We’ve asked the tripod market leaders to compile a short list of the best tripods they would recommend for landscape photography. Here’s what Paul Hill from Manfrotto has picked:
The 190 Go! tripod has been on the market for around a year now and as well as winning numerous awards when it first arrived, has gained a strong following for several reasons. For me, it’s one of the best options for a landscape photographer: it’s small and light, weighing only 1.35 kg, yet will hold up to 7 kg of kit (so more than you would ever take out with you).
The twist lock leg locks make the tripod easy to operate, especially when adjusting the height. They also make it very easy to clean if some of the landscape wants to come back home with you! It will reach up to 147cm at full height but more importantly will allow you to get down as low as 8cm thanks to the 4 leg angles and 90-degree column. Spikes aren’t fitted as standard as they add more weight but can be purchased if required.
The 190 Go!, like most Manfrotto tripods uses a 3/8” thread on top so you can attach a massive range of heads for different applications. For precision, the Xpro 3 Way Geared Head is a great choice. Items such as the Manfrotto Digital Director can be attached by the Easy Link connector on the side of the tripod top section, as well as there being a hook/loop on the side to use your bag as a counterweight if required.
Sharing many of the features found in the 190 Go! and indeed all 190/055 Xpro Tripods, the 055 Carbon 3 Section is an absolute go-to product for landscape photography.
The wider diameter legs of the 055 over the 190 do offer more in payload at a maximum of 9 kg but the main benefit is around stability. This is also more evident when using telephotos like 70-200mm lenses for landscape, and definitely with ultra-high resolution cameras like the Nikon D810, the Canon EOS 5DSR and the Sony A7 range.
If you are after a tripod that will perform in any condition with pretty much any camera setup, you need to buy a Systematic!
A tripod that will take a massive 25 kg payload yet only weighs 2.03 kg and uses the super strong and super quick G Lock Ultra Twist locks on the leg. These have O ring seals to keep the elements out of the mechanism and can easily be stripped down to clean. The systematic range also allows you to modify the setup. As standard, there’s no centre column, but should you wish, you can get rapid or geared columns to add in when required. You can also add 75mm or 100mm bowls for video heads. Finally, there’s a levelling adaptor so you can quickly level your head-on location for panoramic work etc. Anyone who has used a Gitzo will tell you, they keep on going and will be a great value long term investment, perhaps the only tripod you’ll ever need to own.
Sometimes, however much you want to take a big tripod, it just won’t work. This is where the Befree comes in to play.
Folding down to just 40 cm and weighing just 1.1 kg this Carbon Fibre travel tripod is the ideal tripod for when you don’t want to carry one. It will easily fit into a bag and ensure you can get stable shots with ease. It has a compact ball head which takes the 200PL Quick Release plate so you can use the same plate if you have one of the many other bigger Manfrotto supports for other uses. Travel tripods will always be a compromise compared to bigger tripods in terms of stability, but it’s only a good tripod if it’s with you. With the Befree Carbon, you have a tripod that you can take anywhere!