Why Gitzo?


Status
Not open for further replies.

waileong

Deregistered
Feb 5, 2003
2,519
0
0
Visit site
#1
Quoted from another forum:

"I want to clarify one thing first and foremost - GITZO HAS NEVER CONSIDERED OUTSOURCING TO CHINA. While Gitzo is constantly bombarded from Far East manufacturers that offer to manufacture Gitzo, the brand is and has always been developed, designed, and manufactured in EUROPE. First, for over half a century in France, and now, since 2004, in ITALY - at a state of the art facility in Feltre.

Regarding the quality issues of Gitzo vs. Far East Imports - specifically Induro & Benro - by far the biggest difference is the manufacturing process of the tube. Gitzo uses a process known as pultrusion, in which long, very thin strands of carbon fibers are woven (no seams!) at precise angles and consistent thickness to maximize strength to weight ratio, and vibration dampening. Benro/Induro use a roll table method of production. They use a sheet of carbon fiber, a layer of glue, lay another sheet at a 90 degree angle, another layer of glue, etc. etc. (6, 8, 12 layers - it's irrelevant). The sheets are bound together and rolled, then seamed! This is a popular method for the manufacturing of fishing rods because it allows for the tube to be bent/whipped. The best fishing rods in the world are manufactured using the roll table method.

The 2nd most important factor in tube construction is the ratio of carbon fibers to resin used to make the tube. Gitzo uses a 65/35 blend of carbon fibers to resin - the highest ratio of carbon to resin in the industry. Benro is 55/45. More Glue = Less Strength + More Weight

Next, let's look at the casting. That's the collar of the tripod that holds the legs. Gitzo uses gravity fed aluminum castings to make their tripod mounts. Gravity fed castings require the molten aluminum to be poured into a die and it eliminates the possibility of air pockets and anomalies to form inside the castings - which is what happens when pressure castings are used (Benro/Induro). Pressure castings are much cheaper to manufacture, and can be made much faster than gravity castings.

Leg locks are a vital piece of the tripod puzzle. G-Lock is the latest and most technologically advanced leg lock on the market. There is not enough space here for an in-depth comparison of leg locks - you need to see the difference for yourself. There are enough G-Lock owners on naturescapes.net that will agree the difference between non-GLock Gitzo and G-Lock Gitzo is astounding and immediately noticeable.

As for price, there are always going to be those who pay more for quality. Gitzo is not a brand everyone can afford. It never will be. I'm not sure whether the folks questioning the "manufacturing costs" of a Gitzo tripod have any basis for their bottom line assumption. I don't think the comparison to the U.S. Auto market is fair, because my understanding is the U.S. automakers stopped making cars U.S. citizens wanted to purchase. I don't see many Japanese or Korean car manufacturers stealing designs from Ford, GM, etc. There is a high cost associated with the development of an idea, and the transformation of that idea into an end product for a consumer beyond simply "manufacturing cost." A Gitzo customer is paying for quality and innovation, not "look alike" and "seems good enough".

To the best of my knowledge, Gitzo is the only photographic tripod brand offering U.S. consumers a lifetime warranty. A warranty protects the consumer against manufacturer defect in workmanship and materials. Bogen Imaging stands behind that warranty in the U.S. Gitzo tripods go through quality controls at each step of the manufacturing and distribution process. We do not guarantee against destruction, wear and tear, damage, etc. There is some great information on this site and others for the best way to care & maintain your tripod.

I hope this post is informative. I love the passion and enthusiasm naturescapes.net users have not only for their craft, but also for their equipment. While you may agree to disagree on the price/performance index, I felt it prudent that I contribute factual information regarding the materials, processes, and intellectual foundations that go into the Gitzo brand.

Thank you.

