Leofoto Poseidon LP-324C - Great low-maintenance tripod?
The Leofoto Poseidon series consists of two lightweight carbon fibre tripods. Its blue colour gives it a robust and tough look. Furthermore, this tripod features titanium spike feet, which allow you to place it nice and solid and deep in the sand. How often should I maintain this tripod after a day on the heath or on the beach and in the surf? It's time to feel this king of the sea's trident.
Written by Greg Theurlings
Greg is a Marketing and Communications specialist. In addition to this work, he enjoys teaching and coaching others in the field of photography and photographic design.
Why a Poseidon tripod?
First of all, let me tell you why I was interested in the Leofoto Poseidon LP-324C tripod. In my opinion, a tripod is the most important accessory for the passionate photographer. Especially for those photographers who shoot a lot outdoors. All then benefit from a good tripod. A tripod, if used a lot, does need to be maintained. Especially if you regularly use that tripod in an environment where it is exposed to sand, wind and water.
Shifting sands & the salty sea breeze
Now, for example, I live not too far from the Beekhuizerzand (in the Netherlands) and I can also regularly be found on the Hulsthorsterzand and the surrounding moors between Harderwijk, Ermelo and Nunspeet. The two sand plains the Beekhuizer- and Hulsthorsterzand are locally also called 'the desert'. These are large sand plains where sand and wind have free rein, making them difficult conditions for both camera and tripod.
"How nice it would be if you had to maintain a tripod a little less often."
Moreover, I also enjoy photographing by the sea, regularly immersing the legs of the tripod in the salt water of the North Sea while shooting with somewhat slower shutter speeds. That means I regularly have to take my current tripod completely apart to clean it: disassemble, wash, dry, re-grease and reassemble it completely. This has to be done every time you have been at the beach or in the sand. With a regular tripod, it is then important to make sure everything is thoroughly clean, because even the smallest grain of sand in the screw thread can cause the clasp to jam.
When I heard that Leofoto has a low-maintenance tripod in the form of the Poseidon series, I was immediately interested. Because how nice wouldn't it be if you had to maintain a tripod a little less often when you actually have it with you almost all the time?
Specifications of the Poseidon tripod
The Leofoto Poseidon LP-324C is very similar to Leofoto's Ranger LS-324C tripod and stands its ground alongside tripods from heavyweights Really Right Stuff and Gitzo. This makes it a professional tripod with a very robust design that offers stability under all conditions.
Unlike Leofoto's Ranger Series, the Leofoto LP-324C Poseidon is equipped with a Twist-Lock mechanism with O-rings that reduces the amount of water that can enter the tripod legs. In addition, elements of the tripod that come into contact with water the most are made of titanium. In Ranger tripods, for example, these elements are made of aluminium. The titanium elements are: the seal on the underside of the legs, the thread of the feet and the spikes provided.
The LP-324C tripod consists of 4 sections and reaches a maximum working height of 130 cm without tripod head; and ±140cm including head. Incidentally, the minimum working height is only 16.5 cm, which is super handy if you want to work close to the ground. Furthermore, the specifications of this tripod state that it has a load capacity of 15 kilograms, allowing you to easily and safely place even the heaviest cameras, including mega-telephoto lenses, on this tripod.
Lightweight and durable
Now you might think that these specifications will also add extra weight, or that this tripod would therefore be very heavy. But fortunately, that's not so bad. Clean on the hook, the LP-324C weighs just 1.55 kilos, which is comparable to a good Gitzo of the same calibre.
Speaking of quality tripods, it might also be a good time to mention that the Leofoto LP-324C is made to be durable and robust. For instance, the tripod is made of 10-layer woven carbon, which makes it extra strong. So you will be able to enjoy this tripod for a lifetime.
The Poseidon in practice
The bad weather continues to haunt me everywhere. This means that I was also able to test the Leofoto Poseidon (could it be its name?) properly in the wind and rain several times. Setting up the tripod is quick and easy, and with one hand and one twist you can easily loosen or tighten three leg sections simultaneously. With this, I think it takes less than 20 to 30 seconds at most before you have set up the entire tripod and can start taking your first photo.
"Even in strong winds, I was not worried about the stability of this tripod."
The tripod performs well in the wind and has sufficient rigidity. Even with all the leg sections extended, I did not experience any problems getting sharp images when shooting with long shutter speeds. Even in strong winds, I was not worried about the stability of this tripod.
During the test period, I made few attempts to protect the tripod from wind and weather, and even on the beach and in the dunes, I regularly submerged the legs of the tripod in wet (sea) sand. By the sea, the o-rings and tube plugs on the inside of the leg locks turned out to work fine. The water is held back well, which has the advantage that the tripod dries more quickly and easily.
Of course, I did not otherwise intentionally try to get sand in the locks and I always tightened the legs neatly before putting them in the sand. These are the usual precautions and so I applied them for the Leofoto Poseidon too.
Rinsing off salt residues
As can be expected, salt residue remains on the tripod when you have placed it in the sea. Some (beach) sand also sticks to the legs of the tripod. Despite this, the closure continued to work well and the legs kept sliding well. Also, while testing this tripod, the twist-lock mechanism was not blocked. Sand was thus unable to find its way into the inside of the tripod.
Of course, it is recommended that when exposing a tripod to these conditions you rinse it with clean tap water in the evening and then let it air dry.
Any points of criticism?
As a landscape photographer, you will mainly use the tripod outdoors, which also means that instead of rubber feet, you will mount 'spikes' under your tripod. These spikes are very sharp! So be careful when placing them on a surface that should not scratch. A wooden floor, for instance.
The tripod does not come with rubber covers that you can slide around the spikes during transport. That means you will have to find your own solution for this. I also find the screw hole for the carabiner a bit awkward to reach. And the screw that you have to screw into the tripod tray comes loose (reasonably) easily. If you want to hang it a bit more permanently under the tripod, I think I would recommend dripping one drop of loctite (243/blue) on the screw, so that it cannot simply unscrew itself.
Conclusion: king or dethronement?
While testing this tripod, the sealed leg locks worked well to keep sand and water out. So the Leofoto Poseidon is highly recommended if you shoot a lot in sandy or salty environments because usually rinsing and cleaning is enough. With this, you therefore spend much less time on maintenance.
So using titanium is a good choice to keep the weight down and improve corrosion resistance. I suspect the risk of corrosion on the legs is low. Do bear in mind that Leofoto specifically mentions that the tube plugs, the pins of the base and the threads for the feet are made of titanium. What about the tripod platform, for example, is unknown to me.
- Impressively lightweight.
- Stiff and stable even in fairly high winds.
- Easy to maintain.
- Can be adjusted very low to the ground.
- Good impression of resistance to corrosion.
- Leofoto offers a 10-year warranty.
Less satisfied with:
- Screw securing carabiner.
- Pull tabs to tilt the legs.
- No rubber protective covers for the spikes.
My impression of the Leofoto LP-324C Poseidon is mostly positive. The tripod seems to live up to its claim of being low-maintenance and I have therefore not encountered any problems during use. Of course, the necessary precautions remain in place; either rinse with tap water after use in salty water or sandy areas.