Assessment: The Leofoto Poseidon LP-284C Tripod is Mild and Sandproof


Leofoto’s latest tripod, the Poseidon LP-284C, claims to be a light-weight carbon fiber journey tripod that’s each waterproof and sandproof. If true, this would really set it aside and make it an indispensable companion for picture missions in nearly any situation and any location. I put it to the take a look at over the course of two weeks in Iceland, the place it confronted rain, wind, sand, surf, ocean, and even a volcano. Learn on to learn how it fared.

Be aware: I’ve no affiliation with the corporate and bought the tripod with my very own funds

The Good

  • Stiff and steady in average winds (10-20 mph)
  • Impressively light-weight
  • Leg twist locks are efficient at retaining out sand and water
  • Straightforward to rinse clear
  • Adjustable legs let you get very near the bottom
  • Appears more likely to be very immune to corrosion

The Unhealthy

  • Carabiner weight hook permits means an excessive amount of motion in wind and is vulnerable to falling out and getting misplaced
  • Leg hinges might not be protected against sand or salt water
  • Leg adjustment pull tabs didn’t work as anticipated: 2/3 tabs required person to drag and maintain to regulate
  • Not very tall

The Unknown

  • Lengthy-term sturdiness and corrosion-resistance
  • Materials of the leg locks and threads
  • Leofoto guarantee

Preliminary Verdict

Glorious from the primary leg part down: the design of the legs actually does forestall sand and water infiltration into the locking threads and leg inside.

A number of points from the leg pull-tabs and hinges on up. It appears seemingly that if this tripod goes to fail, it might be due to one thing on this area. You’ll be able to decrease the possibility of points by retaining this space free from sand and saltwater. Make sure you rigorously examine all of the elements on this space to verify all of them work as anticipated, because it looks as if there’s inconsistent high quality management.

Good worth for the worth, although you could possibly discover a tripod equally mild and straightforward to wash with flip-locks for much less cash. Although it might be robust to seek out one thing that checks all these bins and is as stiff/steady because the Leofoto.

MeFoto to Leofoto

How all of us really feel after having to totally disassemble, clear, and re-grease a tripod for the third time in as many months

Having not too long ago returned from a go to to the desert and with a visit to Iceland developing, I used to be sick and uninterested in having to consistently disassemble, wash, dry, re-grease, and re-assemble my MeFoto Roadtrip tripod each single time I set it up round sand (and even then nonetheless having sand grains caught within the twist-lock leg threads). I used to be able to get a tripod with flip-locks as an answer, however noticed the brand new Leofoto Poseidon tripod and figured I’d give it a shot. In all equity to MeFoto (now Benro), their customer support was excellent the couple of instances I wanted help or a alternative half, however it appeared like there have been options that provided larger stability, a relatively small and lightweight kind issue, larger resistance to the weather, and aggressive costs.

I hadn’t heard of Leofoto earlier than, however because of The Heart Column and a variety of person stories on-line, I used to be prepared to present it a shot.

Fast Specs

The Leofoto Poseidon LP-284C is similar to their LS-284C mannequin, which as you’ll be able to see from The Heart Column‘s desk, punches above its weight and sits alongside tripods from heavy hitters Actually Proper Stuff and Gitzo.

Listed below are a few of the key specs:

  • Most top: 50.8″ (it doesn’t have a middle column)
  • Minimal top: 6.3″ (it will get actually low, nice for getting up shut along with your foreground or for macro pictures)
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs (together with ball head)
  • Folded size: 21.3″
  • Max capability: 22 lbs
The very low minimal top lets you stand up shut and private along with your foreground and provides extra stability in case your carabiner weight hook fails and vanishes into the void like mine did (learn on for extra on that).

It’s made primarily out of carbon fiber, with titanium spiked toes, tube plugs, and threaded rubber toes. The tripod usually comes kitted with the Leofoto LH-30 ball head, which is made out of coated anodized aluminum. Be aware the ball head is rated to help 13.2 lbs, which is lower than the tripod’s max capability, so watch out should you plan to make use of heavy lenses or different gear on this tripod/ball head combo.

Actual World Testing

I acquired my tripod simply two days earlier than leaving for Iceland, so once I received there it was unused and recent out of the field.

Okay okay, so I took this with my drone not my 70-300mm lens…however it turned out significantly better than the photographs I received with the zoom lens, so…

Zoom zoom

Its first take a look at was on a hill with a slight breeze, trying on the still-erupting Geldingadalir volcano. I had a Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 mounted, and zoomed in all the way in which to 300mm. The tripod was fast to arrange and the legs locked securely, although the ball head did droop barely even after tightening all the way in which. It wasn’t lots and was straightforward to appropriate by aiming the lens barely larger than I wished it, however it was nonetheless noticeable and a minor inconvenience.

