10 Recommended Full-Sized Tripods

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When it comes to image quality, the one piece of gear everyone recommends is the tripod. A good-quality tripod is one of the most important accessories you can get for your camera, but with so many new brands and options out there, choosing the right one can be a challenge. For this article, I spoke to the experts at the B&H SuperStore and have put my hands on 10 different full-sized tripods and tripod heads and can share with you my opinions on why they are recommended.

If you aren’t familiar with many of the options or components on a tripod, feel free to get some background in The Tripod Explained. The information contained in that article may help you decode some of the terms I will be using here.

This list of recommended full-sized tripods will span a wide range of costs, and are listed from highest to lowest price (as of press time), but rest assured, regardless of the price, these tripods come highly recommended by the sales staff at the B&H SuperStore for all photographic needs and budgets.

1. Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BH-55 Ball Head

The old expression was that the best of something was the “Cadillac” of its kind. Well, Really Right Stuff supports are the Rolls Royces of the tripod world. The TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Mk2 carbon fiber tripod is a beautiful unit with a diamond-pattern carbon veneer, twist-locks, and rubber ball feet. The RRS TVC-33 Mk2 has a ratcheting system for the leg angle locks that lets you keep your hands free of pinching once you pull out the stop. Nice! Also, the metal parts are made from a CNC milling process from a solid chunk of metal, not from a mold, for extra strength and durability.

Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod

The BH-55 Ball Head looks and feels like pure quality. Movements are silky smooth and the base has panning marks for panoramic work, dual 90-degree cutouts for going vertical, as well as a separate tension adjustment. RRS has different clamp options, but this BH-55 has a screw knob to lock the Arca-type-compatible plate. Both the legs and head have a load capacity of 50 lb and reach a combined height of 62.3".

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head with Full Size Screw-Knob Clamp

For those who do not need the full 50-lb capacity of the BH-55, the BH-40 Ball Head is a fantastic alternative. Really Right Stuff is all made in the USA. The best part of owning an RRS tripod? You will never have to suffer from tripod envy.

Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Mk2 and BH-55 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 50 lb
  • Max. Height: 62.3"
  • Min. Height: 7.8"
  • Folded Length: 29.3"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 6.26 lb

2. Gitzo GT2532 Mountaineer Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head

From another premium line of supports, the Gitzo GT2532 Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod features 8-layer Carbon eXact legs with a signature Gitzo veneer. The carbon portion of the center tube can be removed, leaving the shooter with a shortened center tube for very low-angle shooting from a minimum height of 6.3". Fully extended, the legs and ball head will reach 69.8" and support 31 lb. The GT2532’s chassis is made of magnesium and is powder-coated—again with that signature Gitzo look. Leg-angle adjustment tabs are spring-loaded and Gitzo placed O-rings on the tops of the G-Lock Ultra leg twist locks for extra sealing from the elements.

Gitzo GT2532 Mountaineer Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod

The GH1382QD Series 1 Ball Head is a beautiful unit with a unique curving design, Gitzo powder coating, and brushed accents. The metallic ball is coated with a tungsten disulfide. I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds pretty cool and it gives the ball gorgeously smooth movement. A co-axial friction knob allows the main ball control to be adjusted, and there is a separate panning lock. The plate is Arca-type compatible, as well.

Gitzo GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head

Gitzo GT2532 Mountaineer Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 31 lb
  • Max. Height: 69.8"
  • Min. Height: 10.7"
  • Folded Length: 30"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 4.8 lb

3. 3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston Carbon Fiber Tripod with AirHed 360 Ball Head

Fairly new to the tripod pond, but splashing in with splashy colors is the 3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston carbon fiber tripod and AirHed 360 ball head. The Winston is one of the most uniquely designed tripods in the lineup, due to its color combinations and leg lock grip design alone. The leg locks have oval-shaped grips and are very pleasant to adjust. One possibly unique feature is that the leg locks have a secondary locking system that prevents you from loosening the locks and completely removing a leg section. Many photographers new to twist-locks often have anxiety filled moments when they accidently disassemble the tripod while trying to extend it! Also, the legs have anti-rotation fittings to keep them from spinning while extending and retracting. Rare for a full-sized tripod, the legs can fold to the inverted position for more compact storage. Need a monopod or heavy-weight selfie stick? One of the Winston’s legs detaches and can serve a multitude of purposes. A maximum height of 76.9" and a very high load capacity of 88.2 lb makes the Winston ready for the heaviest of chores.

3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston Carbon Fiber Tripod with AirHed 360 Ball Head

The curvy contours of the AirHed 360 ball head are designed to allow the inverted legs to fold close to the head to minimize girth while being transported. The AirHed 360 features a dual-pan design that makes it faster and easier to level the unit. Both panning adjustments have separate locks. The quick release plate is Arca-type compatible.

