Gitzo G1220 MK2 Test Results

The Gitzo G1220 MK2 is an all around style tripod back from when aluminum was the best material available for tripod legs.  The G1220 MK2 is very sturdy for an aluminum tripod, but pays for it in weight.  The build quality is excellent and feels like it will last decades, which it probably has.  The stiffness is within normal range, but the damping is outstanding for an aluminum tripod.

NameGitzo G1220 MK2
ClassAll Purpose
Stiffness About Vertical Axis699 +/- 4 Nm/rad
Damping About Vertical Axis0.196 +/- 0.02 Js/rad
Stiffness About Radial Axis1894 +/- 52 Nm/rad
Damping About Radial Axis2.37 +/- 0.24 Js/rad
Retail Price$250
Weight4.93 lbs (2.236 kgs)
Manufacturer weight rating13.2 lbs
Maximum Height47.7 in (121.2 cm)
Minimum Height21.0 in (53.3 cm)
Max Height with Center Column60.3 in (153.2 cm)
Center ColumnYes
Base Diameter2.9 in (7.4 cm)
Folded Length22.7 in (57.7 cm)
Folded Circumference10.6 in (26.9 cm)
Folded Volume203.0 cu. in. (3.3 liters)
Leg MaterialAluminum
Leg Sections3
Primary Leg Angle24 deg
Leg LocksTwist
Top Tube Diameter28.3 mm
Second Tube Diameter24.1 mm
Third Tube Diameter20.0 mm
Exchangeable FeetNo
Foot TypeRubber
Bottom HookYes

The stiffness and damping data are the averages of 10 trials for each measurement.  The reported error is the standard error, except in the case of the damping data.  I have set the error in the damping at 10% as the standard error metric does not appropriately capture the error in fitting to the data.  All of the reported specifications are measured, with the exception of the weight rating.


Example data for oscillations about the vertical axis of the tripod:

This very respectable performance for an aluminum tripod.  Decent fit, though clear nonlinear behavior in the fit.

Doesn’t get any better than that.


Example data for oscillations about the radial axis of the tripod:

Stupidly high damping makes for a very short ring cycle.

Very high damping also makes for a really broad resonance.