Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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42

A tripod is really two pieces -- the tripod itself, and the head that the camera connects to and lets you aim the camera. They need to be considered separately. The tripod's purpose is to be a rigid platform -- but portable. you end up having to make a series of compromises around cost, weight and rigidity (choose two....). Cheapest is steel, generally ...


41

If it's a crowded, public place - it's often perceived as a tripping hazard by many a security guard, possibly even a weapon. Its also possible that if its photographing public art, they don't want you to "steal" it. There are times were it makes sense to try to get permission if you need to a long exposure. Depending on the person, they may ask you to ...


37

Your last sentence pretty much describes what you need to consider with tripod heads: what and how do you like to shoot. As geared and gimbal heads are specialized, it's really between the pan-tilt and ball heads. Many start with pan/tilts due to relatively low costs, but will find themselves switching to the ball head for ease of use, and sturdier head ...


36

The Gorillapod range are quite portable tripods, with the added benefit of 'attach anywhere' - at least places you won't get a conventional tripod!


28

You can use a monopod as a lighter, but still sturdy alternative. Small legs for the point at the bottom can serve to help steady you, although it's no replacement for a proper tripod. GorillaPods are an option, as mentioned by others. I actually like to use a beanbag when I'm tight for space; it turns almost any surface into a usable camera mount.


26

The mountain and the valley obviously are static -- even more from that distance. The clouds, however, move. If you chose a low ISO value, e.g., in the range of 50 to 100, the exposure time might be enough to get washy/faded/blurred clouds. If I calculated it correctly, an ISO value of 100 with the other settings (exluding shutter speed) staying the same ...


25

There is a rule in photography: If you can use a tripod, do it. OK, I just made it up but let me tell you why it is a good idea: Stability: No matter how fast your shutter-speed is going to be, a good tripod can do better. There is a rule-of-thumb that says you need a certain shutter-speed (1/focal-length) get a sharp enough image but it does not ...


24

There are a number of good reasons for a center column. The first, and most obvious is that even if you've chosen a tripod that's sized for comfortable eye-level use without the center column extended, every once in a while you'll want some additional height, and on those occasions, the extra height may be worth the penalty you'll pay in stability. In this ...


23

The traditional cheap solution is a bag of beans.


21

I have also run in to this problem a couple of times, again security guards asking me to clear the tripod away when no signage indicated they were not permitted. In both situations I complied as requested and then went home and followed up by finding the management of the establishment online and emailing them to ask why. In both circumstances they ...


20

portability access to places that don't allow it weight (when hiking) mobility in wildlife photography and other similar feats, a monopod is often good enough for long lenses in sports, racing, birding, it can be easier to follow the action utility (as a walking stick) takes the weight off of big lenses (especially when the shutter speed needed is ...


18

My answer is that no, I cannot recommend an under-$30 tripod. The point of a tripod is to provide camera stabilization in order to improve image quality and the super-cheap tripods don't reliably provide this function. Tripods which are that cheap are going to seriously compromise on materials and the tradeoff will be a lack of stability and a lack of ...


18

Yes. The tripod thread is standard: 1/4-20, which means ¼", with 20 threads per inch. This is specified by ISO 1222:2010. I'm not willing to pay the $57 for my own copy, but I'm kind of curious, as wikipedia says that the current standard also allows 3/8-16 — apparently that's an older mostly-European standard. This is probably old-hat to aficionados of ...


17

Several people have mentioned beanbags and such which are nice, if you want to spend a few bucks on a dedicated solution based on the beanbag concept then check out The Pod series of "beanbags with camera mounts". I have been using one for a few years and they are great and don't take up much room.


17

You can fake the tripod with few metres of string. Instructions here.


17

Carbon fiber can take quite a hell of a beating, both in terms of environment (water, sand, snow) and temperature. I've heard a lot of people discussing or complaining about how carbon fiber is susceptible to extreme cold, however I think most of it is hearsay and speculation. There are only a couple times when I've read something regarding carbon fiber ...


