Review of the Gitzo Traveller 1580 TQR5 tripod.
A sturdy set of legs is a must when you’re out shooting in low-light conditions. Large tripods are the best option, but can be impractical and an inconvenience if you’re going to be lugging them about for long periods. This means they can often get left at home, so a more compact travel tripod is a great alternative.
Their reduced size and weight often means they’re not as sturdy as standard size tripods, so how does Gitzo’s 1580 TQR5 Traveller tripod kit stand-up?
The legs are constructed from light-weight but strong carbon fibre, while the tripod collar and ball-head are made from tough magnesium, so the 1580 TQR5 tips the scales at 1.16kg. But it’s not just the weight that’s small, as thanks to a clever 180° folding mechanism, the collapsed length is just 35cm. Don’t think you’re going to be bent over double when the tripod is fully extended either – maximum height is 149cm with the centre column extended, while collapsed its 130cm.
To get this blend of compact size and maximum height, the 1580 TQR5 is made up of 5 leg sections, with the final leg section appearing to be very thin. That said, fully extended and there’s very minimal ‘whip’ from the tripod. Its incredibly stable under a load and the compact ball head is very good also.
Gitzo tripods are premium products and the Traveller 1580 TQR5 is not an exception, and this is reflected in the price. At £639, its pricy for a tripod full-stop, not just a travel tripod. What you get though is a quality product that hits the sweet spot between size, weight and strength.
If you can justify the expense, then you won’t be disappointed.