There are many factors to consider and it's not just a matter of going to a shop and buying one that looks good.
Don't think that because it looks good and it's cheap that it will be suitable. Not all tripods are the same and you need to consider many of the factors below before price is a factor - read on. Ideally you'll be spending a minimum AUD$300 - $400 so that you'll get a tripod that is suitable, sturdy and will last more than 5 minutes!
Don't buy a plastic tripod. They break easily and really are not for anyone getting out to shoot landscapes. An alloy or carbon fibre material is for more durable and will last longer. Alloy is cheaper whereas carbon fibre is more expensive due to the weight saving.
When you fully extend the tripod legs, the tripod head should sit at about neck height for you. This is without the centre column extended upwards. You don't want to use the centre column often, if at all. Extending this to get the camera higher just creates instability with your tripod, making it liable to tip over or shake in a strong wind. Some top end tripod manufactures no longer include a centre column at all!
Sure we all want a tripod that weighs next to nothing so we can take it anywhere. But that's not going to happen. A study tripod that will last more than 5 minutes will weigh a little and just like your camera bag with camera, lenses, water, etc, it will weigh a bit and need to be carried.
There are two basic ways of fastening the tripod legs once they've been extended. Each are fine - it just depends on what you like. The screw legs frustrate some people because they forget which way they go to tighten - clockwise or anti-clockwise. The clip legs frustrate some too because they have a tendency to loosen over time when them being open and closed so often. This can easily be fixed with a simple tool that is supplied (like Manfrotto does) to tighten them. I don't mind either. Each are fine. It's personal preference.
This should be the last consideration. As said before, the best tripod is one that is easy to set up, is the right height, sturdy and one you'll take anywhere without hesitation. Spend a bit of money to get a good tripod that will last you. You won't regret it.
THIS IS WHAT I CURRENTLY USE -
What do I love about it?
It's light (carbon fibre), sturdy, the right height for me (I'm 6ft), screw lock legs that are quick to tighten, and I got it cheap (just AUD$680).
I hope you found this useful - shoot me an email at email@example.com if you have any questions or need a hand.
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Thank you for stopping by.
I've been photographing landscapes now for over 25 years. I love creating art. It's who I am. I couldn't think of a more gratifying career.
Your purchase continues to support my creative journey and I THANK YOU so much for that.
I trust that your purchase will bring you years of enjoyment.
Cheers Tom Putt
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