The larger ball heads made by Gitzo are excellent. Although I have two different Arca-Swiss tripod heads, I also am quite content with a big ball head. It is either a Ball 3 or a Ball 4 head.

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Extra goodies that enhance the Gitzo line of tripods

If you need to do stereo photography then one of the Gitzo twin brackets might make things easier. Ian Graham (Peabody Museum, Harvard University) says that stereo photography is essential to record faded designs on thousand-year old stelae.

Gitzo tripods
Gitzo camera tripods

An accessory that I use almost every season is the Gitzo short column. It is impossible to lower the tripod if your tripod is stuck with a long fixed center column. The center columns of Gitzo tripods can be removed. The normal (long) column can be taken out and be replaced by a short column, or by no column at all. Then you can use a simple platform. Actually other tripods, such as Ries, don't have a center column at all, just a firm, solid, center platform.

If you remove the normal (long) center post of a Gitzo tripod and replace it with a short column or a platform (no olumn protruding at all) then you can photograph artifacts almost at eye-level (along the ground).

In archaeology, since most of the labor is directed towards the surface of the ground, or below. Thus there are many times it is useful to photograph things which are at ground level. In this case having a Gitzo tripod is essential, especially since most normal tripods does not allow you to lower the angle of view of your tripod at all.

 

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Edited March 4, 1999, additional links added April 20, 2000; last checked by webdesigner Feb. 19, 2002; links added Mar. 2002
redesigned January 2004

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