A layman guide to tripods
ALUMINIUM OR CORBON-FIBRE?
Aluminium tripods are cheaper to buy and tend to take the knocks better,whereas carbon-fibre can shatter,but they are about 25% lighter.
HOW MANY LEG SECTIONS?
Tripods with four or five telescopic sections per leg usually extend to a generous height while also folding down to a relatively small length.However,each joint is a potential weak point,so fewer leg sections generally give greater rigidity.
WHY CHOOSE MULTI-ANGLE LEGS?
Many current tripod designs enable you to swing out the legs and lock them at various angles further away from the perpendicular.This can be useful for low-level shooting,for working on difficult terrain,or shooting in adverse conditions.
A pivoting centre column can be rotated to extend out horizontally,a bit like a boom.This can be great for macro photography,as well as for using ultra-wide-angle lenses,when you need to avoid the tripod feet creeping into the bottom of the picture.
ON THE LEVEL
Few photography sins are bigger than a wonky horizon.Spirit levels on the tripod collar make it easier to keep things level,especially if your camera doesn't have a built-in virtual horizon indicator.Additional spirit levels on the tripod head are also worthwhile,especially if you're using a ball-and-socket head.
written by: Khafiz Rahim