Tripod Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdechavez, May 6, 2008.

  1. pdechavez macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #1
    In digital photography when using a DSLR camera, is the type of tripod an issue? I have a tripod which is very lightweigt and has a balance indicator liquid thingy with the bubble. SO yea, my question is, Heavy tripods? lightweight tripods? $100 vs $20 tripods? i mean, they hold and keep ther cam steady right?
     
  2. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #2
    I'm with you on that, I paid £35 (about $70) for mine and was about the cheapest that the camera shop sold. So as long as it keeps the camera steady then I'm pretty happy.
     
  3. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #3
    yeah, i was checking out other tripods made of carbon fiber and heavy duty aluminum, different heads, better grips on the floor...i guess more expensive tripods tend to hold cameras in place more than cheaper ones...well, thats my guess.
     
  4. sonor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    As a general rule almost all photos can be improved by using a tripod.

    Which kind is best? Weight is not really a factor. But quality is. If you get a $20 tripod then you have to worry if the camera is not going to fall to the ground when you walk away. For $100 you begin to get into the better quality tripod legs. The better tripods are truely lifetime investments.

    But in the end simply having one is so much beter then not having one that if you can't afford the best it is worth buying used.

    With tripods there are three qualityies you like to have:
    1. light weight
    2. sturdy and rigid
    3. low price
    but you can only have two of these, you pick
     
  6. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #6
    Very good advice, just gotta quote it! thank you very much guys!
     
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #7
    You can spend a lot of $$ on a tripod (and some people will suggest that you do...), but, for me, the best tripod is the one you actually use... rather than leave at home, or in the car, 'cos it's too much of a hassle to carry it. I have a small, lightweight, Slik tripod, which straps neatly onto the front of my camera bag, so, as a landscape photographer, it goes where I go. It really 'frees up' my photography, to know I can use any combination of apertures and shutter speeds...
     
  8. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #8
    While I agree with much of your advice - I'll take slight exception to the above comment.

    Weight is a very important factor in two, mutually opposing, regards.

    First, more weight = greater stability. The lighter the tripod, the greater it's propensity to react to ground shake (foot traffic, cars, whatever) or wind, or even camera shake form the mirror reflex.

    Second, less weight = easier to lug around.

    A tripod is the single best way for a photographer to reduce or eliminate blur caused by camera movement. I would argue that the photographer intending to buy a tripod should get the best, heaviest one that he/she can afford - and can feel comfortable lugging around.

    I have two tripods. One very lightweight that collapses quite small. Good for sticking in a bag when we're walking around. Because of it's light weight it is not the most stable, but it works and is easy. The other is a high end, heavier, tripod that I carry only when taking my camera backpack and know that I am going to need it. Again - it is not the heaviest on the market because I have to carry it in a pack - but it is relatively heavy and keeps the camera still in all manner of circumstances.

    Two other great ways of reducing / eliminating blur due to shake:
    - Remote shutter release.
    - A camera that allows you to lift the mirror before shutter release.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    You are right. I wrote to quickly. What I meant was that weight is not a good predictor of quality. There are light weight tripods that are very good and light weight tripods that are just "cheap".

    All things being equal lighter weight is better but you pay a premium for a quality built light weight triop. Look at the price of a carbon fiber Gitzo.

    If you have a light weight tripod and you want to make it more stable a good tip is to hang some weight from it. You can us a rock in a bag, a water jug or whatever. The weight makes it a lot more stable
     
  10. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #10
    That is great advice - I hope the OP and others read it. IF I were to get a new tripod, I would get a high quality, lighter weight one, with a center column and hook to hang the added weight. Bogen have some fiber ones that weigh about 4 pounds - but cost over $300! One of these days ....
     
  11. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #11
    I first started off with a very inexpensive and lightweight tripod. It really didn't hold up to the everyday use that I put it through. I use a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod now which has held up much better than my cheapie tripod that I did use. Then again, I'm pretty serious about my photography as well. I would say that if you don't want to break the bank, go with an inexpensive tripod. Particularly if you just doing casual shooting and are not lugging through Yosemite or anywhere. But if you want to spend money on a good, quality tripod, I would look at Manfrotto or Gitzo tripods. There are different pricepoints for these tripods - it all depends on your intended use of the tripod. You can browse their inventory via www.bhphotovideo.com or other photo retailers.
     
  12. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #12
    You discover very quickly you get what you paid for once you try using those cheap tripods in the telephoto range, or for macro.

    There's a reason the wildlife photogs shooting at the long end (400-600+ mm) spend $1000 or so on a good Gitzo tripod and Wimberly head. Even at 300mm you need good quality. Macros photography will also reveal the disadvantages of a cheap tripod and/or head.

    I spent around $400+ for a Manfrotto alum tripod and Induro ball head. It's OK, but I rarely use a tripod since I mostly do motorsports, not to mention it's too fricken heavy and bulky. Have even thought about selling it. Occasionally I'll use a monopod, but am usually too lazy to carry it with me around a race track.
     

Share This Page