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.

Tripod Choice

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.

We recommend;

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

Tripod Heads

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.

We recommend;

Ballhead – Markins M10

Pan/Tilt – Berlebach Model 650

Gimbal – Wimberley Mk2

Quick-Release

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.

We recommend;

The appropriate Kirk L-bracket for your camera model.

Monopod

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.

We recommend;

Gitzo Series 5 Traveller

Tripod Technique

  • 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’s can’t swing, to pull it downwards and steady it
  • Check the ground under the tripod’s feet is sturdy; entrench the legs slightly if necessary.

Leave a Comments