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  Q. Do I need a tripod?

A. You might just be looking at these pages wondering if you need a tripod at all. There's no point in helping you to choose which model will best suit your requirements until you appreciate how absolutely vital one is to explore the full potential of your photography. The truth is that you could muddle along snapping freestyle, but what would you be missing?
You won’t need one every time you take a photograph, but owning a tripod will open up a whole new world of images that you simply cannot capture without one. And, there is immense pleasure to be had by taking your time composing a wonderful image that you will always be proud of. There is simply no substitute!

  Q. Why choose Velbon?

A. Velbon is proud to be the world's favourite specialist tripod brand. Our whole world is tripods - we don’t make anything else! We like to think we are number ONE for a good reason. For over 50 years we have been in the forefront of tripod technology and design. Today, we have the most advanced and comprehensive range. And, as several generations of photographers will testify, Velbon has long been known for offering excellent value for money.
Our tripods have come a long way since the early years of wood and the big heavy metal days! They are now ultra lightweight, ultra compact, yet remarkably strong and sturdy. Which makes them easier to carry than ever before so that it can always be on hand to help capture that magical image.

  Q. How much should you spend?

A. You might believe that you should spend as little as possible, until that is, you understand the benefits of the models further up the price scale. It may also surprise you to learn that more people are buying carbon fibre and magnesium alloy tripods than ever before. Partly because they are better than ever and their quality, low weight and compact size are now more appreciated and partly because they are now more affordable than ever before.
There is also something deeply satisfying about using a precision engineered piece equipment. Setting up a tripod may seem an old fashioned process, but it is just as relevant today, when you can fill your memory card with thousands of images as when a photographer had just a single glass plate.
Spend as much as you can afford because you will get immense pleasure from using it over many years of ownership.

  Q. Which size do you need?

A. Yes, we appreciate that you would like something that fits in your back pocket even if you have a pro system but we have to be realistic. Velbon have used over half a century of expertise to make our models as small and light as possible. So the question is not what size, but what equipment do you wish to use on it?
Again, this isn't that complicated. There is a large degree of common sense involved and a fair amount of flexibility and compromise. The general rule is to use the largest tripod that you're willing to carry. On the other hand, whatever tripod you have with you is better than the bigger one at home. You can have a large, super-stable one for home and in the car and a smaller one for attaching to your camera bag when travelling.

  Q. Why should I buy a lightweight tripod?

A. It is important to choose a tripod that will comfortably carry the weight of the camera and lens you intend to use. A lightweight tripod is better for carrying, but with a heavier and larger camera, it may not provide enough stability. The heavier the tripod the more stable and load bearing it is. As a rough guide the load weight of a tripod is twice the weight of the tripod itself. So if a tripod weighs roughly 1kg, then the loading weight is approximately 2kg.

  Q. What materials are used in a tripod manufacture?

A. Most tripods are made from aluminium alloy. Inexpensive tripods often use plastics for the head and tripod body. High performance tripods employ magnesium for the head and body and carbon fibre for the legs providing strength and light weight.

  Q. Which is the better leg locking system - nut or lever?

A. The nut locking system allows users to tighten manually right up to the point that they feel is safe or enough for the shooting situation. However the lever locking system is much faster to use as the leg can be locked with just one action. Whilst each system has it's benefits many people lean towards the convenience and speed of a lever locking system.

  Q. How many leg sections should my tripod have?

A. Tripod legs usually have three or four sections, and this affects the ratio of the folded length to the maximum extension of the tripod. If a three-section tripod and a four-section tripod have the same maximum height, the extension ratio difference means that the four-section tripod will be more compact when folded down. So if you need a smaller sized closed tripod it is preferable to chose a four-section model.

  Q. Are all camera tripod screw threads the same size?

A. There are two camera screw sizes in use internationally. The UNC 1/4-inch size is for DSLRs, compact cameras, and camcorders. The UNC 3/8-inch size is for medium- and large-format cameras and scopes. There is an adapter for that will convert a 1/4-inch thread to a 3/8-inch thread.

  Q. What is the difference between the photo head and the video head and is it possible to mount a DSLR on a video head?

A. Both cameras and video camcorders use the standard 1/4-inch thread mount, so a DSLR can be attached to a video head. The difference between a photo and video head is the functionality. The main purpose of a photo head is to securely lock the camera, but the most important feature of a video head is smooth movement with the panning or tilting handle. Locking is not always necessary when using a video camera.
A photo head also allows the camera to be turned to the vertical position for taking portraits whilst a video camera does not.

  Q. What is a quick release plate?

A. When attaching the camera to the tripod, it is necessary to screw the tripod into the mount on the bottom of the camera, which can take a few minutes. If a quick release plate is attached to the bottom of the camera, it can be mounted on the tripod securely, quickly and easily with just one simple action. If you have two or more camera bodies, extra quick release plates can be attached to these bodies for quick mounting on the same tripod.

  Q. What if something goes wrong with my Velbon tripod?

A. All of Velbon’s products are backed by a five-year warranty, guaranteeing peace of mind and service on which you can depend. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong with your purchase, skilled technicians at Velbon’s UK distributors Intro2020 can repair or replace parts. See the Service and Repair section elsewhere on this website.

  Q. Where can I buy a Velbon tripod?

A. Velbon tripods are available at a huge number of retailers both online and in-store- see the where to buy section on this website and contact retailers direct for specific stocking information.