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View Full Version : Tripod - should I get one?


jalanb
27th January 2010, 08:35 AM
Help me.

A. Why did you get one?

B. hat did you get? tripod/head

C. What do you use it for? (if different from A.)

Alan

jalanb
27th January 2010, 08:36 AM
B. What did you get? tripod/head

j.baker
27th January 2010, 09:03 AM
Why do you think you need a tripod? What type of images do you take?

I purchased my first tripod years ago......and until recently (1-2 years), I could count the number of times that I had used it on one hand. I have recently upgraded.

For most of the time I find that my monopod get used the most. If you don't have one I suggest getting one before getting a tripod.

Now regarding tripods, you can get cheap all in one units. They are not great, but cheap, and allow you to learn.

I went for a seperate head and tripod.

I use mine for any shots that needs to be steady, t high focal lengths or for long exposures.

jamie allan
27th January 2010, 09:08 AM
Alan,
I bought both a tripod and a monopod as I have an E-410 and a 70-300mm lens. With the 70-300 on full lens extension I find it difficult to get a sharp image as the E-410 has no image stabilisation. However, I've got to say that I don't carry either about with me normally as they are too bulky. I've only ever used them for night shots I've planned beforehand or in my back garden for wildlife and macro use.
Hope this helps
Jamie

BobS
27th January 2010, 09:32 AM
Hi

If it's of any interest, whilst I have a couple of tripods and a monopod, I also have a neckpod which, being small can slip into a pocket. I bought it mostly for use with a video camera but it's been useful with my SLR's. It has a quick release plate and costs only 7.29 from Amazon (free postage).
Worth a gamble??

Bob

steve s
27th January 2010, 10:27 AM
Hi

If it's of any interest, whilst I have a couple of tripods and a monopod, I also have a neckpod which, being small can slip into a pocket. I bought it mostly for use with a video camera but it's been useful with my SLR's. It has a quick release plate and costs only 7.29 from Amazon (free postage).
Worth a gamble??

Bob

Hmmmm! sounds and looks interesting Bob. Is it complicated to fit/wear? and would it possibly work with the 70-300 and EC14?

Steve.

Kiwi Paul
27th January 2010, 10:27 AM
I have a Manfrotto tripod and a monopod, I don't use the tripod much but I use the monopod all the time, helps with composition and using slower shutter speeds, I leave it fully extended with the camera and lens attached and carry it by the monopod grip where it balances nicely and is ready to use. The tripod and monopod are both 3 section (2 clips on each leg) as this makes them faster deploy even if they are a tad bigger than a 4 section type.

Paul

BobS
27th January 2010, 11:10 AM
Hmmmm! sounds and looks interesting Bob. Is it complicated to fit/wear? and would it possibly work with the 70-300 and EC14?

Steve.

Hi Steve.
It's similar to using the camera strap taut against your neck to steady the camera. It has an adjustable column the bottom of which sits against your chest and you can raise or lower it to suit the camera position. You can also adjust the head angle as well as lock the column into position. The camera plate is removable and can be left on the camera. When closed it's about 10" long and it weighs a little over 7.5 ozs. I think it's useful for those occasions when you can't carry a tripod or monopod and it's not at all difficuly to fit or wear.

Can't see why it wouldn't work with your lens. Let me know how you get on with it if you do get it.

Best regards
Bob

BobS
27th January 2010, 11:21 AM
Hmmmm! sounds and looks interesting Bob. Is it complicated to fit/wear? and would it possibly work with the 70-300 and EC14?

Steve.

On second thoughts, Steve, you will still be using your hands to help steady the camera + lens, so perhaps a tripod would be best with that lens and EC14. See Meach's thread today on this subject.

Bob

snaarman
27th January 2010, 11:26 AM
Help me.

A. Why did you get one?

B. what did you get? tripod/head

C. What do you use it for? (if different from A.)

Alan

A: Every photographer should have a tripod. It impresses folks when you turn up with one. (Larger tripods impress folks more).

B: I bought a cheap Cobra with pan tilt and twist, centre column and leg bracing - its not that bad really. Some years later I bought a big Manfrotto with a similar sort of head (074 tripod and 141 head). The Manfrotto weighs a ton, it looks really impressive and is as solid as a rock. However - I only use it about once a year because its so heavy.

C: I use the cheap tripod to support flashguns and lighting and it gets used for pictures occasionally. I would only use the expensive one for super critical stuff (I did a dawn panorama with a 200mm lens last year - low light, long lens, sharp results needed)

So - my vote would be for a lightweight but good tripod that you might take with you, plus a heavy and excellent tripod that probably stays at home. :)

Pete

PS. A pearl of wisdom I heard. Never buy a tripod that is heavier than your wife/husband will carry.

cinders
27th January 2010, 11:40 AM
I have a lightweight tripod that I use about twice a year. I bought it in order to take low light images of specimens in museums, and also use it occassionally for birds in the garden when I can hide in the shed!

I don't really take it many places and certainly don't carry it around on spec as even a light one just makes everything all too bulky.

