Last year, I bought my last Gitzo tripod ever. The biggest myth ever perpetuated on photographers across the globe is that Gitzo makes the best tripod on the market. And for years, I bought into this myth. As another professional photographer recently quipped, “Gitzo’s is the best tripod – when they’re actually working!” Unfortunately, we both agreed that’s not very often.
Last year’s purchase was a Gitzo GT2542L. That’s $750 for a tripod, an amount that most weekend or amateur photographers might find offensive. A tripod? Yes, a tripod. It’s kinda important to what I do so I don’t mind investing that much money in one. You would hope, however, that the price would be justified by it’s quality and world-class service, right?
Remember. It’s one year since this purchase. Two of the legs stops are gone. Just gone. Disappeared. A minor nuisance, but one I could live with. I am busy traveling, leading workshops, and haven’t had time to fix these small problems right away. Then last month, one of the leg locks quit working during the workshop I was leading in the Smoky Mountains. I had a backup, but it was a bit embarrassing a the time. The actual lock is made up of two pieces (D0402.28 and D0301.24 if you’re listening, Gitzo) and the two pieces separated leaving the tripod entirely useless. The part was small, plastic, and seemingly inexpensive-looking so I decided to order the part as soon as possible so it would be ready for my Peru trip.
The service and parts departments are buried within it’s slick website. There is no place to order parts except via an email. I did that. No response. I called the phone number on the website and ended up with the parts department which is apparently one person and a single phone line, which is always busy or unavailable with an option to “leave a message.” I did that. Twice. Still no response.
So I left for Peru with a different tripod. Not my first choice, but it worked just fine. This particular tripod was one-third of the price and it actually worked! When I returned home form Peru, one of the first things that I did was call Gitzo once again. The line was busy – as always – but I could leave a message once again. I have yet to receive a response.
In my office I have a virtual graveyard of older, expensive, Gitzo tripods. Most have frozen up leg-lock issues. Worthless junk. Gitzo supposedly improved the design on the locks but last year’s purchase nullifies that notion for me. It’s one thing to be the price leader, but when the quality doesn’t match the price nor does the customer service, what’s the point?
So I’ll do my best to get this one fixed, but that’s it. It’s utterly insane. It’s also time to find a new tripod.
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