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How Do I Set Up A Tripod?

A quick, step by step guide on how to optimize your tripod set up.

What is a Tripod?

Image of a camera on a tripod in front of a sunset.


A tripod is a stand with three legs that holds a camera.

Photographers and filmmakers use a tripod when they want the camera to be completely still, without the slightest bit of shaking that even the steadiest human hands might cause.

The actual word tripod comes from the Greek tripodos which translates to "three-legged stool," made up of tri, which means "three," plus podos, "foot."

The word tripod has been used to refer to anything with three legs including tables and stools.


Leg Extension

  1. Loosen the tripod leg lock.
  2. Pull leg to desired length.
  3. Tighten the tripod leg lock.
  4. Repeat for all legs. Note: There are two tripod leg locks on each leg for additional height.
  5. Expand legs and place the tripod on the ground.

Camera Mount

  1. Loosen the latch beside the quick release plate.
  2. Remove the quick release plate.
  3. Attach the quick release plate to your camera with the mounting screw.
  4. Place the quick release plate back in its mount.
  5. Tighten the latch beside the quick release plate.

Handle Adjustment

  1. Loosen the pan handle dial.
  2. Move the pan handle to the desired position.
  3. Tighten the pan handle dial.

Height Adjustment

  1. Loosen the centre column dial.
  2. Rotate the centre column crank to raise the tripod head.
  3. Tighten the centre column dial.

3-Way Pan/Tilt


  1. Loosen the horizontal pan dial.
  2. Rotate the tripod head horizontally.
  3. Tighten the horizontal pan dial.


  1. Loosen the vertical pan dial.
  2. Tilt the tripod head vertically.
  3. Tighten the vertical pan dial.


  1. Loosen the mount tilt dial.
  2. Tilt the mount to the desired position.
  3. Tighten the mount tilt dial.

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