16

There are several factors to consider, and their relative importance will depend on what you intend to use it for, but they are: Weight If you're going to be carrying your tripod long distances for landscape photography, you don't want something too heavy. Maximum Load Tripods are rated for a maximum load -- if you have an interest in nature photography, ...


16

In addition to @Itai's answer, I'd like to add, if you don't want to spend 1200$ on a tripod just to protect it from sands, you can use a little care, or on extreme situations, alternative DIY methods. I also wrecked a tripod (not totally wrecked, but the sands kind of jammed the levers on the legs) by using it near a beach on a windy day. The next time I ...


14

The rule of thumb is you can hand hold a 50mm lens at 1/50th second, or a 100mm at 1/100th second and have reasonable lack of camera shake. VR extends that a few stops. So it depends on the amount of light. In bright sunlight, at f/16 and a 35mm lens, you wouldn't need a tripod or VR. In low light, VR won't be enough, you'll need a tripod In between ...


13

An alternative tripod that may serve your needs is the TrekPod. It might be the closest thing you are going to get from a weight perspective, but it has an interesting capability that may make its weight a moot point. The TrekPod XL weighs 630g (including the ball head), and is a cross between a tripod and a monopod. It can get up to 62" in height, but ...


13

There are lightweight tripods. I recently purchased a Gitzo Mountaineer GT0541 tripod. Its fairly expensive at $500, but it only weighs 1.7lbs, or 780g. I know its not quite 500g, but still very light weight as far as tripods go...one of the lightest weight tripods I could find. I think Gitzo only makes one tripod that is just a tad lighter at 720g, but it ...


13

Firstly I notice your aperture is set at 1.8. This will make DOF very narrow, making focusing very difficult. Also your camera is very good at higher iso, so try using 1600 / 3200 initially. Try setting the following. Use auto focus to focus on something with a defined edge (the tops of the trees?), then switch to manual to keep the focus. Use a higher ...


13

The only options are: Buy a better tripod/head with significant over-provisioning. (i.e. if your camera were to weigh 2kg, don't get a head for say up to 3kg but up to 10kg.) Shield the camera from the wind. (Anything that keeps the wind from hiting the camera - something along the lines of the "tents" people use at beaches.) Use a weight below the tripod ...


12

Perhaps not applicable in all scenarios, but taking sequences of photos as the maximum speed possible in your camera (say around 5 or so frames) can act as a "stabilizer". Out of such a series, one frame tends to be pretty sharp, even at rather slow shutter speeds.


12

I belive that tripods in general are understood as a sign that you take photography seriously, especially in museums and culturally important places, where tripod-equipped (=professional) photographers may be considered a threat to the ability of institutions to sell postcards. (Or by stealing the soul of art they possess.) And of course you have to bear in ...


12

You might want to consider a lens support device like the Manfrotto 293. This is my camera with a 300mm F4.5 prime on it. The device is currently in the shortest position so it could be extended to support longer lenses. I use the device for when I do piggyback astrophotos.


12

Tripod selection comes down to a few different compromises. What is more important to you, the cost, tripod weight, or the stability of the tripod? It is a set of trade offs and you have to choose what is most important to you, or decide that you won't get the best of all three. General Considerations Stability/Capacity - Are you shooting with a small ...


12

No. Tripod sensing is based on vibration measurements. While it might seem logical that a camera could sense if something is attached to the tripod socket, they do not do that. The reason you state is enough since quick release plates often stay attached. Other accessories attach to the tripod socket such as flash brackets, camera slings, etc and would ...


11

No is the answer to the headline question: A tripod gives you stability. As long as it is sturdy and triggered remotely, so that you do not shake the tripod, you are extremely likely to get the shot without blur. A high shutter-speed increases your chances of not moving during the exposure because you have less time to shake during 1/1000s than during ...


11

In addition to MikeW's answer, I would suggest a few other benefits that tripods provide for landscape photography. Often with landscape photography there is the desire to compose an image exactly and then wait for the light to be "right". With a tripod it's possible to set up in advance, and then wait for the sun to rise or set or for that shaft of light ...



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