The stiffness is very good for a five section tripod and is in fact the best for any five section travel tripod that I have tested. The only travel tripods that do better all have four leg sections and are therefore at a significant advantage. The damping is average and perfectly adequate for a travel tripod.
|387 +/- 2 Nm/rad
|0.293 +/- 0.029 Js/rad
|1319 +/- 6 Nm/rad
|0.402 +/- 0.04 Js/rad
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. The tripod is measured at full height, with the center column (if applicable) down.
While I haven’t tested the stiffness vs center column height for this particular tripod, I did for the sister tripod, the GT1545T. The loss in stiffness should be comparable, though less dramatic because the legs are less stiff to begin with.
Recommended Gear Limit
The exact gear limit is highly dependent on the external conditions such as wind, and technique, such as the use of a cable release. Under perfectly still conditions using perfect technique, sharp images can be obtained using any tripod. That said, a tripod with better stiffness and damping will increase range of environments in which one can obtain sharp images.
The largest lens that should comfortably be used on the GT1555T is a 70-200 zoom or equivalent, depending on your format. The tripod will have no problem supporting the weight of larger lenses, but the stiffness and damping here will make using them a frustrating experience.
Example Test Data
The following data is example raw data from the stiffness and damping measurements. The relevant information with regards to the tripod performance is entirely contained within the stiffness and damping figures presented above. The plots below are solely present so that the tested stiffness and damping figures are believed. Each plot and the corresponding Fourier frequency space plot correspond to one of the ten trials done on each axis to obtain the test results. For a more in depth discussion on the meaning of these graphs, see the methodology section and the understanding the test results page.
Beautiful data here.
Excellent resonance. No doubts here about the stiffness.
Again, no complaints on the data. Very nice fit to the exponential decay from damping.
Much cleaner data than we usually get for the pitch stiffness.