choice for backpacking or hiking. We rate the value for the money at three stars as a result.
The usability suffers in comparison with the flip-style leg clamps on our Bogen 3221W tripod. The twist style leg clamps on the Gitzo require some practice before attaining a good comfort level.
One plus on the usability side is the center column (optional on our model) has a hook on the bottom of it. Because the tripod is lighter, it might be prone to winds or moving water. By hanging a backpack or even a sack of rocks off of the hook on the center column you can dramatically (and temporarily) increase the weight and stability of this tripod.
The weight and load capacity, however, are off of the chart. This tripod weighs just a hair more than our lightest aluminum Bogen 3001, yet supports almost three times as much weight. The carbon fiber is easier on the hands during cold weather, and the flat finish does not reflect light.
The overall score of four stars is well deserved. Given that this tripod comes with a lifetime warranty, we should never have to replace it. But we would buy it again if we needed to.