Tripods - Sandra McDowell Photography


On deciding to invest in improving my photography, after buying the camera, I knew the next purchase needed to be a tripod.  As a casual snapper I never really understood why people would want to lug a tripod on a hike, but now I wanted to get sharper images, I started to understand.

Sirui T-1205x

1st Tripod  Setup : Current Travel Tripod

With a  holiday looming my first tripod needed be travel friendly.

Sirui Tripods

Sirui T-1205X Review (Youtube Clip)

Sirui K-10X Ball Head Review

Sirui K-10X Head

What I like about it.

1. Small enough to be able to put in a suit case.

2. Light enough that I could carry it all day whilst walking,

3. Sturdy enough to hold my camera with the heavier lens.

4. Carbon fibre with leg warmers, easier to handle on cold days.

6. ArcaSwiss Compatible Head that locks in place with no slip.

What I would change about it.

1. In strong winds it does wobble (though it is badged as a travel tripod).

2. The friction adjustment wheel is difficult to adjust.

3. Twist lock legs, made adjusting the tripod fiddly.

2nd Tripod Set Up

Having only a travel tripod I soon became aware of its limitations.  Wanting to be out in all weathers, the travel tripod just couldn't stand up to the winds in the West of Ireland.  Whilst camping at my favourite location, the tripod toppled twice due to the winds.  The winds were so strong at times I just couldn't take pictures, the camera wouldn't withstand the conditions. For my second tripod my needs were different.

The tripod didn't need to be just as light as most of the time it would travel with me in my car or camper van.

Giottos MTL 8361B (Youtube Clip)

Giottos MH-1300 Pro Review

Wimberley C-12 Adapter Plate

Giottos MTL 8361B

Giottos MH-1300 Pro

Wimberley C-12 Plate

I scanned ebay for my next tripod, first looking for a reasonably priced set of carbon fibre legs. The Giottos MTL 8361B came in at the right price.  I thought pairing with a Giottos head would be the best approach, at least until I understood a bit more about tripods. The MH-1300 came at a great price, however the adapter plate was not arca swiss compatible.  To solve this problem I purchased an alternative adapter plate.  The Wimberley C12 came with full instructions and the adaption was easy.

What I liked about the set-up.

1. Clamps to adjust the legs. making minor adjustments easy.

2. It was sturdier than the travel tripod.

3. It didn't feel overly heavy.

4. The ability to change the adapter plate to an arca swiss plate.

5. It wasn't too big and it was easily carried over distances.

6. The leg warmers.

What I would change about the set-up

1. The head felt too heavy for the legs.

2. The tripod toppled twice, the first time writing off my primary lens.  However this may well ave been due to user error.  I've learned the importance of ensuring the tripod legs are all secure and extended properly.

3. It was still too light for some the conditions I find myself in.

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