tripod for the beach

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by ymc226, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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  2. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Get a cheap chinese ballhead for the beach; probably $50ish on ebay. I've got a "fancier" branded one I use for 4x5 and smaller sometimes.

    The other option is a simple tripod with integrated head like the tiltall. That's what I use most of the time and just hose it off when I'm done if it's been exposed to salt water.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    There have been long threads on this topic (tho it may have been on the LF forum). From what I remembered from the thread(s), no one claimed to had has ever experienced a "malfunction" due to wind-blown sand in a ballhead. A cheap head might be good insurance, though. Pan/tilt heads has three areas to get sand into. A ballhead has one or two. I think it would probably be more of a factor of how you like to handle the Hassey on a pod. If you are use to a ballhead, you might want to follow the suggestion above and find an inexpensive ballhead (I like them for my Rolleiflex).

    Not head-related, but I always extend the bottom legs of my pod 1/2 to all the way out as soon as I approach sand. Less sand in the leg joints that way as it keeps them up away from the sand.

    Vaughn
     
  4. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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    That's a good point. Thanks.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Use a one gallon baggie over your head :smile: just poke the screw through the bag and access it through the open bottom.
     
  6. JOSarff

    JOSarff Member

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    I use plastic lids from coffee cans to keep the legs from sinking into the sand.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    If you are anticipating blown sand, you should also anticipate it will enter the camera. Not "if" but "when". A tripod is relatively benign to sand, save for problems with scratching in the ballhead caused by particles of dirt which, if not removed, will score the friction assembly, sometimes severely enough to be very annoying. Essentially, the only option to avoid this is to not photograph on beaches on windy days, nor lie the tripod down on the sand or anywhere close to it. I speak from several decades experience that has taught me to protect the ballhead when not in use, not so much when in use, and avoid shooting in an environment that will raise the potential for short and long-term damage.

    After exposure to salt water, wash down the tripod with a hose, then go over nuts and bolts with hot soapy water. If the salt water residue isn't removed, it will certainly corrode nuts, bolts, springs, clips etc.

    Manfrotto makes sand/snow shoes that fit to the base of not only its own tripods, but many others. They work exceptionally well.
     
  8. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Even if the sand does not get the camera, the salt in the air will attack it, especially any aluminum. Electrolysis vs rust with steel. Also, lens damage and salt buildup in gears and shafts. Get an waterproof enclosure or a waterproofed camera. It will help but not prevent the salt intrusion so plan on washing the camera out. Or. get a Nikonas. For MF, there was an underwater case for the Rolleiflex.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I remember once shooting on a beach with blowing sand for the better part of a day and finding I was removing sand from my tripod (Feisol CF), head (small Gitzo fluid head), and camera (I was shooting video) for weeks.

    I think a wooden tripod might not be a bad idea for the beach on such days.
     
  10. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Related and somewaht limiting, I put my tripod legs in pvc pipe which has caps on the end of it to keep sand and water off the legs. Tape at the top of the pipe. Bill Barber
     
  11. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    I'm not sure if they are still made but my Cullman tripod has legs that have the largest section at the bottom with a closed end. This stops any sand or mud getting into the sliding sections as the lowest joint is 3 feet from the ground.
     
  12. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    What a *fantastic* idea!!!! The PVC wouldn't have to be the perfect length, just long enough to cover the lengths to the section junctions. A plastic bag or similar could be rubber-banded to the tripod legs over the top of the PVC to keep water out from splash....

    The inside "edge" at the PVC cutoff could easily be rounded/smoothed to eliminate abrasion on the expensive tripod legs...
     
  13. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Using my 3211W at the beach now.

    :smile:


    Mike
     
  14. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    A wooden tripod like Berlebach perhaps?
     
  15. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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  16. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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  17. smiling gecko

    smiling gecko Member

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    great idea...

    ...about using pvc pipe w!end caps. i will give that a try.

    breathe, relax and enjoy.
    sg, aka smiling gecko, aka kenneth
     
  18. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    That PVC idea will be perfect. So many times I hate bringing a tripod because I hate cleaning mud and crap off of it......not any more!! Great idea!!

    Bob E.
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I wouldn't take a Hasselblad if I owned one anywhere near a beach or a decant tripod, this is inviting disaster, what is called in boxing terms "leading with your chin", I have an old folding Ensign Selfix M/F camera that I use for this purpose. :smile:
     
  20. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I did consider the Ocean but it is a Series 1 and as such, not heavy enough to support the Hasselblad along with a 60-120 zoom and not "wobble" in potential windy conditions.

    I ended up getting a Gitzo Systematic 3 carbon fiber tripod along with it's matching ballhead and center column.

    http://www.gitzo.co.uk/product/72038.71837.72020.0.0/GT3531S/_/Series_3_6X_Systematic_3-section_Tripod

    http://www.gitzo.co.uk/product/72038.71852.82454.0.0/GH5380S/_/Series_5_Systematic_Ball_Head

    The PVC tubing is a great idea. I'm thinking of way to slip them on but still have the legs easily adjustable without the tubes falling off. Let me know if there are any good ideas out there.

    Maybe having the tubes a foot long while having the thinnest portion of the legs extended will allow the middle section to be adjusted without too much fumbling.
     
  21. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    My Gitzo Studex Perfomance has done a lot of beach time since I bought it in 1983. I use a Gitzo ball head now, not sure the model. Plenty big for my Rolleiflex that has also seen a lot of beach time. It is pretty much always windy in Oregon on the coast.
    The good thing about a Gitzo is that it can be completely taken apart and cleaned and oiled. I have done that twice in my life.
    Dennis