This is a guide covering the best tripods for food photgraphy.
In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:
- Best overall tripod for food photography
- Best budget tripod for food photography
- Pros and cons
- Important features
- And more
Let’s dive in.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Tripod for Food Photography
There are a few general features as well as features specific to food photography that you want to ensure your tripod supports.
Making these considerations ensure that you find the best tripod for food photography.
You don’t need to concern yourself with the minimum height of your tripod—whatever you find will work.
However, you’ll want to buy a tripod that allows you to increase the height of your camera.
With food photography, you’re often shooting from the tabletop or close to the ground.
Often, you’ll need to put some distance between your subject matter and your camera so a tripod with height adjustment is a necessity.
Any tripod you consider should have, at a minimum, one bubble level.
There is no other way to ensure your camera is shooting level, both horizontally and vertically.
Sure, you can fix leveling issues in post but when you’re way off you risk ruining your composition.
Overhead & 45-Degree Orientation
Food photography is typically taken from overhead or at a 45-degree angle.
Not all tripods will easily allow you to swing your camera down so that it will take an overhead shot.
Ensure the tripod you consider will allow you to do this while remaining stable.
7 Best Tripods for Food Photography
Click/tap on each tripod name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!
In a hurry? Check out our top pick!
You might be asking yourself, “I’m ready to go beyond the look of handheld photography but how do I know what tripod to buy?”
The truth is, there is no quintessential answer to that question.
Tripods come in all shapes and sizes.
If your photographic specialty is food photography, then you’ll find that the best tripod for food photography will not be the same tripod used by a wildlife photographer.
As a food photographer, you have a very specific type of photo that you take.
Either you’re shooting food and products in a studio that demand clean and crisp photos or take an all-natural approach inside a restaurant where you’ll often be met with low light.
In both scenarios, you’ll want a tripod. But not just any tripod.
Here are the 7 best tripods for food photography.
|1. Manfrotto 055 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod Kit |
|– Top quality build|
– Very sturdy
– Great quality
– Great “bang for buck”
|2. Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod |
|– Super lightweight and compact|
|3. Manfrotto 290 Xtra Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod ||– The leg locks never get stuck and the legs always extend fully |
– The tripod is significantly taller and much sturdier
|4. Manfrotto 058B Triaut Camera Tripod ||– Unique leg release|
– Extremely quick set up
– Aluminum and steel construction
– Each leg can be adjusted individually
|5. Gitzo GT2542 Mountaineer Tripod ||– The carbon fiber legs offer extreme durability while keeping the tripod lightweight|
– Supports up to 39 pounds, so every lens and accessory you have can be supported by this behemoth
|6. STURDY TIGER 75” Camera Tripod & Monopod||– Sturdy|
– Quick release attaches securely
– Easy to move and tighten legs
– Creative way of incorporating a horizontal support
|7. JOBY GorillaPod Original Tripod||– Great value|
– A fun way to experiment with tabletop photography
What is the Overall Best Tripod for Food Photography?
1. Manfrotto 055 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod Kit
This tripod includes a three-way head. What a deal!
For that reason alone, it is a great tripod to start with.
It also can do overhead shots without an extra piece of equipment.
A bit heavy of a tripod to use as a walk around, but if you travel by car, or motorcycle and only plan a few hundred yards walk to your subject, this shouldn’t be an issue.
However, if you plan on backpacking this tripod, be ready for the extra weight of this model. It will wear you down within an hour or so. It is by no means small or ultra-lite.
Top of the line for the money spent!
What is the Best Budget Tripod for Food Photography?
2. Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod
This is probably the most “entry-level” tripod manufactured by Manfrotto.
However, it’s also their most compact model, which makes it perfect for on-the-go photography.
If you’re a food blogger then this is the perfect blend of high-end quality and versatility.
3. Manfrotto 290 Xtra Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod
Manfrotto is a great tripod manufacturer and this is no exception.
Sturdy tripod legs and a quality fluid head that doesn’t come loose and allows you to easily adjust the tension.
What I love about Manfrotto Tripods is that they all have a set screw in the part that attaches to the head to prevent the loosening of the tripod head.
4. Manfrotto 058B Triaut Camera Tripod
This tripod allows you to photograph from a high angle.
This is great when you need to capture those overhead shots.
A tripod like this is great if you want to work at table level.
It is rock steady and the primary extension legs shoot out and extend at the touch of a button. The secondary legs are of the twist variety.
This is a great value tripod when you’re in the market for an excellent tripod.
5. Gitzo GT2542 Mountaineer Tripod
Between the two, both Gitzo and Manfrotto are the brand names you’ll hear most often when talking about the best tripods for food photography.
Now that Manfrotto has bought Gitzo, they are one-in-the-same yet still offer their own distinct personality.
While the 058B from Manfrotto is a powerhouse the Gitzo GT2542 is a tank. It will do everything you need and last you a lifetime.
Best yet, it gives your shoot an extra level of professionalism because it looks great.
6. STURDY TIGER 75” Camera Tripod & Monopod
This tripod has a quality build!
This tripod is lightweight which is great for travel.
In use, the head has a smooth feel and can lock in pretty easily.
The center column mounts to the tripod leg which is removable which allows it to become a monopod.
Overall, can be considered one of the best tripods for food photography and overhead photography.
7. JOBY GorillaPod Original Tripod
If you’re a professional food photographer, then the GorillaPod isn’t for you.
However, if you’re looking to get more stable photos in low-light environments for your own amusements, your food blog, or Instagram, then the GorillaPod can be a fun solution.
It’s articulated legs are versatile and give you plenty of freedom—just make sure your camera is less than 11.5 oz!
Best Accessory for Food Photography
No matter what tripod you end up with, I suggest you also buy the following accessory to give you an even more stable bird’s eye view of your product.
Manfrotto 131D Side Arm for Tripods with 2 heads on 90-Degree
The Manfrotto 131D Side Arm will connect to your existing tripod giving you an unimpeded overhanging view of your subject.
There’s no easier way to take overhead shots and virtually no fiddling with legs and height to get your tripod to perfectly overlap your subject.
Armed with this, you’ll be taking overhead shots like a champ.
Food Photography is About Clean, Crisp Photography
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.
However, most people agree that great food photography is clean and crisp in its presentation even if it’s shot in low light.
To transcend your food photography, you absolutely need a tripod.
Specifically, ensure you get one that works well with on-the-go adjustments and that is easy to set up, transport and will remain stable even when your camera is taking overhead shots.
Luckily, all of the tripods in this article do just that although it’s entirely up to you and your budget which one you choose.
However, if you have the money, investing in better tools will always make your life easier. When your business is photography than being more efficient means a wider margin of profit, so finding that balance is important!
Also, check out a list of the best cameras for food photography.
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John is a photography enthusiast by heart. He shoots both film and digital with a preference leaning towards his 1960s Canon QL19 and the robust Nikon F2. As for digital, he loves to take handy mirrorless cameras on his trips. Over the last 12 years, he’s had experience using different brands of lenses and cameras making it handy in giving unbiased reviews on anything that is photography gear related.