Tripods...Useful or Too Heavy to Carry?

posted on 28th of may, 2013

Many of you already know that in order to capture tack sharp images either with a macro lens or a telephoto, you must use a sturdy tripod.

Additionally, using a shutter release and changing the setting within your camera to keep the mirror up, will all help assure the sharpest images possible with your own specific set-up.

I believe we have all been guilty that we just want to go out and snap some images and not wanting to lug around a heavy tripod, I have been there. Later, i have regretted not having it with me.

There are ways around this by shooting at the highest frame rate possible with your camera and allowing your camera to auto-focus. Shooting at a faster shutter speeds helps as well but is not always possible. Hopefully, out of the 20-30 images shot in rapid succession, you have one or two comparable to a tripod mounted image.

This image was shot with an 85 mm macro lens (or Micro as Nikon likes to call it) on a tripod with a shutter release cable, hope you all like it.


Comments (16)

Posted by Matthiase on June 20, 2013
My Manfroto isn't that heavy. Its all aluminium, but still rock steady. Since i've bought it, i have used for ALL images lately. Makes me shoot, when i don't have to worry about motionblur and shakey images anymore.
Posted by Martingraf on June 02, 2013
I also did the mistake with having no tripod with me and still sometimes do - I reckon half of my nature or landscape shots are with tripod - for me it's not only because of the shake - if you want to make a good composition you want to make sure that everything is right - the horizon aligned etc.
Posted by Angelaostafichuk on June 01, 2013
I'm a travel photographer and I always carry a tripod, a Manfroto in my backpack. I agree it's a little heavy for me as I am only 5 feet and 100 pounds, but i think it's a necessity and at times a great weapon.
Excellent picture.
Posted by Imagerybycharly on June 01, 2013
Tepestz, it was actually me who mentioned the backpack and mine's a Tamarac also. I love it! Tried other smaller ones and didn't find any I really liked, so whether I'm taking all my equipment or just some of it, I use the Tamarac. ;)
Posted by Tempestz on May 31, 2013
Thank you for all the great comments. I actually have a few really light tripods that I should try. I agree with you Egomezta that a backpack for your camera equipment is important and purchased a tamarac pack for this purpose many years ago. It's great but I find that I need a smaller one at times so i do not have to bring all my gear (i.e. instead bring only a couple of lenses and a flash).
Posted by Imagerybycharly on May 29, 2013
Egomezta Besides the tripod/head, the next best investment I made was in a sling-back/backpack for camera equipment. It has sections for everything, including a laptop and even has a place on the outside for the tripod to be securely placed and I carry all my equip. at about 12-15 lbs very comfortably. With my laptop it weighs in right at 20 lbs. which I carry on flights, so no chances of theft/loss.

Posted by Egomezta on May 29, 2013
It all depends on what are you shooting, I usually don't carry it because it's too much stuff cameras, lenses, etc. I know sometimes I have regret don't having a tripod with me.
Posted by BCritchley on May 29, 2013
If I'm going out to shoot long exposures I take my tripod, if I'm not I don't. I know I can hold my camera still and understand my limitations and at what speeds to stay above without the risk of camera shake. I certainly do not let the camera choose any setting, manual all the way and have total control of the shot. I see hundreds of shots a day where it appears the user has used auto settings and the shutter speed is below 1/200 sec and in tonnes more cases than not the shot is out of focus and gets rejected. The best advice I could recommend is to shoot manual and get to know how your aperture, shutter speed and ISO all work together and if your shooting freehand and your shutter speed falls below 1/200 sec then your going to have to work a lot harder to get your image in focus.
Posted by Imagerybycharly on May 29, 2013
Before going to Italy to drive around for a month, I purchased a fairly expensive carbon fiber tripod and head. Total weight about 6 lbs or so and I was thankful I did that many times walking up and down steep hills. ;) Back home I go nowhere without it!
Posted by Mike2focus on May 29, 2013
I never leave home without my tripod when going on photo excursions. I've hiked miles through the mountains in north Georgia with it and was so glad I went to the trouble. There are times when you just gotta have it! I even use it under perfect conditions when I think I don't need it, because it just works better than hand-holding for sharper images.
Posted by Nikon4004 on May 29, 2013
I take a tripod when I KNOW I'm goting too shoot a longer exposute or macro, but at other times, I use a monopod for stability. Not a good as a tripod but it helps.
Posted by Suyerry on May 29, 2013
I have two tripods also, one light, and one heavy...I find myself using the light one most of the time because it will slide down into one corner of my backpack. This also helps to not forget to take it with me, like I have done so many times before. Very Useful. :)
Posted by Teeimagination on May 29, 2013
I was back and forth about this as well, but I have now 2 tripods. One really light one (also very cheap) and then a more sturdy one.

I bring the light tripod with me when I am out in nature or hikes and I have a camera backpack where I can easily place the tripod (it has its own spot), so it light to carry and I am VERY HAPPY I brought it because when you get thoses times where you could use it- its extremely frustrating getting blurry images.

It really works out well and again its a chaper tripod (only $15) but well worth it for those longer hikes.
Posted by Melonstone on May 29, 2013
Yep, a real conundrum - the tripod is useful but for me it's too heavy to carry for miles......if I take it, I don't use it enough to justify the carrying but if I don't take it there's always a point where I think "I wish I'd brought my tripod."

I've found that if I haven't got my tripod but want to get a sharper image using the 2 second timer helps prevent shake when the shutter is released, especially if you breath in & hold when pressing the shutter button.
Posted by Kezza53 on May 29, 2013
A beautiful image....and I totally agree, a tripod is very useful :)
Posted by Igordabari on May 28, 2013
The image is awesome. And tripod is, for sure, very useful (though heavy to carry :-) ).

Comments (16)

This article has been read 1420 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Tempestz.

About me

I have been taking pictures in some capacity since 1985. What first started as a hobby has progressed into a passion for photography. Many of the pictures I take invoke an emotion in me that i hope translates to those that look at my images.

confidential info

May (1)

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles


More favorite articles

Related image searches

Tripod Macro photography

Photography related stock images