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After nearly 7 years of constant abuse, my manfrotto 055 tripod is on it's last legs (pun intended) constant immersion in salt water, and no (minimal) cleaning its no real surprise.
After the hols I will be looking at a carbon fibre version. My options are another 055 (this time Carbon Fibre) or one of the following:
Does anyone have any other suggestions?
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After two sets of giottos killed by saltwater in less than 5 years i would not recommend them !
I cant remember the number but I bought the Gitzo basalt tripod a few years back when I wanted something sturdy for wildlife.
I have since used this tripod for everything including salt water immersion
What I like about it, is that it comes apart completely - so you can clean it thoroughly after whatever you put it through.
I would imagine all the Gitzo's do this, which might be why they cost a bit more.
I went through 2 CF manfroto tripods in 3 years - giving the same sort of abuse you outline. The alloy lugs just dissolve after used in saltwater. I opted to move to cheaper alloy models...
Thanks for the comments.
Interesting... I have an 055 but I don't use it in seawater.
However, may I ask... these timelines mentioned - do they include rinsing the tripod with fresh water afterwards or not?
Hi Dann, as I said in my intro, I haven't looked after the tripod well - Its been rinced properly once in 7 years (when the clips all but seized up) !! I know how I should look after it, but TBH it just lives in the boot of my car. As much as I'd like to say it will be different with a new tripod, I know in reality it won't. For it to last 7 years has been remarkable (and I dare say it will see me through to the new year).
The reason I'm thinking of going carbon fibre - well the rest of my kit has mirrored its owner and increased in weight in the interveining years, so I want to save on weight somewhere.
I have a Giotto MTL 8360 carbon fibre tripod. The amount of weight it saves over the aluminium is minimal, not worth paying for in my opinion.
I bought carbon fibre because I wanted it that day and that was the one they had in stock. Comparing it later to the aluminium, as I say, no point in spending the extra money. But, if money is no object, every little helps.
I bought into the whole carbon fibre tripods when they were first released and have had three since then...all manfrotto and all with perished metal fittings.
I now use the new Giotto alloy ones and its true that you really don't notice the weight saving, they last longer and a lightweight tripod is actually a bit like a chocolate fire guard.
The light weight doesn't really matter for me since I hang my camera bag on the hook under the centre column.
I suggest you buy the carbon fibre equivalent of what you have now, you have obviously been happy with it and it's functions have worked as they should. I also used to have a large trusty aluminium manfrotto tripod rolling about in the boot 30 years ago but since taking up landscape photography 3 years ago i had to go for a light carbon fibre and was lucky to find a Gitzo 2540 explorer with gitzo roll head for £280 on ebay. I always put the camera on the tripod at the car then walk for miles with it tucked under my arm, the engineering of the tripod is amazing and locks up tight every time, but times have changed and maybe all carbon fibre tripods are very good it's just that i was lucky to get the Gitzo and never shopped around or tried out any other brands. I often wonder what i would do if i lost my Gitzo and i feel as though i would bite the bullet and buy the same but only after trying out other carbon fibre tripods at the not so local camera store.
Its worth remembering that a lot of the weight in a tripod is actually in the head. I was really quite surprised when I got my 1st CF tripod to feel how heavy it was when complete with a ball head.
Try before you buy...
Quote: Its worth remembering that a lot of the weight in a tripod is actually in the head
One of the benefits, reduction in weight, I found when switching over to Arca Swiss heads ( P0 & D4M models )
Salt water will most certainly wreck any tripod eventually and that includes even the very best quality Gitzo models. It's important to rinse the tripod off after each immersion in salt water and periodically dismantle, clean and re-grease the tripod if you want a long and trouble free life from it. The Gitzo tripods are easy to maintain in this regard.
Personally I wouldn't want to wreck an expensive carbon fibre model and would probably use a cheap secondhand Benbo Mk I if immersion in salt water is going to be a regular thing.
Thanks for that Nick (been busy and away from the 'puter) - appreciate the comprehensive reply.
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