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How to choose your tripod photos?

With the flash, the tripod is an indispensable photography accessory for the photographer. Some people say but not need a tripod, it takes space, must unfold, must be stored to go to another place take pictures and then hands raised I do not tremble etc .... Hop hop hop do not say all that, the tripod is the friend of the photographer ^^! Indispensable at night, it is also essential for some pictures such as night images, fireworks, storms, night monuments as I often do in Arras or Paris, long-lasting water yarns, etc! !
It is also useful for lightpainting, daytime poses with ND filter (typ Hoya or Nisi for example), group photos with friends, self portraits, etc! !
It allows you to avoid camera shake and to access new photo styles.
In this article I will tell you about the different elements to have in mind to buy the tripod you need;) Let's go!

1) Why do you need it ?

For what kind of photos will you need it? This will allow you to know if the budget to be expected must be high or not. There are entry-level tripods that are enough for occasional shots or tripod photos indoors but will not fit what you need if your gear is heavy or you want to do long shots in unstable environments such as on a roof in Paris or windy as on the Opal Coast or Brittany for example.

2) The weight of your equipment ?

The tripods of major manufacturers such as Vanguard, Manfrotto, Gitzo etc are designed to support more or less heavy loads and on their websites you can filter your choice according to the weight to bear so before going on their sites, think of weigh the material with the heavier lens you have.
Once you have that figure, look at the tripods that support 1½ times to 2 times that weight.

3) Remember to choose a foot but also a kneecap

The feet are sold with ball (head to move the camera 360 °) but sometimes you can buy them separately so be careful. If the desired article does not have a kneecap do not panic you just have to study the one that is close to your needs and always choose it according to the weight of the material. Look closely at the way you need to tighten it, the way you need to put the camera off the shelf, because sometimes some kneecaps are binding.

4) Make the right choice between stability and lightness

A heavy tripod is a stable tripod and therefore effective for long poses. But, the more it will be heavy, the more it will be unsuitable for transport especially when traveling within the weight limits of luggage. You can turn to very stable tripods in basalt or carbon that are lighter than aluminum, but therefore much more expensive.

5) Choose the right height according to your size and according to what you need to take pictures

In the descriptions you have to look at the height of the tripod when the column is down. This central column can then be raised and sometimes save a few tens of centimeters ... But be careful, the higher you go, and the less the tripod will be stable.
Ditto if you bought a tripod to take pictures of animals at ground level or flowers for example think to check the height of the tripod when folded ..

6) Study the size of the folded tripod for transportation

If you plan to take your tripod while traveling or traveling, check its size when folded.

7) The monopod why not..

For summary, it is a foot, yes only one leg roughly .. It is cheaper and lighter ... Totally useless at night it will make you many services for sports photography or wildlife photography.

8) The foot blocking system

When you unfold the feet, 2 systems exist to block them:

The flaps: Just unlock, pull, re-lock. Simple and fast but this kind of system is a little less durable.
Screws: Unscrew to unblock and screw to lock and you must do it at each section of the foot. The system is more stable and more durable.
This choice remains personal, for my part I use the first system.

9) Other useful options

- The tray "quick coupler".
Essential ! ! This is a system where you attach a tray to your camera, it can stay there all the time even without using the tripod and this tray then attaches to the patella, and can be removed quickly.

- The feet must be independent, must be able to adjust to different angles because often you will not put your tripod in places smooth, level etc;)
So sometimes the "legs" of the tripod are not deployed

There are other options but not all:

- The spirit level to manage the position of the horizon but if your device already offers a level there is no need.
- The weighting hook on the central column that allows to attach a weight to improve stability but personally I do not use it because if the weight hooked touches the ground OK but if it does not touch the ground and that it's windy the tripod will move easily!
- The short column for macro photos.
- Retractable tips that allow to adhere more easily to certain surfaces.

10) Which tariff?

Critical criterion in the choice, is not it ??
To have a good tripod you will not find below 100 € or so it will hardly support your material, will move finally you will put quickly quickly put aside ... In general from 100 to 200 € you will find good tripods and beyond very very good able to gather many options and many essential criteria!

11) Which brand?

There are lots and you will find even in the supermarket or tripods 20 or 50 € on Cdiscount or Amazon etc but beware .... Look instead on specialized sites like or or or directly in shop so you can touch the tripod, test it, resent his weight, etc ;) !! Some major brands really stand out, namely Vanguard Manfrotto Genesis Blitz Gitzo or Rollei ! There are others but these are really good quality.

I hope these tips will help you in making your choice for this object that will be so useful;)! !

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Looking forward :)
Willy LABOULLE Photographer