I work for a company that produces oil painting reproductions and am quite new to the discipline. The Art Director here is very cheap and it shows through the equipment I'm using here (think 10+ old equipment that was still 50$ back then). As I got deeper into my research into high quality oil painting photos, the gear I use is not doing it. I can deal with all of the cheap equipment I use except this shaky tripod. I can't breathe around it without a blurry photo.

I'm looking for a sturdy tripod to use. As sturdy as possible. I've been looking at the Manfrotto MK290XTA3 as I think this is the most expensive my director will go and I have experience using Manfrotto products.

Any advice is much appreciated. This tripod is vital to improving our product!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your link is dead or at least blocked in the U.S. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Relevant: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/24257/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ How are you mounting the paintings? Flat on a table? Or on a wall or other vertical surface? High end art reproduction is typically done lying flat with the camera pointing straight down. You don't need a tripod for that, you need a copy stand. Even the frame of an old enlarger, which can be found dirt cheap right now, can be adapted to be used as a copy stand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ What are you putting on the tripod? The weight of your equipment determines to a large extent how sturdy the tripod needs to be. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kahovius
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Michael C - I mount the painting on an easel and match the angle with a level to ensure a straight shot. The tripod is on a concrete floot. I'd have to look further into copy stands and retooling our 'studio' for straight down shooting. But for simplicity sake, I'd like to stick to a tripod. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


That is a better than average tripod! Standard and sturdy absolutely enough for settling a DSLR with the most focal lens. I use it every day with an equipped 420 tripod head, with a 24-105mm and a 135TS with a large scale expansion tube. It works incredible for all my item photography in my home studio.

On ordinary occasions, when I'm working in our organization's studio, I use FOBA and different other gigantic, overwhelming, and costly studio camera stands.

The main thing that bugs me about the 290 arrangement legs, following 3 months of day by day use for item photography, is the gradualness of evolving tallness. There are 6 flippers and one handle to manage while changing the stature, and the most noteworthy it can get with the camera on it is about my eye level of 6 feet off the ground.

If you can persuade your boss to spend somewhat more, this tripod would be the best approach, as I would see it. It can get taller than the 290, is heavier/increasingly steady, the leg tallness can be balanced with a springloaded tab on the middle section, which itself has an equipped wrench to modify the stature with exactness.


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