Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water
I need a rock solid lightweight tripod that has no issues with having it legs submersed in water. Three leg segements better than four for rigidity. Need the height to be close to five foot extended without use of extended centerpole (centerpole makes it less rigid). Most travel tripods are too short and have 4 segmented legs. My current Manfrotto 3021BPRO is almost perfect except it is a bit short and too heavy. Any thoughts?
#1. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 0dm1dave Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Mon 25-Jun-12 03:34 PM
I would look for a 3 series Gitzo or equivalent. The 3 series with 32mm top leg section can handle most tasks. Use in water in not a problem.
The Feisol CT-3371 has 37mm top leg section (same as Gitzo series 4)
It should be quite stable and is half the price of a Gitzo 3 series.
#3. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 0Tue 26-Jun-12 11:47 AM
Salt water or fresh water?
It can make a difference, especially with regular use in salt water.
I've never had a problem with salt water corrosion but I don't regularly immerse my Gitzo legs in salt. I have seen reports of problems, especially where the user is not careful to fully clean the legs after each use, and that may require some dissassembly and reassembly. IN that case the Ocean series may make more sense.
This is a murky subject and salt water is a nasty thing... it will reduce a battleship to dust given enough time (ask any salt water wreck diver).
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#4. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 3Tue 26-Jun-12 09:12 PM | edited Tue 26-Jun-12 09:16 PM by laddad
** Gitzo sounds like a possibility however what is the difference between Series 0, Series 1, etc.
** Gitzo Systematic vs Mountaineer (don't think Explorer will suit my needs and Traveler to small and not rigid enough)
** Isn't the Ocean Series a Traveler Series redo with corrossion protection? I think too small and maybe not rigid enough for my purposes.
** My project will require the tripod to be in several feet of freshwater.
#5. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 4Tue 26-Jun-12 11:26 PM
>** Gitzo sounds like a possibility however what is the
>difference between Series 0, Series 1, etc.
The series is the leg diameter. I added Gitzo's max focal length recommendation too.
Series 5 - 42mm - 500+mm
Series 4 - 37mm - 400mm
Series 3 - 32mm - 300mm
Series 2 - 28mm - 200mm
Series 1 - 24mm - 135mm
Series 0 - 20mm - ??? (I'd stay away from that)
I generally recommend a Series 2 or 3 up to 200mm, and a Series 3 or greater for over 200mm. I'm a little conservative compared to some (this is along the lines of Gitzo's recommendations, which I believe to be accurate).
If you have not already, download Gitzo's 2009 PDF catalog from their site under the support tab and read the section called "Series Concept". It's a good read and explains all this in greater detail.
>** Gitzo Systematic vs Mountaineer (don't think Explorer will
>suit my needs and Traveler to small and not rigid enough)
Personal choice there...
>** Isn't the Ocean Series a Traveler Series redo with
>corrossion protection? I think too small and maybe not rigid
>enough for my purposes.
What are your purposes ?
I agree that as a Series 1, it is not intended for heavy loads. It is a very specialty tripod.
>** My project will require the tripod to be in several feet of
You should be ok then with a standard Gitzo (you may be ok in any event, with some care). I would still rinse it out well since natural fresh water can contain various minerals that should be flushed out.
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#6. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 5Wed 27-Jun-12 02:37 AM | edited Wed 27-Jun-12 03:09 AM by laddad
My main porpuse is Spherical Panoramics. The special spherical panoramic head weighs close the weight of the camera body itself, maybe a bit less. In this process I rotate the camera & fisheye lens at the Nodal Point (non parallax point) of the lens. Usually 6 images on the horizontal 60 degreees apart then straight up x1 and two images 180 degrees apart facing straight down. The camera & lens needs to be rotated perfectly along the nodal point. A few millimeters off will cause imperfections when merging the 360 degree by 180 degree image. I often shoot HDR and then multiply the number of images by a factor of 3 or 5. Vibration is then an issue.
The off center Gitzo Explorer will be problematic in this process. Since it is off center the tripod footprint will be bigger. Smaller footprint and symmetric is better.
I'm 57 and just had knee surgery and often hike to places that I shoot. Weight of the tripod is a factor when I weigh all the gear. If I'm planning a waterfall series of 360 degree panos. I hike in with hiking boots. In my pack is Water & Snack, Rubber Hip Boots, Camera, Tripod, Spherical Panoramic Head, Two to three lenses, Lightmeter, etc. Hike in, setup, put on hip boots and shoot the waterfall from the stream in front of the waterfall. The tripod will be in water 1/2 to 3 feet deep. Yeh, I'm a bit nutty about this stuff.
Your input has been quite helpful. Thanks to you all.
#7. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 6
#8. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 7ericbowles Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Fri 29-Jun-12 12:52 AM
I agree with Neil. While you might be able to get by with a series 2 tripod, you don't really save much money or weight. The Series 3 clearly covers whatever you will run into with your gear.
I have a pair of series 3 Gitzo tripods. IT's been through everything - fresh water, sand, salt water, alkaline water, etc. There are no issues and no sign of corrosion. With any sand or salt water I simply disassemble the legs and clean them well. With fresh water I just keep the leg locks loose and the legs extended so it can fully dry before storing.
