Using A Gitzo Spike Kit On A Really Right Stuff Tripod

Complete Gitzo Spike Set

Gitzo Stainless Spike Set, L to R: Large Feet With Washers, Spikes, and Small Feet With Washers.

I’ve been taking some test shots in the forest for a future project, and have had a bit of an issue with my tripod moving around in the understory. There is quite a variety of things on the forest floor: moss, roots, rocks, fallen limbs, etc. So, I decided to get a set of spikes for my new Really Right Stuff (RRS) TVC-24L Versa Series 2 Tripod. I’ve been using RRS’ gear for years now. I’ve had one of their quick release plates on pretty much every camera I’ve owned, from a diminutive Panasonic GH2 to a 7lb Linhof Technikardan view camera. Their QR plates and clamps are the best in the business, they are rock solid, are made of the best materials, are beautifully machined, and, most importantly, are designed by photographers.

So, I was a bit dismayed to find the the RRS TA-3-FS Versa tripod spikes are, one, very aggressive (3″/77mm long), and two, run $33 apiece. Now that isn’t out of line: Gitzo’s long spikes* (4.7″/120mm log) run about $40 apiece.

But I didn’t want 3″ spikes, let alone 4.7″ monsters. So I dug around a bit and found the perfect kit just shy of $50: the Gitzo G1220.129B3 Stainless Steel Spike Set*. The spikes aren’t excessively long for my needs (1.5″/38mm) and in addition to the spikes themselves, you get not one, but two sets of rubber feet. That’s a pretty good deal considering the cost of the individual spikes.

Since none of the washers fit my TVC-24L exactly, I went with the larger of the two sets which gives a bit of a “platform” to help in soft ground. The threads on all of the spikes mentioned here are 3/8-16 NC. The 1.5″ Gitzo spikes take a 15mm wrench (or an adjustable) to tighten them down. Avoid excessive force as you don’t want to strain the carbon fiber/aluminum joint.

The rubber feet press onto the spikes quite firmly–they appear to be made of a softer rubber molded around a harder rubber core. Time will tell if the feet retain their shape and stay snugly attached to the spikes. One note of caution: when traveling by air you may want to remove the spikes and stow them in your checked luggage, the TSA probably won’t react kindly to metal spikes hidden underneath rubber…

All in all, the kit is a very good deal, and I’m looking forward to having a more secure tripod when I’m shooting in soft ground.

(* I’m an Amazon affiliate, so if you purchase these items by clicking through these links, I get a small percentage from Amazon. Your price remains the same regardless. Thanks for supporting this website.)

Take a look:

Gitzo Spikes. Large Washer on Left, Small on Right

Gitzo Spikes. Large Washer on Left, Small on Right.

 

Gitzo Spikes, Large Foot on Left, Small on Right

Spikes with Feet Attached. Large on Left, Small on Right.

 

RRS Stock Rubber Foot

RRS Stock Rubber Foot, For Comparison.

Rubber Foot Comparison

Rubber Foot Comparison, L to R: RRS, Gitzo Small, Gitzo Large.

 

L to R: RRS Stock Foot, Spike With Small Washer, Spike with Large Washer.

Spikes With Large Washers

My Setup: Gitzo Spikes With Large Washers. Not what the TSA Wants To See During an Xray.

 Really Right Stuff.

This entry was posted in Technical and tagged , , .

13 Comments

  1. dave February 23, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    and so this was posted about a year and a half ago, wondering if these spikes/feet are still working out for you. I just purchased the RRS 24L and like you, am frankly a little disappointed that for the money they do not include spikes…and then they are way too aggressive (wonder how they do in the RRS bag…would think that they tear the heck out of bag?)…at any rate, wondering if you are still happy with the Gitzo alternative…

    • Jon Witsell February 23, 2014 at 6:43 am #

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for writing. I’m in Laos working in terrain from rock-hard red clay to jungle undergrowth—and the spikes are doing just what I need. They aren’t too long, are just sharp enough, and with the feet, don’t tear up my bag. I’m quite happy with them.

      On a side note, I like the fact that you tighten them down with a wrench. I also have a small Gitzo tripod with me now for my video camera, and one of the adjustable feet unscrewed when I was riding a motorcycle and is gone forever. Not an item I’ll be able to find here so I’m going to try to find a bolt to screw in to protect the end of the tripod. Not happy about that at all.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

      • dave February 23, 2014 at 7:49 am #

        Thanks Jon…what kind of work are you doing in Laos?

        • Jon Witsell February 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

          I’m doing a fundraising campaign for a small school that teaches kids (mostly Hmong) that can’t afford to go to the for-pay English language (very important skill here) schools. Will be a crowd funded project. Mind if I send you info on it when the campaign launches?

          • dave February 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

            sure…thanks for some words of confirmation regarding RRS…I have been emailing with them and on the phone sort of checking them out, and like you, have been impressed. Service is important…which is why I like Fuji as well…their firmware updates are superb.

          • Jon Witsell February 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

            You really get what you pay for with this type of gear. Let me know how you get along if you add the Gitzo spikes…

      • dave February 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

        and so my guess is that you are not losing the rubber feet? i.e., they just snap on and could come loose? or are you just leaving them off most of the time given the fairly rugged conditions you are working in?

        • Jon Witsell February 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

          I leave them on. The are quite tough to get on and off, which I really like since the vibration can cause parts to fall off lesser (cough, cough, Gitzo) tripods.

      • dave February 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

        Also by the way, last question, are you happy with the RRS 24L legs with the bh40 head? As I said, I just ordered it after scouring the internet for the best tripod set up…I have, as I guess most photographers have done before me, gone thru buying two cheaper tripods that have not worked out…I am hoping that all reports of the RRS tripods are accurate given the $1300 I just shelled out. Tell me you love them???!!!! (this will make $2000 that I have spent on stupid tripods!!!!)

        • Jon Witsell February 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

          Yes, the head fits and works great for my set up. What I also like about RRS is they have docs about how to disassemble and clean the tripod legs. I’ve done it already and it is easy. It is expensive… but I don’t plan on replacing this tripod for YEARS. Of the top three reasons I really like RRS is their customer service. I had a problem with a screw and two days later a new one was priority shipped to me. No questions asked, just get back to work. I just don’t think about their gear when I’m working—which is exactly how good gear should be. Just be prepared to get that first scratch!

  2. Paolo March 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    I was wondering if I could install Gitzo spiked feets with rubber caps on my Induro Grand Series 3 GIT303 stealth carbon fiber tripod. Do you have any useful information about? Head screws are universal, I’ve no idea about foots.

    • Jon Witsell March 17, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi,

      I’m sorry, I don’t have an Induro to check. Can you contact the company?

      • Paolo March 31, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

        No worries!
        I directly bought a set and tried it on my tripod. Perfect fit, same 3/8″ screw

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*