One indispensable tool for any serious landscape photographer is the tripod. Finding the best tripod for landscape photography can make a world of difference in your photos. In fact, after your camera and lens, the tripod is one of your most vital pieces of equipment. So, it’s important to ensure that you find the best option for your needs.
Here at The Adventure Junkies, our goal is to help our readers to create amazing landscape images. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re capturing the best images possible is by having the right tools for the job; including a tripod.
From traditional metal tripods, to newer lightweight carbon models, to portable options that are perfect for travel, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. With this in mind let’s take a look at some of the best tripods that are available for landscape photography today.
For more of our top landscape photography gear recommendations, check out the Best Landscape Cameras.
Quick Answer - The Best Tripods for Landscape Photography
- Manfrotto MT190GOC4US 190go!
- MeFOTO Classic
- Feisol Tournament CT-3442
- Gitzo GK2542-82QD Series 2 Mountaineer
- ProMaster Professional XC525C
- Slik Mini III
- Mactrem PT55
- Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
Comparison Table - Best Tripod for Landscape Photography
|Manfrotto MT190GOC4US 190go!||3.7 lbs||Carbon||$$||4.8|
|MeFOTO Classic||3.7 lbs||Carbon||$$||4.6|
|Feisol Tournament CT-3442||2.5 lbs||Carbon||$$||4.8|
|Gitzo GK2542-82QD Series 2 Mountaineer||5.4 lbs||Carbon||$$$||5.0|
|ProMaster Professional XC525C||3.0 lbs||Carbon||$$||5.0|
|Slik Mini III||1.7 lbs||Aluminum||$||4.3|
|Mactrem PT55||2.6 lbs||Aluminum||$||4.7|
|Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB||5.4 lbs||Aluminum||$||4.5|
Reviews - The Best Landscape Photography Tripods
Manfrotto MT190GOC4US 190go!
BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT
PROS: Lightweight, portable, solid build construction, design allows you to get low to the ground, includes an attachment to hold a light or reflector
CONS: Doesn’t include a carrying bag
BEST FOR: TRAVEL
PROS: Lightweight, ideal for travel and hiking, 360-degree panning, versatile, well-built
CONS: Locking mechanisms don’t have the best weather sealing
Feisol Tournament CT-3442
BEST FOR: STABILITY
PROS: Compact and portable, durable, large cross-section leg tube diameters for added stability
CONS: Feet can become loose over time
Gitzo GK2542-82QD Series 2 Mountaineer
BEST FOR: PROFESSIONALS
PROS: High-end tripod, easy to use, includes bubble level, features a top-notch ball head system
ProMaster Professional XC525C
BEST FOR: PROFESSIONAL USE
PROS: 5-section tripod, spring loaded weight hook, lightweight and versatile ball head included, includes built-in monopod
CONS: May not include a carrier bag
Slik Mini III
BEST FOR: BUDGET-CONSCIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS
PROS: Affordable, lightweight, good for travel, extremely portable
CONS: No counterweight on the bottom so it’s less stable in high winds
BEST FOR: ADVENTURERS ON A BUDGET
PROS: Lightweight, portable, versatile, features a 3-way pan head and 4-section legs for uneven terrain
CONS: Plastic construction for some components
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
BEST FOR: VALUE
PROS: Flexible, stable, versatile, good value
CONS: Plastic knobs
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST TRIPODS FOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
The weight of the tripod is an important consideration when making your choice –especially when it comes to landscape photography, which involves a lot of hiking to scenic locations. Most tripods weight anywhere from just over a pound to over 6 pounds –a big difference when you’re carrying it around! If you plan to take it traveling with you, you’ll also want to consider the tripod’s weight, and portability when making your decision.
The most common materials for tripods are aluminum and carbon fiber. While carbon fiber is the lighter option, it’s also more costly than aluminum. Here’s a look at both options.
Aluminum is what most tripods used to be made of, and many budget models are still made from this material today. The advantages of aluminum includes the fact that it’s usually more affordable than carbon fiber, and is a sturdy choice; especially in high-wind environments.
Carbon fiber is the preferred material of choice for most photographers today. Carbon is lighter; which can make a big difference when hiking around with your tripod.
The downside to carbon is that these tripods also considerably more expensive than their aluminum counterparts. They also may be more prone to shaking in extreme wind.
Next, you’ll want to consider stability. This matters when you’re out in the field, trying to capture photos in the wind. A well-built tripod should be able to support your camera, without threatening to drop it!
MAXIMUM LOAD CAPACITY
Make sure you consider the maximum load capacity when making your choice. You’ll want to make sure the tripod you choose can support your camera’s weight. If you don’t know how much your camera and lenses weigh, be sure to weigh them.
When buying a tripod, you’ll also want to consider height. If you purchase one that’s too small, you’ll have to hunch over to use it.
To find a tripod that’s the right size for you, take your height and subtract the distance from your eyes to the top of your head, then subtract the height of the camera from the bottom to the viewfinder, as well as the height of the ball head. Jim Harper over at Improve Photography has created a helpful chart for finding a tripod that’s an ideal height
Which tripod features are important to you?
QUICK RELEASE PLATE
One accessory that will make it easier to use the tripod is a quick release plate. This is a component that comes off of the tripod head, and attaches to the tripod jack on the underside of the camera body. This allows you to place the camera on the tripod, locking it into place quickly and easily.
When it comes to landscape tripods, a leveling head can be a handy way to tell whether or not your image is centered, regardless of whether the tripod’s legs are on level ground. This feature is especially valuable when capturing panoramas.
EASE OF USE
Some tripods are easier to use than others. If you hate the idea of wasting time setting up your tripod, you may want to consider one that’s user-friendly, one that goes up and down easily; with no hassle.
Finally, you’ll also want to take cost into consideration as well. High-quality carbon fiber tripods are more expensive, but they’re the preferred option for most photographers. Be prepared to pay more for a well-built tripod; keeping in mind that these models are also significantly easier to use as well.