Professional photographer Joel Grimes admits he almost always use a tripod – either in the studio or when he is shooting outdoors – here is why.
Lots of people don’t like the hassle of carrying or working with a tripod – they feel that it is simply too restricting and with today’s image stabilization you don’t need one. Well, Grimes has a very different perspective on using a tripod. He starts by mentioning one of his old photography teachers who said that using a basic kit lens on a tripod at f/8 will beat any expensive lens wide open handheld. This is just how optics works and even if you are freezing action with speedlights Grimes recommends that you use a tripod to eliminate even the smallest chance of vibration.
Grimes is a big fan of Really Right Stuff (RRS) products (they are an American manufacturer with very high-quality products including tripods, heads, and accessories). Although RRS are far from inexpensive if you are a professional photographer investing in a high-quality set of legs and a head/s can really last you for years (we know what we are talking about – just like Grimes we have a Gitzo tripod from the 1980s which still works great today). Of course, if you can’t afford a new high-end tripod – consider a good second-hand set – there are some selling online for as low as $100 (when it comes to heads – especially ballheads – a good new one is still probably a better idea).
Joel Grimes has been the subject of several videos we published here in the past including “What Makes a Great Photograph?“, “Making Superheroes“, “Shooting Active Sports Photography in the Studio” and “Joel Grimes: the Singing Photographer“.
You can watch more from interesting photographers on our photographer’s section here on LensVid.
Update: We now have a whole new subsection dedicated to tripods for you to check out with new releases and reviews plus lots of info and videos.