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Are Tripods only for manual shooters?


JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 58 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2017 1:21PM
If you only ever shoot Full Auto, or P mode - and as i don't think many camera's can detect whether they are hand held vs Tripod mounted! Then isn't using a tripod is a waste of time?

Conversely if you use a tripod you should really make sure you know about manual mode or shutter/aperture priority?

Some exclusions might be - panning / panoramas/ time lapse / selfies / etc - but what else make a tripod good for auto mode shooting?

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Philh04 Plus
14 2.2k United Kingdom
6 Mar 2017 1:59PM
Canons newer lens IS is tripod aware....

No I don't think a tripod is only for manual mode, a lot of wildlife photographers use tripods both for long lenses and macro etc.

Many other different types of photography make good use of tripods.
JJGEE 15 7.8k 18 England
6 Mar 2017 3:22PM

Quote:... Then isn't using a tripod is a waste of time?

No
pink Plus
17 6.5k 8 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2017 3:30PM
I use a Tripod 90% of the time, yes I use Manual exposure and mainly do landscapes but I believe a tripod is an essential tool for serious photography.
1.It will definitely improve the sharpness of your images
2.You are free to use any combination of aperture/Shutter Speed and ISO without fear of camera shake.
3.It slows you down and I believe makes your shots 'more considered'
4.Its a nice way to hold the camera whilst waiting for the right moment or light.
5.You can take really long exposures with low ISO's and the aperture of your choice
6.You can set up your tripod/camera and work at a distance away, great for timid subjects
These are just a few reasons it works for me
Niknut Plus
10 2.6k 82 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2017 4:56PM
Tripods ???.....never use 'em !!!......I've got 2 (one for bird watching), but because they're
cumbersome, heavy, & restrict any precise movement/positioning to achieve my perfect
composition, they just never get used !!

I don't use long lenses, or long exposures, & keep the shutter speed no slower than 1/30sec.,
(by adjusting the ISO/Aperture)......so hand held is always my way of working for 99.99% of
my photography (mainly Landscapes) !!!

If other folks feel the need to use a tripod that's their prerogative !!....but not for me !!.WinkGrinGrin
6 Mar 2017 6:13PM
Since I upgraded to a 300mm F4 prime (non VR), I have been forced to start using a tripod a lot more. I shoot in aperture priority mode. I appreciate there are various downsides to tripod use, but there are also upsides. If I can avoid tripod use, I certainly will. If, however, I find good enough reason to use one, I will take it with me.

I was recently photographing a Robin and and a few other bird species on a very windy day. My shutter speed was around 160/s-200/s, which would have made it a lot more difficult to get sharp shots handheld. I was glad of the tripod to lock up my camera and put my hands in my pockets, as I was struggling with the cold. Tripod use could be especially beneficial to a wildlife photographer in an extreme environment, such as Antarctica to avoid frostbite, or hypothermia. The loss of feeling makes it more difficult to press camera buttons quickly. A more extreme consequence from hand holding over long period could be the loss of a finger, or fingers.

I think pink has covered all of the benefits above.
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
6 Mar 2017 6:14PM
Whenever it's convenient I use a tripod, always have. I don't think there's any relationship between the camera settings and the use of a tripod except for longer exposures, where a tripod is essential. I leave one tripod in the trunk of the car at all times and one near the back door for backyard wildlife. I also always use a remote release when using a tripod. Having said that, the majority of my photography is wildlife, and there usually isn't time to set up, so I rely on the IS system in the camera, or some other way to steady the camera.
capto Plus
8 6.3k 20 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2017 6:34PM
One advantage of using a tripod in public places is that most people think you must be a 'Pro' and give you more space and respect.
6 Mar 2017 6:38PM

Quote:Whenever it's convenient I use a tripod, always have. I don't think there's any relationship between the camera settings and the use of a tripod except for longer exposures, where a tripod is essential. I leave one tripod in the trunk of the car at all times and one near the back door for backyard wildlife. I also always use a remote release when using a tripod. Having said that, the majority of my photography is wildlife, and there usually isn't time to set up, so I rely on the IS system in the camera, or some other way to steady the camera.


I would say there is a definite relationship between camera settings and the necessity of tripod use, even when not shooting long exposures. I could set my ISO to 6400 to have a fast enough shutter speed to make hand holding realistic, whereas I could use ISO 1600, or 800 with a tripod and achieve overall better results. With my camera things start to get ugly at ISO 3200, so I'd prefer to use a tripod where practical. If I was shooting with a more advanced SLR, I could use ISO 6400 and noise wouldn't be an issue.
6 Mar 2017 8:06PM
Ian (Pink) had it pretty much covered for me too...especially for macro stuff, where the camera is fixed and I can faff about with lighting/reflectors, and a remote release..

There's a battered old faithful wedged in the back of my car boot permanently..!

Okay, prancing about in a studio, or sports, or weddings etc. might not warrant it, but I'll use one whenever practicable...
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
7 Mar 2017 8:59AM
Correct, you don't need a tripod if you use full auto all the time, as you obviously don't care about the result.
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
7 Mar 2017 9:10AM
Seriously though, if you're using a big lens, using a tripod just to take the weight can be sensible....
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
7 Mar 2017 9:12AM
The easiest way to more sharper photos is to use a good tripod more often Grin
There are times when using a tripod is not practicable, just as there are times when high quality sharp images ideally require a tripod.
Digressing most specialist bird photographers use AF etc and a good tripod much of the time.
Ross_D 6 841 1 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2017 1:19PM
Being of a certain age, I use a tripod to help me get up again from a kneeling position after taking a shot from a low view point Smile
Niknut Plus
10 2.6k 82 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2017 4:35PM

Quote:Correct, you don't need a tripod if you use full auto all the time, as you obviously don't care about the result.


GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin!!!!!

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