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Monday, January 22, 2007

Toolbox: Camera Supports

Ensure sharpness by using a variety of camera platforms

Photographers are always concerned with sharpness. They'll often search for reviews and lens comparisons to make sure that their optics produce the sharpest image possible. Yet even the best-engineered lens in the world will deliver soft photographs when the camera isn't as steady as it needs to be. Whether you're shooting landscapes or portraits, a sharp result is sometimes only possible when the lens and the camera are seated on a stable platform, be it a tripod, monopod or beanbag.

The photographic world offers a lot of choices when it comes to ensuring stability, with numerous products fulfilling specific photographic needs. Here are just a few examples of camera accessories that can make a huge difference in your photographic work. A tripod is the most common accessory for ensuring sharp photographs. Whether you're shooting a landscape scene in Yellowstone, a family portrait at a wedding or a close-up shot of a blossoming lotus, a tripod reduces the chance that even the slightest camera motion can lead to a soft result. There are a variety of tripods that are available and vary by size, weight and price. The following tripods and monopods are good examples of models that fit specific photographic needs.

Tripods And Monopods

Gitzo MK-2 Mountaineer/Reporter Tripod G1257Gitzo MK-2 Mountaineer/Reporter Tripod G1257. For photographers who enjoy travel or trekking into the outdoors, a lightweight tripod is essential. The Gitzo MK-2 Mountaineer/Reporter is a carbon-fiber model that produces great stability at a weight of only 3.1 pounds. Supporting a load of up to 17.6 pounds, the tripod features three sectional legs and a maximum height of 63.4 inches. List Price: $686. (201) 818-9500 | www.bogenimaging.us

Giottos Universal TripodGiottos Universal Tripod. Close-up photography is highly dependent on a stable platform for the best results. The Giottos Universal Tripod is a standard-sized tripod that has a special tilt-control column to allow your camera to be positioned low to the ground and at specific angles. Supporting up to 33 pounds, the tripod features removable rubber feet that convert to metal spikes for negotiating natural terrain. List Price: $443 (MT-8160 carbon fiber); $194 (MT-9160 aluminum). (800) 735-4373 | www.hpmarketingcorp.com

Hakuba DF MiniHakuba DF Mini. It's always a great idea to take a camera with you everywhere you go, but you don't want to tow along a standard-sized tripod as well. The Hakuba DF Mini provides an ultra-compact tripod that you can take and use virtually anywhere. Weighing just 1.8 pounds, the tabletop tripod features a quick-release panhead for versatility in a small form factor. List Price: $34. (973) 428-9800 | www.hakubausa.com

Manfrotto Digi TripodManfrotto Digi Tripod With Ballhead. Even compact cameras and lightweight D-SLRs sometimes require the use of a tripod. Whether you're shooting night shots or portraits, the Manfrotto Digi Tripod offers a lightweight and affordable platform for virtually any type of shooting. The tripod supports up to 7.7 pounds and features a maximum height of 52 inches. It includes a ballhead for quick and easy camera orientation. List Price: $138.
(201) 818-9500 | www.bogenimaging.us




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