Tripod Companies

Time to stand on your own three feet!

Tripods are now available in a variety of designs almost as bewildering as telescopes. One needs to consider a number of factors when choosing one that suits your needs and sometimes you may want to use different tripods in different circumstances.

For example, I have used a heavy tripod when sea watching as it will not get moved by the wind. It is very heavy so not suitable to take on a walk (some of you may not mind the weight) so I used a lighter general purpose tripod that is great in hides and out of the wind.

These days I use a tough, but light carbon fibre tripod. This can be stabilised by suspending a bag of stones at its centre.

The action of tripods differs in other respects too such as the way that the telescope is connected, how the legs expand and are locked, and the tilt and swivel mechanisms when in use. These days many birders want a tripod for their camera which is also useful for their scope. Most designs are good, but the differences need to be tried out to see what suits you. A lightweight tripod may not be any use if you have a large or heavy scope.

Tripods should be bought in the same way as telescopes – by testing them out. Many retailers have a good stock of different designs and will let you play with them until you find one that suits you. Optics retailers also often hold ‘optics days’ (exhibitions) at reserves around the nation so you can try them out in the field.

Having found the one (or more) that you want do not feel you have to buy it straight away from the person kind enough to show you the options. You may get cheaper deals on line direct from importers or manufacturers. On the other hand you may highly value the support of after sales service offered by your local retailer. The choice is yours, take your time because a telescope might be the best in the world but its performance will be marred by a poor supporting tripod.

Other Links
  • Cullmann

    Since 1955, Cullmann GmbH has been manufacturing professional tripods and accessories for both still, digital, and video applications. In each system of tripods available, there is a variety of tripods for every purpose and every pocket. The individual tripods can be constantly extended with the many variable system accessories. Cullmann tripods are noted for their outstanding stability and ease of handling
  • Gitzo

    GITZO, the international leader in the design and manufacturing of camera tripods and heads, welcomes you to our web site, version 2.0. We've packed the site with information on our company, our products, our international distributors and more. Let us know what you think.
  • Manfrotto

    There is the international website. GRUPPO MANFROTTO, the international leader in the design and manufacturing of camera and lighting support systems, welcomes you to its web site, version 2.0. We've packed the site with information on our companies, our products, our international distributors and more. Please let us know what you think about this on-line service.
  • Mulepack

    Exclusive to Cley Spy, the Mulepack is designed to carry a telescope and tripod set up comfortably leaving your hands free to use binoculars.
  • Slik

    SLIK has been quietly designing and manufacturing high-quality tripods for more than 60 years.
  • Sunpak

    SUNPAK Tripods - the most advanced tripods in the world.
  • Swarovski

    Enhance your viewing experience with tripods and tripod heads from SWAROVSKI OPTIK. Select the right model for when you’re on the move or in particularly difficult conditions or terrains.
  • Tiffen

    The Tiffen Company is a leading American manufacturer of imaging accessories for the consumer/professional imaging, Motion Picture & Television and broadcast industries.
  • Trek-Tech

    Trek-Pod - A revolutionary trekking tripod system that is the most exciting and innovative new outdoor recreation product to come along in years! Tired of having to carry excess hiking equipment? Ever miss a terrific photo opportunity because the tripod was left in the trunk?
  • Velbon

    In 1954, Velbon Tripod Company manufactured its first tripod. In the 43 years since, we still manufacture the finest quality tripods that are sold today. Whether it`s our Mark Series for the professional, our Carmagne Series (Carbon fiber / Magnesium) for the special enthusiast, or our Chaser, Videomate, DF, and CX Series for the amateur, quality is and will continue to be our most important objective.

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