Tripods and accessories for wildlife and landscape photography
posted Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM EDT
Nature and wildlife photographer Steve Perry uses tripods a lot, whether he is shooting landscape or wildlife photography. He is frequently asked by viewers about his tripods, so he decided to do a video to discuss his gear, setup and when he uses different tripods.
For his wildlife photography, Perry uses a gimbal head on his tripod. He utilizes heavy lenses, so he needs a heavy-duty tripod. A gimbal head allows you to balance a heavy lens very easily and smoothly move it around quickly, which is critical when tracking a moving subject, particularly birds in flight. When shooting landscapes, you don't need the same ease of mobility, but rather you want a lighter setup so you can hike with it. You also typically care more about getting very low when shooting landscapes, which may not be as big of a concern with wildlife photography -- although it certainly can be!
Looking specifically at Perry's gear, he has two sets of tripod legs, Gitzo 3541 XLS and Gitzo 5540 LS. These are older versions of the Gitzo 3543 XLS and Gitzo 5543 LS. A good tripod will last a very long time, so it's unlikely you'd need to upgrade or replace yours very often. Attached to these legs are a Wimberley WH-200 gimbal and a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. He also has a Gitzo GM3551 monopod (the GM4552 is the current model) with a Really Right Stuff MH-01 head. He has some accessories as well, which you can learn more about in the video below. Along with showing how to best use his gear, Perry also offers a lot of general tips for getting the most out of your camera support.
To see more of Steve Perry's work, visit his website. You can also check out an older video from Perry in which he discusses long lens tripod technique.
(Via Steve Perry)