Tuesday 29 January 2008

The tripod monopod or something completely different

I keep reading and investigating what one needs to get better photos, and considering the limited lighting when you are on the go (not shooting in conditions that you set up yourself), some kind of stabilization is obligatory.


Since there is quite an array of tripods available I guess you could get your hands on one of those, but, since I just mentioned taking pictures on the go I would like to find one that can suit all the following needs:
  • compact (eg. less than 50cm when fully folded)
  • can be extended from smallest about 20cm up to max of 140-170 cm)
  • is rigid enough not to shake when lenses are fully extended and longer exposures are necessary and so that it does not tilt by itself
  • as lightweight as possible (below 2kg)
  • the head should be able to rotate and tilt
  • price (the cheaper the better)
By now I have found exactly 0 of those ;) They might be light, but they were not sturdy or could not handle the 1+ kg of weight that dSLR's+lenses weigh.

Hey if someone has a sudgestion for a tripod that matches approximately the above specification, leave a comment please.


Another topic are monopods. However, they don't seem to be as popular here in Slovenia, at least the couple of stores I walked into did not have a single one.
Again monopods would probably be even better alternatives for shooting on the go, since they tend to be even lighter, a bit less appropriate for really long exposure since they are not as stable as tripods are, but much easier to set up when you are walking around.
So if you know of a model that folds up nicely and can support a weight of a dSLR (cca 2kg) please leave a comment.

Bean bags (and other animals of the kind):

Small tripods, minimal portable gear seems to be fine in certain conditions, when you have somewhere to put them, but in general tripod or monopod is a must. I have read a book by a wildlife photograph Andy Rouse, where he mentiones that a Bean bag is the ultimate support to have when traveling or being driven around, since it offers support in places where you would not usually be able to even set up a tripod, monopod or similar. A bean bag is generaly a small sack of beans,rice or similar that gives you support on uneven ground and you don't have to fill them at home, you can just buy the beans on any market/store at your destination.

So what to go for in the end... whatever suits your needs... I still need a new support option, since my last tripod is too wabbly to use for serious work (except if I would intentionally want blurry photos).

Have a blast!

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