If bronze and blue is a bit to flashy for you, there is also a much more understated gunmetal gray option.

3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston Carbon Fiber Tripod with AirHed 360 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 88.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 76.9"
  • Min. Height: 10.6"
  • Folded Length: 23.6"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 4.7 lb

4. Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod and V2E Triple Action Ball Head

The Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure carbon fiber tripod is very similar to the Induro I discussed above. The primary difference is the Benro is equipped with flip locks for the legs and a solo foam pad for carrying. The Benro leg flip locks may be the best in the business with very smooth action and an attractive design. The center column is locked down by a wingnut collar system and the triple leg-angle options are achieved by pulling out the locking cams to reposition the legs. The leg’s own bull’s-eye bubble level rides on the chassis. Maximum height with the head is 67.7" and the unit’s load capacity is 26.5 lb.

Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod

The beautiful Benro V2E Triple Action ball head is elegant and purposeful. A blue ball is enclosed in a smooth black body with blue accents on the main adjustment knob. The friction control is located coaxially on the main knob and a separate pan lock allows right to left movement. The Arca-type-compatible quick release has Benro’s unique P&T (pull-and-twist) Safety System that helps prevent accidentally dropping your gear from the top of the tripod.

Benro V2E Triple Action Ball Head

The aluminum alternative to the carbon TAD37C would be the Benro TMA37AL Long Series 3 Mach 3 and B3 Triple Action Ball Head, featuring a heavier capacity, twist locks, and taller maximum height.

Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod and V2E Triple Action Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 26.5 lb
  • Max. Height: 67.7"
  • Min. Height: 19.3"
  • Folded Length: 29.1"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 5.1 lb

5. Oben CT-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod with BE-126 Ball Head

If you are looking for a flip-lock-equipped carbon fiber tripod with a respectable 25-lb maximum load, check out the Oben CT-2381 with BE-126 ball head. A super-versatile center column allows for inverted shooting, or can be split into two sections to allow very low-angle shooting. To keep the two-section center column together, simply tighten the Allen screw when you don’t need the shorter column. The leg-angle locks are of similar design to Benro and Induro and work perfectly—holding the legs at three prescribed angles of 24, 55, and 80 degrees. The rubber feet retract to reveal spikes for anchoring your setup on softer ground. The unit comes with a padded bag and tool kit for keeping your rounded flip locks tight and shortening the center column.

Oben CT-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BE-126 Ball Head Kit

The BE-126 ball head is all business. Arca-type compatible, single 90-degree notch, and a separate panning lock knob are standard features. Innovatively, there is one bull’s-eye level on end of the quick-release locking knob for getting your kit level when shooting horizontally in the notch. Another bull’s-eye is mounted off the quick release plate.

Oben CC-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod with BE-126 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 25 lb
  • Max. Height: 67.9"
  • Min. Height: 10.2"
  • Folded Length: 28.3”
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 4 lb

6. Oben AC-1351 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-113 Ball Head

Versatility is one of the hallmarks of the Oben AC-1351 3-Section Aluminum tripod and BA-113 Ball Head. The black legs are standard, with easy to operate flip locks. The unit’s versatility comes to the fore when we look at the center column. The column is telescoping, but can be removed entirely, and the BA-113 head attached directly to the chassis for low shooting and maximum stability. The gear hook at the bottom is removable and the entire column reverses for extreme low-angle shooting. Up top, the BA-113 ball head has a single lever control for fast operation. The quick-release plates are proprietary, and the head has a special safety lock to prevent accidental release of the plate (and your gear!).

Oben AC-1351 Aluminum Tripod with BA-113 Ball Head

The ball head has a nice, smooth feel, and the top plate is adorned with three bubble levels (two tubes and one bull’s-eye) for leveling on any axis. A single notch allows 90-degree rotation of the head. Both the legs and head have matching load capacities of 13.2 lb, and the unit extends to 65.3". Also, the kit comes with a padded storage/transport bag and the two of the legs are padded.

A four-section alternative to this kit would be the Oben AC-1451 legs and the BA-113 ball head.

Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 13.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 65.3"
  • Min. Height: 9"
  • Folded Length: 27"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 4.1 lb

Are you ready to get the full-sized tripod that best suits your needs? Of course, if you have any questions, post them below or feel free to stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969, or contact us online for a Live Chat.

Read more about tripods in these Explora articles: The Tripod Explained and 12 Recommended Travel Tripods.

