Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
TheMerchantofVenice Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

I've been doing this sort of thing for rather a long time now, something like 55 years, and still find myself frequently needing to ask questions about what many others seem to feel are fairly self evident issues. It's always a disappointment to me that civility in discourse does not seem to be a priority.

In any case my personal observation from having done things wrong a depressingly large number of times is that whoever said "Buy once ,cry once." probably had a fair grasp of how the world works I've proven that adage to my own satisfaction several times

I have several tripods I've collected over the decades. I'm not actually sure how many, but they seem to pile up like camera cases, where I also seem incapable of selecting the one perfect product.

Based on my 55 years of experience struggling to get it right, (or as some tell me 1 year of experience 55 times ), I'm going to make two suggestions for your consideration. DISCLAIMER: This is nothing more useful than my own personal and somewhat biased opinion. YMMV, and probably will.

1. Don't cheap out. Obviously, one doesn't know what costs actually run until some investigation gets done, but don't be surprised that getting something covering a number of your requirements is going to cost a lot more than one might think from just a casual glance. If you really want a GOOD tripod it's an arm and a leg and that's just how it is. Take it from a guy with a bunch of crappy tripods in his closet, it's tough to get one worth having at a bargain. Personally, I think you're going to want carbon fiber, but not everybody does.

2. Don't look for a one-size-fits-all. It's my considered opinion that I can buy multiple modest priced tripods for specific circumstances more easily, effectively, and economically than I can get one ultra high performance super throwdown tripod that does everything.

3. (ok, I lied. I got four suggestions. so sue me.) You'll probably end up with a set of tripod legs and some sort of head priced as a bundle. That might be fine for some things, but I bet you'll encounter situations where you like the legs but wish it had a different head. (no, I'm not talking about girlfriends, this is still about tripods). Half the population of China is making tripod heads in their garage, a whole bunch of them are pretty darn good, some really good for one use or another, and some make great doorstops. You'll almost certainly end up changing heads at some point.

4. As is the case with included heads, some include a center column and some don't. I have a couple with removable center columns and like the feature. And I'd like to convince you to reconsider your height requirement. The higher you get the damn thing the less stable it gets (duh) and if you want to keep the stability up you get a stratospheric increase in price. Bending over a little can save a bunch of money and increase stability at the same time.  Personally, I'd rather have to bend over using the thing than have to bend over paying for it.   Same thing with extending the enter column, it is not optimum for stability.

This website is currently running a series of reviews on some nice tripods and it would probably be a good place to start researching.

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