Tripods, Another Short Rant
Tripods… Not glamorous like a new lens or body.
Tripods… Not cool like remote flash triggers.
Tripods… Absolutely essential if you want your long exposure to be sharp!
OK so that sound pretty good without too much rant… deep breath…. but…
I work part-time in the photography retail sector and the number of times I have the following conversation is astounding:
“Hi Im looking for a tripod for about $150, what do you have?” (all prices are in $NZ just for clarification)
“What kind of camera are you putting on it?” (at this point I’m really really hoping it’s going to be a point and shoot…please…please)
“A Canon 5DmkII” (Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!)
“With a 70-200 f2.8″ (Double Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
At this point I usually go into rant mode…
My usual equation for tripods is that the tripod should be worth somewhere between 10 – 15% of the value of the camera equipment that is put on it. Anything less and the very slight movement from the cheaper tripod renders any sharpness of the equipment utterly void.
Now this might seem like a funny thing to get angry about but I guess that’s just me. People usually have a laugh when they see me lugging round my tripod but no-one every laughs at the result and admittedly I use mine for my 4×5 camera as well as my F5 and D70s (which isn’t a particularly large camera).
What I think people are trying to say is that they want a small compact tripod and think that a cheap one will do the trick but once shown the error of their ways can be shown the benefits of sturdy leg materials like carbon and basalt.
And then there is the suspicion that I am just trying to up sell them into something more expensive… No! I just think you should respect your camera and get something you wont hate in 6 months because it gives bad results!
Anyway there are some cases where cheap tripods are good… Usually if you are going to totally trash then in salt water etc… but generally buy something decent!