How much difference does a tripod make?

dognuts

Novice Member
Been thinking about buying a tripod recently,but I am fairly reluctant to do so.
Bought a 400d about 8 months ago and a tripod is always something that has nagged me because I dont actually want to use one,but surely they make a reasonable amount of difference,otherwise people wouldnt use them?

Apologies for the stupid question but I feel like I need someone to convince me to start using one.
 

dazza74

Novice Member
I think they are pretty essential, certainly if you fancy doing any form of landscape photography, long exposures etc you don't really have a choice but to invest in one IMHO. I like using a tripod because ones I've setup the camera I can easily take multiple shots at different appetures to experiment with, take bracketed shots etc. I'd be lost without a tripod personally.
 

h4rri

Novice Member
Depends on the type of shots you take. Great for long exposures or macro set-ups where you want the camera to be static. I would say they are good to have and you can get them for around £50 these days, something else to think about would be a monopod, these are great for assisting in long exposure shots but not as usefull as a tripod.
 

allymac123

Novice Member
For me personally I would rather have my 40D wih one lens and a tripod than all my kit and no tripod.

Without a tripod you can't feasably use exposures longer than say 1/20s and considering a vast majority of my shots are over 1s then it just wouldn't be possible without one.

If say your just shooting portraits then a tripod is probably not so important. If you're shooting landscape's then tbh it is an absolute must.
 

SomeVorn

Novice Member
If you ever want a chance at getting photos as good and sharp as a professional, then you need a tripod.

Even the steadiest of hands and VR/IS cannot compare to a decent pair of legs and a sturdy head. One of the differences between an amateur photograher and a Pro - 99% of the time, a pro will have a tripod with them, everywhere they go. Now I appreciate that I'm not pro and (as far as I know) neither are you - but I do aspire to take photos that will equal or surpass those taken by professionals. A tripod is the first step to getting pro-quality, tack sharp images.

I'd also add that I find my tripod an important compositional tool. I take more time looking for better locations rather than just settling on the first I find. I have to think about the height of the camera, the angle of the lens etc and how these decisions will affect the composition.

Finally, the one problem is that with everything you buy in photography, you get what you pay for. The one I own now is a Slik Pro 340 Dx (don't let the Pro fool you, there are much better legs out there) but I'm happy with them for now. One problem is the max operating height is around 5ft 6". I'm 6ft so its not ideal and at max operating height, you lose stability when using the centre column. So I tend to leave the centre column lowered and let my back suffer. If I was to upgrade my tripod I'd expect to pay about £150 - the Manfrotto 190proxb is extremely popular, with a good sturdy head attached I doubt you'd need to upgrade for a good few years.
 

MAH

Standard Member
If you ever want a chance at getting photos as good and sharp as a professional, then you need a tripod.

Even the steadiest of hands and VR/IS cannot compare to a decent pair of legs and a sturdy head. One of the differences between an amateur photograher and a Pro - 99% of the time, a pro will have a tripod with them, everywhere they go. Now I appreciate that I'm not pro and (as far as I know) neither are you - but I do aspire to take photos that will equal or surpass those taken by professionals. A tripod is the first step to getting pro-quality, tack sharp images.

I'd also add that I find my tripod an important compositional tool. I take more time looking for better locations rather than just settling on the first I find. I have to think about the height of the camera, the angle of the lens etc and how these decisions will affect the composition.

Finally, the one problem is that with everything you buy in photography, you get what you pay for. The one I own now is a Slik Pro 340 Dx (don't let the Pro fool you, there are much better legs out there) but I'm happy with them for now. One problem is the max operating height is around 5ft 6". I'm 6ft so its not ideal and at max operating height, you lose stability when using the centre column. So I tend to leave it the centre column lowered and let my back suffer. If I was to upgrade my tripod I'd expect to pay about £150 - the Manfrotto 190proxb is extremely popular, with a good sturdy head attached I doubt you'd need to upgrade for a good few years.
I agree 100% with this post :thumbsup: I have the 055PROB tri-pod and it's heavy when a decent ball head is attached especially when hiking up hills, but it's not going to fall over and damage my camera or lens... Which cost a lot more than the tri-pod.
 

dognuts

Novice Member
Thanks for all the replies,very helpful.Enough for me to buy one finally.

Right,just one other thing.
I see photos on this site and elsewhere and my shots are nowhere near the same quality.Im currently using the kit lens, and a Tamron 55-200mm f/4-5.6 Di II LD Macro.
Any suggestions on a new lens.I am thinking mainly for landscape,and im looking at the Sigma 10-20mm(for a bit of fun as much as anything else) plus one other.

Thanks.
 

allymac123

Novice Member
tbh For landscape photo's at the resolution displayed here the lens will make next to no fathomable difference. Except for the focal length in which case an ultra-wide angle like the sigma you mentioned would be needed to replicate some shots.
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
Tripod is a must for landscapes (manfrotto 190+ ball head user). I use it along side ND / grads, a polariser , MLU and self timer (or cable).

10-20mm is an excelent lens, very versatile, but for landscapes can often get way too much foreground and sky in. You can take good landscapes at any focal length, but for an example of the sigma with the above have a look at :

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/robdickinson/2007 xmas hols/riwaka1.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/robdickinson/2007 xmas hols/mapua.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/robdickinson/2007 xmas hols/waterfall.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/robdickinson/2007 xmas hols/lewis.jpg
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Even with indoor shots, sometimes you may wish to use existing light to the fullest and limit how high you up the ISO.. The tripod is essential there to prevent lowshuuter speed shake
The IS system is perhaps a way in which you can get shots if you dont want to ( or cant ) use a tripod but this is no substitute for a good tripod if it will get you the shot

Im not sure what your reluctance has been but it isnt hard to use or get used to

One Favourite use in my house is when I wan to be in the picture and there in no one to take it. The tripod and self timer are the key to that.
Off topic: With a Camcorder you really cannot do without one
 

Yandros

Novice Member
Thanks for all the replies,very helpful.Enough for me to buy one finally.

Right,just one other thing.
I see photos on this site and elsewhere and my shots are nowhere near the same quality.Im currently using the kit lens, and a Tamron 55-200mm f/4-5.6 Di II LD Macro.
Any suggestions on a new lens.I am thinking mainly for landscape,and im looking at the Sigma 10-20mm(for a bit of fun as much as anything else) plus one other.

Thanks.
As Ally says, as the resolution seen here (about 0.5MP) you should see very little difference between lenses, and unless the technique and settings are wrong, between handheld and tripod.

Post a few pics, as it may be as simple as focus, DOF, slow shutter speed, or needing sorting out in PP.
 

PoisonJam

Active Member
The Sigma 10-20mm is a fantastic lens choice :) It can be had for as little as £250 from www.onestop-digital.com. It'll be my next lens purchase as soon as I can afford it and will mean I have 10-200mm covered :clap:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Get the cheaper one..:D
it is less costly but more than likely capable enough considering there are £19 "no name" tripods..:(
The 400D is a small light camera, unless you are thinking of pairing it with lenses twice it weight and using it in challenging weather conditions it would be hard to justify spending more IMHO
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Got to be fair, in some instances any tripod at all is better than none. However as time goes on the better ones ( especially with video) show where the extra money goes
 

h4rri

Novice Member
One thing to watch out for when buying your tripod is the weight limit of it, I noticed my cheapie [which was a superb tripod for the money] was only rated to 2Kgs. When my kit exceeded this I had to change :(

If you aren't sure whether you will use one then grab a bargain one and go from there :)
 

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