Author Topic: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water  (Read 337 times)

Ilkka Nissilä

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Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« on: February 08, 2019, 12:25:16 »
I would like to ask for a tripod recommendation for landscape photography with the following requirements:
  • focal lengths mostly with wide angle but up to 70-200/2.8 (+ 2X occasionally)
  • legs are frequently exposed to ocean water and very cold weather (down to -30C) and should continue to function
  • should be about 140-150 cm tall when fully extended without center column
  • should collapse in such a way that is easy to carry when climbing in rough terrain, and not mind being knocked about from time to time

I personally use Gitzo CF legs but this question is for a friend who frequently gets her tripod malfunctioning most likely due to the rough environment. The Gitzo legs would otherwise work but if the leg locks get wet then one can usually expect that the locks will freeze and may require cleanup later.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 12:39:22 »
I would like to add that if there has to be a compromise then probably the tripod height can be a little lower.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 12:41:52 »
One of the carbon Sachtlers comes to mind. They don't mind water much.

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 13:15:26 »
http://linhof.com/doppelprofilstativ/

This Linhof fulfils all your requirements for the field and studio. A friend of mine who originally recommended it to me travelled with it through the most adverse conditions, standing in the middle of a stream in the mountains e.g

there is a version with and a version without air damping.

you can also buy these used, they are in the market for decades and there is a version in army green too.
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Birna Rørslett

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 14:50:58 »
Here are a bunch of tripods that *can* be put under water, but most if not all of them suffer greatly. Any tripod with twist-lock or similar on the legs will stick or bind afterwards and water can be trapped inside as well. Corrosion might be an issue if you put the 'pod in salt water.

Thus single-leg 'pods are not really suitable for this usage. That would include Benro, Gitzo, Induro and a raft of similar models. They may be perfect for other uses, though.


Birna Rørslett

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 14:55:04 »
However, my various Sacthlers have been submerged many times and don't care too much.

A former male version of yours truly, using a Sachtler DA75L. These days I prefer the all-carbon versions.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 15:19:05 »
A TV colleague neatly submerging her Sachtler ENG 2CF with fluid head. These tripods stand up to abuse.

arthurking83

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 15:26:26 »
I could suggest the Manfrotto Neotech.(458B)
Personally I would never recommend Manfrotto tripods(just too weak, and legs(locks/sliding) that don't hold up to use in salt water.
But I can recommend the NeoTech for use in any water environment. Reason is simple, it's environmentally sealed. It has to be due to it's use of hydraulics to maintain height.
They are a very unstable tripod when compared to a mid-high end Gitzo .. let alone what a Sachtlers is capable of.

But(again) for an up to 200mm solution, in reasonable light .. it would work.
Have a look at their operational type.
What I liked initially was the supremely quick setup time. Fully setup in the time it takes to set up just the one leg of a traditional tripod.
And as said, the legs use a hydraulic system, to open just pull the leg(s) and it's set. To retract, push a button and close leg.

The only downside to the hydraulics is that each upper leg is very lightly covered with a very fine layer of greasy oil. It's only apparent after a lot of use.
If you use it a few times a day, I'd say maybe in two weeks, you'd notice that your hands had this layer of oil and it got onto some of your other gear.
It's a gradual process .. not a problem on a per day basis.
So my process once I realised the issue was that at least every so often I use a disposable cloth to wipe the legs down a little to minimise the overall buildup.

As said, downside is not an overly stable tripod, haven't yet tried it with my Sigma 150-600 to see if it's too unstable for it, but have used my non VC Tamron 70-200/2.8 on it with good results from the lens.
Other downside is weight .. very heavy for what it is. You expect that tho considering hydraulic operation.
Also the top plate and centre column are quite mediocre in quality. Haven't had an issue, but I expect one to surface one day.
Once upon a time, I searched for a more stable, and less plasticky feeling top plate replacement for them(such as the Markins Gitzo replacement) .. but no luck.

Also not cheap for it's stability capability either .. but the added cost is offset more so for the ease of setup/packup time saved .. and I guess because it's totally impervious to the environment!

I'm not a regular beach goer here(in Australia .. surrounded my 10's of thousands of klms of beach! .. I hate the stuff.
But those rare occasions I have gone, I'd say maybe 3 times with my older manfrottos .. sand and salt build up ruined the leg locks .. so I have a total lack of trust of them.
But this neotech one is a lot different.
Arthur

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2019, 16:01:18 »
If it is intended to be used in rough and cold conditions she might consider a wooden tripod like a Berlebach. No fancy leg locks to jam or aluminum to corrode, and the wood can withstand heavy blows which could damage CF. Plus you can burn it if you are in dire circumstances:-)

It may be a bit heavier than CF, so that may argue against it.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 17:03:44 »
I used a Berlebach wood monopod for a while, and that contraption certainly didn't like being immersed in water. The material twisted a lot due to it absorbing water.

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 17:45:39 »
I used a Berlebach wood monopod for a while, and that contraption certainly didn't like being immersed in water. The material twisted a lot due to it absorbing water.

Probably should make them out of spruce instead of ash.

Akira

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 17:46:02 »
I could suggest the Manfrotto Neotech.(458B)
Personally I would never recommend Manfrotto tripods(just too weak, and legs(locks/sliding) that don't hold up to use in salt water.
But I can recommend the NeoTech for use in any water environment. Reason is simple, it's environmentally sealed. It has to be due to it's use of hydraulics to maintain height.

Arthur, I checked out the 458B on the web catalog.  According to that, it is water sealed only within 18 inches from the bottom of the leg (only at the joint between the lowest and the second sections).

Also, any elaborate construction could be too delicate for Ilkka's requirement here.
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arthurking83

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2019, 23:04:56 »
Arthur, I checked out the 458B on the web catalog.  According to that, it is water sealed only within 18 inches from the bottom of the leg (only at the joint between the lowest and the second sections).

....

Seemingly. And I dare say marked as such to help them avoid warranty claims.
I've had mine now for a good 12 years, been underwater many times with zero issues. No corrosion, no leaks, no water trapped.
One possible way to cause issues to any of the legs tho could be that if a leg was extended while the sliding joint was fully immersed. Can't say I remember if I've ever done that tho.
My primary setup technique: fully extended before entering water, and close to the required level whilst in there.

Leg construction itself is as solid as any. Couldn't estimate how much force is required to compress the leg without the use of it's close button, but it'd be immense.
Leg could bend if treated brutally tho, so care would be required there. I'd say that if such brutal treatment of a leg were to result in it bending even just a small amount, it'd be pretty much totalled tho.

But as I said earlier .. the top plate/leg junction area does feel a lot less solid that the likes of Gitzo/Benro type solid constructions.
It's a multi piece design, and I haven't yet figured out a way to dismantle it either. It is metal, but it feels plasticky .. and cheap.
But in saying that, it's survived the rigours of my car for over a decade!
That may not sound like a rigorous environment, but when 4WDing .. it's not as cushy as your normal car environment!
Arthur

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Tripod for landscape photography with exposure to water
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2019, 18:02:51 »
Thanks for all your suggestions.