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Author Topic: Snow shoes and tripod spikes, thread size  (Read 4300 times)
Stas Wilf
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« on: October 11, 2011, 07:27:45 AM »
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The winter's on the way, and I'm planning to mount snow shoes onto my old Gitzo. These ones, Giotto FP-3011, seem to be a good choice:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/318627-REG/Giottos_FP3011_FP_3011_Snow_Shoe_with.html

but I can't find any specs on the web. Does anybody know thread size of these shoes? 3/8", most probably, but I want to be sure.

The same question arises with these spikes, made by Induro:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/556241-REG/Induro_490_303_SPFT_1_Stainless_Steel_Spiked.html

Thanks in advance.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 11:24:37 AM »
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Don't know if you're looking for alternative solutions, but I use a trick taught to me by another landscape photographer who's done a lot of winter shooting.

Go buy a 3 pack of tennis balls, cut a small slit in each tennis ball and shove them onto the end of your tripod foot. If you cut the slit the right size they will stay on there quite tight. Works great on snow, is cheap, and is easily removed for when you want to use your tripod for other purposes.
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Stas Wilf
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 04:02:30 PM »
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Thanks for the advice.

I just received the information from Giotto's USA dealer. It's 3/8".
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Stas Wilf
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 03:53:29 AM »
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Sorry for raising this old thread, but this could be interesting for people who want to modify their tripods in order to mount spikes or snow feet on them. The victim is an old Gitzo 1325:



The process is quite simple, described here:

http://staswilf.com/blog/2013/06/10/modding-of-gitzo-1325/
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 10:11:05 AM »
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That's pretty slick.  What would you do in summer when you don't want/need the spikes or snow baskets?  Get some sort of plastic cap to cover the bushings?
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Stas Wilf
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 12:03:17 AM »
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All you need is to unscrew the spikes.

update I mean, the only time I would like to unscrew the spikes is shooting on some delicate floor. Why one would wish to use tripod without spikes en plein air?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 12:06:00 AM by swilf » Logged

RFPhotography
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 07:51:40 AM »
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Spikes don't hold too well on hard, smooth or slippery surfaces like rocks, particularly wet rocks.  Not the best for shooting on concrete or pavement either.  Really any hard surface isn't well suited to spikes.  

I think I'd want something to cover the bushings as well when shooting indoors.  The bare metal could damage many types of floors. 

And the bushings being brass and brass being a soft metal, they could get damaged fairly easily from hard surfaces.
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NancyP
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 10:21:18 AM »
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I don't have this problem, because my Feisol spikes can be covered by moveable (screw-mounted) rubber spike sheath. However, some possibilities include:

large rubber corks with large bore single holes (these I could scrounge from work, as these corks are used in research labs)
hollow rubber balls (easiest)(see above - tennis balls too slippery on bare floors indoors)
rubber tubing slipped over the spikes (probably a real PITA to add and remove)

Remove spike and cover its socket with rubber cane tips from your local medical supply house or pharmacy.
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Glenn NK
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 02:03:57 PM »
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Maybe I've posted this before:

https://www.box.com/s/qyubvu9wmljjlqz6zxox

The bolts are 3/8" diameter, but a 10 mm bolt will also fit (they just happen to be the same).

When I had a machinist do the points on a lathe (could have just cut them off with a hackwaw and ground them), he shortened them much to my chagrin.

I was going to put a large washer with a nut on either side to keep the ends of the legs from going too far into the dirt (it doesn't freeze or snow much here but I'm originally from snow country and a large washer/plate might work in snow).

I looked at the Gitzo spikes but they were far too short to function in soft turf or dirt.  Ideally I'd like to have 125 mm/5" to push into the ground - it rains here all winter so the turf is soft.

I also use the spikes at low tide in the rocks - placing the points into a depression or between two rocks - no slippage.

I use these extensively for outdoor flower macro - when the points are pushed right in, the tripod won't tip over even with the arm fully extended horizontally (Gitzo Explorer + 5DII + EX2 + one tube).

Glenn
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Stas Wilf
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 06:54:14 PM »
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Spikes don't hold too well on hard, smooth or slippery surfaces like rocks, particularly wet rocks.  Not the best for shooting on concrete or pavement either.  Really any hard surface isn't well suited to spikes.  

My experience is completely opposite. Spikes hold better than rubber feet on just about any surface. Including concrete, pavement and iced rocks Smiley
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