An Overview of the Tripod: Get a Leg Up on Camera Support

The Tripod Explained | B&H eXplora

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The Tripod Explained | B&H eXplora

A tripod is an essential tool to have in your camera bag. Tripods provide essential stability for long exposure photographs, time-lapse sequences, and improved accuracy when shooting in low light conditions. Tripods come in a variety of sizes and materials, so having an understanding of the different components of a tripod will help you pick one that works best for your shooting needs. B&H eXplora has broken down the basics of a tripod into this easy-to-understand article.

Legs and Feet

The legs of a tripod are where your support comes from. Tripods are typically constructed with three legs that are joined together at the center of the tripods radial hub. Tripod legs come in a variety of heights, and some tripods even have the ability to adjust the length of the legs. The legs of a tripod feature specially designed feet that provide extra grip and stability on smooth surfaces.

Head and Movements

The head of a tripod is where your camera mounts. Standard head designs will feature a quick release plate on the top of the head to mount a camera, and an adjustable locking knob to adjust pan and tilt movements. Ball head tripods are a type of tripod head that provide a great way to adjust the direction of your camera without changing the orientation of the legs. Video tripods often feature more advanced head designs with multiple axes for both rotational and cinematic movements.

Material and Weight Ratings

The material and weight rating of a tripod are key components when selecting the right one. Tripods can be made from a variety of materials such as metal, plastic, carbon fiber, or wood. The weight rating of the tripod helps dictate how much weight a tripod can hold without flexing or becoming unstable. Professional-grade tripods often feature higher weight rating capabilities to withstand the heavier payloads.


Understanding the components of a tripod will help you select the right one for your shooting needs. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight option to take with you on the go or a professional-grade tripod for stabilization in the studio, knowing what the different parts of a tripod do will help you choose the right one. B&H eXplora has broken down the different components of a tripod, so you can easily understand the basics.

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