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Tripods: When to use and how to choose.

I find most people don't want to use tripods but for some types of photography it is essential, like macro, low light and slow shutter speeds. Here are some tips on when to use a tripods and how to select one that you will actually use.

  • When should you be using a tripod?

When you are using longer focal lenses. If the lens has vibration reduction on it you must turn it off when using a tripod. So for wildlife and sports photography. Although a monopod may be more useful for sports. When doing macro or close up photography it's important to use a tripod because any shake will be magnified. For low light photography so you can take advantage of slow shutter speeds. Slow shutter speed photography requires a tripod. Panning, zooming which are all done at about around 1/10-1/15 of a second. Painting with light because many of those shutter speeds are several seconds or minutes long. Longer shutter speeds will allow you to take your time paint with light . Also giving you the option of shooting at low ISO, and smaller f-stop openings.

  • What should you consider when purchasing a tripod?

The size and the weight of a tripod are the two things that make people not want to carry and use a tripod. The third thing is the ease of using the tripod. My suggestion would be to spend a little more money on the tripod so you can get carbon fiber legs at the very minimum. I think for most people legs that have clips instead of twisting to open is easier. In addition I think a ball head is simpler to use. Size, what size camera and lens does it have to hold? Weight Maximum Height-if you are a taller person you may want a tripod that has 4sections so that the maximum height goes higher. Material, metal or carbon fiber. The carbon fiber is better, lighter and more money but in my opinion worth every penny. Legs, clips or twist Head, ball or pan tilt

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