The Gitzo Légende tripod proves there’s still a place for tripods in an IBIS-fueled world.
In a world full of IBIS and lens stabilization, tripods are quickly beginning to fade away. However, there’s still a place for trusty tripods in our lives. If you’re a landscape or astrophotographer, tripods are essential. Macro photographers, product photographers, and studio shooters rely on tripods too. Picking a tripod is a pretty serious business. At the end of the day, you’re placing your expensive camera and lenses on it. You need to be able to trust it. We’ve had our hands on the new Gitzo Légende tripod for a little while now. Is it one you should be fluttering your eyelids at, or should you walk away? Find out in our full review.
Pros and Cons
- Lovely design with a beautiful Carbon Fiber weave on the tripod legs
- A nice ball head with precision controls
- Very sturdy when under load
- The beautiful eco-friendly synthetic leather strap
- A good-sized Arca-Swiss mounting plate
- Knurled knobs provide a nice grip
- The Early Bird price of $519
- Miss out on the Early Bird price and you’ll pay $799
- I wish there were spikes for the feet.
Too Long, Didn’t Read
The Gitzo Légende tripod is a sturdy, reliable tripod that delivers a hassle-free user experience. It’s well made, durable, stylish, and comes with an easy-to-use ball head. Grab it at the early bird special price of $519 (regularly $799), and you’ll have a bargain on your hands.
What’s Innovative About This?
While there’s nothing really innovative about the tripod and how it works, there’s something to be said about how Gitzo makes the tripod. The Légende is made with the environment in mind. The Légende Tripod is crafted of 170 individual parts that can all be repaired and replaced. Amazingly, according to Gitzo, 70% of the parts can be replaced by the owner and shipped out at no extra charge. This is to help cancel the current ‘throwaway culture’ we currently find ourselves in.
Gitzo Légende Tripod – Gear Used
We used the Gitzo Légende tripod with a Panasonic S5 along with four different lenses. The Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3, the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN, the Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 DG DN, and the Panasonic Lumix S 85mm f1.8.
Gitzo Légende Tripod – Tech Specs
All technical specifications were provided by Gitzo:
- Weight 1.45kg (3.19lbs)
- Payload: 8kg (17.63lbs)
- Leg angles: 25°, 70°
- Minimum Height: 43cm (16.9-inches)
- Maximum Height: 165cm (64.9-inches)
- Panoramic Rotation: 360°
- Front and Lateral Tilt: -90° / +40°
Gitzo Légende Tripod – Ergonomics
You’ve seen one tripod, and you’ve seen them all. The Gitzo Légende tripod is fairly standard by design. When collapsed (pictured above), this travel tripod measures in at just under 17-inches. This makes the tripod relatively easy to lug around. I have placed it into a side pocket of my Tenba Solstice 24L with no issues.
Extend the tripod to its fullest and it turns into something of a giant. With all four sections of the carbon fiber legs extended and the center column fully raised, this tripod measures 64.9-inches, or 5.4ft. This is plenty of height for the average photographer.
The legs of this tripod, as mentioned above, have four sections to them. The legs feature aluminum twist locks, which have knurled edges and rubber inserts. The latches you use to invert the legs are spring-loaded and operate horizontally.
The included ball head is a beefy unit with a few controls on it. Here you can see the 360-degree markings, which come in handy for panoramas. You can also see the main dial, which controls the tilt and friction of the head. The small dial controls how much play there is in the rotation of the head.
Overall, there’s nothing that really stands out from an ergonomics standpoint. The Gitzo Légende tripod. Gitzo has done a nice job making it feel as good in the hand as a tripod can. The controls are all positioned well and are easy to use, and it folds down small enough to not be a hindrance when traveling.
Gitzo Légende Tripod – Build Quality
The Gitzo Légende travel tripod, despite having 100% carbon fiber legs, still weighs in at a pretty hefty 3.19lbs. Most of this weight comes from the included ball head. Still, when out and about, the tripod actually feels much lighter than this. You can probably put this down to good design and balancing.
The leg locks are made from tough aluminum and have a knurled finish. This makes them easy to grip. They tighten and loosen easily and feel great overall. The clips that allow you to fold the legs up when collapsing the tripod are also made from aluminum. The springs that make them rebound back into position are fairly stout. The ball head feels nice and solid too. The head operated smoothly and had no issues carrying various loads I placed on it. Everything that moves, twists, or turns on the tripod legs or ball head all feel great.
Gitzo prides itself on creating products via sustainable means. The Eco-leather tripod strap that is included is made from cruelty-free, environmental-friendly, non-toxic synthetic leather. It feels fantastic to the touch, and it is backed by nice ribbed nylon. The padding on the strap also feels very nice. Overall the strap is light and soft, yet it feels incredibly durable. I have used this tripod in mud, rain, and 15-20mph blowing winds, and it has taken everything I have thrown at it. I haven’t observed any decline in performance either. The Gitzo Légende tripod will surely stand the test of time. If something does fail, well, owners of the Légende tripod get an unlimited warranty, and all parts are replaceable.
