If you’ve made up your mind to purchase your first tripod, congratulations on moving a step up in the world of photography! You now understand the importance of tripods; how they help in reducing shake, composing complicated shots and clicking in despicable light conditions. But, ultimately, how do you make the right choice? There’s so much to be considered!
For starters, consider this a thumb rule – don’t buy a cheap tripod that crumbles within months. When it comes to buying photography gear, you need durability and portability more than anything else. That said, here go a few things to keep in mind before buying your first tripod:
So, here’s what a tripod comprises of – legs, head, centerpost, and feet. The legs of durable tripods are usually made out of aluminium or carbon fiber. The head, on the other hand, is the part that holds the camera or a lens. Look for sturdiness in terms of outdoor use, and pick the one that you find the most durable.
It’s simple, really. If you want to carry a tripod everywhere, you can’t be bogged down by its heavy weight. An easy way to calculate how much weight your tripod can sustain is to multiply the cumulative weight of your camera and your biggest lens with 2. There will be times when you might want to rest your hand on the tripod or apply pressure on the camera. The last thing you want in that case is for your tripod to tremble.
Unless you’re okay with bending all the time, it’s recommended that you buy a tripod that is the same height as you. This way, you’ll feel more comfortable while clicking photos. You can always adjust the height for slightly lower shots, but it’s always better to buy a tripod with more room for extension, no?
4. Tripod head
The most significant part of a tripod, ball head is responsible for holding your camera and controlling its movement. There are three types of tripod heads:
Pan tilt – Allows both horizontal and vertical movement
Ball head – Only allows tightening or loosening the grip
Gimbal head – A specialised head for long and heavy lenses. Can be used in all directions. Ideal for fast-action photography.
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is consider heavy tripods to be stable. This is not the case as your tripod is not only supposed to withstand the harsh slaps of wind, but also tackle unexpected bumps and knocks. Place your camera and the heaviest lens you’ve got on the tripod to ensure that it doesn’t tilt in any direction.