I’ve used Gitzo for years, but here is something that’s just unacceptable— while shooting in Death Valley, the foot on my Gitzo 3540 XLS just pulled right off. There was no way to reattach it in the field, though I could reinsert it and hope that it would stay put (with care). Fortunately, this happened towards the end of my trip.
It’s trouble enough to experience equipment failure in the field, but the hassle of sending it in and waiting for repairs adds insult to injury. I expect an $879 tripod to keep working for a long time. It’s only a few years old, and never abused.
I still recommend it for its functionality (it is now the 3541 XLS), but this failure is not acceptable, not for the price I paid. Let’s see how Gitzo responds when I get it repaired.
Update! Gitzo repaired the tripod at no charge (though it cost me $70 to ship it there). It took weeks for the repair... are professional users supposed to go without a tripod while Gitzo takes its sweet time fixing it? Why didn’t I get an overnight loaner? Professional equipment cannot be down for 3-4 weeks, that’s a bad joke for any professional.