Photography / Buying Guide

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 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 carbon fiber tripod is a beautiful unit with a diamond-pattern carbon veneer, twist-locks, and rubber ball feet. The RRS TVC-33 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 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".

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 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.

For those not wanting a center column, the alternative is the GT2532S Systematic tripod forgoes that option or allows you to add a specialized center column or chassis accessory to the rig.

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. FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with Leveling Center Column and CB-40D Ball Head

Another heavyweight option in our lineup, the 33-lb capacity of the FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid carbon fiber tripod and CB-40D ball head can support a lot of camera. The three-position leg-angle locks are unique to FEISOL and feature a release tab that protrudes from the chassis at the top of the legs. Anti-leg rotation technology keeps the legs tightly in place when the twist locks are tightened down. The twist-locks feature a minimalist design with smooth, but grippy rubber. A leveling center column allows for minor leveling adjustments and it can be removed and replaced with an included mount base to allow shooters to mount the head or camera directly to the aluminum chassis plate.

FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with Leveling Center Column

The all-black CB-40D ball head is a clean design featuring a separate pan lock knob, and friction adjustment opposite the main knob. The quick-release is Arca-type compatible. With a load capacity of 55 lb, the alternate CT-3342 Tournament Rapid carbon fiber legs give you a larger capacity.

FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with Leveling Center Column and CB-40D Ball Head
Load Capacity: 33 lb
Max. Height: 74.2"
Min. Height: 6.84"
Folded Length: 26.1"
Leg Sections: 4
Weight: 6 lb

4. Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod and BHM2S Ball Head

The “Stealth” word in the Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 tripod’s name refers to the fact that Induro has purposely designed the CLT203 to have a very low reflective design—no bling here! The legs feature foam pads and a very cool carbon veneer. The center column is reversible when you remove the weight hook, and a short center column is included as an extra for low shooting. Black leg-angle locks pull out and the legs can be adjusted to three angles. A bull’s-eye bubble level lives on the magnesium-alloy chassis, as does an accessory mounting point with two different threads. A carrying case protects the legs, and a tool pouch holds spike feet and a wrench for adjustments.

Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod

The BHM2S ball head echoes the design of the CLT203 legs and it features a separate pan-control knob and co-axial friction adjustment for the main ball. A single notch allows vertical shooting and the top plate is Arca-type compatible with its own bull’s-eye level. Together, the pair allows a load capacity of 30.9 lb and a maximum height of 67.1".

From the Induro line, an alternative with a 3-way head is the CLT203 with the gorgeous PHQ1 5-way pan head. Also, there is a four-section alternative—the CLT204. And, if height is no object, the squatty brother to the CLT line is the Series 4 Baby Grand tabletop tripod with an incredible 220-lb capacity.

Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod and BHM2S Ball Head
Load Capacity: 30.9 lb
Max. Height: 67.1"
Min. Height: 18.9"
Folded Length: 28.7"
Leg Sections: 3
Weight: 4.5 lb

5. 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

6. 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.

The aluminum alternative to the carbon TAD37C would be the TMA37ALB3 Mach3 and B3 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

7. Oben CC-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 CC-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 CC-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod with 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.

If you want a four-section alternative, check out the Oben CT-2481 and BC-126 ball head.

Oben CC-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod with BE-126 Ball Head
Load Capacity: 25 lb
Max. Height: 70.1"
Min. Height: 10.3"
Folded Length: 29.7"
Leg Sections: 3
Weight: 4.5 lb

8. Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Fiber Tripod with MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head Kit

The latest in the 055 line of Manfrotto tripods is the MT055XPRO3 with the MHXPRO-3W 3-way pan/tilt head kit. With a 72" maximum height and a weight capacity of 17.6 lb, this setup has some unique Manfrotto features, as well as a modern look—sporting black with red and brushed-aluminum accents. The leg locks hold the legs at one of four different angles, and the lock levers are large and an easy-to-use press-to-release affair. The flip-locks have the hinge position at the 1/3 point on the locks, instead of at the end. This appears to allow the photographer to get better leverage on the lock—pushing and pulling simultaneously—for ease of actuation. The center column can extend and then rotate (with its own ball-head-type design) to the 90-degree position for lateral shooting. Housing a rotating bull’s-eye level, the head is oblong-shaped and cleverly integrates the Manfrotto logo into its top. The chassis’ EZ Link 3/8"-16 access thread allows numerous accessories to be mounted on the side of the unit.

Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod with MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head Kit

The MHXPRO-3W head is another example of Manfrotto design and thoughtfulness. Helping to keep the overall size compact for travel, the two handles retract and fold—very cool. While not quite as compact as a ball head, here you have the convenience and precision of a three-way head with a much reduced footprint. Also, there are friction adjustments for two of the axes. Cleverly mounted on one corner of the unit are three bubble levels—one for each axis.

One important thing to mention about Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods: Manfrotto and Gitzo make all their parts available for purchase. So, if one part of your favorite tripod wears out or fails, you can replace just that part and keep on shooting.

