The amount of money a photographer spends on tripods throughout their career can add up to a substantial amount. You might want to get it right the first time.
I once heard the normal story of buying tripods is similar for most photographers. First, you buy the cheapest one at around $30. After all, this is just a stick that ought to carry your camera. It does not take the photos itself. When the first tripod dies after a few weeks, you realize you should have spent a little more on getting a tripod that does not fall apart attaching a camera to it. Therefore, you go for one which is a bit more robust. You should be able to get one for about $70. For some months, you are probably happy about it, but then that one breaks too. If you invested that $100, it might even be good enough for a year — or your first photography tour.
What’s that? One of the legs jammed and you broke it when pulling it out? On to the next one. This time, you have learned your lesson. You have to cough up for those $250 and up. You use it for several years. You are relatively happy about it, but over time, you learn about its shortcomings and where it can be improved.
With the accumulated experience and knowledge, you search the Internet for a proper tripod that suits your needs and realize you have to spend $500 or more. Ouch, but you will now have a tripod that will last for… well, until you find all the shortcomings of that one and you will live dissatisfied ever after!
In the above video, I share some of my experiences with tripods and I share a few tips on how to secure the tripod.