A solid tripod for still life and product photography is undeniably one of the most important tool. It helps you keep the camera in the exact same place for when you are doing focus stacking. Also, it helps you ensure that you can have the perspective that you want to have. Along with the legs, there are quite a few different types of tripod head on the market. Here is the one I most prefer and why.

A three-way tripod head

A three-way tripod head

The 3-way tripod head lets you independently control the yaw (turn it from left to right), the pitch (turn it up and down) and roll (same motion as pitch, but turned 90°) of the camera. The roll motion is particularly useful for correcting if your subject is not perfectly straight. A ballhead can achieve those motions too, but in a much less precise way. Because of the fact that you can lock in each axis with the screw/handle, a 3-way head also tend to be sturdier and not so expensive because of its simpler construction. Further, I like the presence of a bubble level, though this is less and less required because of the fact that many new cameras have a digital level built-in. Finally, they tend to not be so heavy and do not take too much space (however, I have to give this one to ballheads).

Some product and still life photographers prefer ballheads, but, personally, I like 3-way heads better. If you want to have the most rock-solid tripod head ever, you can always buy Arca-Swiss’ “The Cube”!

What types of tripod legs/heads do you prefer? Share you thoughts in the comments below!