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A lightweight travel tripod is a handy piece of equipment for every photographer to have in their gear collection.  There are times where larger, heavier, “workhorse” tripods are not the right tool for the job, or places where they are too cumbersome to transport and use.  On the lookout for a new one, a few months ago I got my hands on the Oben CT-3451 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod and  BE-113T Ball Head.  

After unpacking it my first thought was “Wow this thing is light, I’m going to break it.”  But, half a year later with pretty constant use, it shows few signs of wear and tear.  In that time, it has been used for landscape, travel, and macro photography, in various locations and conditions.

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Most photographers will tell you that a good tripod is one of the most important equipment investments you can make for your photography.  But, just owning one isn’t enough to give you better pictures.  You have to have the right one to fit your photography, as well as know how to use it properly.  

For as much time as we spend discussing and dissecting our settings, we often don’t think about the physical mechanics of how we take pictures.  Over the years of running photo workshops and pursuing my own photos, I have seen many mistakes and mishaps with tripods, some resulting in pretty serious damage to pricey gear.  These are some of the most common I’ve encountered (or accidentally committed), so you can avoid not only the pain of a missed shot, but worse, a toppled tripod and a crashed camera.  

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