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Dr.Marie

Tripod Recommendations?

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I am really loving my Canon Rebel T2i. I initially bought it for my veterinary website, but it's proving really helpful for our real estate site. I took some photos of a listing of ours and they were just as good as the professional ones we had done (other than the fact that some rooms needed a wide angle lens - I'll be buying that soon!).

 

I need to get a tripod for the camera. We're going to be shooting some customer testimonials and also a number of other videos.

 

There's a real variation in prices for tripods. I don't even know how to start comparing them. I see Amazon.com has tripods for as little as $10, where my local Bestbuy has some that are several hundred dollars.

 

So, does anyone know what I should be looking for? Height? Sturdiness?

 

If anyone has any recommendations they'd be greatly appreciated!

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There are essentially two kinds of tripods: Those for use in a studio and those intended for lugging to non-studio locations. Ideally, one would expect the former should be heavy and sturdy, while the latter should be light and sturdy. Pragmatically, of course, there are always trade-offs. In some respects, high-quality tripods are analogous to high-quality bicycles, where weight (or lack of it) can add a LOT to the cost. It's ironic because all such tripods have a hook near the base where you can hang . . . a big bag of rocks or something similarly heavy. ;)

 

For me, the biggest single factor when selecting a tripod (after weight) is the locking mechanisms (and there are typically 8-12 of them). When I lock that camera into a specific position, I need it to STAY locked. A lot of cheaper tripods, in my experience, don't have reliable locks. Other features that are useful might include a leveling bubble, a quick release (attaches to the camera and snaps directly onto the tripod), and the availability of a good rolling base (for the studio, of course).

 

Unfortunately, I can't offer any more specific recommendations, and certainly nothing current. A good tripod should last you most of a lifetime . . . and mine have. :)

 

If you're going to be photographing or filming human beings, be sure to invest in a couple of good reflectors, too. There are very few lighting situations that can't be improved by carefully placed reflectors to help shape and color the shadows of the human face. A big white poster board will work in a pinch. A gold colored reflector will flatter most skin tones tremendously. You can prop up your reflectors with a handy chair or invest in a few light weight stands specifically designed for that purpose. Lots and lots of options, ranging from five bucks to several hundred dollars. Dollar for dollar, though, and pound for pound, reflectors will enhance your work more than probably any other investment.

 

You are embarking on a journey. :)

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Yeah, what he said.

 

If just indoors on nice flat floor then a cheap one will do. If you are going to be going places, light weight, and if on unlevel ground, maybe one with spikes...

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[bites lip]

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You must have a very sore lip Wit, you are forever biting it.

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Maybe.

 

Then again, Wit didn't actually say it was his lip he was biting?

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I also like to carry a monopod if I am "quick shooting" when I do not want to spend time setting up a tripod for each shot or if I do not want to carry a tripod.

Also I use vibration resistant lenses to help keep the shot clear.

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