Table Top Tripod
Other than a camera-lens combination, there are many other pieces of photography equipment that seem to be absolute necessary; however, savvy professionals will tell you that the next item of gear you should always have with you and available for immediate use is a tripod.
You're suddenly confronted with a low-light situation, requiring a slower shutter speed or smaller aperture; the light of a flash would be disruptive; or you can’t position your body at the best angle for the shot you must have. These are only a few of the reasons you should never leave for a photo assignment or even a personal shoot without a tripod.
Tripods are manufactured in a myriad of types and sizes to match the kind of images photographers shoot, but if you don't yet own a tripod, you may find a tabletop unit as your best first choice. Tabletop tripods are light and compact, and take very little space in a camera bag or luggage; some are so small that you can even carry one in your back pocket.
If you like to shoot still lifes or enjoy macro photography, a tabletop tripod is a necessity; however, they can also be very helpful for landscape and nature photography when you want that low-angle view or the only positions for a great composition is a rock or other natural surfaces. Some nature photographers use a tabletop tripod with a spotting scope to search for wildlife or other subject matter, and have their DSLR and super telephoto or super telephoto zoom lens on a standard or heavy-duty tripod.
Tabletop tripods can also be configured into a handy shoulder rig, with two legs against your chest and the third leg across your shoulder. Extending the tripod then provides you with a variety of framing options. The same concept will work with a wall, post or other vertical surface, providing excellent stability for a different angle or when a long exposure is needed. Shooting in a crowd without a view of the subject or object? Simply extend a tabletop tripod fully and easily hold it above the crowd for an unobstructed view. If your aspiration is professional product or food photography, then becoming an accomplished tabletop tripod user is a definite requirement.
Tabletop tripods have their downsides too. Obviously, they won't extend to the height of eye level when standing and they won't securely support a DSLR with a large telephoto lens, but there are almost no situations where you would use such a combination. Even a DSLR with a small lens and a flash head is apt be too heavy and unsteady, but the solution is using separate tabletop tripods for each flash.
With the advancement in the image quality of smartphones and smartphone photography becoming a unique art form, a tabletop tripod is a very useful tool. There are several smartphone holders and adapters available that will allow you to attach your camera phone securely to a tabletop tripod for selfies, group shots and other personal uses. The combination will also work very well for street photography, utilizing the tripod as a shoulder rig or simply carried in your hands.
Of course, the marketplace is filled with many tabletop tripods, but one you should seriously consider is the Sirui 3T-35 Series Ultra Compact Tripod from Argraph. Considering its compact size, it is quite a workhorse. The Sirui 3T-35 folds to just 9.5 inches (22.9 cm), but its 2-section center column will extend 13.5 inches (34.4 cm). Built with forged aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, it’s ready for virtually every kind of use and environment. Its excellent build-quality allows the Sirui 3T-35 to hold securely and comfortably digital and even video cameras weighing as much as 8.8 lbs. (4 kg). You’ll like the versatility and the operational quality of this tripod’s ball head, which includes an Arca-compatible quick release plate. For even more stability and the lowest shooting angle possible, you can remove the center column and attach the ball head directly to the legs.
The Sirui 3T-35 Series Ultra Compact Tripod is available in red or black and the kit includes a custom soft case and a set of tools. Buy it from an US authorized dealer and it’s covered by Sirui’s 6-year US warranty.
For more information, visit http://argraph.com/Sirui-3T-Tripod-Series.html#top2.