Gitzo GT3543LS Systematic Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Regular price R 14,999.00

This is the most popular model in the systematic range and arguably the most praised tripod worldwide. It stands 146,5cm high when fully extended and if you add a tripod head and camera on top, the viewfinder will be at perfect eye-height for the average male. It weighs a mere 1970g and the closed length is 57,5cm, which easily fits into a suitcase when flying. It can carry a load of 25kg, meaning that it is fine for any camera and lens combination up to a 800mm lens. If you take good care of this tripod, it will be the last one you ever buy. 

New and Improved in the 2017 4th Generation Systematics

This is one of the new models released at the end of 2016 and can be identified as such by the number three at the end of the model name. The previous generation all ended with a number two. This new range does not offer major improvement in specifications, but anyone who had a 3rd gen model will appreciate the changes that they've made to these new models. 

Carbon Exact Tubes

The first and most crucial change is Gitzo's new carbon fiber technology called Carbon Exact, first introduced in the Mountaineer and then the Traveler ranges. Carbon Exact tubes are stronger, stiffer and better at absorbing vibration, despite being slightly thinner. The result is thicker lower legs and that makes a crucial difference to how solid the tripod is. In the previous model, the tube diameters were 20, 24, 28 and 32mm, in the new version they are 22, 25, 29 and 33mm. 

G-Lock Ultra Joints

These new joints are fatter, which means they're easier to grip and twist. They feature an o-ring to keep out dirt and dust, require less maintenance and most importantly, they lock the legs together more firmly than the older joints. Another feature that goes a long way to make the final product as solid as possible.

Self-Returning Leg Angle Locks

This simple, but nifty feature has finally been added to Gitzo tripods. Browse to the 1-minute mark in the video below to see it in action. 

New Feet

The new systematics feature ball-and-cup style rubber feet, which provide better traction on certain surfaces. One of the great features of this is that when you set the tripod up flat on the ground, it can rest on those feet instead of the joints all lying on the dirt. Browse to 1:10 in the video below to see this feature in action. 

The downside of this is that the tripods no longer come with hidden spiked feet for use on ice and will have to be purchased additionally.

Easylink Attachment

Easylink is an accessory attachment system from Manfrotto (Gitzo and Manfrotto are both owned by the same company, Vitec) that allows one to attach a vast array of accessories to your tripod via customisable joint arms. This is a fantastic feature that allows you to attach anything from a small scrim to shade your lens or screen to speedlights, a BTS camera, umbrella to shoot in the rain etc. The options are truly limitless. 

Specification Changes

If you compare the specs of the older models with the new ones, you'll see that the new models are a touch heavier and also longer when folded up. This difference is mostly to blame on the new feet, which can be removed in seconds.


  • Series - 3
  • Material - Carbon Fibre
  • Leg Sections - 4
  • Maximum Height - 146cm
  • Minimum Height - 9cm
  • Closed Length - 57cm
  • Weight - 2030g
  • Load Capacity - 25kg
  • Leg Diameters - 21.7, 25.3, 29.0, 32.9 mm

Included in the box

  • Large polyester dust bag for tripod
  • Small polyester dust bag for neat storage of all accessories
  • User Manual
  • Torx screws and allen keys for all tension adjustments 
  • Set of alternative rubber feet

Do you have the item in stock? 

Each product has one of the following stock indicators

  • In stock: We have stock at our local warehouse
  • Special order: We don't carry local stock of this item or it has sold out. Get in touch to confirm stock availability and ETA to place an order. 

Delivery options and what they cost

We pride ourselves on FREE lightning fast shipping. Apart from large f-stop gear orders, most of our items ship overnight and the daily cutoff is 14:00. You can read more on the deliveries page or get in touch for a confirmed delivery date and time. 

Can I collect my parcel? 

Yes, you can collect your order from our office in Bosman's Crossing, Stellenbosch (09:00 - 17:00). Just choose the collection option at checkout- we'll follow up with the specifics. Please note that we are very strict about payment if collecting. We will not release any goods if we are not 100% comfortable about payment. We accept the following as payment confirmation in order to release the goods. Please call or message Rudolph on 061 468 1931 if you have any questions.

  • Payfast Card Payment (any customers, new or returning)
  • EFT from FNB to FNB, pending fund clearance (any customers, new or returning)
  • Normal EFT from other banks to FNB (return customers only)
  • Instant EFT from other banks to FNB, pending fund clearance (Any customers, new or returning) 
  • Cash (any customers, new or returning)

What payment options are available?  

  • EFT
  • EFT via Payfast
  • Credit card: VISA & Mastercard

What is your policy on returns and or exchanges?

We are more than happy to exchange any product for something else or a full refund* if you feel that the item you chose isn’t quite right for you. See our Return Policy page for more. 

