Thanks for your (lightweight) support

Carbon fiber tripods offer your camera a solid platform

When photographing nature, a sturdy tripod is a necessity. But until a few short years ago, sturdy also meant heavy: Either aluminum or wood was the material of choice if you wanted adequate support for a DSLR or medium-format camera.

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Then, along came carbon-fiber, a lightweight space-age material that sheds pounds off tripods but retains the sturdiness necessary to support a heavy rig. For anyone who must hike to shoot their ideal vista, this was news to celebrate…until they saw the pricetag.

Steady and ready: Lightweight carbon-fiber tripods are easier on the backs of anyone who treks distances to get shots like this. © John Woodworth/

Carbon-Fiber tripods tend to be more expensive than their heavier cousins, with prices starting at around $200 and averaging in the $300 range. Some can cost as much as $700! That’s why Adorama’s Flashpoint Carbon-Fiber tripods look so tempting. The F-1128 extends up to 55 inches, supports almost 10 pounds of gear, and costs $169.95 (a tripod head is extra on all models). The 60-inch fully-extended Flashpoint F-1228 supports 17.6 pounds and costs $199.9, while the F-1328, the most expensive of the trio at $299.95, goes up to 63 inches and can hold 24.2 pounds.

Top it off with a good ballhead, such as the Flashpoint F-2 and Quick Release Plate, and you’re ready to commune, photographically speaking, with nature.

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