91 Comments

Hi - I need a tripod for an old Nikon F4 film camera. The thing is built like a tank and it's heavy, and I'm not sure how it mounts, so I'm anxious to get a tripod that's compatible and that works out of the box. I would use it for studio type shots - indoors. Can you recommend something? Thanks much. - John W.

The Nikon F4 35mm Film SLR Camera has a standard 1/4"-20 tripod socket on the bottom of the camera. The weight of the camera by itself is 2.4 lbs, while the weight of the camera with the MB-21 High Speed Battery Pack is 2.81 lbs. All of the tripods listed above are more than strong enough to support the weight of your camera with a lens. However, if you are looking for recommendations, the FEISOL Elite Tripod CT-3472LV M2 Rapid with Leveling Center Column, B&H # FECT3472LVM2, along with the FEISOL CB-40D Ballhead with QP-144750 Release Plate, B&H # FECB40D, would be a great recommendation from the above options. For other alternatives, the Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod, B&H # IN2SCFT3S, and the Induro BHD0 Ballhead, B&H # INBHD0, would also be recommended. For options that would include the head with the tripod, the Oben CT-3561 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-117T Ball Head, B&H # OBCT3561117T, or the Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod with 700DX 3-Way, Pan-and-Tilt Head (Titanium), B&H # SL700DX, would be my recommendation for your usage needs.

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Hi,  I'm looking for a multi-purpose tripod that I can use for night (Milky Way) Photog as well as landscapes/animals shots using my Canon 1DX MARK II with either a 100-400mm lense or my 14mm lense.  It should be lighweight and quick to set up but capable of holding the weight of camera and large lense with stability.   It would be really cool if I could interchange the heads from three point to ball.  The coup degraw would be if I could fit it (unassembled of course) in to my carry-on bag for air travel.  Any recommendations?

Hi Lela - 

This B&H Kit pairs a MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod with a MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick Release System. Holding up to 19.8 lb, and with a maximum height of 71.4", the tripod features a Quick Power Lock System that allows you to completely extend the legs with just one hand. Once set up you can use the MT055CXPRO3's rapid center column in standard vertical mode or swing it into horizontal position like a boom with Manfrotto's 90° column feature. Enlarged tabs on the individual leg angle selectors allow you to get down low for macro work with the column in horizontal mode. And once you're down there you can attach any of Manfrotto's flexible or articulated arms to hold lights or reflectors via the Easy Link plug built into the tripod's spider.

The MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head is strong enough for most applications and ideally suited for this equally sturdy tripod. The XPRO lets you fine-tune your adjustments, thanks to separate knobs for both the ball and the 360° panning as well as a friction control knob for more exacting placement. The 200PL quick release clamp and plate allow for quick camera attachment and removal, and two bubble levels let you adjust your camera so the horizon is level. A numbered scale around the base of the head makes repeating exact pans an easy task.

OR:

The Benro S8 Pro Video Head and C3573F Series 3 CF Tripod with Deluxe Carry Case is a complete tripod system for video applications that will support cameras weighing up to 17.6 lb. The system has a maximum height of 63.8", folds down to 31.9", and weighs 10 lb.
 

I am looking to purchase a new tripod and head but with all the options available I am looking for some guidance. I am shooting primarily nature and landscapes. I shoot a Nikon D3s with a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens so it will need to support considerable weight. If possible I would like to keep the cost around $300.00, or is this being unrealistic?

Hi Todd - 

The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3-3W Aluminum Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head is a 3-section support with a 3-way pan/tilt head. It has a load capacity of 17.6 lb and extends from 3.5" to 72.1". Its legs are secured by the Quick Power Locks. These updated flip locks increase the tripod's rigidity by 50%.

A redesigned center column has a "one finger" operation, and includes an Easy Link attachment for attaching accessories such as an LED light or a reflector. The center column can be positioned horizontally, allowing for low-angle and macro photography. The upper disc where a tripod head is mounted has been redesigned as well, and now has a bull's eye bubble level that rotates 360° so you can locate it where you can see it. This allows you to level your camera on both the horizontal and vertical planes.

The MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head is a compact pan/tilt head with retractable levers that can be extended as needed. Two knobs control the friction for the front-to-back and side-to-side tilt, allowing you to fine tune the movements based on the weight of your gear. Three leveling bubbles ensure your composition is level on all axes.

I am looking to get a 3 way panning tripod to use with photographing the total eclipse on 8/21. I will be using a Canon 100 to 400 mm IS USM telephoto lens with a 2x converter with hopefully a Canon 6D mark II camera if they get shipped on time. The lens itself weighst roughly 5 pounds and I would be mounting it to the tripod. I am also looking for a budget freindly version as I have spent some bank on getting some gear for this occasion already. Any solid recommendations?

