Digital Photography – Tripods Explained...

By Laura Bunn

A good Tripod is a real necessity if you’re serious about photography, and that’s that. I know they can be big, bulky and a pain to carry around, but if you want to get rid of that camera shake that seems to appear in every one of your photos, then it's time to start the hunt for a good one! 

They're are plenty to choose from, everything from Manfrotto to Slik, in all shapes and sizes.

A decent Tripod is a great advantage to those Photographers taking nature shots or macro-photography, where you want your subjects to be as clear as possible. 

However, they're definitely not limited to only those few types. They’re also good for long exposure shots, slow shutter speeds or low light situations. 

Even if you try to just use a high shutter speed, you still wont have as crisp of a shot without a tripod. 

So what to look for? 

Examine what type of head it has. Is that what you want? Does it come with one? The head is what attaches your camera to the Tripod and, without the correct head, it'd be useless to you!

Some types come with heads that are interchangeable or removable. This will allow you to just buy whichever type of Tripod head thats suits your Camera or preference. 

Some come with heads that are not, so be aware that if you purchase this type, your stuck with it. Then there are Tripod types that don’t come with any at all, allowing you to buy whichever you like.

Heads come in two varieties. There are the pan and tilt heads and the ball and socket heads. I think both have advantages and disadvantages. 

The pan and tilt heads move up and down, left to right. 

It doesn't have as much fluid movement as the ball and socket type, and setting up vertical shots is a little more time consuming. 

They’re usually a little cheaper. The ball and socket, which positions in any direction, is nice for moving your camera around while on the tripod. 

I find if you’re trying to just set up a picture and you simply need to move the camera a tad in one direction, this type is more of a challenge. 

If you want to move the camera a little to the left with the pan and tilt, loosen it and move it to the left and tighten. 

With the ball and socket though, you loosen and then you have to try and keep the camera level while you move it to the left. You might end up moving it to the left and down or up or left and who knows what direction. 

Now you’ve checked out the construction, stability and determined which type of head you need. You should be well prepared to choose the perfect Tripod for your needs!

About the Author - Laura Bunn owns Your Digital which is the place to find all the latest in photography news, reviews, side by side comparisons, tips and techniques! 

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