For the past several years, I’ve been using a really cheap tripod with my camera. I knew it wasn’t very high quality (I spent probably $20 on it years ago), but whenever I looked at higher-end tripods, the prices always scared me away.
Well, this week, after struggling with trying to get sharp pictures using a wobbly flimsy tripod while using my heavy 400mm telephoto lens, I finally decided to get a better tripod. I talked to a friend of mine who does professional photography and got some recommendations. I ended up settling on a tripod made by Manfrotto - the 190XPROB with the 486RC2 ball head attachment.
I received the tripod today and WOW, it makes a huge difference in the sharpness of my pictures vs. using the old tripod.
Here’s a picture of what the whole thing looks like with my camera attached:
This is a close-up of the ball head attachment. The ball head uses a nifty quick-release mechanism for quickly attaching and releasing the camera. No more scrambling to quickly turn a hard-to-reach screw to attach the camera to the tripod before a bird flies away.
The tripod also includes a small spirit level built into the frame for quickly determining if the tripod is level.
The tripod cost about $145, and the ball-head was another $75. Yeah, it seems very pricey compared to the $20 tripod I had before, but this thing is very well made and should last my lifetime. Plus, the key point is it lets me take noticeably better photos, so I think it’s definitely worth it.