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Is there a Gitzo tripod expert in the house ?

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Michael Gilligan23/08/2021 20:39:33
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20113 forum posts
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I am a great fan of the old Gitzo tripods … I have a 5 and a 3

Unfortunately: Arthritis is taking its toll, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to un-clamp the legs.

The mechanism is a simple collet clamp, using thin-wall SRBP as the loose collet.

I have already cleaned and re-greased everything, and they clamp easily [perhaps too easily ?].

Before I resort to carrying a strap-wrench in the camera bag … does anyone have an idea as to why they are locking so hard ?

Grateful for any guidance

MichaelG.

DiogenesII23/08/2021 21:22:10
521 forum posts
202 photos

The closing ring? ..if the threads are 'aluminium', you might try a bit of silicone furniture polish.. ..helps to stop them galling / sticking..

Michael Gilligan23/08/2021 22:28:03
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20113 forum posts
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Thanks for the thought ... but they don't seem to be galling, they just become ridiculously tight.

... when I do manage to loosen them, they then unscrew easily dont know

After cleaning, I used white lithium grease.

MichaelG.

Bob Stevenson24/08/2021 07:55:25
579 forum posts
7 photos

They are "locking so hard" simply because they are very well designed and made for purpose and this is reflected in both their status and their price.

 

Gitzo were always good but they are now well out of my price range as you basically need a thousand quid to buy a current one made of carbon fibre.

 

However, i have moved away from the collet type tripod fixtures for both this, and a couple of other reasons....I now much prefer the 'lever/camm' design, which although not as visually neat, is, for my old fingers, more functional now. I also still like the thumb screws on my ancient Benbo tripod which I have had for more than 50 years and which was one of the first ones made in a garage in Sherborne.....I don't really need it any more as my cameras now are a fraction of the size and weight but find it difficult to chuck an old friend.......

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 24/08/2021 07:57:05

Michael Gilligan24/08/2021 08:08:03
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20113 forum posts
1044 photos
Posted by Bob Stevenson on 24/08/2021 07:55:25:

They are "locking so hard" simply because they are very well designed and made for purpose and this is reflected in both their status and their price.

[…]

.

Thanks for that reassurance, Bob yes

I do think it’s probably an Arthritis problem, and a strap-wrench is probably my best solution.

As a post-grad Ergonomics student, I was involved in some testing of grip-strength and remember that we were quite shocked by the debilitating effect of Arthritis …

MichaelG.

Wout Moerman24/08/2021 08:38:16
56 forum posts
2 photos

I have only 1 Gitzo and it's an old and sturdy beast. Do you need to tighten the locking rings hard or can you use less force? This might it easier to release them. If you need to tighten them hard maybe there is something wrong?

Michael Gilligan24/08/2021 09:41:40
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20113 forum posts
1044 photos
Posted by Wout Moerman on 24/08/2021 08:38:16:

I have only 1 Gitzo and it's an old and sturdy beast. Do you need to tighten the locking rings hard or can you use less force? This might it easier to release them. If you need to tighten them hard maybe there is something wrong?

.

No, I only tighten them gently … just enough to stop the legs slipping under load

I was only using a lightweight camera yesterday, and adequate tightening is provided by the fingertips … but I had to put the No. 3 back into the car with legs extended … because I couldn’t muster the strength to release them.

MichaelG.

.

Ref. __ Vintage catalog[ue] here:

https://www.pacificrimcamera.com/rl/01444/01444.pdf

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/08/2021 09:49:55

Ian Parkin24/08/2021 10:26:25
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1017 forum posts
236 photos

Michael

i have a nice benbo/benro tripod here if you want it gratis

Ian

Saxalby24/08/2021 10:40:19
176 forum posts
26 photos

I have the same problem with both my Gitzo's. Do them up finger tight and still a bugger to undo again. Like you have lubed them to no avail. I think as Bob S said so well built that the legs never collapse on you. Just as well with a heavy expensive camera attached.

Barry S

Vic24/08/2021 13:21:35
3061 forum posts
8 photos

Doing a quick Google it seems to be a common problem with the Gitzo. They sell spares so maybe that might help? Luckily both of my tripods are lever locked so in spite of the extreme age of one of the them it’s still very serviceable. My newer Giottos carbon fibre one also has levers and these are adjustable by socket screw.

Michael Gilligan24/08/2021 13:55:24
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20113 forum posts
1044 photos
Posted by Ian Parkin on 24/08/2021 10:26:25:

Michael

i have a nice benbo/benro tripod here if you want it gratis

Ian

.

That’s very decent of you, Ian … I’ve always admired their versatility

… I feel a trip to Sheffield coming on

MichaelG.

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/08/2021 13:56:41

Howard Lewis24/08/2021 13:55:36
6040 forum posts
14 photos

You could carry one of those rubber strap tools with you. Intended to unscrew bottle tops It is a small strap wrench

It is called a "Boa Constrictor" A rubber strap attached to a short plastic handle, with a slot into which the excess strap fits.

Lightweight and very effective.

Howard.

Michael Gilligan24/08/2021 13:58:56
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20113 forum posts
1044 photos

Thanks, Howard … that’s just what I had in mind when I first posted

MichaelG.

David Colwill24/08/2021 14:13:02
774 forum posts
40 photos

This sounds like the sort of problem that could be solved with a 3D printer.

A 3D printed 2 foot stillson would certainly solve the problem whilst producing gasps of horror from anyone watching you use it!

David.

Ian Parkin24/08/2021 14:19:51
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1017 forum posts
236 photos

Michael

here they are you can have any one you desire

theres a benbo Mk 2 cut down slightly so more of a 1.5

that will go to over 6ft tall

then theres a uniloc one with a horizontal mount (this is the spindles one and lightest

then a triloc one meatier and heavier than the uniloc

4db69d5d-b488-4e22-9d7f-f12f280b641e.jpeg

5bb3f434-b0b6-44b0-b33f-69b03acbe511.jpeg

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