A good tripod makes all the difference for photography- a stable platform to shoot from will make or break the £1000's invested in glass and high megapixel cameras, a blurred shot is rarely a good one, so investing in a good tripod is a wise move.
A good tripod is one that: 1) stabilized your shots and 2) is either so good to use, or easy to carry that you actually bring it with you- a tripod in the car, or back at home is a useless tripod.
They say in tripods you can have light, cheap, tall, or compact- and certainly not all of them. But this tripod is just right for most people, it's not carbon fibre so it's not super lightweight, but at less than £100 it's a good buy. It's not the tallest tripod in the world but it goes to eye level for someone who's 6ft. Being a 3 section tripod it's not particularly small, especially with a big head on it, but strapped to a rucksack it's not usually a problem.
Overall it's just a good tripod- build quality is expectedly great, the leg angle locks work exceptionally well (wish I could say the same about the leg lever locks as I hate them and they're incredibly hard to operate in cold weather)
You can't really go wrong with manfrotto- so if you need a tripod, get one of these instead of a super cheap one that will ruin your shots and break when you need it most.
One of the biggest mistakes and often the most costly mistake made by up and coming photographers is that they think they can just splash out some money on a decent camera, buy a learn yourself digital photography book and start shooting like the pro`s, unfortunately it is not that easy.
When it comes to spending money you are far from finished when you purchase your camera, there is so much more needed and one of the most important things is a tripod. A lot of budding photographers are put off buying a tripod because of the money they can cost but the fact is you can actually pick up tripod`s these days very cheaply.
I would not recommend buying the very cheap tripods if you intend to be taking photos like a pro but it is also not necessary to go splashing out hundreds of pounds either as there are many decent mid range tripods available that will do you a good service until that day where you decide to upgrade.
The Manfrotto 055DB BASIC TRIPOD is one of those and although Manfrotto themselves call it basic I would rate it much more highly than that. The difference between shooting with a tripod and shooting hand held is a simple one, hand held you will never get tack sharp images but with a tripod you will. The difference between a cheap tripod and a good tripod is the same, the degree of sharpness in the picture.
Almost every tripod you can buy will give you great if not perfect results at its lowest level but once extended there can still be visible movement, the more you spend and the better the tripod the less the movement. I have found through using this Tripod that the results have been brilliant part extended and very, very good when fully extended.
There are still shots I would not trust this tripod for but then I am a professional now and I think through my time of learning I would have been very happy with this particular tripod and can honestly say it performs better than some of the ones I used on my way to turning pro.
This Manfrotto is black in colour and is made from Aluminium (ideally you would want a carbon fibre tripod but they are very expensive), it works from a low height of 44cm through to a fully extended height of 181cm which translates to between 1.5 feet to 5.9 feet which makes it fine for most types of landscape and also very suitable for portrait photography where the maximum height you would wish to shoot at is your models eye line, so unless your model is extremely tall their eye line will not exceed 5foot 9 inches.
The tripod itself weighs in at 2.2KG so it is not too heavy to carry around if you are out and about on landscape shoots and it can take 7Kg of weight so it is fine for even those long heavy lenses you might use on a wildlife shoot or similar. It has three leg adjustment sections allowing you real versatility when adjusting height and they adjust by quick release levers so it is all very easy and fast to adjust.
The movement and flow of the head of your tripod is of great importance, you want it to flow like water when you are changing height and angle or panning a shot because any stutter from the mechanism could cost you a shot. This tripod offers the exact flow you would want and also it is very quiet and therefore also useful for video cameras as well as still image units.
It is fully tilt and pan operable which means it will tilt 90 degrees downwards, 65 degrees upwards and will pan a full 365 degrees, thus allowing you to capture images from all angles without dismounting and re-setting the camera.
There is one thing lacking from this tripod and that is a carrying handle but you could easily buy a carry bag or a carry strap for it so do not let that put you off. If you want to take serious photos then a tripod is a must and skimping and saving will not allow you to get the right equipment, this particular tripod can be found for around £75 but is also on some sites online for as much as £98 so take care when purchasing that you get a good deal.
You will also find if you look into tripods in any great deal that you can pick tripods up for as low as £25 but if you intend to use them at full or even half height then it will be money wasted, some of the tripods at the lower end of the market are as shaky if not more so as shooting hand held and they are false economy in the long run. As you learn the trade and get better you will want to upgrade your equipment for sure and this tripod will last you a lot longer than a cheapy will before you out grow it.
Some tripods available and used by the pro`s such as the Velbon Sherpa carbon fibre or the Giottos MT carbon fibre can set you back well over £400 so this one is nowhere near the most expensive but is one of the much better low cost ones available to find a match for this one's performance and capabilities you need to be looking into mid range Sony`s at well over £100 so this is a great bargain when you look at it like that.
I would have no worries about recommending this tripod to beginners or even mid range amateurs but if you are top end amateur or pro and looking for a tripod that will suit super macro shooing or high end sports photography then this is not going to give you the results you are looking for. This is a sturdy and very durable tripod so it will last probably longer than you have use for it which means that you can always sell it on second hand when it is time for you to upgrade.
A tip for users of this tripod or any other for that matter would be that if you are using it near the seaside or perhaps it's a bit windy and dusty where you are shooting then be sure to wipe the tripod clean using a mild detergent and then dry thoroughly because you do not want the tilt and pan mechanism to become dry due to dust or sand gathering in it because then it will become sticky to manoeuvre and noisy which you want to avoid.
Thanks for reading
© 2008 thebigc1690