Hello, 

I´m interested in buying a new tripod, I have still have my Manfrotto 290 xpro I bought years ago, but I now have a wrist problem and I can´t handle the weight of all my gear so I have to decide which Carbon fiber tripod to get.

I go mountaineering a lot so I need something stable and not too heavy. I cant decide weather the Gitzo series 2 traveler or the Mountaineer, as I do many long exposure shots in the sea I just don´t know if they will be stable enough as they are very light.Or if I shouldn´t spend so much money and go for another brand.

Hope you can help me.My camera is the d700 and the heaviest lenses I have is the 70-200 2.8, I have also a 150-500 f.5 but i hardly use it.

Thanks from Spain

Elizabeth wrote:

Hello, 

I´m interested in buying a new tripod, I have still have my Manfrotto 290 xpro I bought years ago, but I now have a wrist problem and I can´t handle the weight of all my gear so I have to decide which Carbon fiber tripod to get.

I go mountaineering a lot so I need something stable and not too heavy. I cant decide weather the Gitzo series 2 traveler or the Mountaineer, as I do many long exposure shots in the sea I just don´t know if they will be stable enough as they are very light.Or if I shouldn´t spend so much money and go for another brand.

Hope you can help me.My camera is the d700 and the heaviest lenses I have is the 70-200 2.8, I have also a 150-500 f.5 but i hardly use it.

Thanks from Spain

Is cutting  20 or 30% of tripod weight really going to help you??? I'd buy am em1ii and one of the Oly lenses with cooperating stabilization like a 12-100 IS Pro. Your system weight would crash and you wouldn't need a tripod unless you need shutter times longer than 2 seconds.

Hi,

I have a Nikon D5600 and went to shoot fireworks and found the top mount on my current triopd broke off. I am only a novice, but need a sturdy but lightweight tripod under $250 for traveling. I am only around 5 feet tall if that helps. Thanks so much for your advice.

Hi Karyn - 

The Vanguard Alta Pro 264AB 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with SBH-100 Ball Head offers generous height, impressive stability, and light weight alongside a comprehensive list of professional functions – primary among which is the 180° tilting of the center column, which makes a convenient task of macro photography.

The included ball head has separate controls for pan & tilt and smooth locking knobs. With the SBH-100 head on the tilting center column, you'll be able to position your camera easily & securely at virtually any point within a spherical range – and make adjustments to any one dimension without altering the others. With an Allen key you can adjust the tension of the center column's swiveling motion.

Not only macro photography but also any type of outdoor photography will be well-served by the Alta Pro 264AB, which reaches a maximum height of 64.0" and supports up to 15.4 lb. The tripod features spikes that emerge from its rubber feet. At only 5.5 lb with the head, the 264AB is quite portable.

The included SBH-100 is removable and features a +90° to -35° tilt range. The head, which also pans a full 360°, comes with a QS-39 quick-release plate. The tripod collar features set screws, so with an Allen wrench you can establish an extremely strong connection with the head.

Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) System allows you to move the center column from 0 to 180° angles in variable vertical and horizontal positions

Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) system securely repositions the center column in one simple movement, in just a few seconds, while maintaining the tripod's stability

Rubber ring underneath tripod collar absorbs shock if center column descends rapidly to chassis

Bubble level on die-cast magnesium chassis

Aluminum alloy legs can be set independently at three angles (25°, 50°, and 80°), for stable operation on uneven ground and for low-angle photography

Quick-flip leg locks

Large foam grips on all three legs for all-weather use

Hexagonal center column prevents twisting

SBH ball heads have a double locking system, ensuring maximum security for your equipment. Two separate mechanisms are simultaneously triggered to release the quick release plate; you can be confident that your camera and lenses won't fall

Dual bubble levels in head, for precise positioning in either landscape or portrait orientation

Ball head is suitable for both photo and video usage, in a pinch – you can pan while keeping the tilt position locked (and vice versa)

The head's innovative advanced housing system couples a rugged magnesium exterior with a hollow interior, providing all of the precise, fluid-like movement of a standard fluid ball head without extraneous weight

Carrying bag included

Hello, 

I am looking for a quality tripod but not too expensive as I rarely use them. I used to have a Manfrotto but unfortunately I left it at location I was shooting at. 

I would like to keep the price under $300 to include the head. I will be using this for landscape as well as some portrait work. 

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Hi Tim - 

The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3-3W Aluminum Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head is a 3-section support with a 3-way pan/tilt head. It has a load capacity of 17.6 lb and extends from 3.5" to 72.1". Its legs are secured by the Quick Power Locks. These updated flip locks increase the tripod's rigidity by 50%.

