There is a lot of gear out there for photographers to buy, from low-end point and shoot cameras all the way up to pro DSLRs. Out of everything in your kit, tripods will almost always be one of the most expensive items you own after your camera body.
That is because photography tripods have features that can’t really be replicated by any other kind of photography equipment; built-in level indicators for example.
When I look at my tripod sometimes I am still blown away by how it all works and what it can do. Even after years of owning it, I continue to explore ways it can help me take better photos.
The truth is that tripods don’t appear to be different from each other, yet some can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In this article, we look at the anatomy tripods and explain why they are so expensive.
If you’re ready to get the best tripod for your buck, read on.
1.) Build Quality
One of the most expensive pieces of equipment in photography is also one of its most necessary. A tripod may not be as sexy as a lens or a camera body, but it’s absolutely essential for capturing tack-sharp images without any blur.
While there are lots of different brands out there, they generally fall into two categories: carbon fiber and aluminum. Carbon fiber tripods can be super lightweight and strong, but they tend to cost more than their counterparts.
That said, if you plan on using your tripod outside and don’t want your gear feeling flimsy, carbon fiber might be worth considering—but only if you have the budget for it.
A tripod is going to take a beating. You don’t have to worry about dropping your camera or cell phone, but a tripod will be handling an expensive piece of equipment every single time you use it. If it’s not durable enough, you could end up breaking it—and that would be unfortunate indeed.
Manufacturers know that tripods need to withstand a lot of abuse, so they tend to put more material into their construction.
That means metal joints and thicker materials across the board, which translates into a higher price tag—which can be a deal-breaker for some consumers who want something lightweight and easy to pack away.
3.) User Experience
One key factor that affects the price is user experience. Low-quality tripods lack features that make them easier to use, which causes frustration among users. They also frequently break easily, which causes replacements to be purchased over and over again, ultimately raising costs for businesses.
High-quality tripods, on the other hand, are built with easy adjustment mechanisms and can last for many years with minimal maintenance; their higher initial cost is quickly recovered in savings down the road.
For smaller businesses looking to save money upfront, renting a tripod may be a good option as it allows you to upgrade at a later date when your company outgrows your current model.
This will not only save you money but will also allow you to benefit from any advances in technology by purchasing a newer product with updated features.
A lot of people ask me about tripods and why they cost so much.
My first good tripod was more than $200. For some people that price is justifiable if it means their shots are going to improve dramatically. How important is taking amazing photos vs saving money on photography accessories? Only you can decide.
I will tell you though that spending a little more on a quality tripod goes a long way. Especially if you’re buying your first tripod. Many beginner photographers opt to buy a cheap tripod as their first tripod because they are not aware of the difference a quality tripod makes.
Then, after using a cheap tripod for a while, they realize that it would have been a better idea to have opted for a better tripod instead. And then, they spend more money by buying another tripod.
Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality tripod, especially if you do a lot of landscape photography.