How to choose the right tripod
The photo tripod is a clever accessory that optimizes the shooting conditions. offering stability and allowing long exposures and perfect compositions. But there's a flip side to the coin: weight and bulk. If you want to travel freely while doing good photosHere are some tips to follow in order to choose a good camera tripod.
The travel tripod is specifically designed to be able to be transported very easily and allow you to make beautiful photographs at any time. It is therefore important that it is compact and lightweight.
There is a wide range of products with these characteristics, so pay attention to a few details when making your choice. As far as materials are concerned, the most common are steel, plastic, aluminium, aluminium, aluminium, aluminium alloy, aluminium foil, aluminium foil, aluminium foil, aluminium foil, aluminium foil, aluminium foil.aluminium and carbon.
Plastic is light but not very strong, steel is strong but relatively heavy.
Aluminum is strong and cheap, but it's pretty heavy too, Carbon is both strong and light, but it's more expensive than the other three.
Despite its slightly higher price, it is better to opt for a carbon photo tripod, which has the added advantage of better vibration dampening.
Pay attention to height and maximum load
One of the most important criteria when choosing your photo stand is the maximum load it can support. To make sure you're not mistaken, it's best to mount your heaviest lens on your camera body and weigh it all down. For example, if the result is 2 kilos, you will have to make sure that the stand can support this load. However, it is always better to choose a higher maximum load to be absolutely sure to enjoy maximum stability, especially when the shooting conditions are a bit random.
As we have seen, the photo tripods are compact so that they can be easily transported. For this purpose, they often make a concession on the maximum height. In order to make the right choice, one has to pay attention to 4 criteria:
- The size of the product when it is closed, i.e. when the legs and the central column are folded. The smaller the central column, the more compact and easy to transport.
- The minimum height at which the foot can be used. This height is obtained when the feet of the product are spread as far apart as possible in order to bring it as close to the ground as possible.
- The maximum height without column which corresponds to the height of the product when the legs are fully extended and the centre column is retracted. This position provides very good stability.
- The maximum height when the column is unfolded, which generally corresponds to the maximum height of the product. This position is less stable and cannot be used in certain conditions, such as in high winds for example.
The two most important pieces of information to make a photo trip in good conditions are the maximum height without a column (which should be as large as possible for reasons of shooting comfort) and the size when the product is folded (which should be as small as possible for better portability).
Characteristics of the legs
The characteristics of the legs of your foot should also be taken into account when making your choice. Pay attention, for example, to the number of sections (parts that fit into each other) they are made up of. Conventional feet usually have 3 sections. They are affordable and offer good stability. The feet intended for travel have rather 4 or 5 sectionswhich allows them to be more compact when folded. They take a little longer to unfold and set up. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the diameter of the last section is not too small so that the assembly retains sufficient rigidity and strength.
When making your choice, also pay attention to the closing system of the product, which can be either a flap or a screw closure. Although the screw system has been significantly improved and is now tightened in 1/3 of a turn, the flap system allows for a very powerful and tension-adjustable tightening.
Another criterion to be checked on the feet: the skates. Indeed, you will often be confronted with uneven floors and it is therefore important that they are equipped with non-slip pads. Most of the time, these can also be screwed on to reveal a retractable point that will allow the product to hang on loose soil such as earth or gravel. The pads should be reserved for bitumen or rock surfaces.
What type of kneecaps should I choose?
The ball joint is surely the most suitable solution for your foot. It is both compact and versatile and is equipped with a single tightening wheel to adjust the orientation, sometimes two for the panoramic adjustment. The ball head is really the most suitable solution for landscape photography, or even macro photography, this practical and fast system will free you from the limits of other mechanisms, allowing you to concentrate on your creativity !
Finally, you should know that the kneecap can be supplied with your foot or separately, depending on the price of the product. Generally, the more expensive the foot, the less likely it is that the kneecap will be included, although there are some complete kits available.
The question of weight
By definition, during a photo trip, a photographer often has to carry his tripod on his back. It is therefore very important that it be as light as possible. It is generally estimated that it should not exceed 1.7 kilos. Beyond that, it can quickly become heavy.
It should be noted that there are more and more so-called "ultra-light" feet equipped with "joystick" type handles. However, they offer a rather weak tightening and are to be reserved for compact devices and bridges which are really very light.
The little details that can change everything
There are some details that you don't necessarily think about when buying a photo tripod, but they come in handy. For example, some tripods are equipped with a hook under the central column which allows you to hang a ballast to further improve stability when taking a photograph in somewhat tricky conditions.
Other models are equipped with a leg that can be transformed into a monopod in the blink of an eye, so you can choose to take only the latter to lighten your bag.
When the temperatures drop below 0°C, we are quite happy to enjoy one or several non-slip polyurethane foam handle(s) placed on one or both legs of the tripod and allowing a good grip.
Finally, it is important that your foot is supplied with a carrying bag with shoulder strap. This will allow you to store it in any occasion and carry it separately and not necessarily in a photographer's bag.
You now know all the features you need to take into account in order to buy the right product. Whatever your preferences, don't hesitate to compare before finalizing your choice.