How to identify a good tripod
The first thing to do is to throw out a terrible cheap tripod, which went to you "in the load" when buying a camera. Often, in stores like here https://threeleggedtech.com/ they offer to buy an inexpensive tripod at a discount, but such models can be more harmful than good.
Let's start with the most important thing - what material should a good tripod be made of? Plastic models are very popular and cheap, but they are not reliable. Among the worthy options, tripods made of aluminum , carbon fiber , and, somewhat surprisingly, made of wood are most often found . The main factors determining the reliability of a tripod is the successful combination of weight, price and vibration damping (suppression).
Wood absorbs vibration very well and is fairly affordable, but it weighs extremely much. Carbon fiber is lightweight and durable, but not everyone can afford it. Aluminum is affordable, and quite light, but not always perfectly absorbs vibrations.
So first, let's talk about carbon fiber tripods. These are some of the most popular and affordable tripods available today. Aluminum models are much more expensive than plastic ones, but still, most craftsmen can afford them. If funds are not an issue for you, and having a reliable tripod is essential, then consider purchasing a model from Thom Hogan . The cost of such a tripod will be approximately $ 1000. Agree that this is too high a price for a tripod, because not every of our readers can even afford a camera for that kind of money, but it's worth your attention if money is not a problem for you. In the future, we will only recommend models with a price less than $ 250.
When it comes to carbon fiber tripods, they are very fragile. They are great travel and photography models that absorb vibration well, but are still fragile tripods compared to many others. Where a dent or crease appears on the aluminum tripod, the carbon fiber model will simply break. In addition, the lightness of such a tripod is not always an advantage, as it makes it less stable.
We will not discuss wooden tripods, because they are too heavy for everyday use.
Do not forget the tripod head
Remember - a tripod itself doesn't mean anything, the most important part of a tripod is the tripod head, which is often sold separately. Buying a head separately, you can choose one that would best meet the requirements. Technically, there is a way by which you can attach the camera directly to the tripod with the mounting bolt, but this will lose mobility and the camera will only move along one axis.
What should be in a tripod
First of all, it is worth checking how high the tripod can be. Most tripods can be extended in the center using a special column, the minimum height is the height of the tripod when all the legs are assembled to a minimum distance. You should also think about the size of the tripod when it is completely unfolded. Having more leg segments may mean that the tripod will not be as tall and narrower in height, but it will take longer to set up. The weight of a tripod also determines the level of comfort of its use in everyday shooting. Especially if you have to go hiking with him or take him on vacation.
When choosing a tripod, you should also pay attention to the presence of a hook under the retractable column. This hook is very important and useful during operation, you can hang an additional weight on it that can guarantee additional stability, in addition, you can always remove the hook when not in use. In some models, the central column can move up and down, so you can shoot at a very low position to the ground, getting unusual original points of view.
There are many additional features and accessories to complement your tripod, but their presence or absence comes down to personal preference.