In the last two weeks, five people asked me about tripods: doubts, suggestions, advices, what do I use… So this Tuesday’s post is to clarify and explain some of the things you should look for when buying a tripod. I hope it’s useful for you all who are hesitating.
Anyway, if you still have doubts, send me an email and I’ll be more than glad to ask you.
1- HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN IT HOLD?
That’s one of the first things to look. Don’t forget to add to your camera weight the batteries and lenses; you don’t want to smash your camera into the ground.
The ideal height for me is not under 160cm, but it will depend on each one. If your camera is not Full Frame, you should consider having a taller tripod so you don’t see things “so close” and you don’t have to use a chair to get to take top view photos.
3- FOLDING COLUMN
That’s a really interesting option when photographing food from a top view. But don’t go crazy about it and go to buy a really expensive one just because of that feature.
There are a lot of possibilities; I work with a super strong tripod that can hold my 5D Mark IV and I bought apart an extensive arm so I can take my top view photos easily. It’s not very expensive and it’s very resistant.
Sometimes we read in the description of a tripod that it’s made of carbon fibre and we forget everything else. Yes, that material is light and an amazing option when you are using huge tripods for cinema cameras, but for photography the material shouldn’t be the determinant factor.
It is important, though, that it’s not made of plastic (specially the pads and the head of the tripod) as it’s to weak and doesn’t last a lot.
5- BALL OR 3D HEAD
a lot of people love ball heads; I’m not one of them. It is true that ball heads are super quick to use but the stability of a 3D head is incomparable. To photograph food, where you don’t need to catch the moment, 3D head is perfect.
6- EXTRA: DO I REALLY NEED A TRIPOD?
Well, if you are going to photograph food then the answer is, definitely, yes. If you have a very good lens and your studio or room has a lot of light, you might work without it but as soon as the light is not enough or you want to catch up the movement in the picture, you will need one if you don0’t want a blur in your picture.