This tip applies to photography and spotting scopes together. To get good crisp and clear images you need good support. For photography it is not needed as much unless you have a 500mm or more lens with a fstop of 2.8 or f4. Now, don't buy the tripod that you see in Walmart. Its cheap and its a piece of junk that will serve you no good. I made that mistake and I am very disappointed in the one I bought. Buy a tripod $100 or more to get good stability. Yes, $100 or more, but you will be happy with your purchase. Using a spotting scope is almost impossible without a tripod. I've handheld them before and its very hard. So, to get good images whether you are using a scope or a big camera lens, get a good tripod. Brands I recommend are Slik, Gitzo, and Manfrotto.