Tripods to go

Fed up with lug­ging bulky tripods? Try th­ese travel-friendly legs for size

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

odern Nikons can pro­duce such clean im­ages at high sen­si­tiv­ity set­tings that the trusty tri­pod might seem ob­so­lete. But while that’s ar­guably true for typ­i­cal low-light shoot­ing, ex­ploit­ing the full po­ten­tial of a D810’s res­o­lu­tion for pin-sharp land­scape or macro im­ages still ne­ces­si­tates some stable sup­port.

Like­wise, pro­duc­ing a smooth and level panorama, shoot­ing an HDR se­quence, fo­cus stack­ing and cap­tur­ing star trails (see page 60) all re­quire mul­ti­ple im­ages cap­tured from a static plat­form. A tri­pod is also es­sen­tial for ex­per­i­ment­ing with long ex­po­sures, whether they be night-time light-trail ef­fects or smooth­ing a seas­cape or clouds with a neu­tral den­sity fil­ter.

But it’s not much use hav­ing a tough tri­pod if it’s so heavy and un­wieldy that you’d rather leave it at home. Thank­fully, with so­phis­ti­cated de­sign and ma­te­ri­als like car­bon fi­bre, it’s now pos­si­ble to get a tri­pod com­plete with head that packs down small, weighs well un­der two kilo­grams, yet is still ca­pa­ble of stand­ing strong un­der eight ki­los of kit. Here, we take a look at six sets of legs that all tip the scales at un­der 1.7 kilo­grams and ex­tend to over 140cm. Many even pack some nifty fea­tures to give you max­i­mum bang for your buck.


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