There is a trade off between rock solid and light weight. The Gitzo CF tripods to a very good job at balancing that trade off. You can hang weight off it for more stability. Either way you will be very pleased with how much lighter a Series 3 is compared to an 055 alloy.
The leg diameters Neil posted are for the top leg section. The bottom sections are considerably smaller. If you can avoid extending the bottom section fully, you gain some stability.
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#10. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 6AreBee Registered since 27th Apr 2008Sat 30-Jun-12 03:26 PM
I use a 3-section, Series 3 Gitzo tripod for photography, which includes shooting for stitched panoramas. That tripod is perfectly fine for your stated goals. Having said that, I personally consider that you should be concerned more about your shooting technique than a tripod: with appropriate shooting technique, pretty much any tripod can be used to accurately shoot stitched panoramas.
Why do I stress technique over size of tripod? Because significantly greater care is required to shoot stitched panoramas compared to normal, single image compositions due to the fact that you are moving parts of your setup between trip of the shutter, and each image is reliant on the previous matching it exactly where they overlap.
In my opinion use of a small tripod of reduced stiffness is likely to be a greater issue for normal, single image compositions than for stitched panoramas because in the latter case, in adverse weather conditions you'd have problems blending images in any event due to movement of foliage/water etc, especially in the case of HDR stitched panoramas.
>In my pack is...Two to three lenses...<
Given that you now own a D800, do you really require to carry more than a single lens for your panoramic head?
#11. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 10Sat 30-Jun-12 09:30 PM | edited Sat 30-Jun-12 09:36 PM by laddad
My tripod technique is quite good. I rarely ever have issues with stitching. Stitching is very crtical for 360's. I need a rigid tripod which does not flex or shake but size is also an issue. Spherical panoramas often just "don't look right" unless the camera has a certain degree of elevation. I like the images that are close to eye height or higher. In addition to the fisheye that I use with the spherical panoramic head I often carry other lenses. I carry other lenses because if I'm going to hike several miles to a location to shoot I will probably do more than simply shoot a panorama. For this reason I also carry my ball head, wide and mid-range zooms. My current tripod is "ok" but but I wish it was lighter. Usually on adventures like this I take along my "mule". My son is 6'3" strong as an ox and has better knees than I. He is usually more than willing to help. He makes a great "mule".
Based on the discussion I think I save a bit more and go for a "Series 3" tripod of my liking.
#12. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 11markwatts Nikonian since 16th Nov 2004Sat 30-Jun-12 11:45 PM
I know this is a very Gitzo-centric board. I am no different, I have three of the little beggars. But after buying a 500mm last year I have been thinking about the potential vulnerability of the base plate on my 3530LSV, held only by the clamping friction. I have the Naturescapes plate but I like to use a leveling base. My eventual solution, and it only arrived a couple of days ago, was to buy another tripod. The securing plate is now on the Gitzo.
My new tripod is the Sachtler Speed Lock 75 CF. Admittedly not a cheap option but I am very pleased. I bought a fluid head for video as well but my Gitzo leveling base sits well in the integrated bowl and cannot pull through. So I have a secure head on a very well made, very quick to deploy tripod. I have no plan for extensive side by side testing but it appears to me to be stiffer than the 3 series I have. It will also be very easy to clean.
Downside is that with a spreader bar it will be less flexible to set up on uneven ground and of course cannot be set low to the ground.
I feel it compliments my existing tripods very well.
For your application it may be worthy of consideration.
#13. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 12richardd300 Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 01-Jul-12 01:19 PM
A tip, especially if you are using a carbon fibre tripod, keep it away from the sand and wind combination! I didn't and had to completely strip down a new Giottos 8631B CF and clean it all. Worse than aluminum it can ruin the CF. Luckily I realised what I had done and didn't collapse the tripod before dismantling it. The whole process took me nearly a day to eliminate all the sand. My camera was ok as I had it in a cover, but failed to consider the tripods needs
Just a thought
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#14. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 12Sun 01-Jul-12 03:57 PM
>> I have no plan for extensive side by side testing
That's a shame... I for one would like to see that . I don't see Sachtlers in the field very often. The one or two I have were shooting pro video.
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#15. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 14markwatts Nikonian since 16th Nov 2004Mon 02-Jul-12 01:40 AM
Sorry Life is too short and I am not a great believer in all this finite comparison. In real life the image counts and that is too easily influenced by many other factors which may override any test conclusions.
It hasn't been out of the house yet. I doubt it, but if there are any really striking differences in performance I will report back.
#9. "RE: Needed: Rock solid Carbon Fiber Tripod that likes water" | In response to Reply # 0
My Gitzo Series 3 (literally an older 1348, similar - I think - to a current 3540XLS) has been in water many times, including fresh water (water lily ponds, springtime Merced River), questionable (polluted riversides), salt water (Atlantic/Pacific oceans, obviously just the tide pools) and intense salt water (Mono Lake). I'm pretty careful to clean it out the same evening, though, if the water is any worse than fresh. I forget just when I got it, but other than the scratches from use, I doubt anyone would know that it's been in water even once.
I did have it freeze once - wintertime Merced River, in central Yosemite.
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