Light stands as tripods

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Jeff Peterman
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Light stands as tripods
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Whenever someone asks about tripods, many respond that buying a cheap tripod is a waste of money. There are times, however, when the cheapest, least steady, type of "tripod" is really useful; I often use light stands as tripods. Light stands offer two advantages: the feet are at the bottom, so you can get the mounted camera very close to a table (with the center pole touching), and you can get very tall ones that are light and cheap.

Today, the latter worked really well for me. I was asked at work to take a photo of about 60 employees arranged in a big circle. The only way for this to work was for the camera to be very high so that the faces on both sides were visible. I used a 12 ft light stand with a ball head on top and my camera attached to the ball head. One problem: how to set up, and shoot, the image? That's where a key feature of the newer cameras like 80D and 77D is great - WiFi. I connected the camera to my Android tablet by WiFi so that I could adjust settings, check the image, and take the shot even though I was one of those in the shot. It worked really well and my company was very happy with the results.

(And is why I decided not to by a 7D MKII - the lack of WiFi was a real issue for me.)

Back to the subject: light stands only make good tripods when a little camera movement is not an issue and/or maximum stability isn't an issue (then you do want a high quality tripod). But they are cheap enough to complement a good tripod and let you take shots that would not be possible with a normal tripod - especially if the camera has WiFi.

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Jeff Peterman, Moderator 7D and Phone/Tablet forums.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 Canon PowerShot S110 Canon EOS 7D Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +18 more
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