For carbon fiber lovers, you can substitute the MT055CXPRO3 tripod. Ball-head fans might consider the MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick-Release Plate. It has a separate lock for panning and a friction adjustment with detents.

Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Fiber Tripod with MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head Kit
Load Capacity: 17.6 lb
Max. Height: 72"
Min. Height: 3.5”
Folded Length: 29.1"
Leg Sections: 3
Weight: 7.7 lb

9. Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod with 3-Way Pan-and-Tilt Head

“Tall and sturdy” is how the Silk Pro 700DX AMT Tripod with 3-Way Head was described to me. And, at a maximum height of 74.8", it is one of the taller tripods on the market. All three A.M.T. (aluminum, magnesium, titanium) legs sport foam pads and allow three-position angle adjustment. The blended metal legs offer a 40% strength gain over standard aluminum. The center column has a dual-lock system and is designed so that it cannot rotate accidently and it can be shortened for low-angle shooting. Most flip-locks have hex bolts that can be tightened if the locks loosen over time. This Slik has riveted flip-locks that cannot be adjusted, but the 700DX that I handled has been abused in the store for more than three years and the flip locks show no signs of being anything but tight. This is a very solid piece of kit, suitable for any photographer, and it has a 15-lb load capacity.

Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod With 3-Way Pan and Tilt Head (Silver)

The three-way head is characterized by a simple and straightforward design, but the round quick-release plate is unique in the world of tripod heads. The advantage to the circular plate is that you can attach your camera or lens at any horizontal angle—there is no need to turn the head (or tripod) to get the camera to face the correct way. All you need to do is point your camera in the direction you want, and click it into place.

Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod with 3-Way Pan-and-Tilt Head
Load Capacity: 15 lb
Max. Height: 74.8"
Min. Height: 15.4"
Folded Length: 29.9"
Leg Sections: 3
Weight: 7.8 lb

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

Versatility is one of the hallmarks of the Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum tripod and BA-117 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-177 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-117 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-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 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 17.4 lb, and the unit extends to 67.5". 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-1341 legs and the BA-111 ball head.

Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 Ball Head
Load Capacity: 17.6 lb
Max. Height: 67.5"
Min. Height: 9.5"
Folded Length: 27.3"
Leg Sections: 3
Weight: 4.4 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.

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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.

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. 

I have been an amateur photographer for about 10 years. I bought a few cheap tripods that I never used over the years. When I started doing studio photography a few years ago, I started shopping for a reasonably priced tripod and purchased the 263AGH. It was about $250 when I purchased it and it is now $200.

The AGH version comes with the pistol grip to allow for fast aiming. This tripod made me into a tripod guy. My 5DM2 with 24-70L, battery grip and flash weigh in at 6 pounds. It has no problem holding any position I put it in.

Victoria Christophe

http://www.victoriachristophe.com

Hi Victoria, thanks so much for writing in. If you really like tripods you might also enjoy reading our buying guide about the best tripods for travel: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/buying-guide/travel-tripods

Happy Trails!

I have a Canon 5D Mark III and I will be mounting a Tamron 150-600 on there along with my other light lens. What Tripod can I get that will not shake and shimmer with a ball head that will not slip when using my Tamron lens? I do astrophotography at times so I can't have any shaking or slipping. I will be doing nature and landscape shoots as well.  I will be switching from my long lens to my light lens often at times.

Can I get a tripod and ball head less than $300.00 that will fit my needs?

The Benro TMA27A Series 2 Mach3 Aluminum Tripod paired with Benro V2E Triple Action Ball Head would offer the support and stability needed for the Tamron 150-600mm and the 5D Mark III near the price range you were looking to stay within.

http://bhpho.to/1PPuv6L

http://bhpho.to/1O4TLAd

I realize I may be asking more of a religion vs technical question, but I need to know the pros and cons of twist locks vs flip locks. I have 1 hand...

After thinking it through, in my own opinion it would be easier to work with a flip-lock style release vs twist-type, as the twist-type really requires that you hold the tripod with one hand, and twist the lock with the second.  With flip-style locks, one could hold the tripod just below/above the flip-lock, and use only their thumb to flip it open, and to close simply reverse the process, but it could all be done with one hand.

Yossi O wrote:

After thinking it through, in my own opinion it would be easier to work with a flip-lock style release vs twist-type, as the twist-type really requires that you hold the tripod with one hand, and twist the lock with the second.  With flip-style locks, one could hold the tripod just below/above the flip-lock, and use only their thumb to flip it open, and to close simply reverse the process, but it could all be done with one hand.

AsIChina, there is a new tripod &monopod brand which i konw so famous,but all this tripod brand have not release to internaional markt.it is LETO which applid for first-class photographer use it. i think it will be more famous in global. LETO

About a year ago I went to a camera shop specifically to buy a Manfrotto tripod. This shop also stocked a good range of Sirui tripods and while waiting to be served I idly compared the 2 brands side by side. For the same weight and specs the Siruis were much more stable, and significantly cheaper. I ended with a Sirui and I have not regretted it.

Don't look down on the Siruis just because they are a Chinese brand. They are quality tripods!

