We have such a strange assortment of tripods, it's tough to give a universal description of their parts and how they work, so here are the main things you'll need to do so they work.
- Turn it upside down and loosen all of the leg clamps, keeping the legs folded in. Turn it over with a snap of the wrist, secure the clamps while it's still in the air, the set it down.
- The quick release plate should be attached to the camcorder on a table or desk. If you don't have one nearby, take a knee and use your leg as a flat surface. Don't hold them against your chest while you do this. They might slip out of your hands and fall.
- Pull back the thumb lock, and secure the camera. Push the thumb lock back in place and you're ready to film.
- A few of our older tripods don't have a quick release. In this case, reach underneath the camera and twist the screw up into the camera body to secure it.
- The three main controls are the pan lock, the tilt lock, and the pedestal, usually three knobs on the tripod head. I usually keep the pan lock loose so I can swivel back and forth. The tilt lock should be tighter, otherwise the camera will slide down and get a picture of the floor every time you let go of the handle.
- Ready to pack up? Take the camera off, pick the tripod up off the ground, and bring the feet together. Loosen the clamps and set it on the floor. Gravity will close it for you. Tighten the legs, reattach the quick release, and bag it.