Home Buyer's Guide Tripods & Supports-2011
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Tripods & Supports

Choosing the right support can do as much for your photography as a new camera

This Article Features Photo Zoom

MINI-TRIPODS: WHEN SPACE AND WEIGHT ARE AT A PREMIUM, TRY A MINI-TRIPOD

BERLEBACH
The Berlebach Mini-Leveling Wood Tripod not only is sturdy, but it’s also a beautiful work of high craftsmanship made from ash. This support has a high load capacity and can get your camera down to four inches above the ground with a maximum height of 15 inches. Wood offers very high vibration dampening for sharper pictures. The tripod weighs 1.98 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $300.

JOBY
The Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom is probably one of the more unique supports on the market. This compact tripod features multiple jointed legs that allow them to bend and rotate so the unit can wrap around a tree branch, a signpost or other readily available supports. This unit can hold cameras up to 6.5 pounds and weighs less than half a pound. Estimated Street Price: $49.

SLIK
Slik makes a whole range of solid tripods, including the Sprint Mini II GM, a remarkable mini-tripod that collapses to 14 inches, weighs 1.6 pounds, yet can extend to 43 inches. The tripod allows you to position your camera just 6.4 inches above ground, and if you’re ambitious, you can invert the center column for lower-angle shooting. Estimated Street Price: $80.

MONOPODS: MONOPODS MAKE IT EASY TO LITERALLY SHOOT AND RUN

MONOSTAT
The Monostat-RS monopods come in carbon-fiber and aluminum alloy. They include a unique foot stabilizer called the Swivel Toe Stabilizer that allows you to tilt the monopod away from vertical and still keep a solid grip on the ground. The RS16K ART aluminum unit extends to 62.2 inches, collapses to 20.5 inches and weighs about 1.4 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $175.

SUNPAK
Sunpak offers both tripods and monopods. The PRO 724M support is a four-section, carbon-fiber monopod that extends to 63 inches and collapses to 19 inches. It weighs 1.1 pounds. A neoprene foam grip on the upper-leg section makes the unit easier to handle in extreme weather. Estimated Street Price: $75.


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