The Perfect Tripod…

If you’re reading this because of the title, you might be thinking I’ve found the perfect tripod. Sadly, that isn’t the case so if you are reading this and hoping to part with some hard-earned cash at the end of it, you can stop reading now.

I started writing this post sometime in the middle of last year. I’d recently returned from a holiday in Scotland, not a trip specifically for photography, but one where I’d managed to fit in some photography around a holiday. I’d recently purchased a new travel tripod and I was convinced this would solve all my issues with carrying a tripod and it would be a joy to use.

After numerous hours of research, I opted to purchase the 3Legged Thing Leo travel tripod. I’ve always liked 3Legged Thing gear and Leo looked a good combination of size, weight, and load capacity. I also threw my Giottos 3 section aluminium tripod in the boot as well, just in case I needed something a bit sturdier.

Leo is nice and small, just 35cm when folded and it straps nicely to the side of my Lowepro ProRunner 350. It’s also exceptionally light, weighing in at just under 1.5Kg so I hardly noticed it was there. This meant that it went with me almost every time I went out, which is a step in the right direction as I normally can’t be bothered to carry a tripod around.

I love photographing water, so having the tripod with me allowed me to do some longer exposures and get those silky water effects. While any tripod is better than no tripod, Leo wasn’t as easy to work with as I’d hoped.

There are a few reasons I didn’t get on with Leo. First, this tripod has twist locks on the legs. Being a travel tripod, Leo has five leg sections, this means that if you want to extend all the legs to their maximum height you have twelve twist locks to operate. I found this tedious after a while. The other major issue I had, was the maximum height of this tripod. Again, being a travel tripod and its ridiculously small size when folded, the maximum height of this tripod without extending the centre column is a little on the short side.

After I returned from Scotland, I decided I needed to shop for a different tripod. While considering what features I was looking for in the perfect tripod, I had an epiphany.

“There is no perfect tripod”

All the tripods I own are really good in their own right, but no one tripod is going to be perfect for everything. Leo is really good when I’m out walking but has the drawbacks I mentioned above. My Giottos tripod is really solid and quick to set up but too heavy and cumbersome to carry around all day. My Platypod is really convenient when I don’t want to carry a tripod at all.

I have purchased another tripod since returning from Scotland, but more of that in another post. This new tripod isn’t a replacement for my Leo, but rather to compliment it. It’s more of a replacement for my Giottos aluminium tripod.

My advice to anyone looking for the perfect tripod, is don’t. Look for a tripod that meets the specific requirements you have for the type of photography you do and be prepared to make some compromises. If you need different things from your tripod for different situations, buy different tripods. I know this isn’t going to be a popular statement, but it’s the conclusion I’ve arrived at after going through many more tripods than I needed to.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings. Until next time, have a good one!

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