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Thread: Will I need a tripod for landscapes?

  1. #1

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    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?

    I'd like to try my hand at some landscape photography.

    Would it be advisable to get myself a tripod and remote shutter controller?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Hi George,

    That's going to depend upon what type of landscapes, certainly it won't hurt well, OK, maybe your wallet will

    I guess what I am trying to say is that it is going to be essential for some types of shot - multi-minute exposures of the sea or sunset - yes, but if you climb and shoot from the top of mountains, you'll probably manage without most of the time.

    I have a tripod, but I'm not a landscape shooter,

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    If you have a delay timer on your camera, that can double as a remote shutter release in most cases, unless you are doing something fancy such as trying to include wildlife in your shot for instance.

    A rolled up coat or bean bag make good makeshift tripod alternatives.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Many photographers are amazed at the improvement in their images when a tripod is used. A "good" tripod will hold the camera steady during a shot and allow you to use a lower ISO and slower shutter speed (as long as the subject is not moving) and most importantly shoot at the "sweet-spot" of your lens which is generally two-stops or so smaller than the maximum aperture.

    Most lenses of today (even the belittled kit lenses) can produce very-good to excellent quality imagery when shot around f/8 to f/11 at a low ISO on a steady support such as a good tripod. However the operating word in the last sentence is "good". Good to excellent tripods are not cheap. However, tripods, at least here in the USA, and I would expect that the same holds true in the U.K., do not seem to hold their value like lenses and are often a very good buy in the used market. The older Manfrotto aluminum tripods such as the 3001P and 3002 often sell at relatively low prices and, although not the cream of the crop, can get the job done quite satisfactorily at a rather low price.

  5. #5
    The Caretaker's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    I have seen great improvements in my photo taking since buying my Manfrotto 055CL, it's so solid it gives that bit extra confidence when taking that all important group photo, or landscape shot, that you need to be perfect as theres no second chance most times

  6. #6
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    I didn't know one could do landscape photography without a tripod.

    Personally, I wouldn't waste my time doing it -for several reasons:

    1) It forces me to slow down and think - about composition and all the technical details that matter (f/stop, ISO, shutter speed).

    2) I often do several takes at different exposures (same f/stop - different shutter speeds). This can be important during the golden hours when the light intensity can be quite variable across the image (full sun to full shadow). The varying exposures can be combined to do HDR (actually more like pseudo HDR using Lightoom).

    3) As already mentioned, a tripod enable lower ISO, smaller apertures, which result in slower shutter speeds - 1/4 or slower is no longer an issue.

    4) I've not done it yet, but many landscapers use ND filters which further slow down the shutter - this can be useful for blurring water to produce a soft look.

    5) I've recently acquired a TS lens with which I can manipulate image considerably (change location of focus plan, eliminate distortion). These are extremely difficult if not impossible to do well without a tripod.

    I never take my camera and lenses without taking a tripod.

    What one should use is an entirely different (and more complex and contentious) topic.

    Glenn

  7. #7
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    I'd like to try my hand at some landscape photography. Would it be advisable to get myself a tripod and remote shutter controller?
    Yes.
    These two tools will expand your exposure options and also leverage other techniques, such as Panorama + stitching and HDRI, as two examples.
    And, if your camera is capable, begin using Mirror Lock Up.

    WW

  8. #8

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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Many thanks to you all.

    Looks like i'll be looking for a tripod and remote today then !

    Thanks
    George

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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Hi George.

    Its always good to have tripod & remote in hand. You obviously would not want to miss that "OH! So awesome shot" just coz you didn't have something to hold the camera steady. Remote is optional, but is definitely helpful if you plan to take shots longer than 30 secs.

    No tripod was used for these two shots..

    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?

    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?


    There was enough light for me to take the following shot without a tripod. But as I wanted smooth look in the water, as Glenn pointed out, I used an ND filter & the remote, BUT no tripod. Kept it on some rock as I wanted my camera to be close to the beach.

    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?

    But if I didn't have an ND filter I would have missed this, one of my fav, shot. Same goes for tripod & remote for many shots.