Regards,

David Fisher
Gitzo Product Manager
Bogen Imaging US"
 

jmmtn4aj

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2007
994
0
16
Singapore
flickr.com
#4
Hahaha. The information kind of becomes worthless when you have this at the bottom:

Regards,

David Fisher
Gitzo Product Manager
Bogen Imaging US"
I like Gitzo, but an unbiased source plxkthx
 

waileong

Deregistered
Feb 5, 2003
2,519
0
0
Visit site
#5
On the contrary. Whether you believe it's worth paying $$$ more for Gitzo is your personal choice, but Dave did a good job explaining the differences between Gitzo and Benro. Unless you have evidence to the contrary, your assertions are hard to support.
 

archisext

New Member
Dec 28, 2006
16
0
0
#6
I don't see what is wrong with carbon fiber products using the pressure casting method. if they can make mast of ships using that technology i'm pretty sure that stresses that the the average photographer requires of that tripod will be far less than that.
i guess it'll always be a specialized product. for those with deep pockets and a willingness to spend.
haven't seen any of their products but i hope its pretty.
:confused:
 

Apr 8, 2005
193
0
16
#7
Hahaha. The information kind of becomes worthless when you have this at the bottom:



I like Gitzo, but an unbiased source plxkthx
I disagree with you respectfully. At least he is honest to reveal his office rather than choosing to be remained as anonymous. Furthermore, by stating his portfolio, he is backing his claim.

Engineering wise, it sounded quite logically. Now I understanding the difference between Gitzo and Benro. I own a Benro and I had thought that it was the same quality as Gitzo. So his clarification serves justice. Perhaps the Gitzo technology should be proclaimed in their advertisement.

Well, I will be considering to get a Gitzo soon to get an experience with their product.

Cheers!:D
 

Virgo

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2003
4,816
0
0
West of Singapore
www.pbase.com
#8
Now I know why I have to pay $600+ for my Gitzo carbon fibre G1127G (made in Italy). Now I know why it didn't fail me even in the toughest temperatures and roughtest handling.

I guess it's "a cent for a cent-worth of goods" (一分钱一分货)! :bsmilie:
 

jmmtn4aj

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2007
994
0
16
Singapore
flickr.com
#10
I disagree with you respectfully. At least he is honest to reveal his office rather than choosing to be remained as anonymous. Furthermore, by stating his portfolio, he is backing his claim.
What? Whether or not he stated his name doesn't change the fact that he is a biased source. Being anonymous wouldn't make him less biased, it'd just make biasness unknown to us.

Portfolio? What? He stated his position, product manager. No where in his write up did I see anything about his qualifications or experience.

Engineering wise, it sounded quite logically.
Well duh. Being biased doesn't mean you produce false information regarding the technicalities, it means you fail to mention any failings that the company you're biased towards might have compared with other brands, or advantages other brands might have over the company.
 

Apr 8, 2005
193
0
16
#11
Since we are on this topic, why some brand cost more and some cost less, I thought I would share with you one review on Benro ballhead.

http://www.tomwebsterphoto.com/Essays/Benro/benroks2.htm

Mod, please remove my post if it is inappropriate.
I own a Benro KS-2. Regretted for trusting a China made product!
 

Apr 8, 2005
193
0
16
#13
What? Whether or not he stated his name doesn't change the fact that he is a biased source. Being anonymous wouldn't make him less biased, it'd just make biasness unknown to us.

Portfolio? What? He stated his position, product manager. No where in his write up did I see anything about his qualifications or experience.



Well duh. Being biased doesn't mean you produce false information regarding the technicalities, it means you fail to mention any failings that the company you're biased towards might have compared with other brands, or advantages other brands might have over the company.
Well, the engineering deliberation is quite sound and convincing. Read to article about Benro KS-2. Such poor workmanship.:nono:

The Chinese mentality about quality still rules. No regards to quality. They just make it nice in the appearance just to sell it off.:thumbsd:

When I bought the Benro system, I thought of giving chance to the Chinese manufacturer. Regretted doing so.:sticktong
 

zekai

Senior Member
May 10, 2002
1,723
1
38
Singapore
Visit site
#14
Since we are on this topic, why some brand cost more and some cost less, I thought I would share with you one review on Benro ballhead.

http://www.tomwebsterphoto.com/Essays/Benro/benroks2.htm

Mod, please remove my post if it is inappropriate.
this is very good information too! wonder if there is an such review on my cambo 3 ball head.
thanks for sharing.
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
4,619
0
0
#15
Personally, I am on the Bogen/Manfrotto camp. Kind of funny, since the 2 companies, Bogen/Manfrotto and Gitzo are owned by the same people.

