What kind of tripod ?

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Biased turkey, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    OK, after seeing plenty of great pictures on this forum I'm convinced now that I need a tripod.

    Should I get a "regular" tripod or a table tripod so I can install it directly at any place on the layout ?

    T.I.A. for any suggestion
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Some of my better pics were taken with the camera sitting on a small (approximately 6" long) length of 2 X 4 sitting somewhere on the layout.... Other times, i just set the camera directly on the layout (With timer set0 and move away to let the camera take the picture....

    I just hold the camera for most of the shots though and edit them (Crop etc) in the computer later.

    If you are not using digital, then you might also consider a "full size" tripod to take pics of the layout from around the outside of the layout. For those times that you would absolutely want a different angle "on the layout" a tabletop tripod is nice...
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I have a floor tripod and two smaller ones. It depends on where I'm shooting from, which one I use. You don't need two small ones, I just happen to have one I bought to shoot with and one that came off of a laser level (one is smaller that the other), but either one allows me to take low shots and from positions on the layout where I cannot use the floor tripod. I prefer the floor one if it's possible to use it for the shot I want. I think having both types is your best bet, the small ones only cost a few dollars anyway.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    It also depends on how heavy your camera is. Some of the smallest ones that you can put right on the layout will only hold a small "point and shoot" (digital or film). some of the bigger SLRs and/or others with long lenses will tip those little stands over...!

  5. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Ooooo I Never thought of that! My cameras are both "lightweight" :) Good point!!!!! Also - i imagine that a heavier camera "could" possibly damage the scenery to some point.
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I use a tripod with telescoping legs, which is very useful as there are so many different levels of my layout. Fully extended, it's about 55" high, and will collapse, in about 8" increments, down to 9" high. I also take a lot of shots with the camera sitting directly on the layout. If the terrain is flat and at the proper height, set the camera down, holding it steady if necessary, and shoot. If the terrain is too low to get a good view of the subject, I use a collection of wooden scraps to make adjustments: I have several small bits of various thicknesses of plywood, from 1/8" to 3/4", plus some thicker pieces, that allow me to lift the camera where it needs to be. If it's more than 9", I use the tripod. I also use the wooden blocks in whatever combination necessary to level the camera, as scenery at trackside is often sloping away from the track. If you're using a digital camera, it costs nothing to take the pictures, so don't be afraid to experiment. I have many photos taken with the camera placed on the layout where it's impossible for me to look through the viewfinder. While many such shots aren't useable, some of the ones that do turn out are views that you would not otherwise see.
    The view below was taken from the aisle, with the camera on the tripod.

    This photo was taken with the camera placed directly on the layout, at a spot just about where the horse in the previous picture is standing.

    The buildings beyond the water tower and sheds are in the town across the aisle, with the layout facia visible just below them. That "cloud formation" cutting across the "sky" in the centre background is part of the support for a planned second level of the layout.

  7. railohio

    railohio Active Member

  8. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer


    Personally i use the gorillapod for my model photography. Radioshack sells it. I found that it works well as you can move the legs to best fit over and/or around various objects on your layout. see link for a picture http://www.joby.com/gp2.html
  9. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    Another option for shooting from the train table is a bean bag. Makes it really easy to position the camera exactly where you need it.

  10. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Thanks to the nice members on this forum who took some of their time to reply.
    My camara is a small digital Canon Powershot A530.
    I'll get a floor tripod with telescopic legs .I can justify the expense for it ( honey, we neeed a tripod for the camera to improve the quality of our family pictures ) .I did some trials yesterday with the camera directly on the layout, using some slanted scrap of cork roadbed under the camera base to make it point at the right angle. I'll start a "collection" of wooden or styrene scraps of various thickness to point the camera at the proper angle.
    The idea of using a small bean bag sounds good too.
    The gorillapod looks very cool but I'm not much into "gadgetry" :)
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Yes, you can combine the tripod with the time delay to get pictures of yourself not quite in position.
    I have the full length tripod and also a little 8" one but I don't use the little one much. I did use it for pictures of the Christmas tree layout.
    I try different shots -- with the tripod I can turn the flash off and get a time exposure.
  12. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Use the tripod with time count down for shutter release and you will have sharper pics than tripod and you tripping the shutter. Everything is static on the layout so long timed exposures for depth of field isn't a big deal, and using the timer to shoot the frame isn't either.

    I have a good digital camera with anti-shake lens and I still get blur when shooting dogs in motion for example. Nice thing about the layout, nothing is going anywhere.

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