We all make mistakes when it comes to purchases we make when we're first starting out. As we continue to grow and evolve we continue to make mistakes. Hopefully, our mistakes aren't too financially costly like a camera body or lens that we don't need and never use. When I first bought my camera a couple years ago, I picked up an ultra cheap twenty dollar tripod because the store had one and I thought I would definitely need it. That was a mistake and that tripod was pretty much a piece of junk. I have since rectified that mistake and have found my personal favorite and best tripod I've ever owned.
Recently, I took a trip to Seattle, WA and I knew that on this particular trip I was going to be spending more time outdoors, hiking, and exploring rather than rocking portrait shoots. I knew that I wanted to have a solid and reliable tripod with me to help me go after the shots that I wanted. I also knew that I wouldn't be able to spend three, four, or five hundred dollars on something. Per the usual, I checked Craigslist hoping to find a great deal but came up dry. So I start searching Amazon and YouTube reviews hoping to find something. Lo and behold I find the Zomei Z818 and boom, I find my favorite tripod.
Coming in at about $125 it doesn't break the bank and delivers everything that I'm looking for from a tripod to take on hikes and nature adventures. Solid aluminum alloy build quality, legs that adjust to any angle that I could want, and a straight to the point sturdy ball head. Plus, it's available in a few different colors which while not necessary, is pretty sweet. On my trip, I definitely put this thing to the test. Rain and snow are no problem. It's lightweight which is what I want when I take it with me for a hike. I feel completely comfortable leaving my camera attached to the head while walking through the woods with this thing.
Moral of the story? I bought a super cheap tripod once got exactly what I paid for. Then via YouTube unboxing videos and Amazon reviews found my tripod equivalent of a best friend. Are there higher quality options out there? Yes, of course. You can spend hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on a tripod if you want to. Always do your research and make sure that whatever you go with meets your needs. Have you ever bought one on the cheap only to find it was junk? Maybe you've owned the same one your whole career and wouldn't trade it for anything. Leave a comment down below with your tripod preferences. When you look for something new, is your first instinct to check YouTube reviews like me?
By Evan Kane, reposted with permission from FStoppers - https://fstoppers.com/originals/best-tripod-ive-ever-owned-208947
Evan Kane is a portrait photographer based near Seattle. He specializes in colorful location portraits with a bit of a fairy tale flair. Always looking to create something with emotion behind it, he fell backwards into photography in mid 2015 and has been pursuing this dream ever since. One if his mottos: "There is always more to learn."