Watch: The Most Efficient Way to Use a Tripod

Using a tripod seems like a no-brainer, but are you using it in the most efficient way possible?

There isn't a whole lot going on with a tripod. You've got three legs and a head (which is the most complicated part) and that's about it, so operating one doesn't seem all that complicated. And for the most part, it's not, but there might be one technique you're not taking advantage of that could save you a little more time when shooting on set. In this video, the team over at The Film Look share a really easy method for extending the legs so you're not constantly having to reach further than you have to in order to loosen the leg locks.

Maybe you already use this technique with great results, but if you don't, it's definitely worth a try. By simply releasing the bottom leg lock to extend the bottom part of the leg first, the next leg lock will be higher up the tripod and closer to your hand in case you want to extend the legs further. Considering how often you extend and retract your tripod legs every time you shoot, this method will save you lots of valuable time.

Now, this technique may not be for all of you. Some filmmakers may be uncomfortable using the lowest section of the legs, because they may not offer as much stabilization as the thicker, sturdier top section. However, if you're shooting with a small camera that doesn't weigh that much, this may not be a problem.

Do you use your tripod in this way? Let us know down in the comments.     

Your Comment

8 Comments

I am looking to the follow up post that describes extending the top riser of a light stand first so that you don't have to get a ladder have access to your second riser.
I have to admit that I thought this tip was obvious.

February 25, 2018 at 4:01PM

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Casey Preston
Videographer
438

Same thing with C stands, top first, but I'm pretty much the only person I know that gets it.

February 25, 2018 at 7:54PM

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Liam
Head of Creative
190

Yep, I had this wrong when I started out. A good guy I worked with set me straight!

February 27, 2018 at 7:35AM

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Jeff Cloud
Producer / Director of Photography / Photog
115

NO NO NO!! Put your legs together to raise or lower! OMG!

February 26, 2018 at 3:59PM

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bp
682

Lightweight tripod is the best option for amazing photography.

February 18, 2019 at 4:28AM

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Robert Smith
Photographer
86

I am starting to think V Renee is just a fake person setup to post advertising for youtubers. If you look at the post they tend to focus on certain people without quality being presented. I think V Renee is just a fake person to post ads.

April 27, 2019 at 3:43AM

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Although it's an interesting method, you are sacrificing the stability of the tripod over convenience. To have the most stable tripod always lengthen the legs from the top segments down.
You want "beefy" legs, not "twigs."

July 3, 2019 at 3:31PM, Edited July 3, 3:35PM

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Patrick Grandaw
Filmmaker
8

So, I am starting to think V Renee is just a fake person setup to post advertising for youtubers. If you look at the post they tend to focus on certain people without quality being presented. I think V Renee is just a fake person to post ads.

July 30, 2019 at 12:37AM

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