“It did everything I needed with no hiccups. It’s solid, reliable, and trustworthy. These are the things you need in a tripod.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Gitzo Légende Tripod – Ease of Use
When it comes to using the Gitzo Légende tripod, there’s really not much to it. If you have used a tripod with a ball head before, you’ll feel right at home. There are no overly complicated mechanisms to figure out. Even the ball head is self-explanatory. The tripod is minimalist by design, and this makes it easy to use. Let’s break it down further below.
The legs of the Gitzo Légende tripod are straightforward and easy to use. You simply use the release switch at the top of the legs to release them. You either choose to extend the legs fully or have them lay flat (pictured above). If you extend the legs all the way, all you have to do is loosen each section using the twist locks. Set the tripod at the height you want it, tighten them, and away you go. It’s really that simple. I will say that while I do like the rubber feet on the legs, I do wish that they would tilt and swivel so that you can fine-tune their placement. I also wish that there were spikes that could be placed here. Unfortunately, you only get the rubber feet. Still, they get the job done.
The center column is height adjustable. To do this, you again just twist the lock to loosen the grip on the column. You then pull it up and down to your desired height. I was disappointed to see that there was no hook under the center column out of the box. However, lurking in a separate box is a hook attachment that you can switch out. This should come pre-installed, in my honest opinion, as center column hooks are vital. On windy days, being able to hang extra weight from them is invaluable. I understand that it might not be as visually appealing as the flat plate that’s pre-installed. Still, let’s just save everyone the extra step, Gitzo.
Like the rest of the Gitzo Légende tripod, the included ball head is a piece of cake to use. The controls are large and easy to grip thanks to their knurled finish. The Arca-Swiss tripod plate is nice and large. While not massive by any means, it is bigger than most and is rectangular in shape. The vice that locks the plate in place operates smoothly and gets nice and tight. You’ll also find a small yet useful level that sits off of one side of the bracket. This comes in handy and will enable you to get your tripod leveledeasily.
The ball head is easy to get into position too. Mounted within the main knob is a dial with ‘friction’ written on it. You can adjust how much friction there is when you position the head. This comes in handy when you want to make precise movements. The only other control on the ball head loosens and fastens the head so that you can spin it for panoramas. Everything is smooth when in operation. It’s a well-designed ball head that feels premium and is easy to use. I used this tripod with my Panasonic s5 with various lenses, and I never felt like I was close to maxing out the capacity of it. The whole package remained stable and secure. There aren’t many camera and lens combos that would really challenge this ball head.
The Leather Strap
The Gitzo Légende tripod also comes with a fabric case to protect the tripod and a very nice eco-friendly, light brown synthetic leather strap. This is very nice and adds a touch of class to the whole package. If you want to sling the tripod over your shoulder, this strap allows you to do that. The synthetic leather is incredibly soft to the touch, and the padding makes it comfortable to carry too. You attach it by putting a ripcord over the center column and fastening it, and then you wrap the harness around the legs and use a popper to secure it in place. It’s simple, elegant, and works well.
“While nothing really screams to make this tripod stand out, it does its job, and it does it very well.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Gitzo Légende Tripod – Conclusions
- Minimalist by design and easy to use
- The ball head and tripod legs are sturdy when under load
- The synthetic leather strap is a nice touch
- Center column hook not installed out of the box, this is a nitpick, though
- No spikes or adjustable feet on the tripod legs
If you’re in the market for a new tripod, the Gitzo Légende tripod is a solid choice. The design is minimalistic. The silver and black color scheme looks nice. The controls are all well placed and easy to use. The legs feel nice and sturdy, even on uneven ground. The included ball head can carry a big load. I never had any issues with it in regards to stability. I love the friction control, which enables you to make precise movements. This is something that’s often overlooked. The eco-friendly synthetic leather carry strap is nice as well. While nothing really screams to make this tripod stand out, it does its job, and it does it very well.
The early bird price for this tripod is $519. At this price, I feel that you’re getting a solid deal. Carbon fiber legs, a solid, stable ball head, and the no-fuss user experience are worth this price. Miss the early bird special, though, and the price shoots up to $799. At this price, you can step up into another class of tripods. I really can’t fault the tripod, though. It did everything I needed with no hiccups. It’s solid, reliable, and trustworthy. These are the things you need in a tripod.
The Gitzo Légende tripod scores five out of five well-earned stars. There are just a few things keeping it from getting an editor’s choice award. Namely the lack of spikes, non-adjustable feet, and the regular price of $799. If you can score one of the early bird specials, grab it with both hands. Want one? Head on over to the Gitzo Indiegogo page to pledge your support. Orders should ship worldwide in June 2021.