I Really Need A Tripod?
most situations, yes, one really needs a tripod; even accepting
that at times it is simply not possible to deploy it or take
it with us -like in crowded public places. A tripod
not only forces one to slow down and check composition,
sharpness largely depends on rock steady camera support, so
it makes no sense to invest in the best camera body
and good glass -for the maximum resolution and contrast one
can afford- and then not plant it firmly.
Tighter film grain or least possible
digital noise and great depth of field, even today mean
small lens apertures, therefore slow shutter speeds. That is
not the only one but still one of the main reasons
why this very often overlooked accessory
is one of the most important tools a serious photographer needs
to carry, even if you always shoot at ISO 12,800; unless
of course you are a photo journalist on the
Whether you use film or digital cameras, have to use slow shutter
speeds or not, big lenses or not, if you are concerned
consistently producing high-quality results, improve your
image vision and want to learn how good are your lenses,
most tripods don't fall into the "good" category.
Many enthusiasts who once bought a tripod soon abandoned it
because it was
tripods were typically either too short or too tall, too
light or too heavy and seldom sturdy. Some even loose a
leg now and then.
What tripods I should not
believe it was John
Shaw, the splendid nature photographer, author
of six field photography books at last count -always
a tripod- who said he got rid of a great deal of potential
competition for years, after a consumer guide with
wide circulation advised
to get the cheapest possible tripod.
one extreme are the lightweight aluminum tripods
integrated head. The slightest breeze or just clicking
the camera will make them vibrate, not to mention
under the weight of a modest telephoto or macro lens.
Sorry, but I've owned too many of those to know that the inexpensive AND lightweight AND sturdy
tripod does not exist!
or not, steadiness has little to do with braces. Braces just
prevent the tripod from spreading its legs wide open, precisely
where such wabbly "cheap'os" may finally attain some
marginal stability even when never sturdiness.
On the other extreme are the very robust tripods, allowing
for massive heads. These will stay in your studio or your
because they are too heavy to carry around into the field.
You may say that you only shoot close to home or your car,
law has long proven that the best scenics in the world are
exactly where it is forbidden to park or there is not a road.
do I know this? Well, because as many before and after me,
bought a succession of wrong tripods and spent far more
than it would have cost me to buy a good one from the start,
surely messing up plenty of good photo opportunities that
will never return.
even knowing this is against human nature, I would dare
it is possible to do it right and just once ....... or twice
at most, but not in a repetitive chain of successive frustrating
steps like I did