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#22862

I haven’t visited Best Buy for some time!  I’m pretty sure I still have one of their gift cards somewhere.  Didn’t realize they were carrying video tripods now!

Tripods are great for production portraits.  “Welcome.  Please stand on the ‘X’ and smile.”  You can do a portrait every minute or two and get through a whole school or company before lunch.  For individual portraits it is often easier and more practical to hand hold.  You can move more freely.  In a studio, you don’t need to use a tripod.  The flash from a strobe is about 1/1000th so it will stop most motion, camera stability is not an issue.

Since you asked, I have several aluminum tripods.  Most were $50.  One even has a panning head!  Good aluminum tripods have all metal parts.  If you are looking at an aluminum tripod and you see plastic, don’t purchase it!  Plastic does not like UV light so it will deteriorate when used outside and it tends to sag under weight.

My one, more expensive aluminum is a spindly little Velbon Sherpa, which is extremely light but very effective.  I use it when travelling, sometimes.

I also have a Slik carbon fibre tripod with a Manfrotto head.  A threaded adapter matches the thinner Slik and thicker Manfrotto threads.  It provides a good combination of light weight, height and head performance.  A feature I like is that the legs can splay out so the head is just above the ground for really low shots, then it can stand with legs extended normally and I don’t have to bend to look through the viewfinder, without extending the centre column.  Very versatile.

Of course, a rock, a car, a table, a railing, and many other things make good substitutes, too.