Tripods to go
Fed up with lugging bulky tripods? Try these travel-friendly legs for size
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.