A redesigned center column has a "one finger" operation, and includes an Easy Link attachment for attaching accessories such as an LED light or a reflector. The center column can be positioned horizontally, allowing for low-angle and macro photography. The upper disc where a tripod head is mounted has been redesigned as well, and now has a bull's eye bubble level that rotates 360° so you can locate it where you can see it. This allows you to level your camera on both the horizontal and vertical planes.

The MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head is a compact pan/tilt head with retractable levers that can be extended as needed. Two knobs control the friction for the front-to-back and side-to-side tilt, allowing you to fine tune the movements based on the weight of your gear. Three leveling bubbles ensure your composition is level on all axes.

Hello, I am undecided between two tripods and would appreciate your advice. The Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod with 3-Way Pan-and-Tilt Head seems to be a great choice, but the VidPro At-72 Venturemaxx 72" with 33mm ball head and ​Arca-Swiss quick release ​system on paper has better specs for a lower price. Which (or what else under $150) would you recommend? I am 6'3" tall and would prefer a tripod that could be easily carried.

Thank you very much.

Between the two, I would lean towards the Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod with 700DX 3-Way, Pan-and-Tilt Head. Slik makes some excellent tripods, and this would be a solid option for use with medium sized DSLRs and lenses.

Hello,

Is the Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 Ball Head compatible with the Sony HXRMC2500 Shoulder Mount AVCHD Camcorder?

Thank you!

Which tripod for $400 to  $600 that will be used for precision rifle shooting matches? Needs to comfortably hold a 15 lb rifle. 

Hi John - 

This BT-100 Tripod from Beastgrip supports up to 20.0 lb, measures 18.0" when folded, and includes a long push-and-pull, rapid center column, a short push-and-pull, rapid center column, as well as a ball head with quick release plate. Its 4-section legs each feature an independent spread as well as twist locks for fast deployment, and can be positioned for a minimum height of 4.5", or 8.5" when its short center column is in use, and 18.0" when its long center column is in use. The BT-100 tripod itself provides a maximum height of 50.0", or 55.0" with its short center column fully raised, and 64.0" with its long center column fully raised. Foam covers on two of the legs provide a secure and comfortable grip while moving the tripod, and rubber feet help to enhance stability on a wide variety of surfaces.

Which tripod do you recomend for still studio product shots. Im looking for something very sturdy to hold a MarkII with a 24-70, legs lock tightly in place, has a wide range of movement, good max height and prefferably has a level. Also of course, something affordable. Thanks

Which tripod is best for a panasonic hmc40 camcorder, primarily shooting video of various sports 

Hi Eric - 

One of the very best we offer:

The Miller Solo-10 tripod system, comprised of the ultralight, ultra rigid carbon fiber Solo tripod with the versatile DS-10 75mm ball-leveling head with selectable counterbalance, is a complete, ready-to-go professional support system for camcorders with a payload of 5 to 10 lbs.

The DS-10 offers the same control features, fluid drag design and accessories as Miller's larger broadcast products. The result is lightweight support that delivers superior performance, with features like fully Variable Fluid Drag control, independent Pan/Tilt locks, counterbalancing to provide finger tip control through the entire tilt range and sliding quick release camera platform, for "fine tune" balancing.

Hi 

I have a D5300 Nikon DSLR. I primarily use it for taking Food pics, making recipe videos and Travel photography. I am also looking for a tripod which could fit my I-Phone 6 too. Basically I want, the legs to be flexible, sturdy and strong enough to resist wind. Height should be adjustable from 12" and above. Please suggest me a tripod based on these requirements. 

How tall are you and what is your heaviest/longest lens? Also, do you already have a case or bracket for your iPhone? If you send us an email with your inquiry and the answers to the previous questions to our Photo Department, and an agent would be happy to make a recommendation or two. AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

Hi

What are the differences between the upper end, more expensive tripod recommended on the list and the cheapers ones? For the same load capacity and max/min height, the price differences can be immense. Are the top brands tripods more steady than the cheaper ones?

Thanks

Hi Kayden,

Great question!

My answer will be a mix of opinion, hypothesis, and poetic waxing about the world we live in.

In the world of manufactured goods, I think there is a relatively large gap between the bargain widgets and the mid-priced widgets, and a narrow gap between the mid-priced widgets and the luxury widgets. This applies to many many things; automobiles, leather hand bags, binoculars, electronics...and tripods.

So, I believe there is a huge difference between a very inexpensive tripod you see at your local big-box store and even the lower-priced ones mentioned in this article. But, the difference between the mid-priced tripods above and the super-high-priced examples is fairly minimal (unless you talk to someone who bought one of the premium ones!).

What is better? Construction materials, design, etc, all make the difference. Are they more steady? Not necessarily. Are they better built with more expensive components? Yes.

