Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Tripod

As a photographer, you know that taking great pictures takes more than just a nice camera. Having all the right equipment can really make or break a shoot, especially when it comes to tripods. However, when you’re looking to buy a new tripod, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there. Read on to learn how to choose the perfect tripod for your needs.


Things to Consider when Buying a Tripod

When it comes to choosing the right tripod for the job, it’s important to think about exactly how you’ll be using it. Depending on which setting you’ll be using it in, some factors may be more important than others. First, consider your budget, and then start from there. On the cheaper side, tripods can go for less than £50, and can range to upwards of £1000. While the pricier models may have more bells and whistles, you may not always need the most expensive model to do the job. However, higher price tags do usually correlate with higher quality, so if you want something that will last a long time, it may be worth spending a bit extra.

Don’t forget, you’ll need to be carrying this tripod with you on shoots, so consider how heavy and long it is, and how easy it’ll be to carry with all your other equipment in tow. If you’re shooting in a studio, you may never need to move your tripod more than a few feet, but if you’re shooting outdoors, or traveling to different locations, such as weddings and events, you will want something lightweight and easy to grip. Keep in mind, though, that lighter tripods do tend to have less stability, so it needs to be a balance between ease of transport and stability.

Find a tripod that works with your own height. Even if you’re not tall, sometimes the maximum height on certain tripods can be too low for some people. And if you tend to shoot at low angles, you’ll want one with a sufficient minimum height too, so check out how low it can go. Do note, though, that as you increase the height of your tripod, stability can decrease, especially if your tripod has thin bottom leg sections. You can counteract this by looking for a tripod with more heavy-duty legs.

If you have a local camera shop, it can be a good idea to go in and try out a few different tripods to get a feel for how they work and their ease of use. Being able to assemble and break it down quickly and easily is important too, and contributes to its ability to be transported. Check out the locks on the legs as well. Some locks twist to tighten, while others flip or snap into place. Which works better for you will depend on your preference and what you’re using it for.

If you are able to test out tripods in person, it may be easier to find one that works for you, but if your only option is buying online, be sure to closely compare specs, reviews and prices before making a final decision. In addition, if it’s within your budget, you may want to have multiple tripods for different kinds of shoots (i.e. a lightweight one for traveling or outdoor shooting, and a larger one for in-studio).

When it comes down to it, there are lots of great tripods available on the market. It may seem hard to make a choice at first, by if you keep the above factors in mind, your decision will come naturally.