F.A.Q.s, Photography
Comment 1

Do you use a tripod?

Short answer: Yes, most of the time.

Longer answer: As mentioned before the Pentax 67II is a big heavy camera. You can use it handheld, but it is both tiring and you don’t get the same level of sharpness you would with a steady base. I don’t use a tripod when I am moving around at festivals, as I am usually shooting portraits with a fast shutter speed. 90% of the time, however, when I fire the shutter I have the camera firmly mounted on the tripod. This is essential when you are taking night scenes, you are working in low light, or when you are shooting a landscape and want both the foreground and background in focus.

Even longer answer: There are several factors that determine what is a good tripod, but the importance of these individual factors will depend on the needs of the photographer so there is no one perfect tripod for all photographers, you have to find which works best for you. There are several factors you should consider.

Weight: A heavier tripod is a more stable tripod. The heavier your camera the heavier the tripod you need. However, a tripod is of no use at all if you don’t take it with you. Think realistically about whether it is something you want to carry around all day.

Stability: How well is it made. Do the legs flex or wobble. If legs extend, does each section lock securely.

Height: How tall do you want or need your tripod to be. Many tripods only allow you to raise the camera to waist height. Personally, I wanted a tripod that I could use to shoot over the top of other peoples’ heads and cameras. I chose a tripod that when the camera is mounted is close to 2 meters tall. (Again bigger tripods, tend to be heavier so be careful not to get something too ungainly) Remember that if the tripod has a center column it is for minor adjustments not for adding height. Cranking the center column all the way up produces a monopod attached to a tripod.

Attachment system: How will the camera attach to the tripod. Is the attachment secure, and how long does it take to mount.

Cost: A good tripod is an excellent investment. Higher end models are designed to take a lifetime of use / abuse. Unlike a digital camera which may lose half it’s value in a year a tripod is a much more stable purchase 😉   Do remember that if you spend a lot of money on a tripod it is another thing  to worry about when traveling. I am constantly reminding myself when I get off trains or leave stores to check I still have my tripod with me. ( I have also attached an “If found….” sticker)

So what do you use?

Gitzo Mountaineer Mk2 G1348 Tripod legs

Gitzo Mountaineer Mk2 G1348 Tripod legs

Gitzo Mountaineer Mk2 G1348 Tripod

Strong, reliable, no center column.

The latest version of this tripod is the Gitzo GT3542LS





Arca-Swiss B1 Ball Head

Arca-Swiss B1 Ball Head

Arca-Swiss B1 Monoball Ball Head

These are great solid dependable ball heads that keep the weight of the camera directly over the centre of the tripod. The clamp allows the camera to be quickly mounted and removed. (BUT ALWAYS CHECK THE CLAMP IS TIGHT) The  Z1 has superseded the B1 and is said to be stronger and lighter but as my B1 is perfectly fine I haven’t tried it out.



Really Right Stuff Base Plate for Pentax 67II

Really Right Stuff Base Plate for Pentax 67II

Really Right Stuff Base Plate for Pentax 67II

This is attached to the base of the camera and slots into the clamp on the head of the tripod. Base plates are designed to be an exact fit with a particular model of camera.

Really Right Stuff

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Pentax 645D – Electronic Level Display « Chris Willson's Blog

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