Topic Author
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:22 pm

Good Tripod

Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:13 am

I was just looking at getting a tripod for aviation photography and wondering which would be a good tripod for me to improve my photography skills. keep in my I am only 16 so I am not the wealthiest guy around.

Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:38 am

RE: Good Tripod

Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:42 am

One thing I have read and learned about tripod is get the best you can afford now. Getting the $30 Walmart tripod isn't the best thing. Tripods will last a long time and as you grow as a photographer, later you can always upgrade.

I am currently 18 and after saving up for awhile i bought an pretty expensive tripod, around $200. What type of gear do you currently have and what type of pictures are you trying to get?

Topic Author
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:22 pm

RE: Good Tripod

Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:17 am

I have a Nikon D3100 with a 55-300mm lens. I will be trying to get some nice night shots.
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Good Tripod

Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:41 pm

There are several things to consider when looking at tripods..

Rigidity, the more solid the better!

Weight/size, the less the better

You are young, likely studying math in school, you could plot curves for the above parameters, they will cross at some point..

The most rigid tripod will not enhance your images if it is so bulky and heavy you leave it at home.

The lightest most portable tripod is similarly useless if it is like mounting you camera on a block of jelly.

You are the only one that can choose that crossing point.

The next question is apart from low light and very few other situations what AvPhoto needs do you have that require a tripod?

Having burned out more than a few shutters over many 1000's of images I have rarely required a tripod(apart from supporting the camera between shoots)
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:54 pm

RE: Good Tripod

Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:44 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 3):
Weight/size, the less the better

On the size point, not really the less the better. In some parts in the world (for example Finland) you need very high tripods to reach over the fence to get the cool night shot. So consider that fact, how much height does your local airport(s) require.
I bought myself Slik's 700DX, and I have to use it as sort of monopod when trying to shoot over the fence.

Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:16 pm

RE: Good Tripod

Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:18 pm

I do a ton of night shooting and I use the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod, with a Manfrotto ball head. I highly recommend this tripod! Before I got this tripod, I used the Manfrotto 475 Pro Tripod. The 475 is a great tripod, but it weighs about 6 pounds more than the carbon fiber. In my opinion the carbon fiber is just as rigid as the 475 which is made out of aluminum. The other plus with 055 is it is much, much easier to travel with. The biggest set up I use with the 055 is a Canon 40D with a Canon 100-400L IS lens, which it handles fine. I know you talked about the money, but in my opinion it might be best to save up and get what you really want. I wished I had went with the carbon fiber as my first choice, but I though the heavier the tripod the better, which is not true, in my opinion. Just my 2 cents.

Andrew C.


Posts: 727
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:22 pm

RE: Good Tripod

Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:59 am

you really have to have an idea what your budget is
All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:12 pm

RE: Good Tripod

Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:40 pm

I bought a tripod recently from Calemut a photgraphic chain here in the UK it cost £55 and found it was just the right size when collapsed to fit in my carrybag and not give the game away that I was carrying expensive camera gear.

When doing time lapse shooting at night with all 3 legs spread I found the tripod a little too lite so I had to press down on it to stop it shaking when a big jet passed over head trailing a strong vortex for certain shots. When there is no car traffic passing by you can hear the coolest sound ever of air molecules being whipped tight by the vortex, it sounds like a whiplash slowed down, has anyone else heard this?

But I digress the other thing I recommend using the tripod is for day shots, but bring the legs together at a point and treat it like a monopod, it will guarantee very crisp in focus shots more often, especially three quarter head on shots where the aircraft nose is in the top left or right hand corner. Before using the tripod the nose often looked soft or blurred, no more when using a tripod, plus using your tripod monopod style allows easier panning shots. If you want to pan and tilt just set your pan or tilt locks until they bite enough to allow smooth movement. It took a few hours to perfect the technique, without compromising any of my shot angles I always used before.

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