If you are looking to take impressive pictures of the night sky, then you are going to need a solid and sturdy Tripod. If you’re looking to get one for the first time, or upgrade your current tripod, the common approach is to look through dozens if not hundreds of tripods until you ultimately decide to purchase one. It may be a particular brand, review or feature; either way this can take a lot of time and effort.
Thankfully, I’ve conducted countless hours of research, looked across the market and run detailed comparisons to find the Best Tripod for Astrophotography.
IF YOU ARE SHORT FOR TIME, THESE ARE THE BEST PICKS:
Tools for Astrophotography
If you are, or want to become an Astrophotgrapher, there are two essential tools that are going to be required to take photos of the night sky:
- An Astrophotography Camera – a DSLR or mirrorless camera with the ability to open the shutter for at least 30 seconds;
- Solid, Sturdy, Highly Functional and Versatile Tripod.
This buyers guide will focus on the latter; helping you to identify the right one for your current/future camera.
Why You Need A Tripod For Astrophotography
If you want to keep your camera extremely still, there is no other way or choice, than to get a tripod. In many ways it is essential for Astrophotography. If you can then leverage the settings of: mirror lock, shutter speed and lens focus, your photos will be the best they can.
Ultimately, any tripod is better than none at all, so I have included a range of options below to suit preference and budget.
There are a lot of things to look out for, particularly spec, functionality and features. Below I will outline some of the different features of Tripods that are available to purchase:
Features To Consider In A Tripod
When it comes to choosing a Tripod, you are going to specifically want to take a look at the features and functionality it provides.
It is these very things that ensure it performs to suit your own unique needs and requirements and makes sure you get the best quality you can for your budget and the price.
Being honest; Astrophotography can be quite a costly hobby. I wish I had personally known this before I got started to set my expectations. Nonetheless, I still think I would start again even knowing this information.
Since I began, I have purchased four cameras, three different sets of lenses, but just one tripod. My tripod has lasted the longest, purely because I invested to begin with and got the right one from the very outset. A tripod is an investment that should last.
Below I have included the criteria to look for in a Tripod, and that all of the featured tripods include in my list to follow shortly below:
Without doubt, this is the most important feature. Stability is the result of material quality, design and great construction. the best tripods are typically built with more expensive components, like aluminium or carbon fibre.
Ball Head Movement:
A Tripod with Ball Head movement is ideal for Astrophotography. They will give you greater range of motion, enabling you to rotate at 360°. This will provide you with maximum versatility for the perfect shot. They are also a lot more simple and straightforward to frame.
Despite being strong and sturdy, you do not want your Tripod to be too heavy. This makes it difficult to move around which can be essential when out taking photos. Plus, the lighter it is, the easier you can transport it and take it with you on the go.
The Load Capacity is essentially how much weight it can take from your Camera. The higher the Load Capacity the better the tripod will be. This means it will be able to support your camera at increasing weights.
So without further ado, lets now take a closer look at the best value Astrophotography Tripods.
I’ve included a range that will suit you regardless of your experience, plus I’ve included my own Tripod (which is also the editors choice).
Best Tripod for Astrophotography
These are the tripods to consider if you want to obtain unique astro-snaps without the need to spend astronomical amounts. Here’s the selection of tripods to take your night sky photos to the next level:
ZOMEI 72″ 4 Leg Aluminium Portable Tripod (Editors Choice)
In my opinion and experience, the ZOMEI 72″ is one of, if not the best tripods for Astrophotography. If you are looking for a high level summary, it has all the best features mentioned in the section above. This includes a sturdy, aluminium framework with four leg sections providing the most solid base, it is lightweight being only 3.48 pounds, it has the desired ball head movement, a load capacity of 8kg (or 17.6 pounds and a maximum extension of 72.24″.
So in terms of spec, this tripod looks to be a very good option. But what are my experiences having owned it and used it for several years?
Without going into too much detail, this tripod has been all that was promised when I decided to invest in it a couple of years ago. There are little to no signs of wear even to this day and it works just as well as when I first unpacked it. I have been able to capture some impressive Astrophotography photos during this time.
There are also some impressive features of the ZOMEI Tripod which I believe set it apart from other models on the market. Firstly, having an extra leg make it a lot easier to raise ore lower the height of the tripod. It also boasts one of the highest maximum heights and load capacities of tripods on the market.
Plus, it is very compact when folded down, and being so light makes it ideal for taking with you on the go.
