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Tripod or no tripod (travel sized)?

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I’m booked on a small ship and contemplating whether to bring a travel tripod for photography.  At this point I’m not expecting to bring it ashore for excursions, but rather using it just aboard ship to minimize camera shake on telephoto and high shutter speed shots.  The ship is the World Navigator (Atlas Ocean Voyages), which has the capability of using low-impact hydrojet propulsion which hopefully reduces engine vibration that could be picked up by the camera.  I’m thinking of using something inobtrusive so as not to trip up other travelers, but before I cough up the $, would like input.

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I did a S. Georgia and Falklands trip.  I don't know the numbers but a significant number of people brought real tripods.  More of them used them on land than on the ship.



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Ship vibration/movement can be an issue. I brought a tripod to the Arctic and used it to capture wide-angle Northern Light photos from the expedition ship. The ship wasn't moving and engine vibration didn't cause issues with my long exposures. I didn't bring a tripod on my other (three) polar expeditions and it wasn't missed. My longest lens on four polar trips was 300mm.


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I brought a monopod on my Antarctica and Arctic expeditions.   Used to steady the long 150-600 lens.

Found it more useful on the arctic cruise when we zodiac cruised a polar bear to steady the lens.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for your input.  It turned out that I needed a new tripod for home use anyway, so I bought one suitable for both home and travel.  I’d still like to hear more views on bringing one to Antarctica.

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I left my tripod at home, as we were tight to our  bagagge allowance on the internal flights. I didn't miss it, but one of my cameras and several of my lenses have stabilisation, which needed to be turned off when the shop was moving a lot. The tripod would have been of no use when the ship was moving around, and I found a fast shutter speed to be more important. I have travel and full size tripods, both carbon fibre, but the travel tripod isn't very stable in wind or vibration with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 100-400mm zoom plus tele converter (though it's supposed to be!).

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Everyone who is commenting on tripods is forgetting that tripods have 2 purposes.  The obvious one which everyone is talking about is to stabilize the camera.  The tripod also serves another function which everyone is ignoring which is to help you get better pictures.  Once you aim the camera at what you want to photograph, you can then look through the viewfinder to see if that is really what you want to shoot.  If you don't don't like it, you can make minor adjustments or even make adjustments in your best shutter speed or f stop to get your best picture.  You could even take several pictures of the same scene with different shutter speed and f stop combinations w/o changing the camera position.  


Think about it.  



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