PK

I have a few nice tripods but each time there is a new feature that seems to be critical for my needs.  My two main nature tripods are two Carbon Fiber tripods, a very large Gitzo, something like the Gitzo Series 3 6X Systematic Carbon Fiber Tripod (Long) and an older carbon fiber Manfrotto from the 190 ceries.  My biggest issue now is fltying (I don't really like to have to pay an extra $50 just to bring a tripod with me in checked luggage)  and trying to get something that will fit in my camera bag and must be under 17 inches to fit in my Lowepro ProRunner Tripod. I am a serious nature photographer and  have an absolute need to do lots of macro and handle up to a 4.5 lb 150-450 lens on a ~2 lb camera body.  The tripods that I'm most interested in are Sirui series 1004/1204 (load capasity 18lbs) and 2004/2204 (load capasity 26.5 lbs). Both of these tripods look like they can handle my needs, so right now the issue is to consider if 1) 18lbs LC  is enough to meet my maximum needs and 2) If it is worth the extra expence to go carbon fiber over alumunum. So will the smaller series be okay for my needs or should I really be looking at the larger 2000 series?

Also if there is another tripod that you would recommend that meets my needs I would be happy to consider it as well.

The collective weight of your tripods is right at approximately 7lbs (+/-).  Having a tripod that accomodates 26lbs is overkill in my own opinion however the good thing is that these days many common and popular tripods are coming with a weight capacity far greater than most users will be able to take them to. 

Carbon fiber models will tend to shave a fraction of a pound or so off the weight off the same aluminum models, the greater benefit not being the weight reduction, but the nature of the carbon fiber alloy.  Carbon fiber is able to dampen vibrations much better than aluminum, and in cold weather it is does not retain cold the same as an aluminum model, i.e. you can work with a Carbon fiber model with a glove off the hand and not be punished for it.

The models you have selected are all suitable for your criteria.  You could save some money by going with the 1004/1204 series if you wanted.  I would also recommend considering the MeFoto Globetrotter model also discussed in this article.  It can hold up to 26lbs, fold down to 16" and one of the legs can be remvoed and combined with the center column to create a monopod.  See the link below for details on those options on our website:

http://bhpho.to/1YuUCpn

I apprecated the tripods article and will save it for I'm in the market for a travel and a studio tripod.  However, it would have been  appreciated if the artcle had included estimated retail prices. When shopping for a tripod I look for the tripod's height, weight (how mch load it will support), material it is made (aluminum or carbon) and price. Your article included those items except price.

In general we do not include pricing in these types of articles as they can can serve as pertinent information for a very long time, and the price/availability are always subject to change.  We do provide links to each of the items discussed on our website where we have our real time pricing posted for each item.  If you scroll up and view the section at the end of the article labled "Items Discussed in Article" you can link to any of the options here. 

none of your recomendations seem to help someone who is above average hight *sigh*

Most of these tripods go to nearly 5' or more, and at least one goes up to 6' high. Are you taller than 6' and need a tripod that reaches your eye leve while you're standing up straight? That's really important. *sigh*

I bought a new manfrotto MT055PROX for my real estate work and i broke the center column screw after only 3 weeks on the job. The center column wouldn't lock tight enough and I kept getting movement between shots. My previous 055prob lasted 7 years and except for a broken leg lock it was solid. The new mafrottos are rubbish! I even know another photographer who is a friend who just broke the center column screw on his new manfotto as well!

Can suggest the most stable tripod to hold a 650-1300mm zoom lense for wildlife still photos.

Below are links to recommended tripods for you to consider using with your 650-1300mm lens:

http://bhpho.to/1KarMCs

http://bhpho.to/1gdAOOR

http://bhpho.to/18oj3pG

check out Wimberley tripods /gimbal. The only drawback is that you need to level it (2 axis only) and not really designed to mount from the base of the camera. Totally an awesome system for large lens.

Seems as if Manfroto bought and paid for this article. Finally, while reading the comments, the Vangard tripood is mentioned. Finest tripod on the market. A little heavy, but stands up to field conditions, rain, snow, wind. Much sturdier than my photo buddy's carbon fiber. Personally, I have no use for the twist leg locks or the pan head that has levers poking me when ever I get within 6 inches of it.

"Seems as if Manfroto bought and paid for this article." Lol, why, because 3 out of the 10 products are this brand? I'd want better than 3/10 if I were Manfrotto. And in case you haven't been into a camera store lately, Manfrotto would be the most popular stocked tripod brand by a long shot so it makes perfect sense to feature more than 1 in this article. 

One of the basics in selecting a tripod, that wasn't mentioned, is it's height without the center column.  Being 6'8" tall (80"), and frequently working on uneven surfaces, this becomes a issue.  Tripods in the 50 to 66 inch range, don't cut it.  My Gitzo GT3542XLS has plenty of reach and, so far, has handled everything I've asked of it.  I have used shorter tripods, and it doesn't take long for my back/neck to let me know that this is a bad idea.

You are right, height is something to think about. I am 4'10 tall and I need a smaller tripod and light. I am thinking of a monopod.

Excellent choices especially for me who is shopping for a carbon traveling tripod with a ball head!

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