Choosing a Tripod

Choosing a Tripod
Alan Ranger Photography

This is probably one of the most frequent questions I get asked from students so I thought I would republish this from my Sep 2013 newsletter

Which tripod do you recommend?

Those that have asked this know my stock answer is always “depends”! That’s because it really does depend on several factors: check the manfrotto site for configuration advice:


Naturally the more you spend the better, stronger and maybe lighter the tripod gets

Cheap tripods are cheap for a reason – they simply don’t do the job, they are not versatile and you will end up spending the £30-80 several times over the course of a couple of years.  So invest in the best you can afford from the start!

Weight and Height

Height is important if you don’t want to be stooping down over a tripod because it has limited height or you make the tripod unsteady because you can only get the height you need by using the centre column.   Therefore think about your own comfortable working height and also the opportunity to work at mm’s from the ground (so a removable centre column is a must)

Weight, unfortunately if you want lightweight without compromising stability then this is going to push the price up considerably. 

Type of photography

This aspect mainly effects the tripod head – so unless you are specifically only interested in bird photography then my recommendations below are generic for most styles.

So those considerations aside my choices for entry level are:

Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod Legs  £85-£95  

Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod Legs £115-£130    

  • ·         Supports cameras up to 7 k g
  • ·         Legs constructed from tubular aluminium

Manfrotto 327RC2 Light Duty Grip Ball Head £100-£140

Item Weight: 0.62 Kg

Manfrotto Junior Geared Head £120-£140

Item Weight: 1.2 Kg

Manfrotto 405 Pro Geared Head £290- £350

Item Weight: 1.6 Kg

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