However, over the many years, my 2 old Bogens survived all the abuses I put them through. They are still with me, holding anyting I piled onto them, meanwhile, there must be 4 or 5 others, cheaper, more hightec, better value for the money tripods that joined them, and they are all resting in peace.

So, got a Manfrotto Neotec, if the current crop is as good as those made in years past, this could damn well be the last tripod I need to buy. The oldest of the 2 Bogen I owned, is 20 years old this year :)

I can fully understand someone buying a cheaper brand because of price. A Manfrotto or a Gitzo is not cheap, something like the Benro is an an economics decision, not a better or even equal value.
 

sloth

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
720
0
0
#16
Just a couple of experiences from someone who owned both a Benro and later a Gitzo setup...

The Benro is similar in appearance but that doesn't make it equal. A bit like cars.. I'm sure you can draw many analogies about affordable car vs expensive car vs feet transport that 'will get you where you are going regardless' ;)

I was very skeptical at first of a China product, but a trusted camera dealer let me play with one and eventually I was convinced. A lot of the ang moh may be biased because it's 'made in China' (even I was skeptical as I said). Once upon a time 'made in Japan' meant poor quality and workmanship. Look at it today - proudly stamped on the barrel of many premium lenses! (things change over the years)

I had my Benro for over a year at a time when I couldn't afford any better, and it was really a very decent rig. Never let me down whether on location or indoors. Introduced me to everything I like about the Arca clamp system and its options. I thought it was loose, it just so happened that some of the screws needed to be re-tightened. Took lots of nice long exposures at night with it and my 'prosumer' DSLRs.

People are making the mistake of comparing it to the Gitzo. See it in its own right, as a decent midrange or even entry level tripod. I had their alu series, great value for $$. Sure was a lot better than the $30 cheapo tripod that literally fell apart in my hands. If it means a difference between cheapo tripod and Benro, I'll obviously go for the Benro.

Of course I am not saying put a huge lens like a 500/4 IS on it. If you can afford such a zai lens, then you can afford a better tripod ;) and if you are a really SERIOUS photographer then you know you will maximize the investment of a premium tripod as well.


The Gitzo is in a WHOLE different price class of its own and when I first saw the price tag I almost *peng* as well. Never imagined one day I would own one. G-Lock is AWESOME.. :lovegrin: if you can afford it, go for it and never look back. Yes, G-lock is worth paying for, the throw from locked to unlock is as short as the flip-lock-leg tripods I always loved :D :thumbsup:
 

chngpe01

Moderator
Staff member
#19
Looks like the tripod was "loaned" to the writer. In any such review(not independent) it probably has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Having said that I have nothing against Benro, except that it cannot be even compared to a Gitzo and should be marketed on its own merit. What is worrying is that by comparing it to a Gitzo, it may soon begin to price itself upwards, but not sure if the quality will move correspondingly.
 

lsisaxon

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2004
11,941
0
0
#20
Just a couple of experiences from someone who owned both a Benro and later a Gitzo setup...
For me, I used several Gitzo tripods and later got a Benro CF (because I can't afford a Gitzo CF). The feeling is the same, Benro tried to make it look like a Gitzo, but it's far from one. Gitzo is rock solid and gives a real sturdy feel. The Benro flexes a little and doesn't feel as solid. Having said that, the Benro is very decent and useable, so for the price and weight, I'm not complaining.

I just wanted something lighter than the Gitzos I have for lighter travelling. ;p But for serious work, I would still use a Gitzo or Manfrotto.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom