Carbon fibre rapidly caught on among other tripod manufacturers, but Gitzo kept their Mountaineer series at the cutting edge, introducing even stronger “Carbon 6X” tubing in 2005, and the stronger and faster “G-lock” leg locks in 2007. Since then, Gitzo’s R&D team have been studying every aspect of the iconic tripod range to push its performance and dependability to even higher levels. The new Mountaineer tripods have been fully updated to incorporate the latest Gitzo technology, which increases rigidity and improves performance for professional photographers.
Gitzo’s new, stiffer Carbon eXact tubing and structure
Tripods exist to help reduce camera shake. For the sharpest images, tripods need to be as stiff as possible, so for the updated Mountaineer family, Gitzo developed new carbon fibre tubing that offers a measurable improvement in stiffness. Named Carbon eXact, Gitzo’s new tubing optimizes the fibre composition for each tube size, using HM (High Modulus) carbon fibre in the narrower tubes to make them stiffer.
The diameter of each tripod leg section is another key factor in the strength of a tripod, and to make the 2014 Mountaineer range stronger, Gitzo has refined tube diameters. The improvement is particularly significant for narrower tubes: the final leg section of a 4-section Series 1 tripod is now 22.5% wider than its predecessor.
The top spider and column lock have also been improved, contributing to the tripod’s rigidity.
Enhanced usability and comfort
Gitzo has developed innovative solutions to streamline the way photographers use the tripod in order to make the new Mountaineer easier and faster to set up.
The main points of user interaction on a Gitzo tripod are the leg locks. By redesigning the G-lock internally and externally, the new “G-lock Ultra” creates a new level of ergonomic resistance. There are no gimmicks added to the existing G-lock; its now simply ultra comfortable, ultra smooth and ultra resistant to the elements.
Mountaineer’s Ground Level Set mechanism has also been completely redesigned for faster operation, which lets the photographer easily remove the centre column to get the camera closer to the ground: a single, simple unlocking ring under the column’s upper disc frees the column while keeping the upper disc solidly in place on the tripod.
This eliminates the need to unscrew and re-fit the upper disc and hook (patent pending). In addition, the leg-angle selectors have internal springs and more grip room, making switching leg angles faster and easier.
Ten new Mountaineer models, plus three kits
There are ten tripod leg sets, from Series 0 (the smallest) up to Series 3, and three complete tripod and head kits in the new Mountaineer range. Each series has three- and four-section models available, while Series 2 and Series 3 also have a special long four-section model for increased height. The new Mountaineer models will be available in August with suggested retail prices ranging from $649.95 to $1,299.95.