TCSTV: 5 Easy Tips to Choose the Right Tripod

Choosing the right tripod can be tricky. There are quite a few factors to consider before you pick one off the shelf. From how you use your tripod, to bonus features and the overall build, it can be intimidating. To help you pick the perfect one first try, TCSTV’s Dave and Evelyn have 5 Easy Tips to Choose the Right Tripod for Photography!

Tip #1 – Weight

It may not seem like a big factor, but depending on your gear and how heavy it is, it will greatly affect your tripod choice. Tripods will list their weight capacity, but to find your safe working load, Dave recommends looking at the manufacturer’s specs and cutting that number in half. This way, you know your tripod can hold your heaviest setup without any worry of it slumping over with time. More precisely, this comes down to the strength of the tripod head. The head is the weakest part of the tripod, so you want to make sure that it can support at least double your working load.

Tip #2 – Set Up

The next thing to think about is how your tripod sets up. Legs usually use either a more traditional lever-style lock or twist-style grip lock. Personally, Dave is a bigger fan of the grip lock, as the lever can sometimes get hooked on things, plus the grip style, you can open them with gloves on (big bonus in Canada!). However, it mainly comes down to personal preference, whichever you find easier to maneuver. To keep things fun, Dave and Evelyn put two tripods to a race to see which Dave could set up quicker! To see which won, check out our video below!

Tip #3 – Build Materials

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the build materials of your tripod are super important. Common materials for tripods are usually aluminum and carbon fibre. Both materials are strong and surprisingly light, even aluminum. Aluminum is often more cost-effective than carbon fibre for those who don’t want to break the bank. However, carbon fibre does have a bonus feature. It doesn’t hold temperature. With our blazing-hot summers and icy-cold winters, it is definitely a bonus that your tripod won’t change temperature, especially if you have bare hands.

Tip #4 – Stability

Stability! It’s the whole reason you are buying a tripod! When taking long exposures, you may not notice how many vibrations are coming through your tripod, but your camera will. Carbon fibre does a better job of absorbing vibrations than aluminum, but depending on how you plan to use your tripod and your budget, carbon fibre might not be worth the price tag.

Tip #5 – Overall Value

This is where you need to ask yourself some key questions to help narrow down the right type of tripod for your photography.

  • Usage – Are you going to be backpacking or carrying your tripod long distances? A smaller, lighter and more compact tripod might be a better choice than a big, heavy tripod.
  • Space – Do you need to be able to pack your tripod into a backpack, or are you just driving to your location so space isn’t an issue?
  • Special features – Some tripods come with unique features such as a fold-out arm or different foot options. Is this something you’d use or want?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will naturally narrow down your options. From there, you can use the tips we provided to help you find the perfect tripod for your photography!

Bonus Tip!

If you’re still unsure what tripod is the best option for you, whether you’re stuck between a couple of options or have no idea where to start, our team is always available to help! Come on down to TCS to see the tripods in person, call us at 403-234-9935 to chat, or email with your questions!

Watch our full TCSTV video, 5 Easy Tips to Choose the Right Tripod for Photography, below!

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