Tripods are essential for many kinds of photography because they hold the camera still during long exposures – and when you’re using telephoto lenses where the slightest wobble will blur the picture. Tripods are also useful for slowing down the pace of your photography, for holding the camera so that you have both hands free […]
A geared column is a tripod centre column where the height can be adjusted by a flip-out handle – you turn the handle to wind the column up and down.
This is slower than a regular centre column, but much more precise, and useful for architectural or still life photography, where the camera position often needs very small, fine adjustments. With a regular centre column you simply loosen a clamp and slide the column up and down. It's fast, and better suited to most photographic needs, but it's also less precise.