  10. #10
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Shooting with the camera braced against a rock or other object is only a partial step towards freedom of creativity. Although the tripod can be an encumbrance, it adds many possibilities that simply aren't available without one.

    Sahil's comments mention another tool - the ND filter - again it's an encumbrance as it slows the process down - but slowing down can be a good thing. Creativity doesn't have to occur in an instant - it can happen through careful thinking.

    I think I'll have a look at some ND filters. It's time I caught up.

    Glenn

  11. #11

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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    Hi George.

    Its always good to have tripod & remote in hand. You obviously would not want to miss that "OH! So awesome shot" just coz you didn't have something to hold the camera steady. Remote is optional, but is definitely helpful if you plan to take shots longer than 30 secs.

    No tripod was used for these two shots..

    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?

    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?


    There was enough light for me to take the following shot without a tripod. But as I wanted smooth look in the water, as Glenn pointed out, I used an ND filter & the remote, BUT no tripod. Kept it on some rock as I wanted my camera to be close to the beach.

    Will I need a tripod for landscapes?

    But if I didn't have an ND filter I would have missed this, one of my fav, shot. Same goes for tripod & remote for many shots.

    Sahil,

    I do like your Kingsfisher image

  12. #12

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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    I'd like to try my hand at some landscape photography.

    Would it be advisable to get myself a tripod and remote shutter controller?

    thanks
    If you just want to "try your hand" at landscape photography - no, you do not absolutely need a tripod (and ball head and quick-release clamp and remote shutter release). But if you are serious about getting the highest image quality you can from your camera for landscape shots, then yes, yes, yes, you need the proper gear.

    For fun, why not spend $10.00 and buy a minitripod. Use it to hold your camera, say, in your backyard or at a scenic view. Use mirror-lock up and the self-timer of the camera, so you don't have to touch the shutter to make the shot. Then, compare the result to your best hand-held result of the scene up close and personal on your monitor at 100%, which will give you an idea of how a large print will look.

    If that doesn't convince you ( it will ), then look at the Cambridge in Color galleries of the owner of this site - Sean McHugh - from his days at Cambridge University, look at the exif information, and ask yourself if $250.00 in gear is worth the entrance fee into that club. I know that was all it took for me

  13. #13

    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Cameras are supposed to come with tripods. They never do - it's the 'missing component', and you need one.

    You can use the self timer instead of a cable/electronic release, but it can be a pain if you only have 10sec. I also have 2sec on my 50D and G1

  14. #14

    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Will I need a Tripod
    Not according to Uncle Ken

    Rockwell on Tripods

  15. #15

    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Not according to Uncle Ken

    Rockwell on Tripods
    He is entertaing isn't he - I love his comments. Perhaps we should have a comp for hand-held at 0.25sec? It all depends on how much you had to drink last night.

  16. #16

    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    I actually enjoy reading his stuff but then he does range from the sublime to the ridiculous which is right up my street. There is a huge contingent on the 'the forum that must not be named' that hangs on his every word even though he issues a disclaimer stating that he makes stuff up.

    I definitely need a tripod it makes me feel very important and it is great for a laugh when it sends senior citizens sprawling across the boards of Blackpool's North Pier. I have an ancient Bilora video camera platform. It weighs a ton and is very impressive with its wide yellow carrying strap and foot long panning handle. I particularly like to set it up in crowded places so that everyone can ohh and ahh at me whilst I convince my self that the frowns I get are from abject jealousy rather than prat intolerance.

    So there you have it. We do need tripods in certain circumstances. It is a necessary evil but do not be surprised if people look at you as if you have just stepped out of an Audi and get insured so you can pay for Harold and Hilda's denture repairs when you send them sprawling into the gutter ouside Marks and Sparks. Do not forget to purchase a camo lens protector and a photoraphers vest. If we have to look like a numpties we may as well do it with style

  17. #17
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: Will I need a tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Not according to Uncle Ken

    Rockwell on Tripods
    Blast. You beat me.

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