A tripod is one of the most essential accessories available to a photographer, but it’s also one of the most misused. Our Head of Testing, Angela Nicholson, looks at some of the most common mistakes that photographers make with their tripod and explains how to avoid them.
Common Tripod Mistakes: 1. Flimsy tripod
Not surprisingly many photographers are a little strapped for cash after buying their first serious camera and lens.
It’s only natural therefore, that they are drawn towards the cheaper end of the market when selecting a tripod.
Sadly, this can be a false economy as many bargain tripods lack the stability that’s required to hold a camera steady.
Rather than rushing into buying a flimsy tripod, which need to be replaced when it’s found not to hold the camera still in a light breeze, it’s better to save a little longer and buy a decent tripod.
Buying the right model first time around will save you money in the long run.
Before you buy, think carefully about how you intend to use your camera and the type of tripod that will be most useful.
If you want to shoot lots of macro and still life photography at home, then a large, heavy tripod will serve you well.
If you plan on shooting landscapes that are a long walk from the car, however, you may want something a little smaller and lighter.
Combine lightweight with stability pushes the cost up, but it will pay dividends in the end.
PAGE 1: Flimsy tripod
PAGE 2: Leaving the tripod behind
PAGE 3: Extending centre column
PAGE 4: Extending the bottom sections first
PAGE 5: Not leveling the shoulder
PAGE 6: Carrying the camera on the tripod
PAGE 7: Not weighting the tripod
PAGE 8: Erecting a tripod on wet sand
Best budget tripods: 6 top models tested and rated
DSLR Tips: the best settings for preserving detail in any situation
10 common landscape photography mistakes every photographer makes
50 photography tips from jobbing pros to famous photographers
Hands-free photography: 4 ways to take pictures without touching your camera
Camera Shake: the ultimate cheat sheet for using tripods, monopods and shooting handheld