Every photographer can appreciate the value of a good tripod, but not all tripods are suitable to take on the road.
This is why we have screen what the market offer and have picked the one that for us is the best lightweight travel tripod.
Bringing a good travel tripod on your photographic journeys can open up whole new shooting possibilities.
Let's take a quick look at some of the best lightweight travel tripods.
Choosing a travel tripod isn't quite the same as choosing a tripod for studio work.
Travel tripods require some more specialized features.
Here's what you need to know to make the right choice.
Obviously, the most important feature of a tripod is its ability to stabilize your camera, so the tripod itself needs to be well-constructed.
Pay special attention to the head section where the camera mount is located, as this is an area where corners are cut on the cheaper models.
Most tripods now feature telescoping legs, so ensure that the clips which hold each section in place are equally sturdy.
No matter whether you're going to be shooting landscapes in natural environments or travelling through cities, you're going to want a tripod with sturdy, flexible feet that can rotate slightly to match the angle of the ground.
Some offer spikes to embed in the earth, but this can limit you if you're shooting in urban environments as they are far less effective on paved surfaces.
Depending on the kind of camera and lens configuration you're going to be using, you'll want to make sure that your tripod is weight-rated highly enough to support your setup.
Most are rated for 25 pounds or more, but if you're going to be shooting with an extremely large telephoto lens, you may require more strength.
Portability is also an essential element of a travel tripod, especially if you're going to be on the move all day.
Unfortunately, a lot of how portable your tripod is depends on what it's made of, which in turn affects how stable it will be.
A plastic tripod would be very lightweight and portable, but it wouldn't be very sturdy, while a metal tripod would be rock-solid but far too heavy to carry around for a day of shooting.
The best compromise is found in carbon fiber composite materials, which blend the strength and stability of metal with the lightweight, portable aspects of plastic.
The only downside is that because carbon fibre is a relatively new technology, tripods that use it tend to be a bit more expensive than other options.
One of the great things about travel photography is that you never know what kind of incredible shots you're going to get.
It's important to make sure that your tripod is able to keep up with a range of circumstances.
A good tripod should provide you with lockable, telescoping legs and an adjustable central post for maximum flexibility in terms of height range.
Some tripods will even allow you to fold the legs outwards at an extreme angle to get your camera closer to the ground, although that's not exactly an essential feature.
After all, if you want your camera 6" off the ground you could simply rest it on your camera bag.
Shooting in the studio gives you great control over your environment, but you have no such luxuries when you're travelling.
You'll often be using your tripod on uneven surfaces you've never seen before.
That doesn't mean you should be forced to spend a lot of time in post-processing doing horizon angle corrections.
Instead, many tripods offer a feature known as a bubble or spirit level, which lets you ensure that your camera is properly leveled before you start shooting.
As we already pointed out, when you're out in the world, shooting conditions are not always ideal.
If you've chosen an extremely lightweight tripod for extra portability and suddenly find yourself in a windy area with an unstable surface to mount your tripod, you'll want to make sure that your tripod isn't so top-heavy that it gets blown over!
Many tripods feature a system that allows you to hang a heavy object (such as your camera bag) from the central post, providing additional stability in less than perfect conditions.
When we do a review of photo gear, there is typically one piece that stands well above the rest.
After much careful deliberation, though, we've decided that the Eclipse Leo is going to be our recommended travel tripod thanks to a couple of extra features that are available.
Despite being priced very similarly, the Eclipse Leo has a slight advantage in portability that makes it better suited to being carried around for a whole day of shooting.
It might seem like the half pound of weight won't make much of a difference, but after a day of hiking you'll appreciate any advantage you can get.
The Eclipse Leo also folds down into a smaller package at just 13.8" without sacrificing much in terms of its height range, which allows you to fit it into almost any camera bag.
Add in the solid carbon fibre construction and magnesium alloy fittings, and you've got a tripod that will give you great shots without being too heavy to bring with you anywhere.
Hi, I am Luca, founder and editor in chief at photographyambition.com. I am crazy about photography and I always have a camera with me. When I am not busy with my day job, enjoying my family or taking photos, I am on Photography Ambition to share what I have learnt so far.
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