Image stabilisation features in lenses and improved high ISO performance in cameras, have transformed the possibilities of taking pictures in low light, but the steady base of a tripod is your best choice when it comes to exploring the creative possibilities of slow shutter speeds and low light.
Here are some quick tips on using a tripod effectively, as well as some features you'll want to look at when choosing the best tripod for your needs. Use these tips to set up your tripod and you'll get sharp results.
It may seem like a simple procedure, but it's surprising how many people get it wrong.
You should use the top sections first. Do not extend the thin flimsy lower sections until all the top sections have been extended. The top sections are more stable and less prone to vibration and flex. You should also avoid using the central column as much as possible, especially in windy conditions, as it is the least stable part of the tripod. Instead, be sure to extend the legs as far as they will go before using the central column. You can hang your camera bag from the central column to aid stability.
The images below illustrate the worst possible way of setting up a tripod, and the best, most stable method.
When moving the tripod around between shots, remove your camera! Too many times I've seen people with expensive cameras and large lenses nearly fall off the mount, or become overbalanced during transportation. Please remove your camera and store it safely!
Are you looking to use the tripod on extended treks? If soyou would be better off looking at some of the light weight carbon composite models as some of the mid-range models can be quite heavy.
If you may be using your tripod in water, consider how waterproof the leg construction is. Can water get inside the tubes and fill up? Can it drain out easy enough afterwards?
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