My advice? Always always skip the bargain tripods at your local (non-camera) store and go with something mid-range or higher. A tripod is an investment that, if you get a good one, you will use for years, if not decades...maybe even for life.

I hope that answered your question, Kayden. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi, 

I have a Nikon D5100 that I use to take portraits, long exposures etc. I'm a (well equipped) beginner and in school so I can't afford more than $300, but I want to get a sturdy tripod that is also light enough to take on hikes and international travel. It needs to be at least 70 inches maximum height as I am 5'11". I like flip lock legs and a ball head. Can you recommend one?

You might look at the Oben AC-1461 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 Ball Head. It would be a solid option for your D5100, has both a ball head and flip locks, is a good height for you, and is relatively light weight for it’s build and size.

Thank you so much for your reply!

Hello...

I have a Canon 80D with a Canon EF 24-70 lens but plan on adding a telescope lens to shoot landscape and portraits. I'm looking for a versatile (somewhat light) and sturdy tripod and have a budget of $150-$200. Could you provide me with any recommendations on a solid Tripod?

Hi Kay - 

The Oben AC-1441 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-111 Ball Head provides reliable support for DSLRs, point-and-shoot cameras or video cameras up to 11 lb.

The tripod's three-section legs are fabricated from high tensile strength aluminum. It rises to a maximum height of 61.6" with the center column fully extended and folds down to a compact 21.3" for transport. Flip locks on the legs facilitate rapid setup and break down. Three leg angles: normal (80°), low (55°) and extra low (24°) are available via angle adjustment tabs at the joint of each leg. You can reverse the column with a twist of the butterfly knob or split it in two and use the short column for macro and low angle shooting as low as 8.3" from the ground. Any combination of leg angles can be combined to accommodate uneven terrain, stairs or obstructions. A built-in bubble level helps you square up your compositions. For extra stability the center column employs a spring-loaded counterbalance hook.

The included BA-111 ball head features a single-action knob that controls its rotation and 360 degree panning while a robust ball-locking mechanism secures it solidly. The head's four bubble levels ensure accurate panoramas. The BA-111's built-in quick release comes with a camera plate that features a standard 1/4"-20 screw and a retractable, removable video pin to provide additional stability for camcorders. Since the head is removable, locking screws underneath the collar thwart torsion when re-attaching. The tripod comes with a carry case and shoulder strap for storage and transport.

A spring-loaded counterweight hook is located at the bottom of the center column. The column can be separated into 2 parts to give you a short column for low angle and macro work

Leg cushions on 2 legs provide a firm grip in cold or wet weather

Two included Allen keys attach to a tripod leg, so you're always ready to tighten components

Padded carry bag provides a snug fit for the tripod/head combination and features two heavy-duty zippers, an interior pocket with a zipper, and a shoulder strap

Angle adjustment locks keep legs at the chosen angles

Center column is grooved to prevent rotation

Angled rubber feet for maximum contact with the ground

Tripod features reversible 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 screw to fit almost any head

hello,

what would you recommend for use with a canon ftb, a pentax 6x7, and a rollei 3.5? is there one tripod for all 3? I would be doing outside shots. thanks.

Hi Tyler:

Love this combination:

Sturdy and reliable, this CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod with PHQ1 5-Way Panhead from Induro is designed to work in a wide range of situations and environments. It has a load capacity of 25.3 lb for holding your gear safely along with carbon fiber legs and a magnesium alloy spider for portability and strength while keeping weight down to 5.5 lb. The legs also feature 3 sections with twist locks for quickly setting up or adjusting anywhere from the minimum height of 19.1" up to the max of 57.1". For even more uses, the tripod has a short center column which is easily adjusted with the oversized lock for a maximum height of 67.3". Additionally, it comes with a carrying case. 

The Induro PHQ1 Panhead features patent-pending Quintaxial positioning which allows for dual tilts, base and top plate rotation. This panhead features an Arca-Swiss style quick release system with a dovetail QR plate design. This head offers photographers full repeatable indexing on five axes for maximum control and flexibility. The PHQ1 is equipped with 5 bubble levels for precision positioning and two pan locks to keep your camera exactly where you want it. The control handles fold down to make packing and transport easy.

  • CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod

    Sturdy and reliable, this CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod from Induro is designed to work in a wide range of situations and environments. It has a load capacity of 35.3 lb for holding your gear safely along with carbon fiber legs and a magnesium alloy spider for portability and strength while keeping weight down to 3.5 lb. The legs also feature 3 sections with twist locks for quickly setting up or adjusting anywhere from the minimum height of 14.8" up to the max of 52.8". For even more uses, the tripod has a short center column which is easily adjusted with the oversized lock for a maximum height of 63.0". Additionally, it comes with a carrying case.

