Choosing Tripod Parts and Accessories
Tripods, which are essential photographic tools for serious photography, live a hard life. Like any equipment that's in constant use, tripod parts are subject to wear and tear. In addition, as you go all out to capture the best pictures, you're likely to find yourself in situations where a standard tripod doesn't provide adequate support, so you need to find ways to increase its stability in different situations, difficult conditions, and on harsh terrains.
Tripod Replacement Parts
Every tripod component must be tight and in good condition. It only takes a little play, such as wear on your tripod leg bearings, to spoil photos taken with a slow shutter speed, especially when using a telephoto lens. Parts that you may need to replace include tripod screws, locking levers, and rubber leg feet. It's a good idea to carry various combo tools or camera keys for tightening camera mounting plates, and Allen keys or leg lock wrenches to keep leg screw clamps tight. Watch out for small parts, such as reducer bushings, screws, clamps, and knobs, which can fall off during transport or on site.
Tripod Accessories, Adapters, and Fittings
A range of adapters and fittings help when attaching different heads or camera cages. Examples include various types of plate and pin adapters, spacers, tripod mount screws, and male-to-male adapters with different kinds of threads. Rod support systems are useful for holding props and mounting accessories. Tripod umbrellas and shields are handy when taking landscape photos during inclement weather.
Accessories to Increase Tripod Stability
Various accessories help you keep your tripod stable. For example, while tripods are strong, they're relatively light, and thus may not be stable in windy conditions. In such a situation, a tripod hammock or stone bag can add weight to help with stability. In addition, tripod leg spikes and rubber feet prevent slipping and unwanted movement of the feet on hard surfaces. Tripod leg spreaders keep legs correctly spread and stiffen the legs. In the studio, professional video tripod dollies allow you to move the tripod during filming without having to set it up again. Most have locking wheels, so once in position, it won't move.
Traveling with Tripods
Thanks to their unwieldy shape even when collapsed, tripods are notoriously difficult to carry. One solution is tripod straps that attach to the tripod head and legs so you can sling it over your shoulder. A shoulder cushion has the advantage that it doesn't need removing before setting up the tripod. Soft and hard tripod cases are ideal for protecting tripods from knocks and damage when traveling.
Find the best camera tripod parts and accessories at B&H Photo and Video to keep your tripod in good condition.