Product Type: Jessops tripods
Newest Review: ... moves around whenever it wants so we don't really use this to be honest. *This review was written before Jessops went into administrat... more
A decent tripod but perhaps a tad overpriced.
Jessops TP327 Tripod
Member Name: carlz2001uk
Jessops TP327 Tripod
Advantages: Decent 5.5 feet extension, lightweight
Disadvantages: Overpriced, rubbish spirit level feature
My husband is massively into photography and spends an enormous amount of his spare time taking some amazing pictures. Over the years as I have watched him, my own interest has increased and now, although I am nowhere near as good as him, I quite enjoy photography too.
A few months ago I decided to invest in a tripod for him (us!). Before I got interested in photography, I didn't understand the need for a tripod and couldn't understand why a table, etc wouldn't do the job just as well!! I have since however learnt the importance of a fixed base for an SLR, especially an SLR with decent features.
The first time I understood the importance of one was on holiday last year when my husband started setting up his tripod and giving the girls some sparklers. He asked them to try and draw love hearts in the air, and using a specific setting on his camera he was able to capture the full circle or love heart that was hanging in the air from the sparkler. This doesn't sound all that exciting but for anyone that has every tried to take a photo of this or even watch someone with a sparkler, you'll realise that you cannot capture the full symbol or whatever they have drawn as it disappears too quickly. The importance of the tripod was the fixed point to ensure that it was capturing the same background image, etc. Of course there was a need to try and stay in the same place and not to move the feet too much but the pictures he captured that night were just beautiful.
Another reason to invest in a tripod is the ability to shoot the night sky. When I first started following my husband's interest I naively didn't realise you couldn't pick up stars etc in the night sky with a 'normal' camera, and couldn't understand his excitement when he first got his SLR. It wasn't until he explained and I saw just how magnificent his photos were that I realised how important the tripod was to keep the shot steady and focused. He went out really late one night in the forest in Lapland hunting for the Northern Lights which I was desperate for him to see - the photographers ultimate photograph. Unfortunately despite the clear skies we didn't see them whilst there, but his photos are absolutely amazing and he assured me he would not have had the same success without a tripod.
This tripod while fairly expensive for a tripod (you can pick them up from £10), isn't a professional one, they are much much more expensive at upwards of £300, so this tripod is more suited to the amateur, keen photographer with a little more experience than someone just starting out who perhaps could get away with a basic and cheap one to start with. For the £45 that I paid for it, I do think it's a fairly decent bit of kit, perhaps a touch overpriced in comparison to similar products but in hind sight I perhaps didn't exactly know what I was looking for when I bought this for my husband as a little gift.
For us, the most important point to this tripod is its weight. We holiday quite a lot and knowing we were going to Lapland for a week at Christmas time, I knew he would want to bring it with us, so it had to be lightweight enough that it would be a viable option to pop in a suitcase and then be carrying around with us on journeys out in Lapland. Our previous holiday hadn't been an issue as we had driven to France so the weight didn't come into it, but it fit neatly into our suitcase this time and was lightweight enough that it didn't cause any issues with the baggage allowance. This is just as important in the UK, as I would imagine that the majority of times the tripod would be needed for most photographers would be for outdoor shooting and you're most likely going to be walking with it, but it just isn't an issue and in comparison to some quite weighty alternatives this one is a nice manageable weight, at just under 4 lb's.
At its full extension the tripod will reach a pretty decent 5.5 feet, but we have found that the higher you extend it the more likely it is that it starts to become less stable. We have only noticed a 'wobble' once when it was extended to full height, but the camera itself doesn't seem all that secure way up there! Given that the camera we are using at the moment was £700, we could do without it falling off! Quite a cheap SLR in comparison to some, but still a lot of money to us! We have in fact stopped extending it to such a height and now stop at around 4 feet where it seems much more stable. This kind of height would mainly be for photographers wishing to take portrait photos anyway which we don't really do so it hasn't been a massive issue for us, but is worth considering if you are thinking about buying this specific tripod.
The tripod also gives the option to tilt and move the camera angle from shooting just straight forward which is handy. The release for the camera is also decent and doesn't leave you faffing to remove it.
Another little feature to the tripod is the spirit level which allows you to check that you are shooting straight, however we have found that this seems to have a mind of its own and moves around whenever it wants so we don't really use this to be honest.
*This review was written before Jessops went into administration. If you have the option to pick up this camera second hand though or from a secondary retailer, I would recommend if the price is lower than the £45 I paid, as it wasn't worth this price.
Summary: 3 stars