    PHQ1 PHQ Series 5-Way Panhead

    • Quintaxial Positioning
    • Induro's Quintaxial positioning (patent pending) is a full, five-way, convenient and compact camera positioning system. It provides dual tilt, base and top plate rotation.
    • Fully Graduated Scales
    • Fully graduated scales allows you to see and set the position of your tilts, pans and shifts.
    • Five Bubble Levels
    • Five high-visibility bubble levels can be viewed on all sides for making precise adjustments.
    • Horizontal and Vertical Pan Locking Controls
    • This panhead has independent horizontal and vertical movements with locking controls.
    • Angular and Spherical Rotation
    • The PHQ1 provides 360-degree rotational control on both base and head tilt axes.
    • Folding Front/Rear and Side/Side Tilt Handles
    • Folding front/rear and side/side tilt handles simplifies complete tripod/head packing and transport.
    • Quick Release
    • The PHQ1 is equipped with a variable direction Arca-Swiss compatible Quick Release clamp.
    • Balance and Nodal Point Orientation
    • Balance and nodal point orientation (with optional 3rd party accessories) extends the capabilities to advanced panoramic, QTVR, spherical and 3D photography.
  • The Induro PHQ1 PHQ Series Panhead features patent-pending Quintaxial positioning which allows for dual tilts, base and top plate rotation. This panhead features an Arca-Swiss style quick release system with a dovetail QR plate design. This head offers photographers full repeatable indexing on five axes for maximum control and flexibility.

    The PHQ1 is equipped with 5 bubble levels for precision positioning and two pan locks to keep your camera exactly where you want it. The control handles fold down to make packing and transport easy.

    This head is compatible with equipment weighing up to 25.3 lb (11.5 kg) so it can support both point & shoot and SLR cameras. The PHQ1 is well suited for studio and on-location shoots.

Hello,

I have a Canon 5D Markll and do mostly landscape and wildlife photography. I use lenses up to the Canon 100-400 USL while shooting long distance wildlife but am also considering purchasing larger ultra zoom lenses in the future. I also hike extensively and need a lightweight (carbon fiber?) tripod that is easily packable yet able to handle the weight of the camera and lenses. I am also wanting to do some time exposure shots so stability is also required.

Can you suggest the best choices for a tripod based on the above?      Thanks

For this, your best option would be to contact our Photo Department directly.  In the email, you would also want to include your height and if you have a rough budget.  You will likely be looking at a carbon fiber option if you need something that is both extremely light weight for hiking, but also sturdy enough for longer/heavier lenses and longer exposures.

AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

hey i was curious if you guys have come to a conclusion as to which tri pod is the best fit for extensive hikers as I enjoy natural landscape photography as well! much thanks, victoria 

There are quite a few great options on the market for travel tripods and tripods that are designed to be light weight/compact for hiking.  For recommendations, I would suggest sending us an email letting us know what camera you have, your longest/heavies lens, and how tall you are.  We would then be happy to make a recommendation or two.  Without knowing one’s height or gear, it is difficult to make a recommendation.  AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

I need to buy one tripod. It needs to be light weight and easy to handle in many difficult case because I was in travel most often

I have brought a tripod LVG,it is very convenient and stable

I wish photography, especially macro photography, was a passion or even a hobby but for me it's a necessity.  I will be taking pictures of vintage costume jewelry for posting on any or all of  - my own website, Etsy, and Ruby Lane.  I put away my Canon PowerShot and now have the right camera and lens for the job.

My next purchase will be a tripod and head.  I've found numerous tripods geared toward portability, variety of positions and even action shots.  I just need a good, sturdy tripod that will be set up i& probably never moved.  Load capacity (at least 12 lbs) and steadiness are my biggest concerns.  I don't care how portable it is and I don't need it to accommodate taking pictures 6-12" from the floor so I'd prefer not to pay for those features while still getting a high quality "studio" tripod.

I would be so grateful for suggestions.

For a sturdy tripod for studio usage, I would recommend the Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD, B&H # VAAP263AB,  It supports up to 15.4 lbs and has the benefit of the center column being able to be used laterally for macro photography usage.  If you do not need a lateral center column and need a more economical option, then the Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 Ball Head, B&H # OBAC1361117, or the Sunpak 423PX2 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with Compact Pistol Grip Head, B&H # SU423PX2, may work for your needs.

Hi,

I have a D-750 with a Sigma 105mm Macro lens, I need to take photographs completley paralel to the floor. What would you recommend?

There are quite a few options on the market with center columns capable of being positioned horizontally.  Manfortto makes some solid tripods, and their 055 series would be a good option for the D750 with the Sigma 105mm macro lens.  You might look at the Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod with 054 Q2 Magnesium Ball Head Kit, which has a center column which can be positioned horizontally. 