*If paying with any card, 4.5% of the transaction value goes to the credit card payment facilitation company. "Full Refund" means that we will return the full amount we received after the credit card service fees. If you are at all unsure that what you're buying is ideal for you, rather opt for EFT payment to be safe. 

Where is my order? How can I track my order?

You will receive an email with your tracking number once your order has been collected by our couriers. You can also find tracking number for your orders under "My account" 

You can shop NiSi Filters at the following retailers. 

Orms Bellville
Victorian Towers, 2 Palm St, Bellville, Cape Town

Fritz, 021 910 1380

Rosebank Mall, 50 Bath Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Martin Wright, 011 880 2885

28 Pearce St, Berea, East London

Damien, 083 574 9134

66 17th Ave, Broadwood, Port Elizabeth
Lascel, 041 367 4401

Lime Photo
Kloof, Durban
Emil, 084 484 9959

Photo Freedom
Ballito, Durban
Graham, 032 586 1212

Danie, 072 608 3345

We have a no-nonsense approach. If a product breaks due to a manufacturer defect, we will replace it without asking any questions. If we have any reason to believe that the product was put through unreasonably heavy usage, we will have to follow the manufacturer's standard warranty procedure. 

Find more info on proper care and use for each brand below. 

NiSi Care & Use

F-stop Care & Use


The manufacturer offers a 10-year limited warranty on all products and we extend that warranty to our customers. Please read the below very carefully, so you understand your position when something breaks or doesn’t work ideally anymore.

It is critical to understand that this warranty only applies to factory faults and not to standard wear and tear. Tripods are subject to a lot of gray areas in this regard as tripods used outdoors, particularly in sand and sea water, are subjected to extreme wear and tear. We will e.g. replace the affected part of your tripod if a carbon tube snaps or cracks without much pressure applied to it or if the apex breaks. We will not replace your tripod or the affected part if e.g. a joint locks up due to sand or salt build up or if a hinge becomes corroded or stiff/floppy and unserviceable due to corrosion or salt build up. 

In sum, if we see that you took good care of your tripod and something went wrong, we will go out of our way to fix or replace it for you. If we see that you dragged it through the mud (literally or metaphorically), then we are unlikely to fix/replace it for you. How you handle your tripod and take care of it, is all the difference between 3- or 20 years of service. 

The best of tripods will not last longer than 2/3 years if used regularly in the sea, INCORRECTLY, and never serviced. Always make sure to extend the lowest leg section first, so you keep the joints out of the water/sand. Always rinse with freshwater after use in the sea, wipe down with a wet cloth, leave extended to dry and ENSURE YOU KEEP THE HEAD AND APEX DRY. If your tripod’s joints start feeling sandy/gritty, open them up, give them a proper clean and lubrication and fine-tune the tension on the joints.

If travelling on dirt roads, ensure that your tripod is in its carry-bag when not in use.

Your tripod will not take care of itself – it is up to you to do so. All our tripods ship with an info-sheet on taking care of your tripod. We also offer a full tripod disassembly and service for R1000, including shipping both ways.

Choosing Gitzo

1. Model naming

Understanding the model naming is key to choosing the right product.

2. Understanding the Models


Systematic tripods have a flat apex and are available only in medium to large sizes (3-,4-,5-Series).


Mountaineer tripods feature a center column, non-reversible legs and are available in small to medium sizes (1- and 3- Series)


Traveler tripods feature a center column and reversible legs and are available only in small sizes (1-, 2- Series)

Choosing Gitzo

3. Number of Leg Sections

Many tripods are available in both 3-section and 4-section models, which are suited to different needs

They are designed to reach more or less the same extended height, but as the one does so with 4 sections, the folded size is shorter than the one with the 3 sections. In theory, more sections means less rigidity, but Gitzo's carbon tubing and joints are so well made that 4-section models perform the same as 3-section models in vibration absorption testing. 4-Section models are more popular with people who travel, whereas 3-section models are more popular with those who never have to get on a plane with their tripod.

Choosing Gitzo

4. Reversible Legs

Only the Traveler models have reversible legs. If folded size is one of your top priorities, then a Traveler is ideal.

Normal tripod legs only have a working angle of 90 degrees, whereas reversible legs can be flipped up 180 degrees. This allows the brace/neck of the column to be stowed between the legs, which shaves about 20% off the folded length of the tripod. If you have to get your tripod into a suitcase or strap it onto a camera bag, this feature goes a long way to saving space. 

Choosing Gitzo

5. Minimum Height

The worst possible trait in a tripod is if it is too short for you. Having to bend over leads to back pain and before long the tripod will be gathering dust and every cent spent on it will have been money down the drain.

