Almost in all of my posts, I have mentioned that taking care of your tripod is essential for its prolonged usage. Caring does not only mean protecting your tripods from accidental bumps or hits. You have to have a good quality tripod case so that your tripod remains protected from dirt and dust particles. There are lots of options in the market but we will discuss some of the best ones.
Keep reading because, in this post, I’ll be talking about the different tripod carrying cases and how you can maintain your tripod so that it remains functional for years to come.
Maintenance of Your Tripod
Maintenance of one’s gear is a very important thing for a photographer. Because the equipment doesn’t come cheap you cannot afford to not take care of it unless, of course, you are a billionaire! See tripods are meant to last a lifetime, the only condition is that you need to invest some time in it’s cleaning and in making sure that the parts work well after each shoot. Let me tell you some things which I do to keep my tripod working.
First of all, if you are shooting in a not so ideal environment like near beaches, underwater, in the wild, etc you have to clean the tripod immediately after the shoot. This is important because the dirt or sand fills in the joints which make it all gritty and loosens up the locks. Also, if you are shooting in ocean water, I highly recommend giving your tripod a good treatment because the salt water is very gross stuff. You don’t want it to sit in your aluminum or carbon fiber tubes.
What I like to do is drain all the water from the tubes of the tripod before packing up the shoot. Next, give it a good wipe with fresh water and keep it for the rest of the trip. When I am back home, I like to wipe all the sections with rubbing alcohol. All the sand, salt and dirt needs to be removed. The final step is to let it cook in the sun for a good 6 hours. Make sure there is absolutely no moisture in between the tubes and the locks. Also, once in a while you might wanna use some grease to lubricate the locks and sections.
Even if you shoot in a studio or don’t go out much with your tripod, I would still recommend cleaning it once in a while because dust settles in the hardest to reach places which reduces the lifetime of your tripod. Now that you know how to maintain your tripod, let’s look at some of the tripod bags which in my opinion are essential for your tripods protection.
Manfrotto is the leading maker of tripod bags in the market. Their range of tripod bags is suited to carry tripods of all sizes. The MB MBAG75PN can accommodate tripods which are up to 75cm in length (including the ball heads). They are primarily made for the newest Manfrotto 190Go! series of tripods. The tripod themselves are quite good. The bag is well padded on all sides and can be used to carry two tripods at once.PROS
Sufficient Padding | Comes in 3 sizes 75cm, 90cm, 100cm | Good Built Quality | Water Resistant | Designed in Italy
The zippers are quite flimsy | Expensive
My Rating: 4/5 Check Price on Amazon
As it is clear from the image that the tripod is asymmetrical which allows you to fit the legs comfortably. They say it’s made from some kind of ballistic nylon which is supposed to be very tough and non-abrasive. It has a good adjustable nylon strap which makes it easier to carry.
This tripod bag offers everything that the Manfrotto does but at a lesser price. It is one of those products which offer the best value for money. The bag is well padded on all sides and is made of good quality nylon. Carrying strap is strongly attached to the bag and is adjustable. 35″ (90cm) is a decent length and can fit most of the tripods.PROS
Spacious | Well Padded | High-Quality Nylon | Dust and Water Resistant | Extra Side Pocket | Comfortable Handle | Value for Money
My Rating: 4/5 Check Price on Amazon
The bag has a big side pocket which is great for carrying batteries, cables, lens caps, etc. Also, it has enough room to store even another small tripod and with the padded handle, it becomes easy to carry around while traveling.
SLIK has always been an excellent option for the beginners and this bag is no exception. Though they say it’s for professionals, I highly doubt it. The case doesn’t have much padding and personally, I felt the built quality of Neewer was better. It doesn’t have a lot of space (23″ length) for your tripod which can be an issue for bulkier tripods. The other variant from SLIK has side storage which can easily carry all the nifty QR plates, batteries, etc. This one doesn’t!PROS
Good zipper | Plastic ID Window | Adjustable Shoulder Strap | Cheap
No Padding | Cheap built quality
My Rating: 3/5 Check Price on Amazon
The case comes in three sizes so check the length of your tripod before buying. There is not much to talk about it cause it’s a very basic bag. I wouldn’t recommend it much unless you are on a budget and really just need to carry around the tripod.
This bag is not just for tripods. It has a lot of space to accommodate your entire studio. Light stands, booms, tripods, heads, umbrellas everything can be fitted inside this one huge bag. The dimensions are 41″x10″x10″. The compartments are padded and a small external pouch holds all the itty bitty things. The case is made of good quality nylon and is waterproof.PROS
Extra Space | Padded Compartments | Water Proof | Professional looks | 1 Year Warranty | Value for Money
The zipper may break off easily
My Rating: 3.5/5 Check Price on Amazon
The bag has double zippers and adjustable straps to carry around. It is not just for one tripod but for the entire setup. At about $40, it is the best you can get along with 1-year warranty.
To care for a tripod is not a very tedious job. Seldom, one needs to wipe and grease the tripod. I know people who use simple petroleum jelly which gets the job done, others use the lithium grease available at hardware stores. Well, there isn’t any harm in doing so, but there other options too. Let’s look at some of them
GITZO TRIPOD GREASEThe tripod maker Gitzo is known for its top of the class products. Needless to say, they are very expensive so it makes sense to keep the tripod in tip-top condition. Gitzo offers the tripod grease which must be applied to the locks and joints after a good wash with soap or alcohol. The grease makes sure that the joints and sections are well lubricated for the smooth functioning of the tripod.
An air rocket is used to blow off sand and dirt from hard to reach places like in between the chassis, near the head, leg joints, etc. Air rocket is a rubber balloon attached to a small pencil-like structure. You can use it to clean the camera’s sensor and blow the dust off the lens too.
Use these to wipe down the length of the tripod with rubbing alcohol or lens cleaning liquid. Microfiber cloth is recommended so that there aren’t any scratches on the tripod.
I’m sure that by now you must have realized that keeping the tripod in good health is something which shouldn’t be neglected. Tripods must always be kept in a tripod carrying case when not in use. If you had to take one thing from this article, it should be – Never let moisture sit inside your tripod for too long! If you keep following this golden rule, you won’t feel the need to change gear often.
I hope this article was educative for everyone. Let me know what do you do to keep your gear in good condition. Also, if you have any questions leave them below in the comments section and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.