It was a cold day and the wind was giving a hell of a blow to The Netherlands. I was outside, taking pictures. I wanted to switch lenses, so I left my camera on my tripod to open my backpack. As I turned my back towards my tripod a strange feeling crept over me. This feeling, so strange, made me turn around and look at my camera, mounted safely on the tripod. Or save, that is what I thought… As I just looked over my shoulder, I saw how a firm blow of the wind tipped my tripod over. My camera was heading towards the hard concrete floor! Luckily, I didn’t froze of fear, but quickly ran towards the tripod and caught it before it scattered in thousand pieces.
That is when I knew: It is time for a new tripod. They say that photographers buy three tripods in their live. The prices of photography gear is a big shock for new photographers. That is the main reason for most people to buy a “cheap” tripod first. I quoted cheap, because any tripod under 200 euros is cheap. Still a lot of money.
At the point that the first tripod is not functional any more, the second tripod is purchased. Knowing that “cheap” is expensive on the long term, most photographers buy a rather expensive one. This one might not break, or fall apart, but after years the photographer is missing features or prefers another size. And that is when they buy their last tripod. Approximately 600 to a 1.000 euros will be spent, but it is a tripod for live!
My first tripod was the Hama Traveller Compact Pro. I paid 80 euros for it, and it worked well for a while. Than, slowly, the ball head started to creep. Not a stable platform for my camera. But it did the job for three years.
After the incident with the wind blowing over my tripod (and some issues, like tripod legs that couldn’t retract any more) I decided to skip my second tripod, and hope that I bought my last one right away. The Gitzo GT3542LS with a Sirui K-30X ball head.
The reason I chose this tripod was the carbon build, the height, the closed size, and the fact that it is “systematic”. Making it very sturdy and configurable. It even has some spikes underneath the rubber feet.
I love my new tripod! This was a considerable expense, but I hope to have found my tripod for live!