Gitzo G-2271M Rationnelle Review

Compared to the modern slate of ball and geared heads, the G2271M looks and feels like a dinosaur.  Its styling echos bygone eras in tripod design.  Despite this, the head performs competently and is a perfectly reasonable option for a pan-tilt head.  Most pan-tilt heads these days are built as budget pieces but this one is decidedly not.  It has very high build quality, decent stiffness, and the Gitzo price to go with it.


NameGitzo G-2271M
TypePan Tilt
Stiffness About Vertical Axis1426 +/- 19 Nm/rad
Stiffness About Radial Axis2888 +/- 75 Nm/rad
Lock ShiftN/A degrees
Retail Price$320
Weight1.7 lbs (0.773 kgs)
Manufacturer weight rating12.2 lbs (5.53kgs)
Maximum Height3.8 in (9.7 cm)
Base Diameter2.3 in (5.8 cm)
Ball DiameterN/A mm
Tension Controlno
Panning Lockyes
Quick ReleaseNone

No pan tilt head performs well in terms of stiffness, and they are even worse on a weight adjusted basis.  That being said, the G2271M performs quite well for a pan tilt style head.  The stiffness is good enough that it won’t significantly impact the performance of most all-purpose style tripods.  If placed on a systematic tripod however, the flexibility of the system would be noticeably increased by this head.  I can’t think of any logical reason to use the G2271M on a travel tripod due to its size and weight, but it would perform just fine.

The G2271M does not include a quick release, and due to the large soft damping pad on top of the head, it would be difficult to add one.  This is yet another reason to avoid the head for travel purposes.  It is at home in more permanent studio type settings.  Gitzo does sell a version of this head, the G2272M, that includes a quick release.

Visually, the most noticeable aspect of the G1227M design is the excessively long handles on the lock knobs.  These make it easy to make precise adjustments to the composition, but also take up an inordinate amount of space.  The handles can be removed for travel or storage, but this would be obnoxious and would simply present the risk of losing them.

As we typically expect from Gitzo, the build quality, fit, and finish, are all excellent.  The motion on each axis is well smooth and well controlled.  Everything locks down tightly as evidenced by the strong stiffness numbers (for a pan-tilt head).

Its hard to determine what the target market is for the G2271M.  It is priced much higher than typical pan tilt heads.  There are bigger, beefier, pan tilt heads available for less money, so I’m not sure there is a strong value proposition.   The G2271M is for you if you want a pan tilt with high build quality and that matches the unique aesthetic of Gitzo products.


  • Good stiffness for a pan-tilt head
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good control from long lever arms


  • Expensive
  • Bulky