Weatherproofing Camera Tripods
Earlier, Empire23 came up with a simple method to weatherproof camera lenses. Now he has a guide on weatherproofing your trusty tripod. This guide is based on a Gitzo tripod with ALR and G-Lock collars, but the same principles apply to other tripods.
Of course, tripods are far more rugged than camera lenses, but they can get damaged from exposure to salt water or sand. Salt water can corrode the screw threads which are made of aluminum, while sand can wear away the threads. In addition, as your tripod ages, the grease dries out, which may cause unwanted wear and tear. Therefore, it is always a good idea to re-grease your tripod even if you do not expose it to hostile environments.
you need for this mini-project are :
- A piece of microfibre cloth (like ScotchBrite microfibre cloth)
- DuPont Krytox 105GPL (this is like liquid PTFE)
- Grease solvent
For those who never heard of Krytox, it is a perfluoropolyether (PFPE) polymer. This grease version is a mix of PFPE and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The GPL version provides anti-rust protection at ambient temperatures and corrosion protection at high temperatures. You can use lithium grease, but Empire23 prefers Krytox due to its long-lasting action.
Before we start though, we must remind you that this is an experimental weatherproofing method. We are only posting this article to document Empire23's experiments in weatherproofing his photography gear. With that in mind, let's see what Empire23 did to weatherproof his Gitzo tripod!
- Prepare the tripod by giving it a good cleaning first. Use a separate cloth to wipe dry the tripod. Do not use the same cloth to apply the Krytox grease. Then unscrew the locking joints of the tripod legs. Many other tripods use quick-lock mechanisms, which you can easily unlock by flicking them open.
|This is what you need.||Unscrew or unlock the leg joints.|
- Now, extend the legs out. Remove it completely if possible. The Gitzo tripod's locking joint mechanism has the advantage of allowing you to pull the legs all the way out. Tripods using quick-lock mechanisms cannot do so.
|Pull the leg all the way out until you see the white plastic brackets.||Remove the plastic leg brackets, noting their position|
- You will notice a white plastic bracket after removing the tripod leg. Pull it out too.
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