What to Look for in a Lightweight Tripod

What to Look for in a Lightweight Tripod

The latest models of digital cameras allow you to take good, quality photos. With their fast technological evolution, choosing which camera to buy has become more difficult. But along with the camera itself, many of its accessories have also been keeping up.

One of the best photographic accessories that every professional photographer has is a tripod. Commendable image quality has always been dependent on tripods. That is why it is also essential that you choose the right tripod for your camera.

The best feature of a tripod, next to stability, is its weight. Since most of the time, taking a good photograph requires you to literally go the distance, weight should top the list for your purchasing considerations. A lightweight travel tripod will easily fit into a backpack, airline carry-on, and of course, into your camera bag.

And since it is lightweight, it will not slow you down. Every type of professional photographer, whether it be travel photographers, photojournalists, wildlife shooters and even boaters and hikers will resort to a lightweight, high quality, compact travel tripod.

If you’re having some trouble about which tripod is best for you, you can read more below about the ideal characteristics, and then it should be easier for you to decide.

What exactly is a travel tripod?

A travel tripod is a common camera accessory that can bring your camera well off the ground to at least 50 inches with good stability, has a folded length of approximately 24”, and weighs a maximum of 4 pounds, including the head. Ideally, a tripod should stand higher without overextending their center columns, and be small enough to be carried when folded.

But of course, the height should not compromise stability. Or to put it simply, an ideal travel tripod should have the following characteristics:

  • It should provide good stability to avoid camera shake when holding with your hands, especially for long exposures
  • You can use very small apertures so that you can get maximum depth of field
  • It should keep your camera steady when shooting waterfalls and flowing water for long exposures
  • Encourages you to slow down and give enough time to think about the composition which gives you better image aesthetics.
  • It helps you keep better image alignment when doing bracketed exposures for high dynamic range photography
  • It should give you ease when photographing at night
  • It should give you a rest when using heavier equipment
  • It will be of great assistance to you when you want to get in the photo yourself and create self-portraits
  • This is the secret to getting sharp macro and close-up photos

Materials

When talking about a travel tripod, we can only picture any tripod that’ll just simply serve its purpose. But you should know that there are specific benefits to every feature of a particular type of travel tripod. For a good travel shoot buddy, we need to know more about the types first.

Aluminum is commonly used in tripods, but there are other materials that are lighter, such as magnesium, titanium, and carbon fiber. However, tripods with these lighter materials are more expensive than aluminum.

The latter, on the other hand is the best choice when looking for a larger tripod as it is more stable, and cheaper as well. But if its portability is what you are considering, then any of the three versions would probably work well for you.

Weight capacity (load) rating

As you are looking for a good quality, lightweight tripod, its weight capacity should be one of the most important thing you need to look at. Make sure that it will hold more than the actual weight of your camera, lens combinations, and any other accessories you might want to add if you plan to expand your system.

A good weight allowance would be at least one-and-a-half times heavier because sometimes, you’re unaware that you are leaning on the camera.

Weight and construction material

As mentioned earlier, the choice of a tripod depends on what you will do with it most often. But the best choice for a travel tripod should be the type with legs made of carbon fiber as it is the lightest, doesn’t rust and is extremely durable.

However these features come at a premium price. One type that’s becoming more common is basalt. It’s lighter than aluminum, but a bit heavier than carbon fiber, and is less expensive than the latter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*