Tripod purchase help

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Jazzer, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    So, I am told if I want to make my photos better, I should buy a tripod :). However, I take a lot of photos while traveling or when I am out for a day away from a car and doing things other than just taking pictures. If I am honest with myself, most of the time I am going to be shooting hand-held and I doubt I am going to take anything with me under these circumstances unless the tripod is very small and light. I will also ultimately buy a "good" tripod for use when size/weight are somewhat less of an issue, but for now I am focused on convenience with reasonable functionality (meaning that having something is better than having nothing and I would not be completely wasting my money and effort), realizing there are going to have to be tradeoffs.

    Any suggestions? What do those of you who don't like to carry tripods use?
  2. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Well, tripods are only necessary for certain photos, such as night or ND. Otherwise, it is better to develop your hand-held technique. Gun-shooting techniques do work with cameras too.

    Because I rarely use a tripod I have an aluminium one which is fairly heavy. I also have a lighter monopod which I have only used once or twice in the year I've had it.
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    It all depends on what you shoot. As for me, I'm a landscape shooter mainly, and I wouldn't know how to shoot a single landscape without a tripod. I use a Sirui T-005X. BEST travel tripod I've ever touched.
  4. Frank Teurlings

    Frank Teurlings TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 10, 2012
    I also use the T-005KX Sirui, handy and yet firmly.
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Well, if composition is your thing then it is really nice to be able to move the camera around before committing to a photo. For daylight photography without light reducing filters, there is absolutely no need for tripods.
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Not true. For any kind of composites it's necessary, just as it is if you want to shot any kind of controlled motion blur.
  7. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Whaa? A tripod necessary? I don't think so. Look at any great photographer with a modern camera to see if there is a tripod involved. (It's not)

    Making composites is cheating for people who need software to make their photos look half decent, anyway. I wouldn't do it if my life depended on it.

    A photo is one moment in time, not two or three augmented with copy and paste.
  8. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Sorry guys. I didn't mean to start a debate (although the perspectives are interesting to me) ;)

    If I'm traveling I often wind up wanting to take all types of photos, from landscape to street to night time long exposure. I haven't really settled into a particular type of photography so it's all a bit of an experiment. A tripod would be very handy if I want to take a night shot or long exposure of a waterfall. I'll take a look at the Sirui. Thanks.
  9. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    Tripods are essentially about image quality...and getting the best image quality from a particular camera/situation. Sometimes a tripod is a great aid to creativity as one can set up the camera for a specific composition and only make incremental adjustments until the compasition is as perfect as possible........

    .........These are the only reasons to use a tripod.

    To optimise image quality one needs to think in terms of how large the finished print will need to be. ALL images eventually arrive at a degree of enlargement where the image quality fails,....ALL images are fundamentally flawed by movements during the exposure time and this can be seen at a certain enlargement. These 'movements' are in the hands of the photographer, the subject, the camera mechanism,..the whole environment......EVERYTHING is actually in motion but we don't normally see or detect it. A tripod defeats just a small part of this and thus improves the sharpness and resolution of the image, which in turn allows a bigger better print than if the camera was handheld. The only other way of defeating movement is to make the exposure time SO brief in duration that as little motion as possible is able to spoil the image,...normally electronic flash is the only method (apart from special high speed cameras)

    Many of the worlds greatest photographers ONLY use tripods, even when using hand cameras.

    Some photographers prefer their images to be purposely 'blurred'....they not only have no value in tripods, they may move the camera during the exposure to increase the softness and effect. Basically;...if you are only shooting snapshots or view the images on screen, then you don't need a tripod. However, a tripod will usually improve a photograqphers work dramatically because it raises it to a higher level.
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I guess I approach taking photographs a little differently, Jaf-Photo. Whatever helps me to create the image I have in my head, I'm for it. If a tripod, or software, or a flash, or timer, or bracketing, or any other tool will help, I'll use it. And I often wander around a scene for a while before extending the legs on my tripod, so I don't think the mere fact that I'm using one restricts my ability to investigate many different options before committing myself.

    As for "cheating," I guess the first question that pops into my head is: Cheating who? I take photos for my own pleasure, not to strictly document some sort of two-dimensional "reality." If compositing many images into one, even images taken years apart, helps me to achieve that, who will suffer? I don't think a good photograph is necessarily made by strictly following "rules", though it's good to at least be aware of them. I like to think of them as guidelines, to be bent whenever I think the end result will bring a payoff.

    As for tripods, I have five now :rolleyes:, but for lightweight travel, I use a Velbon UT-43D II.
  11. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I have a Braun Germany BT1018A which I like (lightweight and small) but I don't use a tripod much
  12. Hypocaffeinic

    Hypocaffeinic TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Qld, Australia
    I have a Manfrotto 732CY +484RC2 ball head, and love it. It's lightweight, compact, can crouch down to around 30cm and still almost too tall for me full extended (I'm 5'7"). Great price too. Actually I weighed it the other day, trying to decide whether to take it to NYC with me or not, and it's just a touch over 1kg / 2.2lb.

    It does lack a hook at the bottom to hang something heavy from, but I've had my D7000 with larger lenses on it in breezy weather and it's never budged; heavy wind however I'd not risk it! I've rigged a strap around the top to hang something heavy beneath it for extra security when leaving the camera out shooting stars at night too and that's worked well.

    Manfrotto 732CY tripod review - Camera Accessory - Trusted Reviews
  13. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    I also use a Sirui but the T-1205X model. Small, light and stable.

  14. Voiceofid

    Voiceofid TalkEmount Rookie

    May 30, 2013
    I had a tripod for a while that was long and I had to grab a separate bag for it. I hated the thing and didn't want to add to my already heavy weight gear (Nikon D40 at the time) I used it less and less and my photos shows it

    After I got the NEX, I went looking for a compact tripod, I definitely found something I now use on a regular basis.

    It's small and compact and I bring it with me everywhere when I take my bag Sony VCT-R100 Lightweight Compact Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head: SONY: Camera & Photo

    Here's a few shots of the tripod and my bag. The bag is a Lowepro Exchange Messenger
  15. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Hi I am looking for a tripod to do a bit of outdoor photoshooting like using larger shutter speeds to make water look more silky or capture people leaving shadows as they walk in the city.
    Currently I have this one:
    but I find that it takes time to be deployed and fast readjusted to new "conditions". Some of the tripods you have already suggested have the same "philosophy" of expanding the legs (open the clam, pull and reclamp) which I think is the more consuming process.

    Do you have also other alternatives in mind for outdoor photoshooting. Any guide also for how to use a tripod outdoor might be inspiring
  16. Jethro10

    Jethro10 TalkEmount Regular

    May 28, 2013
  17. justa

    justa TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 4, 2013
    What about a gorillapod ?
  18. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    I will check I was thinking that something can go up to 1 meter from the ground might be good enough to also help me capture the baby stroller from a distance.
  19. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    I am keep looking for a tripod that can easily fit in a normal backpack it can be raised up to heights 75-100cm and it can hold my nex with the not heaviest lens. Important also is to be easily adjustable the height. Anything on that ?
  20. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Lets keep it civil.

    As to tripods, I am of the hardly use one csmp.