Planning to buy your first DSLR? or if you have already purchased one then I’m sure most of you might have got a tripod for free along with the camera. This is common atleast here in India, where shop owners sell a cheap quality tripod just to attract customers. These cheap quality tripods may be good for a point and shoot camera but not for a DSLR. If you want to capture razor sharp images or if you want to be a landscape photographer then tripod is a must. So, invest in a good tripod. Do not go for these free tripods, instead ask shop owner to bring down the camera price and then purchase a good quality tripod. If you invest in a cheaper tripod, you will only end up buying another better tripod and spend more money later on.
Here are few things that you need to look for while buying a tripod. Check if the tripod can handle more weight, this is important when you attach lens to your camera. This happened to me when I used a cheap quality tripod over which I had my Nikon D600 camera. To this I attached 14-24 lens and it couldn’t handle the weight. Tripod has to be sturdy – this is very important to get razor sharp images. A Ball-head would be a good one to attach on top of your expensive tripod. But, if you have plans of making few videos as well then you can go for a 3 way head which I use. Using 3 way head helps you in panning but you will have to do the level adjustments individually which is not the case in ball-head. For those who go on trekking or hiking like me I would recommend a carbon fiber tripod legs and this can be very expensive. I have an aluminium body as of this writing which is one kg more than the carbon fiber body. It may not sound much but it’s a big thing when you go for trekking where each kg counts.
See that you tie the camera strap to avoid any kind of movement and also use wireless trigger or a cable release instead of the default shutter button present in your camera. This will avoid camera shake. Also. keep the vibration reduction (VR in Nikon) / Image stabilization (IS in Canon) ‘off’ when using tripod. Use of tripod is a must while capturing long exposure shots. I use MHXPRO-3W X-PRO 3-Way Head (You may this from Flipkart – Manfrotto MK055XPRO3 which has around 10 years warranty). You can buy the tripod legs and the head separately. When you buy see that the two are compatible. If the use of tripod is for studio or wedding/outdoor shoot then the above tripod should be fine. But if you want a tripod for travel and hiking then go for the carbon fiber version of it, which is lighter by one kg. There are other brands which you may try, but I like this. The above image shows the cheaper tripod that I had used. The shot below on instagram is a long exposure image of sea waves at Surathkal Beach soon after sunset. Follow me on social media for more tips of this kind and please don’t forget to share this article with your friends.