Wind and rain

Regardless of it being summer season, unhealthy climate appeared to observe me all over the place I went on the island. This meant I received to check the Poseidon tripod out within the wind and rain early and sometimes. This tripod dealt with the rain with out blinking. The inner o-rings/tube plugs contained in the leg locks labored effectively and saved water from the leg sections that had been prolonged from coming into and made it a lot faster and simpler to dry.

The threaded gap for Leofoto’s carabiner weight hook is barely awkward to entry and was vulnerable to loosening itself and falling out.

The tripod carried out usually effectively within the wind, with one actually massive caveat (hold studying). As famous by The Heart Column of their evaluate of the LS-284C, this tripod is kind of stiff. Even with all 4 leg sections prolonged, I had no drawback getting sharp pictures even in decently windy (10-20 mph) situations and wasn’t too nervous about tripod stability/safety both.

Right here’s the caveat: the wind did decide as much as 30+ mph on fairly just a few events, and that’s once I actually wished a superb ballast weight to assist anchor and safe the tripod. However sadly, that is the place the Poseidon fell very quick. Out of the field, it does embrace a threaded carabiner that may be screwed into the underside of the ball head after awkwardly splaying its legs, however right here’s the factor: it didn’t keep in!

It took lower than a day for my carabiner/screw combo to one way or the other loosen itself sufficient to fall out and disappear with out my noticing. Happily, I had one other one from a special Leofoto tripod, so I screwed that one in and secured it with duck tape. That labored however was a crude and short-term answer that required me to be consistently switching it between tripods. I additionally rapidly found that the considerably distinctive carabiner (somewhat than the extra conventional hook) is a really poor design selection. Not like a hook, the carabiner was linked by way of a steel ring, which lets the carabiner have a full vary of movement. That is the alternative of what you need within the wind, because it lets your weight swing round rather more readily, and it turned an actual drawback with my backpack (my weight) swinging repeatedly into the tripod legs, inflicting vibrations and ruining a number of pictures.

Sand and ocean

Okay, so the carabiner concern is actual and considerably vital, particularly should you’ll be capturing in windy situations. However I might MAYBE overlook that if the tripod lived as much as its daring claims of being water- and sand-proof. I made no try to child the tripod, taking it to a number of seashores, the place the legs and toes have been repeatedly submerged each in dry and moist sand and battered by the surf of the North Atlantic. I didn’t have sufficient freshwater to clean it off with, so I attempted to easily rinse off sand within the ocean earlier than letting it partially air dry and later collapsing the legs.

The Leofoto Poseidon LP-284C tripod chilling and having fun with the clouds and chilly wind by the surf on Reynisfjara Seaside
Who doesn’t get pleasure from sticking their toes into the chilly sand??

It was uncovered to water (ocean and recent) nearly day by day. I didn’t deliberately attempt to get sand caught within the locks and did make sure that to tighten the leg locks earlier than sticking it in sand or ocean water, however past that, I totally uncovered it to the weather to see how it might maintain up over the course of two weeks.

After about one week, there was some salt residue clearly seen on the legs and a few black sand that was increase on the very edges of the leg locks (the place it must be blocked from coming into the threads themselves by the o-ring and sealed locking mechanism). This was roughly anticipated given the situations I used to be exposing it to.

Once I lastly had entry to a sink, I merely unscrewed the leg locks all the way in which and gave the entire tripod a fast rinse (with out disassembling). This appeared to work, although it appeared as if there MAY have been just a few grains of sand that received by means of into the threads based mostly on the texture and faint grinding sound from making an attempt to tighten a few the leg locks.

And that was it! If I had been utilizing my MeFoto Roadtrip tripod, I’m 100% sure that the leg locks can be grinding away with loads of sand infiltration into the threads. I used to be impressed.

After one other week of use on land, mud, sand, river, and ocean, it was not a lot worse for put on save for some scratches across the prime plate and leg angle adjustment pull-tabs.

As soon as I received residence, I gave it a extra thorough rinse (nonetheless with out disassembling all the way in which) and let it air dry. This appeared to take away all of the sand and salt residue, and the leg locks twisted cleanly and easily with none proof of lingering sand grains.

Leg hinges

Nearer inspection revealed that there have been truly a good variety of tiny sand grains that had discovered their means onto the hinge washers. These hinges is usually a main failure level, and actually had failed on my MeFoto tripod, inflicting one leg to randomly detach and fall off. It’s essential to maintain these hinges free from saltwater and sand as the weather can rapidly degrade the hinge grease.

