Gitzo have made tripods since Adam was a lad and now they've come out with reworked versions of an older model.
Skip to Verdict
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2: Specifications
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2: Features
- Minimum height: 35cm
- Maximum height: 160cm
- Weight: 2.3kg
- Load capacity: 6kg
- Colour: Grey
- Material: Aluminium
- Leg sections: Four
- Leg lock type: G-lock twist release system
- Centre column: 48cm
- Head: Ball
- Attachment: 3/8in
The release knobs reinforce the vintage element of the design.
The release pins can be tricky to grasp and use but you'll get used to them.
I love vintage equipment and I have done for years before it became a trend. Now vintage is in fashion and manufacturers are leaping on it with gusto. This is great because it means that lots of new equipment has a chic appeal while companies with some history start to revive older models and in this case, give it a modern twist.
On the outside it's a tripod that looks like it comes straight from the seventies with its grey mottled paintwork and shiny silver release knobs. However, looking underneath you can see the modern updates such as the aluminium construction and G-lock release system for the legs.
The legs have had the new ALR (Anti-Leg Rotation) introduced to them which makes opening them quicker and easier. All you have to do is undo all the leg sections, pull the end leg out to extend all parts and tighten them individually. They've also improved on the G-lock to give it 20% more rigidity and applies a gravity lock system so as you pile more weight onto it, the lock becomes tighter. It's possible to remove the feet on the GK2380 so that you can replace them with spiked feet or snow/sand shoes.
Despite a vintage design, new technology has been used in the construction.
Looking at the head and the ball is oversized compared to normal ball heads in this classification. It means a larger surface area which in turn means that it has a higher rigidity. It's also hollow which means that a great deal of weight is lost from the head so when you're carrying it around in the leather and canvas golf bag style carry case, it'll take longer for you to get tired.
The quick release plate is a sliding type with a blocking bar at one end to prevent it sliding off. Coupled with the locking system, you won't have a nasty surprise watching your camera slide onto the floor in slow motion (things like that always happen in slow motion).
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2: Performance
Using the tripod is easy enough but does need some getting used to. I'm unsure of the plastic parts of the locking mechanism on the head as I feel, with extended use, they could become frail and start to wear down.
The release plate isn't the easiest one to use but the introduction of the G-lock system on the legs means that they're very simple to operate. Keeping the vintage design means that to make the legs pull out for a wider base and lower angle, a metal pin must be pulled which can be tricky but not impossible.
The centre column is reversible which means that the camera can be placed upside down for ultra low angle shooting and a ballast hook is provided for additional weight in rough terrain or extreme weather.
The ball head easily took my Olympus E-3, battery grip and 50-200mm lens with only a minor amount of drop as I released my grip on it. It's to be expected and I wouldn't really mark it down because of this. Bear in mind that with larger lenses, they come with a tripod collar so I could fit the lens directly to the release plate obviating the problem.
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2: Verdict
I've been to the Gitzo factory in Italy and seen the tripods being hand-made. I've watched in awe as they're carefully placed together knowing that the person who buys it will be in the possession and presence of something great. Just as I begin to like Gitzo they go and release a tripod like the GK2380 Vintage Series 2- a tripod so beautiful that it makes me want to weep.
I love the vintage element with modern upgrades. I think the weight and balance are bang on and I think the bag, although excessively unnecessary in practical terms, really compliments what Gitzo have tried to do. I would've loved to see carbon fibre legs and I think the price is too steep for what it gives you.
I know Gitzo are the prestige make and each model is hand-made but the £600 price tag will probably put people off who may have otherwise gone for it as a lifestyle accessory. It's also the reason why the overall score is marked down.
So now I'm in a position where I have to give this tripod back and I think Bogen Imaging are going to have a fight on their hands.
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2: Plus points
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2: Minus points
Leg angle pins are difficult to use
Plastic quick release lever and button
The Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2 tripod is listed at £599. More information is available at Bogen Imaging UK Ltd.
Gitzo GK2380 Vintage Series 2 information