Which tripod to buy?

In August I went on holiday to Sri Lanka. During this trip I wanted to do some landscape and long exposure photographing. A tripod is really necessary for the latter. Furthermore, it was also a good excuse to myself to justify the reason to buy a tripod. However, as with any product, there are various on the market and sometimes it is difficult to find the best buy. Each one of them have different features and specifications, such as, expensive versus cheap, light versus heavy, small versus big, et cetera. As with most of the products which I buy I tried to minimize the price but maximize the features. The two most important requirements which I wanted to optimize, besides the cost, were

  1. Minimize the weight of the tripod but ensuring the stability and endurance of the tripod
  2. Maximize the unfolded height of the tripod but minimize the folded height

Based on those criteria you are quickly directed to the tripods which are branded in the market as travel tripods. Below a table with the tripods which I took into consideration.

MeFoto Roadtrip
Minimal height [cm] 34 0 10.5 21.8
Maximal height [cm] 144 162.5 147.5 131
Folded height [cm] 40 39 31 30.5
Weight [kg] 1.4 1.6 0.9 1.1
Maximum load [kg] 4 8 6 4
Material Aluminium Aluminium Carbon Carbon
Head mount? Y Y Y Y
Quick release? Y Y Y Y
Monopod? N Y N N

After balancing the advantages and disadvantages I decided to go for the MeFoto Roadtrip. For several reasons:

  1. For one it had good reviews on the internet, one particular which I liked was the review by Jason in the YouTube video below, which I also recommend too you to watch.
  2. The tripod was not too expensive compared to other tripods.
  3. It had the highest unfolded height
  4. Of all the tripods in the table above it is the heaviest, however, I considered 1.6 [kg] still as lightweight.
  5. Because I wasn’t planning to use the tripod on a daily bases I decided that an tripod of aluminium, instead of a carbon fiber one, would be durable enough
  6. The bar to which the camera is attached has a hook on the bottom to which extra weight can be added to increase the stability of the tripod. Along with the feature that the bar could be mounted upside down, which added to possibility to take photo’s directly at ground level. Were two features which I particularly liked.

Apart from the reasons above the MeFoto Roadtrip had also most of the features which other tripods featured, therefor the decision was made.

If you are ever looking for a reason to buy a tripod consider the following reasons:

  1. a tripod helps when using long exposures, for instance, you will need this when doing astrophotography.
  2. taking time lapses, panoramas, panning and videos become a lot easier since you have great support for your camera.
  3. when using a tripod you actually think a lot more about the framing of your shot, this is because everything takes a bit longer, setting up the tripod, adjusting, et cetera.
  4. self portraits are of a higher quality then when using a selfie stick.

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