To Buy or Not to Buy a New Tripod

Posted: December 2, 2010 in Blog, Technology
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As you  might know, tripod is an essential thing for photographers. You should buy a really good and sturdy one for the best support. Now, when Christmas are coming, I’m thinking about buying myself a new one. Suddenly, many questions came to my mind about what type, what should be the supported weight, what material, how much it should cost etc.

If I wasn’t a full-time student but a politician or someone really wealthy, I’d go with Gitzo tripods. That Carbon fiber technology gives you huge stability, light weight, big height and of course huge cost 😦

The tripod I have

At this time I have the Hama Star 62, a really cheap tripod (cost me about $40), but at that time I used only my Rebel XSi (450D) from Canon with 18-55 IS lens. Now, when I have much more equipment, I need more support. Especially for my 70-200 f/4 non IS with my XSi+Battery Grip. That is “heavy” combo and the tripod isn’t as good as it should be in support. When will you realize that is true?

Why I need to change my tripod?

DSLRs are taking images by flipping the mirror up (and than much electric operations happen etc.). But that is the thing I’m going to change my tripod. When the mirror flips up, it makes some camera shake. With my 70-200 tripod isn’t sturdy enough and the mirror will cause movement. For long exposures and using shorter lens my 28-70 it’s OK, I can take 20s exposure and have it tight sharp. That is because the mirror flip movement isn’t as powerful as with my 70-200. But how many times I’m shooting so long exposures? Of course, everything is possible and I’m not saying I’m not shooting those.

But mostly I’m somewhere about 1/60s or less. With better tripod I’m able to use the lens with these exposures and be sure I’ll get sharp shot. That is the most important thing. If your photos have noise, that is a bit problem. But if your photos aren’t sharp, than you cannot do anything about it! You can throw them away, delete, erase and your whole trip could be a disaster! Just because the tripod.

What I’ll buy?

In short, Manfrotto 190XPROB and Manfrotto 496RC2 ballhead. The height of the combination is same as my tripod and I’m used to it so it’s ok. I’m sure it will be more sturdy and stable. A good way to check? As someone who has it. Google it, go to B&H Photo Video website and check the reviews. Everything was fantastic. I was just thinking about getting a higher model, the 055XPROB, but after some time and a lot of calculations I decided for 190XPROB.

What was the most valuable thing for my decision?

You wouldn’t believe it, but the most valuable thing for me was …  hold on …. a meter! With it I was able to compare everything not just by using some numbers but also visually. Very important thing. Yeah, you might read that the tripod is 122cm high but is it big enough? 122 isn’t so big, but when you’ll attach ball head and camera, it will grow. Then you just have to take the meter and see where the final number is.

I’m sure I’ll have a blast with this tripod 🙂

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Comments
  1. Garfield,

    Thank you for your kind mention of B&H Photo. On behalf of all of us at B&H Photo, please accept our warm thanks and deep gratitude for your patronage. We look forward to earning your trust and continued business for many years to come. I invite you and your fellow readers to check out our new informative and entertaining blog at http://www.bhinsights.com

    Hershel K. Waldner
    Supervisor,
    Online Marketing Department
    B&H Photo-Video-Audio
    212-239-7500 ext. 2893

  2. […] is 122 cm and to be honest I thought it is really small. But how I said in my previous post about choosing the right tripod height is important and I was running in the flat with meter. Now I was able to measure it. I […]

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