Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New camera tripod

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:

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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.IMG_0901-3.cgGMYEc9OlCv.jpg

The tripod ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​o​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​i​​​​​​​​​n​​​​​​​​​​​​​c​​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​u​​​​​​​​​​​​​​d​​​​​​​​​​​​e​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​m​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​p​​​​​​​​​​​​​i​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​r​​​​​​​​​​i​​​​​​​​​​​t​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​e​​​​​​​​​​​v​​​​​​​​​e​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​b​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ui​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​t​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​i​​​n​​​​​​t​​​o​​​ ​​​​​​t​​​h​​​​​​e​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​fr​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​m​​​​​​e​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​f​​​​​​o​​​​​​r​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​q​​​u​​​i​​​​​​c​​​k​​​l​​​y​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​de​​​t​​​erm​​​in​​​in​​​g​​​ i​​​​​​​​​​f ​​​​​​​​​​​​th​​​e​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​tripod ​​​​​​i​​​s​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​l​​​e​​​​​​​​​v​​​e​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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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.

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