Gitzo GM5541 Series 5 6X Carbon Fiber 4-Section Monopod with G-Lock - Replaces GM5540 (Black)
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- G-Lock system for easy secure locking.
- 6X carbon fiber construction for strength and durability.
- 4 section make for small compact size.
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|Item Dimensions||27.01 x 2.91 x 2.91 inches|
|Item Weight||2.48 pounds|
|Minimum Height||55 centimeters|
|Shipping Weight||2.5 pounds|
Gitzo monopods continue to set the standard for professionals and advanced amateurs. The carbon fiber range has been completely revised with new features and materials in order to offer lighter, faster and more stable products. ALR, 6X tubes and g-lock are now available for all carbon fiber monopods. Attachment: 1/4-Inch and 3/8-Inch screws; 4 leg sections; load capacity: 55.11 lbs.; material: carbon fiber 6X; maximum height: 63.78 in.; minimum height: 21.65 in.; series: 5; weight: 1.90 lbs.
Top Customer Reviews
A) Light weight,
B) Came wo. a head so I put my own on,
C) Could support my 14.14 oz fixed lens camera + filter adapter + filter; 20 oz should be good enough,
D) 3 or 4 sections, because getting 5 sections translated to a shorter folded length, which isn't as important as stability,
E) Flip locks because they are quick to deploy & less likely to fail in the long term,
F) Reputable brand because I want to buy this once.
Based on the above purchased a Manfrotto 694CX and a Velbon QHD-51Q ball head. Combined, both items weigh 1.7 lbs.
Review of the Manfrotto 694CX: Very light & easy to deploy. Besides being easy to use, it is obvious when flip lock is unlocked. The wrist strap was a piece of garbage: While carrying the monopod by the neck, it came apart & fell off. (Kept it off & in storage, because I don't want to litter a hiking trail.)
It comes with an allen wrench: Brackets holding the flip locks come loose, so check them every so often. Had to do this at least once the first month.
Biggest problem is the foot: Not replaceable or interchangeable, and I noticed too much slippage on a wet wooden walkway. The foot is a standard monopod foot; even the Gitzo uses it. Works great inside, but less effective on certain outdoor surfaces.
Since the wrist strap was useless, bought a bag w. a should strap to carry it when not in use (Hakuba Tripod Case - Medium). Large enough to carry the monopod, camera, and most of the camera accessories. Having a ball head for a monopod is overkill: Since a monopod rotates easily, you only need to adjust the head in one axis. 1st purchase of a tripod/monopod head.
Since the slipping foot caused too many blown shots, bit the bullet & shopped for a better monopod. Criteria for an upgraded monopod:
A) 62 inch extended height or longer,
B) Better foot than the Manfrotto, or allowed one to be attached,
C) 3 or 4 sections, because getting 5 sections translated to a shorter folded length, which isn't as important as stability,
D) Came wo. a head so I put my own on,
E) Reputable brand because I want to buy this once (once more?),
F) Not made in China (e.g. Benro, Induro),
G) Supports 5 lbs or more; I will graduate to a DSLR ... eventually,
H) Removable feet; nice to have,
I) Light weight (low priority),
J) Flip locks (low priority).
Looked at past DPReview message threads, and what was available at Amazon.com, Adorama, & B&H; none of these carry RRS so I missed out on that brand. Bought the Gitzo GM5541 Monopod, Spike Foot, Big Foot, and the Manfrotto 234RC Swivel Tilt Monopod Head. Could have used my existing ball head, but opt'ed to upgrade everything.
Review of the Gitzo monopod: With Manfrotto tilt head & the Big Foot attached, it weighs 2.9 lbs vs. the 1.7 lbs for the Manfrotto monopod; this is without the camera attached. Definitely noticeable when carrying the monopod for long periods. Don't like carrying the monopod by the neck? Unlike my previous one, the wrist strap stays on & is very secure; and it includes a belt clip.
Twist locks vs. Flip locks: Was apprehensive about the twist locks, after using them for a day, you get used to them. And they are quick to operate. Still like flip locks better, but can live with the twist locks.
Stability with the Big Foot: The Big Foot has an 80 mm diameter. As a test, put the monopod on the floor with the Big Foot & Manfrotto head; no camera. It stood erect on a hard floor, but fell over on a rug. Got a 1/6 sec exposure time on shot, and could be capable of longer times with this monopod. Haven't use the Spike Foot yet, but was ready. Gitzo's documentation is a joke! Went to Lowes w. the Spike Foot & found that Gitzo feet are attached / removed with a 13mm wrench. Buying a Gitzo monopod or tripod? Get this size wrench. Another stability test: Was able to use my camera in HDR mode, which normally requires a tripod.
Conclusions: Even if I give up the idea of HDR, the additional exposure time achievable is well worth the expense of the monopod. (Am I advocating getting a monopod instead of a tripod? NO WAY! It's another tool, good for certain situations.) And despite the added weight & twist locks, the Gitzo is well worth it. If anything on a monopod will wear out, it will be the foot; best to have one that is replaceable.
a touch pricey but as another reviewer noted..How expensive was your least costly lens?
Doesn't apply in every situation. But insert "your best lens" and now we're getting nearer to justifying this monopod.
For my kit my best lenses are just 2 hundredths less than 7 x's as expensive. Trust me I want the best support under these lenses.
The Gitzo GM 5541 Carbon Fiber Monopod is built to handle any camera lens combination effortlessly!
Another reviewer noted how large this is, in fact noted over 1" between finger and thumb when gripping this item. He stated he has long fingers too.
I have never had my hands described any bit larger than average and my grip has a 3/8th inch space between my thumb and finger. I measured the
circumference in three places where your hand will hold the pod. All three measured 6 and not quite 1/4" around.
So if the grip is important to you, try this out in your local Camera store or hold a friend or relatives sample. After everything it is very
important to get the feel of different brands and/or model camera, and items you look to add to your kit, decide which feels most comfortable.
Of course they need to offer the features you want and fit in your budget.
Thom Hogan advises to buy quality, that saves money by limiting the intermediate purchases from your first buy until you step up to a lifelong
part of your gear.
The Gitzo could be that perfect fit for your gear, know it is for mine. Find just PROS and not a single Con (price is an individual amount)
and in my case not a consideration.