As much as I like Gitzo as a brand and the quality of their products, some of their stuff just isn’t as good as others. Take for example their leveling base; Gitzo features a large lever for tightening a head to the base and a handle borrowed directly from their sister Manfrotto’s lineup.
Instead, I got the series 3 leveling base from Really Right Stuff. It’s lighter, has a simpler attachment system with no silly lever and a much sleeker locking handle with, get this, a gear hook! That hook alone is almost priceless, allowing me to attach weight for stability when I’m not leveling the head, ending any need to swap back to the flat top base. Back into the box that can go.
Sure, it lacks the gray, “Hammerite” paint finish Gitzo uses but the anodized black is discreet. The silver raw aluminum handle sticks out a little but it’s still handsome. Besides, looks aren’t everything. The fluid level could be bigger but that’s my only complaint. Functionally, it’s exceptionally smooth and as I mentioned already, it’s very light. RRS also uses a tighter thread on the handle for more precise locking and unlocking, compared to others who simply use the basic 3/8″ with 16 TPI.
Best of all, it’s the same price.