If you’re a photographer, you know how essential a tripod is – but whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, the process of buying these gadgets isn’t always cut and dry.
As a novice photographer, a basic tripod will probably do the trick. But someone who takes photos for a living will need to understand components and how to choose the perfect model.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Tripod
You may think purchasing a tripod is as straightforward as picking out a model within your price range – but there are actually a number of details to consider.
Here are those details:
1. Weight Limit
- Some camera models are too heavy for certain tripods to support, so ensure that it can handle the weight of your camera before you buy.
- Usually, it can handle 1.5 or 2x the maximum equipment weight is the smart choice.
- A higher weight rating can handle heavier lenses. If it has a low weight rating, it might work at first but will eventually fail.
2. Maximum Tripod Height
- The perfect tripod should match your eye level. You don’t want to consistently double over to look in the viewfinder.
- It’s smarter to get a tall one than a short one, because a tall tripod can always be adjusted shorter – but a short one can only go so high.
3. Leg Sections
- If you plan on traveling, it will benefit you to have a tripod with a greater number of leg sections. This makes it more compact and easier to cart around.
- There are two common types of leg lock parts – twist-lock and flip-lock. Twist-locks are quicker than flip-locks, because one twist can unlock an entire section instead of having to unlock the parts one by one.
- If you pick out a tripod that’s too heavy, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to take it anywhere. If it is light enough, it will be comfortable to carry and you’ll get plenty of use from it.
- Carbon fiber is a great material choice. Even though it’s more expensive than aluminum, it’s tougher and will last much longer.
Choosing the Right Tripod
There are many parts of it that should be taken into consideration when making this important purchase. Keep these details at the forefront of your mind as you’re searching and you’re sure to find the right tripod.