Buying a tripod

posted on 3rd of august, 2007

A couple days ago I decided to buy a tripod. I found out a couple important things to have I mind when buying a tripod. But first: Why a tripod?
If you don’t have a tripod, perhaps you have encountered following problems: shooting sharp images in poor light, making sharp HDR images, successful use of low shutter speed etc. There you have some reasons for purchasing a tripod. Your macro shots can also improve if you use a steady tripod.
There are a lot of different tripods to choose from and the prices vary. I’ll concentrate on usual tripods (there are pro studio tripods as well).
Five important things to have in mind:
•Weight – a heavy tripod won’t be easy to carry around
•Stretchable legs – how low can you set the camera on the tripod
•Head – detachable or non-detachable
•Height – how high can you set the camera
•Maximal load – buy a tripod after the weight of you equipment
The cheaper tripods are often heavy and the legs can’t stretch to 180 degrees. They usually lack a detachable head. The height and maximal load vary. If you are prepared to buy the more expensive models you will get better weight (carbon-made tripods weigh less), more stretchable legs (180 degrees) and a detachable head (you can switch the heads). Nowadays many manufacturers produce tripods with spirit levels. This is not so important unless you shoot on plane surface.

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Photo credits: David Lloyd, Iofoto.

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