Waterproof Tripod: What am I missing here?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Aushiker, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Aushiker

    Aushiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Fremantle, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    I recently received an email from Mainline Photographics promoting a deal on a waterproof Sirui W-1204 tripod and the description of the tripod as being waterproof intrigued me.

    Is this really a notable feature of a modern tripod? Does one really need a waterproof tripod to "protect the legs from water damage"?

    To be honest it never occurred to me to consider waterproofness as a feature worth considering in respect to tripods but then maybe I should ...
  2. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    Does it keep water out of the leg tubes maybe?? In any case my old not waterproof gitzo continues to function just fine.
  3. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Well made tripods should be able to have legs submerged and be fine after some thorough cleaning. I guess it's a matter of how much effort said cleaning ends up being.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I have a non weatherproofed Sirui and recently got it wet on a beach. I found that sand had got into much of the leg internals and of course a lot of salt water. A good dismantle and wash in clean water sorted it.
  6. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2015
    My main tripod costs about 300$ (Benro Carbon).
    And I've got a 50$ tripod.
    I would never put my main tripod into either salt or freshwater, it's just to expensive to toss around not caring (IMO).
    If I had a waterproof tripod I would be more careless.
  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Not real sure what the advantage is other then maybe making cleaning a bit easier. When I use my tripod (not much use since getting my skimmer pod) I just shove it into the swamp. When I get home it gets rinsed off and if needed a little bit lube to make the legs slide easier. Most tripods are aluminum or carbon fiber so not much worry about rust but they can get oxidation and stuff if not cared for. Not sure I would pay $750 just to get one that is waterproof tho.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    It recently gave me pause when I stuck the legs of my tripod into a pond, but then I realized that it only cost me $65, and what is the worst that could happen? I plan to be even more callous about using it in the future.

    Even if it happened to have some water trapped and some aluminum corrosion (or rust on the threads of the foot), it's hard to imagine it actually impacting its usability in any real way.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    If memory serves, the issue is that water can get into the legs and reduce the holding strength of the screw/lever locks. Unless you are using your tripod at it's maximum capacity, i doubt it matters much.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    Same construction as my Gitzo with the reversed leg sections. It's a double-edged sword. I can set it up in a foot of mud, no problem except that the joints face upward and don't shed rain and debris... 6 of one half dozen of another. In any event I don't worry about it. It does the job.
  11. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2015
    In worst case scenario it's not that difficult to make 3 "condoms", and drag them over the legs (tripod legs) if you need to put it down in water.
    Easy and cheap.
  12. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Real Name:
  13. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Veteran

    May 15, 2016
    I have an old Manfrotto 190 that is now 30 years old and it has seen a lot of use in deep water during caving trips.
    The only modification I made to allow for the water was aluminium pointed feet for gripping rocks etc and these had to have holes through them to let the water out when you retract the legs.

    Had to clean the mud off, now salt water would require more cleaning.

  14. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I love that he is standing in the water with tripods. The only thing I disagree with is using WD40, that stuff will collect dust and dirt. There are much better lubricants to use on your tripod. I use what ever is the current lube I am using for my bike chains.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    I've got a knockoff carbon fiber travel tripod I've used for hiking. I've used it to help be wade streams, out on the beach and all other sorts of shenanigans. It even fell into a creek. It was just fine. Ball head ended up trashed though.