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Old April 23rd, 2003, 01:40 AM   #1
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Tick-Off Your Tripod

This is a very small tip but one which I've found useful.

I've always been inept at extending my tripods' legs to any reasonable semblance of equality. Yes, the ball heads help to compensate for such errors. But I'd much rather be able to extend the legs quickly and evenly for proper stability on level surfaces.

My solution: place small tick-marks on the legs at 6" intervals. I used a fine-tipped silver paint pen, the markings of which can easily be removed without damaging the legs' finish if needed.

It's worked well for me and maybe you'll find it handy, too.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 06:47 AM   #2
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Along these same lines, I get rather frequent email requests from people wanting to know how to use the bubble level to level their tripod. It's actually very easily but many people struggle with it.

Kens suggestion works very well until you get on uneven ground. So, what's the easy way? Set up the tripod and look at the bubble, it will point (dip to the low side) to the leg that needs to be raised. If it points between two legs, then both legs need to be raised. Simple.

I've seen rookies take 5 minutes setting up a tripod and still not get it level. Following the tip should allow anyone to level a tripod in 30 seconds or less, with practice maybe 10 seconds.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 08:16 AM   #3
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Sounds good to me. :)
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 11:31 AM   #4
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As always, good advice and tips :) Those pans will really show whether you are level or not, but usually after the shot is done.
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Old April 26th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #5
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Jeff Donald wrote:

"If it (the bubble level) points between two legs, then both legs need to be raised."

Conversely, you can just lower the opposite leg. Same result and a little easier.
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Old April 26th, 2003, 02:52 PM   #6
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Actually...

It's quicker to extend the legs evenly before you open the tripod.

If you're on uneven ground, tighten only the top, fatter leg section fully extended. Then let the legs extend to even using the bubble themselves, then tighten them off.

Takes no time at all, and no marking up your 'pod.


BTW, this is my first-ever message to DVi, so excuse my ignorance ;-)
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Old April 26th, 2003, 03:28 PM   #7
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As long as you are close, and have a ball leveler, isn't that enough?
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Old April 26th, 2003, 03:38 PM   #8
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Brendan, you are, indeed, correct!
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