Tripods- Made photography comfortable and easyBuying Guides in Tripods

Made for Your Camera

You may be an avid photographer messing around with the most sophisticated and upscale camera lens, and still be exasperated with the irksome blurriness caused due to the annoying shake of the camera. While camera makers the world over are toiling hard to fortify their merchandise with a steadfast image stabilization technology, a tripod remains by far the most distinctive and unswerving tactic to jettison shaky shots. At times, the added bit of firmness proffered by a sturdy tripod is all it takes to single out an outstanding image from a middling one.

A tripod also comes in immensely handy while shooting available-light scenes without a flash, unified landscapes and family portraits. Your images turn out truly up, close and personal, and the pictures come up really sharp as a tripod allows you to use a smaller aperture and a slower shutter speed sans any camera-movement apprehensions. No matter what you capture with your camera-a digital video, a static image or a movie, the leggy beauty called tripod deserves a place of pride in your cache of nifty camera accessories.

Since the zillions of tripods available in the market are bound to stump end-users hunting for the most apposite tripod for their camera, here is a quick lowdown on the broad classification of tripods along with the vital contemplations before purchase.

The tripods can be sketchily classified into the following five categories:

Pocket Tripods

Pocket tripodsare an excellent alternative for off the cuff group family shots that include the photographer as well!They are ideally suited for self-portraits and group photographs, and proffer firm support to diminutive and lightweight cameras.

Characteristically measuring less than six inches, pocket tripods are ultra-portable and can be slithered easily into your back-pack. Such tripods remain the best bet when clicking pictures at parties, get-togethers or cafeterias, where you would want to simply avoid lugginga bulky accessory.Pocket tripods adequately support the weight of a compact digital camera, although caution has to be exercised against a possible overload.If you can scout for a pocket tripod boasting of an adjustable head, it can be a real life-saviour. What's more, you can also find really petite tripods apt to hold your mobile-phone camera steady!

Table-top Tripods

Table-top tripods are brilliant for group pictures where the camera is required to be positioned on a flat surface (other than the ground). These are ideally suited for self-portraits, travel photography and micro close-ups of natural shots. Such tripods support small cameras, are lightweight, sport a tiny form factor and fit snugly into your travel gear. You can simply turn your table-top tripod sideways and place it against a wall for enhanced stability while shooting. Table-top tripods typically hold the camera not more than 12 inches off the floor level, and are thereforefantastic for clicking objects closer to the ground. Use them to take breathtaking close-up shotsof nature's stunning bounty!

Portable Tripods

Portable tripods help bring your camera well off the ground, and collapse to a handy and portable size. They are essentially great when going for hiking or biking or a laid-back saunter through natural environs. Such tripods are ideally suited for compulsive travellers, amateur videographers and sports enthusiasts. In fact, portable tripods capable of collapsing down to 22 inches or lesser, can be comfily slipped into your airline hand luggage. Portable tripods effectively support a digital SLR with a kit lens, and even your demure zoom lens. These tripods can also be effortlessly used in conjunction with compact video cameras. Though these tripods do not manage to reach the eye-level, they offer first-rate portability, which remains a fabulous trade-off.

Medium Duty Tripods

Medium Duty tripodsplug the yawning gap between the feather-like portable variants and the really stout studio tripods. They support medium-format cameras and can be effectively used for wildlife/bird photography, portable portrait set-ups, studio work,weddings and events photography and location portraits.

Medium-duty tripodsscore over the portable type as most reach up to the eye level and even higher. They are heavier and, therefore,provide sturdier support, particularly in critical shots where image sharpness is of paramount importance. Such tripods are also perfect for video cameras due to awesome stability.

While a majority of the medium-duty tripods come with heads, users can choose from a couple ofheadless models, and fashion a customised configuration by buying the head separately. You can choose from a wide array of heads such as ball heads, fluid heads, and pan heads.

If both lightness of weight and a sturdy platform are crucial for your camera-work, you may opt for models sporting carbon fibre legs. Though these variants are a tad more expensive than the regular ones, they proffer both excellent portability and brilliant steadfastness.

Sturdy Duty/Studio Tripods

Sturdy Duty/Studio tripods are crafted for professional photographers looking for extremely specialised tripods catering to highly specific requirements.They are huge and bulky, at times immovable, andare always teamed up with a specialized head. Such hulking tripods support medium-format and large-format cameras and are ideally suited for studio photography, still-life portraits and shooting advertising films.

Characteristics Affecting Price

There are the following seven fundamental attributes homogenous to most available tripods, and have a direct bearing on the overall cost:

Head Type

Most tripods boast of a head, though it may not be an ideal one to suit your precise photographic needs. The head of the tripod sits atop the centre column with a tube in the centre of the design. The headcan be raised or lowered either with a hand crank or via a locking collar.

Leg Locks

Leg locks in most tripods offer various options such as Twist option (twist the leg to pull it out, twist it in reverse to lock it in position), Lever option (open a lever to pull a leg out, close it to lock it) and custom option.

Feet

A tripod's feet can be constituted of a rubber non-slip (ideal for most of the indoor and some outdoor shooting); spike (apt for outdoor shooting as the spikes hold the tripod firmly to the ground); and custom-made (as per user requirements, for instance, ball-bearings).

Collapsed Size

Collapsed size is a dimension that gives you the exact length ofthe tripod with everything folded up. This parameter is of absolute significance for travellerswho need to stow away the tripod in their travel luggage. The collapse size figure shall give you a fair idea of the tripod's fit.

Maximum Height Extension

Maximum Height Extension refers to how tall the tripod will stand when each leg is fully stretched and the centre post (a usually adjustable tube that the camera restsupon) is raised to its maximum possible limit.

Weight and Maximum Load Capacity

The weight refers to how much the tripod weighs. The Maximum Load Capacity is the heaviest camera the tripod (or tripod head) can bear. If you make the folly of placing aheavier camera than the Maximum Load Capacity on the tripod, there is the impending risk of a piece breaking or collapsing, causing damage to both the tripod and the camera. Users should, therefore, be well aware of how much the camera weighs (together with its heaviest lens), and opt for a compatible tripod.

Common Material

Common material refers to the stuff the tripod (most of its built) is made of. The most common materials used in the construction of a tripod are as follows:

" Plastic: The least expensive, though not very durable.

" Aluminium: Reasonably priced and most universally used, though it can make heavy-duty tripods extremely bulky.

" Carbon Fibre: A somewhat new and sophisticated material for tripods, it is highly durable, lightweight, and flexible. It is ideal for most uses, but comes really expensive.

Wood: Typically preferred by nature photographers who extensively use a large-format camera.

Make an Informed Choice

Knowledge of the above differentiators along with the given comprehensive classification shall arm prospective shoppers with in-depth information about the product and aid in making a utilitarian buying decision.