The Phoblographer’s Guide to Buying a Tripod: And Why You Should

If you think the world of buying cameras is daunting, just wait until you look at the world of purchasing a tripod.

Fact: you’re not as stable as you think, and a tripod will do a much better job than level ground most of the time. There are entire swaths of photographers out there who will tell you they don’t need a tripod. But truth be told, there are loads of times when tripods are handy. If you’re a landscape photographer or an astrophotographer, then you understand how fantastic a tripod can be. Image stabilization can’t do everything, but tripods do something that makes you more prone to creating a better photo. In this post, we’re going to explore the world and ideas behind buying a tripod.

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For Your Next Adventure: ProMaster SP528K Tripod Review

The ProMaster SP528K Tripod kit is exactly what most serious photographers need.

Fact: the staff of The Phoblographer is always on the lookout for new tripods. We use them a lot when we’re testing gear. And because of how much abuse we put them through, we tend to break them. None are created equal. In our discoveries for the perfect tripod, we were introduced to the ProMaster SP528K. At under $300, this tripod can get really tall – taller than I am. But the best part about it is the ball head. It’s capable of doing things that much more expensive heads do. It’s not perfect, but at the price point, I’m not sure anything can beat it–and it has us liking a lot of what the ProMaster lineup can do.

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Review: Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263CT Tripod

When Vanguard announced the Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263CT Tripod, I was really intrigued by what could be coming. Vanguard’s original Alta Pro was and still is a beast of a tripod designed for taking quite a bit of abuse and being powerful overall. But when you take the Vanguard Alta Pro 2 Tripod out of its carrying case, you see that they’ve mostly given it a completely new vision. It retains a whole lot of the strength and great features that it had, but now the Vanguard Alta Pro 2 Tripod has even more. Additionally, it addresses a lot of the concerns he first tripod had.

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Review: Platypod Pro Max

I’ve had the Platypod Pro Max in my possession for a really long time now; and my lack of getting this review out doesn’t have to do with laziness or priorities, but instead trying to illustrate how it’s actually useful for many photographers. You see, the Platypod Pro Max is marketed as being able to go where tripods can’t. But at the same time, it doesn’t have a lot of the same advantages of a tripod. You can’t extend its height because it’s a flat plate, but you can indeed place it in a variety of other flat surfaces. So with that said you pretty much just secure a ball head onto this thing, then put your camera on and you’ve got something that you’re ready to work with. But then the question begs why you’d still use it to begin with.

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Review: Manfrotto Advanced Compact With Ballhead Tripod

If you’ve ever used a tripod, then chances are that you’ve most likely looked at what Manfrotto has to offer. The Italian company was, for a while, held in high regard. Then they weren’t held in such high regard (especially with their bags) and very recently they’ve started to step their game up more. The Manfrotto Advanced Compact with Ballhead Tripod is one of the examples of how the company is trying to set standards again for those moments when you need a tripod. While the need for having one seems to be diminishing in the photo market, this tripod will surely serve you during those times when you truly need one–and fit a variety of applications while they’re at it.

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Leica Announces a New Carbon Tripod and Ball Heads. No, We’re Not Joking


Sometimes manufacturers come out with random announcements–and this one from Leica is no different. The company that has traditionally made lenses, cameras, and binocs is today announcing a carbon tripod and two ball heads. According to the press release, the tripod is, “2.64 pounds and compact…the mounted ball head actually disappears inside the collapsed tripod…an outdoor carrying case made of Cordura with a strap and shoulder pad is available as an optional accessory.

Then there are two ball heads: the 24 and the 38. The differences are that is sports, “a range of additional functions, including a tilt button. When the tilt function is activated, the ball is locked for motion only in the vertical plane and is prevented from moving in any other plane. The 360° panorama function (15° STOP button) allows the capture of multiple precisely aligned landscape, architecture and object shots from different positions that can be merged in post-processing to create impressive panoramic images. This function is aided by a selectable click-detent option that locks the rotation of the ball in 15° steps. The click informs the user each time the ball head has been rotated by a further 15°.

The items will be available in November of this year.

Manfrotto’s New BeFree Compact Tripod is Aimed at the Photographer on the Go

Manfrotto BeFree Tripod

Manfrotto just announced a new compact tripod aimed at photographers on the go, called the ‘BeFree’. What makes this tripod ideal for photographers that travel a lot is its compact size and low weight. The aluminum-made BeFree weighs only 3 lbs (1.36 kg) and folds to a size of less than 16″ (40 cm). In addition, it comes with its own dedicated bag for extra protection, which you can also carry over your shoulder.

The BeFree is available now for a retail price of US $199.89.

First Impressions: Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CB Tripod With BBH-200 Ballhead

I took a quick stop to see what our friends at Vanguard had this year and long and behind  they come out with a  new carbon fiber tripod with with ballhead. Vanguard makes some really cool backpacks, bags as well as monopods and tripods  I’ve never had the chance to see what their tripods look and feel like until now.

Let’s take a quick look.

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