When the photograph takes more than 1/60s to capture, there is a greater chance of it being blurred.
To avoid this, we want to keep the camera as still as possible. Tripods fulfil this purpose.
A tripod gives the flexibility to use slower shutter speeds without introducing camera shake.
A tripod also removes flexibility due to the efforts involved in carrying and using it.
You will need three things; the tripod legs, the tripod head and an L-bracket for your camera.
We recommend getting two tripods. This is to avoid the compromise between stability and portability.
1. Tall and sturdy – This is the tripod to keep in the car. It ensures that you get the maximum support.
2. Small and light – When travelling, smaller tripods are preferable. They’re less stable, so technique matters more.
Carbon-fibre is preferable for both though some photographers favour wood for the larger tripod.
1. The Tall and Sturdy Tripod – Gitzo Series 4 6X Giant Tripod
2. The Small and Light Tripod – Gitzo Series 1 6X Ocean Traveller Tripod
The next step is getting a head for the tripod. This gives the camera its range of movement.
For most purposes, a ballhead is ideal.
For video, you may consider a pan/tilt head.
For photographing movement with long lenses, you’ll want a gimbal head.
Ballhead – Markins M10
Pan/Tilt – Berlebach Model 650
Gimbal – Wimberley Mk2
Getting the camera on and off the tripod should be fast and easy. Quick release systems achieve this.
Your tripod head will probably match an Arca-Swiss style quick-release plate. These are the top standard.
The appropriate Kirk L-bracket for your camera model.
A good monopod is incredibly useful. It is essentially just a retractable stick.
There are obvious benefits of legally carrying such an instrument in dangerous environments.
It can be used to hoist the camera aloft in a crowd or otherwise find unreachable viewpoints.
It will be lighter and more portable than a tripod so is more likely to be with you.
Gitzo Series 5 Traveller
- Use a cable-release or the camera’s self-timer to avoid moving the camera
- Use the Mirror lock up function to reduce vibrations
- Hang your bag on the tripod, making sure it doesn’t move in the wind
- Check that the ground under the tripod’s feet is sturdy; entrench the legs slightly if necessary.