Can you recommend a good tripod?
Nothing beats a good tripod. Most people forget about them until they have struggled for a long time. Then they buy a cheap one. Later they have to think again. Well, I suggest you buy a good tripod now and save yourself strife down the line! I have recommend a good buy at the page end.
Why buy a good tripod?
Too many people I have taught and worked with have told me tales of three legged woes. Everyone thinks that to make your DSLR camera stable all you need is three legs. This is simply not true. Quality is just as important. You need a good tripod. Here are some reasons to go for a quality purchase from the start…
|Good Tripod||Cheap and cheerful|
|Solid and stable||Limited by poor engineering|
|Reliable fittings||Fittings regularly break|
|Quality paint||Poor or no paint – highly reflective aluminium|
|Quality footings seal the legs to stop dirt getting in||Legs left unsealed let dirt in and grit quickly wears the joints|
|Strong enough for all DSLRs and a big lens||Wobbly with anything larger than a bridge camera|
|Top platform precisely engineered – no movement and good fitting for the camera||Wobbly platform, poor clip, loose fitting. Screws sometimes damage the camera|
|Quality joints on legs for long life and stable grip||Leg joints quickly wear and become wobbly with poor materials|
|Multiple leg positions to allow adjustment on uneven ground||One leg position|
|Fully adjustable top column to allow multiple positions.||One wobbly top column|
|Legs can be adjusted to many wide angles||One angle for legs|
|Reversible – so you can get your camera near the ground||Not reversible|
|Proper hand grips||No hand grips|
|Interchangeable head fitting||No head fitting – or low quality flip up quick release|
There are other reasons to buy a good tripod, but you get the idea. Nearly every aspect of camera stability is reduced to keep the price down. I am not one to advocate gear lust or spending money where it is not worth it. However, I have come across each of the design and quality flaws above. From personal choice and experience it’s clear only the best is good enough when making your camera stable.
While a quality tripod is great, you normally need to buy a good head too. Cheap tripods usually without them, or have poor quality ones. A good tripod head is an investment for life. Inter-changeable heads are very useful. I have five heads for different purposes: for macro work; small cameras; panoramas; and one for precise adjustment. My most versatile head I use every day for general purpose work. The Manfrotto 322RC2 Heavy Duty Grip Ball Head is precise robust, reliable, versatile and has never let me down.
So which tripod do you recommend?
This is a robust, and well designed unit with strong legs. It comes as a legs and platform – ready for your inter-changeable head. The black paint is hard wearing and will not create odd light effects. The two comfortable hand grips are essential in cold weather. The legs and centre column are adaptable to a wide range of angles and heights.
Comments, additions, amendments or ideas on this article? Contact Us
or why not leave a comment at the bottom of the page…
Like this article? Don’t miss the next — sign up for tips by email.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.