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Aluminum VS Carbon Fiber Tripod – What’s The Difference?

Everybody knows the importance of using a tripod, a camera gear. Well, at least professional photographers know that a tripod is one of the most essential tools that can be used with a camera.

A tripod, in general, will help you fully stabilize the camera and avoid camera shake, which will reward you with some of the most amazing clear pictures.

Tripods own a lot of things that you should really take deeper looks at, for example, the height, weight, adjustments, stability, feet, angles, and so on. Even though these things are confusing, I got more confused when I had to choose the material of the tripod!

I mean, come on! Is that necessary? Well, it is! There are some really important things that the material of a tripod is related to all the features mentioned above!

In this article, I will make distinguishment between aluminum and carbon fiber tripods!

Let’s see what are the differences and which one you should choose!

Carbon Fiber vs Aluminum Tripod

Choosing between Aluminum Or Carbon Fiber Tripods is important to know regarding the materials that they are made of.

I will mention some of the most important differences between them, those that really deserve to be mentioned.

Weight and Portability

The weight of a tripod is the main thing that shows portability. However, being a judge in this category seems like the carbon fiber tripods win the “judge case”.

The reason that carbon fiber tripods are the winner is that it is way more lightweight than aluminum ones.

For example, if we choose two tripods from the same brand such as Manfrotto Befree Advanced Carbon and Manfrotto Befree Advanced Aluminum you can clearly see that the one that is made out of carbon fiber has a weight difference.

Carbon fiber tripods are way lighter than the other ones made of aluminum alloy.

That’s why most of the best over-head tripods are made of carbon fiber.

The lighter in weight a tripod is, the more portable it is. You can easily carry it around wherever you might go.

Strength

Now, when it comes to the strength of a tripod there’s a fact that should be mentioned! Carbon Fiber is one of the strongest materials on earth. That basically answers the question of which one of the tripods is stronger, right? A carbon fiber tripod is way stronger than an aluminum one.

Stability

One of the main reasons that you are buying a tripod is to keep your camera stable enough. Well, being heavier, an aluminum tripod has an advantage when it comes to stability part. It stands stronger in-ground and it doesn’t allow movements of any kind.

What is important to be mentioned is that many photographers hang things on their tripods so that doesn’t move. Imagine if there’s wind, if you hang a bag on the tripod it will obviously cause movement, but when using an aluminum one, because of its weight even if you are shooting in a windy environment, it doesn’t move!

Resistance

The resistance of a tripod is totally related to the build quality, basically, the material that is used in order to make one. That’s not only on tripods but in everything that you may need for your camera, and the camera itself.

When we say a resistant tripod, we mean if it can be used outdoors and can withstand weather conditions of any kind, and most importantly it should be resistant to corrosion.

Based on the things that I mentioned above (strength), we can clearly notice that a carbon fiber tripod is more resistant.

Corrosion causes damage to metal and stone, and most importantly it causes more damage and it is more noticed in aluminum tripods.

The resistance and longevity of a tripod depend on you too! A tripod deserves to be cleaned properly so that you don’t have to buy one of them every single year. When cleaned, it can resist more than you ever think.

Cost

The cost or the price tag of a tripod stands among the most important things, and not only.

While comparing these two types of tripods I am searching all over the world wide web and comparing the information that I see with what I’ve been able to test and try tripods based on what I needed them for, it is clearly noticed the difference in the price range. Aluminum counterparts tripods is way cheaper than carbon fiber one.

As an example, I would like to mention the brand of Peak Design. Everybody knows that they have some amazing tripods all over the market and here are two of them:

The same brand, some similar features, just with the material that they are made of they come in very different price tags. So, if you are a person that takes into consideration the price more, seems like aluminum ones are more affordable.

Why Should You Use a Tripod?

As mentioned in the beginning, a tripod is one of the most important tools that is used by many photographers, especially when it comes to outdoor photography! Still, there are some facts or statements that tell the importance of a tripod in general.

First of all and the most important thing is that a tripod offers amazing stability. One of those that we as human beings don’t have in our hands. I would like to mention that when I try to capture landscape pictures, it is a little bit hard to stabilize. Once I place my tripod on the ground and place the camera on it, I am more than free to do whatever I want. It also lets you move in different ways.

Final Words

It seems like the two tripods, carbon and aluminum ones are in a race and they are coming as a draw! That’s because all the things that I mentioned above once win the carbon fiber tripod and once win the aluminum one. It is a race that could never end.

However, professionals all over the world can notice clearly when one is better than the other.

Always keep in mind that both tripods are good ones, but still, it is in a way related to your personal preferences too. You can choose whatever you want.

There’s nothing left to say! I hope this article will help you distinguish between an aluminum tripod and a carbon fiber one!

Enjoy!

Alex Hampsink