Mike Browne shows you around the various types or tripod and heads to make buying easier.
“Which tripod should I buy?” is a pretty common question – and a very good one to ask. If you’ve seen our other tripod video explaining the benefits you’ll know what a cool bit of camera kit a tripod is. If not go watch it now. The main job of a tripod is to keep your camera nice and steady regardless of the surface you’re working on. Grass, thick carpet, heather if you’re photographing landscape are all springy bouncy surfaces and on a windy day even a carbon fibre tripod will wobble about when standing on any of these. I recommend you A) look for the heaviest tripod you can cope with or B) Make sure it has a hook so you can hang a camera bag (heavier the better) onto it if you need to. If you’re tripod wobbles even the tiniest bit during an exposure you’ll get a fuzzy soft photo through camera shake. So spend a bit of money and get the sturdiest triopd you can. The next thing to think about is the tripod head. A big strong ‘pod is going to be useless if you put a bendy plastic head on it. I prefer ball heads because they’re quicker and easier to use than thos fiddly pan and tilt heads which about three things to unlock and adjust each time you set up a shot. Finally don’t be cheap – be prepared to invest some proper money into a tripod – at least £100 minimum because it’ll last years and years and will make a bigger difference to your photography than anything else. If you’re thinking of spending only about £25 – £50 go and spend the money down the pub because a cheap tripod will be useless. If you don’t believe me – Adam Scorey and Tom Mackie have pleanty to say about it… – Mike Browne