Other things I love about this tripod, are the ball head movement and the versatility of the legs. As you can see from the photo of my tripod above, you can move it into some unique and strange angle positions. And the anti-skinning rubber feet of each leg keeps the tripod sturdy and solidly in place despite the angle you place each leg at. This makes it ideal for taking a variety of shots.
Overall the ZOMEI Aluminium Tripod is a brilliant choice for any Astrophotographer. Its a well designed, sturdy and brilliantly built tripod. I would suggest this is the tripod you get.
Neewer Carbon Fiber 66″ Camera Tripod
The Neewer Carbon Fiber is another extremely versatile Tripod. Expertly built with high density carbon fiber, this is incredibly solid and sturdy when used in the field. It is a tripod with incredibly favorable and positive reviews by many of its users on Amazon.
This was actually the other tripod I was considering a few years ago, and I’ve actually had the opportunity to take a look at it in action (my friend has since decided to purchase it).
I’m told that setting it up is very quick and easy, (just as should be the case with any good tripod), and the mechanics of movement of all the moving pieces is smooth and easy to operate. The interlocking legs appear to be especially useful.
A particular feature of note is that one of the legs can be removed, turning into a Monopod. This can be useful depending on the shots you are looking to take, your landscape and your preferences.
Similarly to the ZOMEI above, the tripod legs are very versatile, and you can spread them out to interesting and useful positions.
The ball head, pan and ball lock knobs work particularly well, they are fluid and provide the right amount of resistance. You can move the tripod 360 degrees in any direction you desire; offering you truly panoramic shots.
My friend advises me that you can easily reverse the center column for low angle views, and adjust the height accordingly, which is great when in the field.
While this is slightly heavier, does not extend as high as the ZOMEI, nor can it carry as much weight, this is a fantastic tripod that should be worthy of your consideration. My friend has been very impressed with his, and I am sure you will be too if you decide to go ahead and purchase it.
GEEKOTO 77’’ Carbon Fiber Tripod
The fashionable orange and black Carbon Fiber variant of the GEEKOTO is another terrific tripod with great spec.
GEEKOTO has been a great manufacturer of photography equipment, providing a number of well-designed and highly sought-after items for several years. Their Carbon Fiber tripod is just one of the products across their professional range.
This tripod has all of the desired features in a tripod, and compares very well alongside the other tripods that make up this list.
It has one of the highest maximum heights you will be able to find for a tripod, allowing you to extend all the way to 79″ in a matter of seconds. The quick release flip-locks are there for this very purpose helping you to transition quickly and safely.
One of the major benefits of this tripod is the ability to quickly dissemble it using the central axis screw. You can even adapt it into an 81” Monopod which is a nice alternative when shooting the night sky.
If I was personally heading back into the market to buy a new Tripod, then this is another that I would be strongly considering.
K&F Concept TM2534T Tripod
The final Tripod that is going to be included in this list is the K&F Concept TM2534T Tripod. I thought it would only be fair to include it due to the number of Astrophotographers that use it and speak so highly of it on the Astronomy Forums I am a member of.
It works just like the other tripods discussed on this list already.
It is designed with four section legs which helps provide stability and a support structure of up to 22 pounds. The 25mm large diameter aluminum alloy tube is a significant contributor to its foundation and structure.
It has a maximum height of 66 inches, which is not the highest here but should definitely be sufficient. The horizontal center column can be used easily and quickly to manually adjust the height just to where you want it.
This is another compact and flexible tripod, that comes with excellent rotation abilities just like the tripods before it (360 degrees).
One of the best features is the bubble level which helps you to quickly find balance and obtain the best accuracy when you are taking photos.
Another important feature is the ability to remove one of the legs and so you can use it as a Monopod. Those legs are also very versatile, whereby you can place them at different angles for use on uneven grounds or surfaces.
All 4 of the tripods included in this list come with fantastic customer reviews, experiences and recommendations. They were all designed and built with the best spec (including 360° Ball Head Joints), and provide features and functionality that will make Astrophotography easier and far more successful for you. In many ways you would not go wrong if you opted for any one of them.
These are all extremely versatile and portable tripods; light enough to be carried and easy to fold and to store.
If you are considering the best tripods for Astrophotography, look closely at these. These are the best options on the market; combining price, quality, and an effortless experience.
In my personal experience, I would thoroughly recommend the ZOMEI. While I bought this several years ago, it has been very effective for me and I still continue to use it until this day (and it is still one of the best on the market).
However, if I was looking to purchase a new tripod for any reason, I would strongly consider the other three options.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and I wish you all the best in your own Astrophotography pursuits. If you have any questions on any one of these tripods, be sure to drop a comment below!