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Old January 24th, 2014, 02:14 PM   #1
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Protection for Tripods in the sand

We have a beach wedding coming up. The last time I did a wedding on the beach it took me weeks to get the sand out of everything. We shoot with multiple cameras and always have 2 or 3 on tripods. Does anyone have any ideas how to protect the legs of my tripods? I was thinking of making something out of plywood to set underneath them but it would be nice to find something that would be more light weight. Any ideas??
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Old January 24th, 2014, 03:46 PM   #2
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

Tennis balls cut open to fit on the feet of your legs. Depending on the design of the feet and the hole in the ball, the rubber may hold the ball on quite ruggedly.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

plastic bags and rubber bands?
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Old January 24th, 2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

The plastic bag idea sounds good, assuming thick bags and no spikes on the feet.

But I get dirt and sand on my tripod legs all the time. I just hose it off when I get home.

1/ Don't put the tripod away until it's dried properly.
2/ Don't hose the head unless it's one that's completely sealed.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 07:27 PM   #5
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

Rubber balloons.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 09:16 PM   #6
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

Hi Zelle,

You may find plumbers end caps to be useful. They are cheap and robust and come in range of sizes. I sometimes use them under a very low tripod for a different reason. When using a close up lens the focus range is very much reduced (maybe an inch or two) and if I set the tripod legs on the caps I can slide the camera easily and get into the focus range. However if the sand is very soft I fit an insert to the cap that has a recess in the centre that stops the camera from sliding.

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Old January 25th, 2014, 05:47 AM   #7
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

Wow thanks for all the great ideas! I really appreciate everyone's help.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #8
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

To all...I have to agree with the OP, very interesting discussion.

I particularly like the 'Tennis Ball' idea and I will probably go out and see how it works. The more 'elegant' fix of the PVC End-Caps is also very interesting and I like the idea of being able to 'slide' on rugs or other material, rather than having to pick-up and move.

The 'Tennis Ball' fix would appear to be perfect for my venerable old Gitzo G1325 Mk. 2.

The last time I used a tripod on the beach, in the sand, was during the last Super Moon. I was doing a 'test-run' at Jetty Park, Cocoa Beach the night before the 'official' full Moon. In this case, I left the 'little red feet' on my Sachtler 4588, 75 CF sticks which I felt helped distribute the load of the camera very well.

Obviously, there was no PTZ required for this image capture, strictly locked down and as luck would have it, the 'test-run' turned out better than the actual event. Location, location, location!

Best regards,

J.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 04:03 PM   #9
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelle Olson View Post
Wow thanks for all the great ideas! I really appreciate everyone's help.
Get a Shop Vac with a lot of horsepower, with the narrow attachment, and an old toothbrush to make sure you get all the sand that slips by the "protection."

Also, if you have rain gear for your camera, you might want to use it even if it's not raining to protect your cameras from the salt spray on a windy day.

I used to fish and scuba dive here in Florida before getting into video and photography. All that gear needed to be cleaned thoroughly after use too, or you were inviting trouble. Everything from running the outboard motor in freshwater after saltwater use to cleaning the regulator and inspecting the O rings for your scuba gear. Also the strong UV light at the beach is hard on many plastics and rubber like materials. Time spent maintaining your gear extends the useful life.

I make it a point to do the cleaning no later than the next morning when returning from the beach, or dusty field for outdoor trade shows, sporting events etc.

Really, just spend the time to thoroughly clean your gear.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 06:17 PM   #10
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

I have been shooting surfing video for over 3 decades and my trusty WOODEN tripod has never failed me. It has been dragged around the sand, rocks and salt water for all those years without any love and affection, apart from a hose down with fresh water, and it is still going strong.

(Thank you Mr Miller, a new tripod would be nice). :)

Steve.
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Old January 26th, 2014, 02:18 PM   #11
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Re: Protection for Tripods in the sand

Steve Elgar...you reminded me, during my foray into Medium-Format stills photography, I owned, for a short time, a wooden tripod (a Ries I believe).
I purchased it because it was a sturdy platform and it had a certain 'je ne sais quoi'. Besides, I love wood! However, I soon discovered I didn't like humping it up and down the Appalachian Mountains and sold it for my old standby Gitzo G1325 Mk. 2 Carbon-Fiber sticks, which I still have.

Other than the weight penalty, wooden tripods are still a valid option and are beautiful to the eye. Ironically, wooden tripods are cheaper than most of the good C-F sticks available today.


Best regards,

J.
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