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I’m pretty sure if the tripod could talk it would say that it hates shooting seascapes with you. Especially when it is exposed to the sea water directly, the legs are oftentimes dipped in water and all the other parts are splashed by the waves from time to time. Why all that is not too entertaining for your tripod? The answer is here:

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Yeah, it looks pretty bad and actually it’s not that easy to fix. To be honest, you should really avoid getting your tripod to this stage, but if you have already done so I’ll try to give you some hints what can be done.

First of all you need a proper screwdriver to disassemble the whole thing. For my Manfrotto tripod this screwdriver does the job:

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These two guys will help too. The first one will deal with some rusty hinges and whatnot, the other one will be used after the cleaning to all the moving parts. You can use whatever lube you can get from your DIY shop.

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While disassembling try not to get too depressed when you see something like that:

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And here’s my tripod (actually only legs) in pieces:

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Nuts and screws require special treatment. Put them with some water mixed with a cheap descaler (for kettles, coffee machines, etc) in a small cup. Leave them for a few minutes (not more – it can cause damage). After that time, all the salt should be gone. If not, try extra few minutes.

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Clean all the leg parts with warm water and soap. Accumulated salt won’t disappear completely and you will need to scratch it manually. Takes some time, but it’s doable. All you need is some piece of plastic that will not scratch the carbon-fiber surface (screwdriver handle in my case). You can cover it with some cloth to be safe. Then start removing salt coating by rubbing it gently. Here’s my before and after:

before_after

After cleaning and assembling all the parts put some lube or grease around the joints so the movement is smooth:

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Here’s the final result:

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As a regular maintenance, it should be enough to clean your tripod with warm water as soon as you get back home from the shooting even if your tripod wasn’t exposed to the salty water or sand directly.

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