To get the camera body right at ground level, I use an L bracket on the camera, when shooting horizontal, I attach the head to the side of the camera.  The Vanguard ALTA PRO tripod, with the center column off to the side, will allow the head to be horizontal, and at ground level.

Hi,

I frequently use a Nikon D750 with the 70-200mm 2.8. I want to buy a good tripod that I can trust with my lens. I looked at Vanguard VEO 265AB Aluminum Tripod With TBH-50 Ball Head and Vanguard Alta Plus 263AGH Aluminum Tripod with GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head. What would you recommend ?. It need not be of the same brand. Any brand would do as long as My lens is safe on it. 

Thank you in advance!

Hi Dilanjan -

Either system will work well with your camera and lenses. Both offer fine, sturdy support. You need to decide if the pistol grip will be something you will find useful.

hi, i'm looking for a tripod for outdoor, mostly like beach, hillside... which one is good for 5DM3 with a 24-105 lense and easy to carry around?I'd be prepared to spend up to $200 AUD and was wondering if anyone could give me their suggestions?

Hi -

The TR654C-36 Traverse Carbon Fiber Grounder Tripod with Ball Head from David & Sanford is a compact support that extends to 65", weighs 3.25 lb, and can hold up to 12 lb of gear. It features 180° reverse-folding legs that fold around the ball head allowing it to fold down to just 18.5".

The tripod's four leg sections are independently adjustable and held in place with twist locks. The grounder feature comes into action when the included short center column is installed, enabling the tripod to get down to just 9" above the ground.

The included ball head has separate locks for the panning and ball movements, allowing you to pan your camera without losing your level position. An Arca-type compatible quick-release plate attaches to your camera's tripod mount for fast mounting. A carrying bag is included with the tripod to protect it during transport.

8-layer carbon fiber legs

Magnesium and aluminum components

Easy Glide center column

Three independent leg angles

Foam grip cushioned insulated leg

Rubber feet with retractable spikes provide stability on a variety of surfaces

A ballast hook on the center column allows for hanging equipment or adding weight to increase stability

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

HI, I am looking to update my tripod. I shoot landscape and wildlife mainly and have a Canon 6D with up to 100mm-400mm lens.

I bushwalk a fair bit so weight is a factor. I'd be prepared to spend up to $300 AUD and was wondering if anyone could give me their suggestions? Also what is the advantage of twist handle as opposed to pistol grip? Self level tripod would be great but I'm thinking that would be out of my range.

Hi Paul -

The Vanguard Alta+ 263AGH Aluminum Tripod W/Pistol Grip Ballhead provides the stability, durability and reliability you want in your gear. The aluminum alloy legs have settings for 25°, 50°, and 80° with easy-release buttons for quick set-up. This lightweight (4.75 lbs/2.15 kg) tripod collapses to 26.375" (67 cm) and can be extended up to 5.38' (1.64 m)--and it supports up to 15.4 lbs (7 kg). All-weather foam grip legs, magnesium die-cast canopy and head, non-slip, spiked rubber feet and a removable hook for hanging camera accessories make this tripod a great addition to your kit bag.

The included GH-100 pistol-grip ballhead has one-handed operation--depressing the handle allows 360-degrees of panning movement, -32 to +90-degrees of side-to-side tilt and -8 to +90-degree back-to-front tilt movement all round. It instantly locks into place with simple release of the handle. A tripod bag for transport and storage is included, as is a stone bag which can hold nearly any kind of weight to provide ballast for the tripod.

Lightweight--4.75 lbs (2.15 kg)

Maximum height is 5.38' (1.64 m

Load capacity is 15.4 lbs (7 kg)

Compact--folds to 26.375" (67 cm)

Enables low-angle photography--legs can be quickly set to 25°, 50° and 80° positions at the touch of a button

Quick-flip leg locks

Advanced camera vibration and shock control

All-weather foam grip legs

Non-slip, spiked rubber feet for changing terrains

A removable hook for hanging camera accessories

Innovative pistol-grip ballhead

 Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I've been reading the recommendations and there's a lot of good information here.  I'm looking for a low cost ($200 or so) tripod with a one touch grip (pistol?) - so I can pan and zoom with my Nikon DSLR.  I use it out and about - typically indoors.  Do you have thoughts on what I can put together?

Thank you

Depend on the specific gear you would be supporting the Vanguard Alta+ 263AGH Aluminum Tripod W/Pistol-Grip Ballhead would be suggested. This tripod will come with the GH-100 Pistol-Grip Ballhead and will support up to 15lbs. 

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