The most essential characteristic when you select a tripod

Far and away, most important is to select a tripod you will carry with you and use!

This seems obvious, but the sad truth is that many photographers buy a heavy, expensive tripod with the best intentions. They use it once or twice, but then it gathers dust. Why? Most often, the tripod is too big and bulky for them to conveniently lug around. so they don’t.

Our advice, again, is to get a tripod you will take with you as essential photographic equipment… and use! Of course, this may be a compromise. The better tripods are usually heavier and bulkier. They’re great if you will really use them. But the best tripod in the world won’t do you any good if you end up leaving it in the closet.

How light (or heavy) a tripod will you use? Only you can decide. If you’re a mountain climber who has to lug your tripod on your back, we’d opt for an awfully light tripod. But if you take almost all your pictures around your house, consider a heavier, more solid model. Similarly, when you travel, if you usually drive in your own car, a solid, heavy tripod is no big deal in your trunk. But if you are flying to Chile, consider the weight and size in your baggage. In other words, get a tripod that fits your temperament and lifestyle. A tripod you will use!

One final word. If you’re really serious about wanting to get the razor-sharp images that only can be obtained on a tripod but, like the mountain climber, you can’t lug a heavy tripod with you, here’s a solution: Consider a tripod made of titanium instead of steel or aluminum. Titanium is as strong as steel, but lighter than aluminum. Sounds great. So what’s the problem? Simple. Titanium tripods are very expensive! Only you and your wallet can decide if it’s for you.