Choosing a Quality Tripod for Success

Digiscoper setting up equipment.

A sturdy tripod is a must

When it comes to digiscoping, fast camera shutter speeds are a luxury even in bright light. This makes it essential to have your digiscoping set up mounted to a sturdy tripod. While selecting from the wide variety of tripods may seem daunting, there are a few simple, key points to keep in mind.

You need a smooth-panning head

The most critical element to the tripod is the tripod head. Be sure you select one with smooth panning and manageable vertical control. Without the ability to adequately and accurately control where you aim your spotting scope, digiscoping small songbirds like warblers will frustrate even the most enthusiastic nature photographer. Our favorite selections for tripod heads are the micro-fluid heads.

Nice tripod legs give nice results

Once you've picked a tripod head, you will need to consider the right tripod leg. Aluminum tripods are sturdy and cost-effective, but noticeably heavier. A carbon fiber tripod will cut weight and suppress vibration without sacrificing stability, but prepare to spend a little more.

How tall are you?

The correct tripod size often depends on your height and whether you use an angled or straight spotting scope. Experienced digiscopers recommend selecting a tall tripod even if you can use a shorter one. You'll benefit from the extra stability and not having to raise the tripod's center column to match your eye level.

The most important thing to remember is that you've made a huge investment with your spotting scope, digital camera, and camera adapter. Professional photographers advise that with proper stability, mounting, and control, you'll drastically increase your successes in the field.

Our Eagle Optics professionals are available to answer your questions at 1-800-289-1132 or info@eagleoptics.com.

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Article contributed by Mike McDowell, an avid digiscoper, amateur naturalist, and Eagle Optics employee. Visit Mike's Birding and Digiscoping Blog.