Rinsing didn’t take away all of the sand from the washers, so I didn’t wish to unscrew the hinges to verify for sand infiltration as sand might have turn into launched by me from unscrewing them.

Leofoto makes no point out of if or how the hinges are protected against sand or saltwater on their product web page, so it’s solely potential that the hinges are unprotected. If that’s true, then I might take into account them the weakest and most susceptible factors on the tripod.

Whereas we’re speaking in regards to the leg hinges, it’s value commenting on the pull tabs. In idea, it’s a simple design – you pull the tab out and might then modify the leg angle, with the tab clicking into place at certainly one of a number of locking factors, together with almost horizontal. Nevertheless, 2 of the three pull tabs on my tripod didn’t keep prolonged – I’d pull them out and they might instantly snap again in, so I’d have to drag the tabs out and maintain them whereas additionally pushing the leg out, which was extra awkward and extra bother than it must be. It additionally considerably slowed down the method of adjusting the legs.

Verdict: Value It?

As of the time of posting, the non-waterproof model of this tripod, the LS-284C, value $350, and the Poseidon LP-284C value $50 extra ($400). In case you have been already going to get the LS-284C and suppose you’ll ever wish to shoot in sandy or moist situations, I feel it’s value the additional $50. The tripod is kind of stiff, impressively light-weight, and the sealed leg locks make it potential to make use of in sandy and moist environments and not using a second thought.

In my testing, the sealed leg locks labored effectively to maintain out sand and water. They weren’t 100% excellent, however I might say they saved out 99+% of sand, which is large and shall be a really apparent and tangible enchancment should you’re weary from having to consistently take aside your tripod to wash it out. And cleansing was very fast and straightforward.

One unknown is whether or not any elements will corrode over time. There was no proof of any corrosion within the couple of weeks that I examined it, however that is one thing that might seemingly take longer to look and would severely intervene with the tripod’s correct functioning if it did seem. Using titanium is an efficient option to hold weight down and enhance corrosion resistance, so I think the chance of corrosion (on the legs at the very least) is low. Nevertheless, the one elements that Leofoto particularly calls out as being titanium are the tube plugs, foot spikes, and threads for the rubber toes. What about the remainder of the leg locking mechanism, together with the threads?

The Leofoto Poseidon LP-284C does have vital drawbacks that you need to take into account earlier than shopping for. First, the carabiner ballast is a really poor design selection, permitting your weight to behave like a sail with a full vary of movement within the wind, and, at the very least for my tripod, it couldn’t be totally secured – it might unscrew itself and fall out. That’s not good. After only a week, I gave up on it and deserted making an attempt to have any ballast to crush and safe the tripod. When the wind actually picked up, I retracted the legs and lowered the tripod near the bottom. This works in some conditions, however clearly not all.

Second, the hinges and leg adjustment pull-tabs are a priority. Not solely is it unclear whether or not the hinges have any safety in any respect from sand and saltwater, however the pull tabs themselves appear to undergo from an actual lack of high quality management, with 2/3 of them not capable of operate as meant and requiring me to drag after which maintain every with the intention to modify the legs.

The way in which I consider this tripod is that it’s waterproof and sand-proof beginning with the primary leg part on down. Above that (the pull-tabs, hinges, prime plate, and ball head) there isn’t any indication of being water- or sand-proof, and care must be taken to reduce publicity to those components as they’ll trigger substantial put on and tear, shortening the lifespan of the tripod or requiring extra frequent deep cleans and upkeep.

One remaining consideration is the Leofoto guarantee. Although it’s marketed as coming with a 10-year guarantee, I’d take that with a grain of salt. There’s little information obtainable on-line about the way to get hold of guarantee service and only a few stories of shoppers receiving guarantee service. Leofoto can also be based mostly in China, which signifies that should you do want service, you’d presumably have to ship the tripod there, which might not be low-cost or fast for these of us not based mostly in China. It’s potential Leofoto would cowl the total value of delivery, however at the very least from what I can inform, it’s a big gamble as as to if there’s any substance behind their 10-year guarantee declare.

In case you’re cautious to deal with this tripod and are fortunate sufficient to get one which doesn’t undergo from the standard management points that mine did, this tripod might be a superb worth for the cash. Then again, if you could find a stiff, steady, light-weight tripod with flip-locks (some individuals simply don’t like flip-locks, however I don’t have any actual drawback with them) comprised of high-quality sturdy plastic or corrosion-resistant stainless-steel for beneath $400, that might be very a lot value contemplating, for my part.

Concerning the writer: Dan Mitler is an out of doors photographer and hiker. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. You could find extra of Mitler’s work on his web site and Instagram. This text was additionally revealed right here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here