Do I Need a Tripod?

Yes you do!

(That was an easy post!)

OK, let me spout off my opinion in a little more detail.

If you’re taking photos with your phone, you don’t need a tripod.

If you use a point and shoot on automatic, you don’t need a tripod.

If you want really good quality (and/or professional) images –

You need a tripod.

If you follow my photography because you like dreamy landscape shots and want to take similar style photos –

You need a tripod.

I’ll share with you a personal experience.

My old and tired tripod died a few months ago, at a very inopportune time, when I was night shooting in San Francisco with some very *famous* photographers.

I was so used to the gradually deteriorating quality of my tripod,

I didn’t realize myself (and I’ve been shooting for a bazillion years!), how much its sagging, aging, body was affecting my photos.

(I have a sagging, aging, body also so I had a lot of sympathy for my tripod!)

I knew my tripod was old and not as steady as it had been at one time.

I knew it needed to be replaced, but I didn’t want to spend the money until it actually collapsed.

Which it did.

Waiting to replace it was a mistake I regret.

I purchased a new very sturdy, high quality, tripod …

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24mm lens, RRS 33 tripod and 55 ballheadLee .6 soft grad neutral density filter, ISO 100, 1/50sec, f10

And OH MY!

What a difference a really good tripod makes!

A tripod allows you, as the photographer, to get very sharp images.

It also allows you to get creative with many aspects of photography such as night photography, long exposures, depth of field, macro photography, firework shots, etc.

When I talk about photography gear, I’m usually asked what I use and/or recommend.

Photography gear is expensive, and everyone has to live within their own budget.

However, I will say this –

You should get the absolutely best tripod you can possibly afford.

Cheap tripods don’t do their job – and since that’s the case,

You’ll just waste your money if you spend it on a poor quality tripod.

I really can’t stress the importance of quality enough.

Tripods aren’t “fun” in the way lenses or camera bodies are,

However, a good one will make a world of difference to your photography.

That being said, I use a Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead.  (A ballhead is what goes on top of the tripod and attaches to your camera/lens plate.)

By the way, I am not an affiliate with RRS.  I love my RRS tripod and ballhead.  I’ve also have a RRS monopod.

My setup from RRS was very expensive – but, wow!

The size of tripod and ballhead and/or lens plates you need varies depending on your equipment.  The people at RRS are very good about helping you pick out the right setup for your needs.

In addition, I would be remiss not to point out a few more affordable options.

I don’t have personal experience with Manfrotto, but I have photographer friends who use their tripods and like them.  I’m including a few links so you can get a feel for pricing.  (Manfrotto at B&H here or Amazon here)

I have used a Gitzo tripod before and I’ve been happy with the quality.  (Gitzo at B&H here or Amazon here)

Regardless of the name of the brand, the important thing to remember is quality definitely matters when picking out a tripod.

If you purchase a good quality tripod, it will last for years.

It will also be your foundation to make beautiful images.

One Response to “Do I Need a Tripod?”

  1. Gaelyn

    OK, I know I Need a tripod. Just looked at a friends Oben with a ball-head which I like and see them on B&H for around $200. Any opinions?

    Reply

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