Markins Q3T, the perfect ballhead setup

 The Gitzo Traveler Series 1 Tripod (GT1542T) and the Markins Q3T Ball Head are a match made in heaven! My goal was to find a light and compact combo that can handle heavy equipment. This was the best I could come up with…

The Gitzo tripod is made of carbon fiber and can handle loads of up to 17 lbs. I was hesitant to buy this at first because I wasn’t too fond of twist-locks. I was led to believe that twist-locks take longer to expand than flip-locks, but after trying out both systems at a few local shops I found out that you can unlock all three twist-locks at the same time with one twist. It turns out that twist-locks work out much better for me! So that opened the door to many brands I had been avoiding for years: Gitzo, Feisol, Induro, Benro, etc. I decided to go with Gitzo…



This tripod fully collapses to 17″.



The Markins ball head I picked out was designed specifically for the Gitzo Traveler tripod. It can handle loads of over 60 lbs – way more than I will ever need and way more than the tripod could ever handle. I purchased a plate for the D800 grip and a foot replacement for my 70-200mm lens.



The head and plates are “Arca-Swiss” compatible so I am able to use parts and plates from Arca-Swiss, Acratech, RRS, Markins, Wimberly, Kirk, and many other vendors.



Here is my gripped D800 with the Markins PG-50 plate mounted to the ball head.



Some shots with the Markins LN-20 foot replacement for the 70-200mm lens.



Here is a full shot of the entire combo.



This is how the combo collapses – under 20″ in length and under 4″ in girth!



A close up of how the combo collapses.



This pairing was the lightest combo that could support a pro camera carrying a 200mm lens. The entire combo weighs in at 3 lbs! (The tripod is 2.2 lbs while the ball head comes in at .8 lbs!) Hopefully this combo will allow me to carry a tripod to more venues more often!




This setup was sourced from

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