tall tripods: bogen 3036 vs. gitzo 1504 vs. ??

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Hi Everyone, I'm aware that similar questions have been asked before, but because I couldn't find anything on the gitzo 1504 (the one with 5 leg sections) I dare to ask the following: I'm looking into a tall and sturdy tripod for my sinar p for outdoor use. Weight isn't critical as the camera with case is too heavy anyways, but as it's possible to stand on the sinar case I'd like a tripod that can go >2 meters (without any center column extended). - Problem is the gitzos are either around 250cm (the 1504 and 1509) which is more than I'll need or under 170cm (the others) which is just a little too short (added height of head included).
- The bogen 3036 has the right height (and the midlevel-bracing seems a good idea to me) and is cheaper, but I don't think I want a center column on my tripod if I'll never use it due to stability reasons.
- 5 leg sections on the 1504 seems a lot to me, although gitzo probably know what they're doing
Of course there are other good brands, but I want to feel and try out before I buy and as I'm living in Switzerland finding a distributor for less popular brands might be difficult. So any firsthand experience, insightful comments or corrections would be highly appreciated. As I spent almost all I have on the sinar, I really want the best possible tripod I can get to support it. Regards, Christian

-- Christian Sigg (nav.pub2@gmx.net), January 10, 2002


Christian, I use the 3036 with a Sinar F2 and have been very pleased. I try to avoid extending the center column but that's more out of habit. To be honest, if you lock the center column in position at half it's extension or less it is really very rigid. In the field I have really come to like the individually adjusted leg spread of the 3036. It makes it very easy to level the tripod when clinging to an embankment and was the main reason I opted for the 3036 over the 3033. The Gitzo has that feeling of very fine machine work just like the Sinar camera. When it came down to parting with my money for a camera support the Bogen seemed like a better value for my needs.

-- Dave Schneider (dschneider@arjaynet.com), January 10, 2002.

I've also been very pleased with my 3036. I've put everything up to my Deardorff 8x10 on it and it has been consistently rock solid. Maybe not as solid as my Ries, but then I wouldn't try to sit on the Bogen.... Anyway, the Bogen is very solid, even with the center column. As an experiment I put my Linhof Kardan (around 11 lbs) on the tripod, extended the legs all the way, and cranked the center column up as far as it would go. With everything locked down appropriately, I was amazed how sturdy it was (not to mention about 2 feet above my head). I don't have any experience with the Gitzo, but the Gitzo products I have used have always seemed of the best quality, so I doubt you'd be disappointed with either.

-- David Munson (apollo@luxfragilis.com), January 10, 2002.


I've got a 504 (which is now numbered 1504) and can recommend it in any way, if weight is not an issue. 5-leg extension does also mean, that you will have a more secure stand with only 4 legs extended (which is already beyond 2m). And for normal operation, it is sufficent to extent only one leg, which provides a relative fast setup.


-- Thilo Schmid (tschmid@2pix.de), January 11, 2002.

I have a Sinar p and use the VERY STURDY and TALL Slik Professional Model 4. For a brief write-up on this read this link http://www.kinesisgear.com/ opinion.html. I affectionally call it my "Japanese Gitzo" because it is similar quality for about half the price!

-- Richard Stum (info@kinesisgear.com), January 11, 2002.


I have a 3036 and agree that it is pretty rigid. I have used Deardorff 8x10 and 4x5 on it.

I also have a 3 series carbon gitzo which seems more "dead" -- the Bogen seems to vibrate more. Also, while I have had the bogen for a long time, it seems to need tightening from time to time. I also find that the legs flex or bow out as weight is applied when fully extended, but this has not really been apparent as any lack of sharpness in the images. The tripod is big and heavy, but gets the job done. I have not used a 5 series gitzo for some time, but I do remember it not having the leg flex issue, but as I said, it is more of a conceptual than real issue.

-- Michael Waldron (michael@cadogan.net), January 11, 2002.

I've got the Bogen 3036 as well as an older Gitzo - I'm uncertain of the model number, but it's a 4-section 3-series performance model. It's got a rating very similar to the Bogen, but my primary reason for getting it was a combination of weight and size. The Bogen just FEELS more stable, as it is so much bigger and heavier. That, of course, is why when I travel, it stays here and the Gitzo goes.

And while David may not want to sit on his Bogen, I still remember the ads with Charlie Bogen sitting on one of his with the caption 'Before Charlie Bogen puts his name on a tripod, he puts himself on the tripod." Or some such. The 3036 would probably serve quite well.


-- Anthony J. Kohler (arbitrator@uneedspeed.net), January 16, 2002.

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