Ideally, your tripod should be as tall as you are, so that you have spare length when shooting on slopes or uneven terrain.

At the very least, your tripod should reach up to 80% of your height. Remember that the camera and tripod head add about 20cm and your eyes aren't on top of your head, so generally your tripod needs to be your full length minus 30cm.  

Center columns shouldn't be used at their full height as the leverage on the neck joint (when fully extended) makes it unstable and prone to vibration. So when calculating the maximum usable height of a tripod with a column, use the halfway point between the height with and without the column. Example Below

Tip - All traveler tripods are too short for people taller than 185cm. You have to decide between bending over a bit, using the full height of the column or carrying around a larger tripod.

Choosing Gitzo

6. Weight Limitations

Gitzo tripods have very conservative weight ratings, so if you stay within the limits you'll be fine. With the Systematics there is no issue as the load rating is 25kg and a gimbal head and D5 with an 800mm isn't even 10kg. 

The 1- and 2-series Travelers have load ratings of 8kg and 10kg respectively, so a pro body with a super telephoto lens starts pushing the limits. We can gladly say that we have plenty of clients who use these kind of setups on their Travelers without any trouble, but please note that this should only be done out of essence. The people who do it either hike in search of birds and thus need to save weight, or they do fly-in safaris where luggage is an issue. If you don't have to save weight or space, super telephoto/gimbal setups should be used on a systematic tripod.

Choosing Gitzo

7. Column or No Column?

Gitzo offer tripods with and without a center column and each design has its pros and cons -

Systematic - A flat apex lowers the tripod's center of gravity by reducing the height of the camera by about 10cm in most models.

Systematic - For ground-level shooting, just flip the legs open and you can get that magical super low shot.

Systematic tripods have a wider foot radius as the legs are mounted further apart at the top.

Systematic - The apex plate can be replaced with a modular leveling base, which is indispensable for video and panorama shooting.

Systematic – The absence of a center column makes it easy to carry in hand as there is space between the legs. This is a highly underrated feature.

Mountaineer + Traveler - A center column offers more extended length without adding to the folded length of the tripod* (*see reversible legs).

Mountaineer + Traveler - A center column allows you to adjust the shooting height with only one joint. Without a center column, you have to adjust three leg joints to change the height.

Conclusion - If you want the very best stability for your camera or you're using heavy setups like a 400mm+ and a gimbal head, you should be looking at the Systematic range. If you want a light and compact tripod for hiking or travelling, you should look at the Traveler range. If you want a center-column in optimal stability and maximum length, look at the Mountaineer options.

Choosing Gitzo

8. Gitzo vs. SIRUI

Is Gitzo worth the price difference?

We believe that it is - Gitzo tripods have a higher standard of what we call manufacturing finesse. It is something that is difficult to communicate online, but if you see and feel the two next to each other, the difference is unmistakable.

That being said, if Gitzo is out of financial reach, then we believe SIRUI to be the next best option on the South African market. Their products are made from excellent materials, the designs are simplistic, the specs are great and very importantly - it is distributed in SA by a fantastic company. That means that if something goes wrong or missing, the problems gets sorted in the blink of an eye.

How did we arrive at these two brands? From years of day-to-day shooting with most of the tripod brands available in SA, by SA's most notable landscape photographers. We know from experience which tripods can endure years of seascape shooting and which are easy to clean and maintain. We also know which brands have overcomplicated designs, are difficult to maintain and are first to break. 

Choosing Gitzo

9. Gitzo vs. RRS

Really Right Stuff is an American tripod manufacturer that makes absolutely zero-compromise tripods.

RRS is an American tripod manufacturer that makes absolutely zero-compromise tripods. Where Gitzo uses a cast magnesium alloy for the apex, RRS use machined aluminium, which is stronger and more expensive. Have we ever seen a broken Gitzo apex? No - so it is difficult to justify the extra expense.

The Gitzo GT3543LS currently sells for R13499, which is already a stretch in South Africa's economic climate and money that very few people are willing to spend on a tripod. RRS's equivalent TVC34L sells for $1160 in the states x R14.5 + 15% VAT = R18000 - R20000 (add about R2000 for shipping) depending on what the rand is doing. Apart from the hefty pricetag, they have declined our offers to sell their product in SA.

We import and sell their leveling bases via another channel as we feel that theirs is far superior to Gitzo's offering and the price is thus justified, whereas it is difficult to justify the price difference between Gitzo and RRS legs.

If you are willing to pay the pricetag for RRS gear, we can import it for you from the USA. Get in touch via the contact page or chat app to find out more. 

Travel Light

LG ambassador Jacques Crafford capturing the Himalayas with his GT1542 Mountaineer. 

Shop the GT1542