10 things to watch out for When you’re trav­el­ling with your cam­era kit, be aware of your tripod’s size and weight – and other fac­tors…

NPhoto - - Test Team -

1 Mind your weight

A pop­u­lar trick to in­crease sta­bil­ity in breezy con­di­tions is to hang a weighted bag from the tripod. How­ever, be­ware that you don’t ex­ceed the max­i­mum load rat­ing of rel­a­tively light­weight travel tripods – you don’t want to buckle the legs.

2 Up and over

The re­cent de­sign trend for legs that swing ver­ti­cally up­wards for stowage typ­i­cally re­duces a tripod’s car­ry­ing height by about 10cm (four inches).

3 Pads and spikes

Some tripods en­able you to swap the padded feet for spikes, which can help give a firmer foot­ing on loose ground. This is the case with all the Benro tripods in our group.

4 Have a ball

Ball heads are more com­pact, quicker and eas­ier to use, more in keep­ing with what most users want from travel tripods. How­ever, three-way heads can be bet­ter for very pre­cise ad­just­ments.

5 Spir­its and bub­bles

Spirit or bub­ble lev­els, where fea­tured (see the com­par­i­son ta­ble on page 98) can be a use­ful aid for en­sur­ing the cam­era is com­pletely level.

6 Get and an­gle

All the tripods in our test group in­clude two or three al­ter­na­tive lock­able an­gles between the legs and cen­tre col­umn. This helps for shoot­ing on tricky ter­rain, as well as for sta­bil­ity in low-level set ups.

7 Bet­ter pro­tected

Most tripods on test come with a padded carry bag to help take the knocks in tran­sit. The Vel­bon has an un­padded bag and the Slik has no bag at all.

8 Ex­tra sec­tions

Ex­tra leg sec­tions mean more clamps need­ing to be loos­ened and retight­ened, but usu­ally give the ad­van­tage of a smaller car­ry­ing size.

9 Clip or twist?

Twist grips for leg sec­tion clamps tend to be just as quick and easy to use as the clip fas­ten­ers more usu­ally fit­ted to full-sized tripods.

10 Bag it

It’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to stow some of the small­est tripods on test in­side a photo back­pack, so you can keep all your kit pro­tected and in one place.

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