As I was taking photographs yesterday, I had a bittersweet moment. I knew the day was coming, but I was hanging on. I would have been better to move on months ago, but I just couldn’t let go. We have been together for over eighteen years, so to move on felt like I would be cheating – like I would be unfaithful.
She has been with me when I was passionate and when I wasn’t paying attention to her. She has been there, right beside me, when I didn’t need her. Sometimes, I asked her to be something she never was intended to be. But, she stuck with me. Sure, there are sexier and better out there, but she was mine.
Once again, I asked her to help me achieve my goals. Once again, she was there giving me everything she had. Then it happened. I broke her leg. I broke the leg on the tripod that I have had for almost two decades.
A friend gave her to me as a gift many years ago. No, she is not a top-of-the-line tripod and often a little difficult to handle, but she has been there through thick and thin. In all seriousness, it was truly a bit of a sad moment. I know I need a nicer tripod and planned on saving to get one, but I was in no hurry because I had this one that I have had for years.
I have a small tripod to serve as a fill-in, but it is by no means adequate as a long-term solution.
Now begins the process of finding a new tripod. One of my purposes for this blog is to share my experiences as a broke photographer to encourage other photographers who don’t have a lot of money. So, I am always looking for ways to save money. Based on all of my research, there are two pieces of equipment on which serious photographers should never skimp – lenses and tripods. In regard to lenses, the experts I am reading insist that photographers should invest in lenses before a new camera body.
For landscape and macro work, which I enjoy the most, the most used piece of gear in my bag is my tripod. In fact, I would say that I use a tripod when taking about 95% of my photos. Roman Kurywczak says the tripod is the most important piece of equipment in landscape photography.
The tripod that keeps coming up in the videos I watch is distributed by Really Right Stuff. They are considered top-of-the-line and are a realistic investment for the professional photographer. Based on everything I have read, these really are amazing pieces of equipment. The problem is I honestly don’t have$00 – $1300 to lay down for a tripod and ball head. I’m a broke photographer! I am willing, however, to spend more money on a tripod because it is an investment that will last a long time. My pitiful little tripod that I just broke lasted eighteen years!
Here are the top three tripods I am looking at:
- On the top-end that I want to spend on a tripod is actually from two different companies. I am looking at Gitzo Series 1 Tripod Legs and a Really Right Stuff Ball Head. But, I am still looking at close to $1000.
- My second choice is the Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with Black Ball Head. This one retails for $349.99.
- Finally, and this is probably going to be the most realistic for me, is the Manfrotto – Element 65″ Tripod – Black for $149.
If you would like to help me grieve for my tripod or give me a great suggestion for a new tripod, feel free to comment below!