Cindy

steve s
27th January 2010, 11:50 AM
On second thoughts, Steve, you will still be using your hands to help steady the camera + lens, so perhaps a tripod would be best with that lens and EC14. See Meach's thread today on this subject.

Bob

Hi Bob, thanks for coming back. I realise I would still need to hold the camera and lens, its just I find myself not quite so steady these days (over the hill and past it according to my 15yr old) and the more I try not to shake while taking a photo the more I seem to do it. I do have a tripod and monopod but find them both a pain to lug around. Anyway 7.29 seems hardly a fortune compared with how much I have spent out on Oly kit to date so might just invest in one, so thanks for mentioning it here.

Steve.

BobS
27th January 2010, 12:01 PM
I have a lightweight tripod that I use about twice a year. I bought it in order to take low light images of specimens in museums, and also use it occassionally for birds in the garden when I can hide in the shed!

I don't really take it many places and certainly don't carry it around on spec as even a light one just makes everything all too bulky.

Cindy

Hi Cindy

What you need is a wife (!!). However, mine got fed up carrying my large camera bag and tripod all weighing half a ton and with me only holding the camera. Hence the 4/3rds system and just two lenses. However, I'm now building up again with my old Minolta lenses and adapters. I've already received a big NO from Julie.

Welcome to the group.
Bob

shenstone
27th January 2010, 12:06 PM
A. Why did you get one?

Absolitely needed for low light shooting - even if not fully locked off it's like goving you another 4-5 stops in stability which allows lower ISO's and highe F Stops which greatly increases your range of pictures you can take In Camera IS can compensate, but thinks like 10 seconds light trails and things like that are not feasible unless you have a tripod

B. What did you get? tripod/head
I have multiple.

The general rule for a main tripd is get the biggest / most stable you are willing to carry. It will pay off when you use long lenses etc.

These days Its with a seperate head, but I don't think that's terribly important as you can add a head to one that doesn't come with one later if you decide you need one.

All my big ones have quick release plates on the heads / or on the tripod if it didn;'t have a head. I think that's the main attribute I would say is important. Pick a system and then stick to it so you can buy spare plates and leave one on every camera.

Having said all that the device I use most often is a small Jessops own device which I can't find on their website so here's another link http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/tripods/jessops-clamp-table-tripod.asp

The reason I use it most is it's always in my bag and it turns anything such as fenceposts and railings into a tripod. it will hold an E-30 + kit lens, but only if everything is in balance. I would never rely entirely on it for an impotant shoot, but for everyday opportunities it's superb

C. What do you use it for? (if different from A.)

Steve Lane
27th January 2010, 12:41 PM
I think there comes a point in every photographer's persuit of their craft, when a tripod is considered. For many years, I used cheap ones that were never really that stable, which kind of undermines the reason for a tripod's existence! It is only in the last ten years that I have invested in a decent full size model with one of those Slik pistol grip heads, and a very robust table top model. I also have a monopod that I find useful from time to time.

I may go months before needing to use any of them, but there are always times when I need to call on one or the other, or projects where their use is unavoidable.

Buy the best you can afford and carry. Avoid models that have too much plastic in areas that take stress. Buying a good one will mean you will have it for many years and not have to revisit it due to some crummy part failing.

Regards, Steve.

sclifton
27th January 2010, 08:55 PM
I think there comes a point in every photographer's persuit of their craft, when a tripod is considered. For many years, I used cheap ones that were never really that stable, which kind of undermines the reason for a tripod's existence! It is only in the last ten years that I have invested in a decent full size model with one of those Slik pistol grip heads, and a very robust table top model. I also have a monopod that I find useful from time to time.

I may go months before needing to use any of them, but there are always times when I need to call on one or the other, or projects where their use is unavoidable.

Buy the best you can afford and carry. Avoid models that have too much plastic in areas that take stress. Buying a good one will mean you will have it for many years and not have to revisit it due to some crummy part failing.

Regards, Steve.

Excellent advice there Steve.

I use my tripod primarily for birding with a scope. I also digiscope with it regularly where stability really is important. For SLR use I tend to hand-hold for long lens work (both Olympus and Canon) as both my long lenses have IS.

My main SLR use for a tripod is for close-up and macro work with IS switched off (mainly dragonflies & butterflies). Using a tripod really does make a difference if sharpness matters at all to you.

Buying a cheap tripod is the biggest waste of money, and will ultimately cost you more, as once you realise the true value of a good one and upgrade, you will have paid twice.

I have a light weight Feisol, and a Manfrotto 055 with two centre columns so I can switch between fluid and ball heads. I'm hankering after something even more solid such as a heavy weight Feisol or Gitzo with a decent ball head such as an Arca Swiss, Really Right Stuff or Markins. Any money I've ever spent on decent kit has never been wasted. In fact the only buyer's remorse I have is not to get the best from the outset.

Steve

jalanb
28th January 2010, 08:34 AM
A lot to consider.

Thanks to everyone.

Alan