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RainyDayGiftGuide 2013 : Tripods

There are a number of tripods on the market that we would love to hav. However, if we had to choose based on the type of photography we do most often, one or two tripods could satisfy most of our needs. For our DSLR and videcams, we want a full-size tripod that is: rock solid in construction, flexible in configuration, and light in weight. With that in mind, we put together a list of tripods for this year’s RainyDayGiftGuide for those with the same wants:

The Vanguard Monopod and Trek-Tech TrekPod are perfect for those who need sturdy mobile support. The Vanguard ABEO CM-284 is made from carbon fiber, is super stiff, weighs less than a pound, can expand to about five feet, and support up to 17lbs. The TrekPod is heavier (27oz), but can transform from a monopod to a free-standing tripod because of its unique lower leg section. Either will make an excellent choice for the photographer-hiker on your list.

For the photographer-astronomer, we can recommend the Velbon-Vixen Polarie tripod. The tripod is designed for the Vixen Polarie StarTracker, but we have found it to be an excellent travel tripod to pair with a DSLR. The elevator pole is a feature not found on most travel tripods. The compact size, 70″ max height, and pan ball head is big and flexible enough for most situation.

Looking for a travel tripod that can get the high shot as well as offer excellent ground-level stability? The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT can flatten out with a quick push of a button. The multi-angle center column is adjustable from 0º to 130º, which makes it for perfect for both macro-photography and special wide-angle shots. Note the hexagon-shaped central column for extra stability. It also has non-slip, spiked rubber feet for changing terrains. If you hurry, you can even get a FREE Vanguard Panhead via a Mail-in-Rebate.

Many working photographers also do quite a bit of video. Those looking for tripods which are suitable for both should check out the Vanguard ABEO 243CV and the SLIK 505QF. Both have 2-Way Fluid Pan Head w/ Quick Release plates. The Vanguard unit has carbon fiber legs for lightweigh and super stiffness. The SLIK unit is heavier, but has a gear-driven center column for easy fine height adjustment.

We hope you find these recommendations helpful for your Holiday shopping needs. Next up is the Gadget installment of the 2013 RainyDayGiftGuide. We think you will like what we have for you. Look for it on Wednesday. Happy Holidays!!!

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