Have you ever gotten up in the morning, had two or three cups of steaming java, and then gone out with your camera and telephoto lens to see what kind of wildife is out and moving around before the sun is up? It's a fantastic feeling.
And then you spot it -- a deer, racecoon, eagle, aquirrel. It doesnht matter. What does count is that you have it in your sights, as big as life, when you notice the camera is shaking. The coffee? The cool morning air? The weight of the lens? Yes, yes, yes.
When those shots come back from processing, your worst fears are confirmed: they've blurred from camera motion. A once-in-a-lifetime experience gone.Forever.
There'a remedy for camera motion. It's called a tripod. Used with a cable release for hands-off operation, it's a sure cure for all the motion blur that ails you. Here's a review of some of some models I recently tested.
SMITY-VICTOR KENLOCK -- The 3000 AP medium-priced tripod has the rugged construction and advanced features you'd expect on tripods costing more. Adjustable, indexed leg braces permit fast leveling and repeatable performance. A tow-section reversible center column adds flexibility and allows the camera to be pobitioned at near ground level. Heights: 63 inch x 24 inch. Weight: 6 1bs, Suggested list price, $69.95.
VELBON VS-3 SWINGER -- A unique swinging center column post that adjusts from vertical to horizontal and all positions in between highlights this versatile, compact tripod. It lets the photographer mount two camers simultaneously. Though lacking braces, its construction is sturdy enough for any light-weight camera. Height: 67.8 inch. Weight: 4.8 1bs, Suggested list price, $53.97.
VELBON AG-3 -- Sturdy bracing and well-placed controls combine with rugged three-section channel legs to create an efficient and sure support for small or medium cameras. Height: 72 inch x 29 inch. Weight: 6.5 1bs, Suggested list price, $79.97.
SLIK 300G MINIPOD -- One of the cutest tripods ever produced also happens to be one of the most useful. Especially for table-top shooting and with lightweight cameras, the 300G is something no family snap-shooter should do without, Height: 12 7/8 inch. Weight: 11.6 oz, Suggested list price, $24.95.
SLIK M410 MASTER PRO -- One of the finest tripods I've ever seen, the 410 was designed for professional and studio use, but anyone interested in quality and durability will appreciate working with it. It features a special head with three separate controls for panning and vertical and horizontal tilting. Large, comfortable grips and a ball bearing mechanism for lutra-smooth operation. All movements are indexed to make setting up easier to reproduce. The 410's extra large pan head will accommodate all cameras up to 4 inch x 5 inch. The retractable heavy-duty leg tips automatically self-adjust to uneven surfaces and include spikes for outdoor terrain. Professional black matte finich. Height: 74.75 inch x 30 inch. Weight: 8.5 lbs. Suggested list price: $197.95.