For a recent photography project a tripod was needed. There are plenty of them in second hand stores since people buy them, use them and somehow cannot resell them afterwards so they bring it to the second hand store. However the one in use now is a simple ones in a neat seventies look with the basic function of holding the camera and providing some rotation freedom degrees which are sufficient to do the first steps in photographing with tripod and it did not cost as much as is paid for an hour of simple work.
The main task of a tripod is to keep the camera still in case the exposure time is to long to hold the camera with the hand. As a general rules this happens when the denominator of the exposure time is longer than half the length of the focal length (e.g. 50mm focal length – exposure time > 1/25 sec).
After some time using this tools something interesting may happen. Since the field of view is fixed the picture can be chosen in a much more relaxed way and every corner is fixed for careful checking before pushing the trigger and capturing the image. This leads to a total new experience in composing a picture. And finally boosts your photographic know-how to a new level which is helpful even if not using the tripod.
So if you try to do serious photos – get one!