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Do All Tripods Have Three Legs? The Main Differences

Tripod is one of the most known and useful tools for photographers.

It doesn’t stop just there though.

You can encounter a “tripod” even in warfare and in a bunch of other things. In the end, they all have one objective in mind:

Stability.

How Many feet Does a Tripod Have?

This is a question that a beginner might ask… and a kid.

No offense please, but that’s a bit absurd, the name itself says it.. three.

Tripod comes from the Greek language, Tri implying the leg count and podos meaning “of the foot”

Even if it has more or less than three legs only the “tri” or say number part changes, for example, monopod(more on this later).

Why Three Legs?

Well, this one is a better question than the one above.

If I were to say for better stability, I wouldn’t be wrong. If you were to say four legs would give stability too, you wouldn’t be wrong either.

But just like the “holy trinity”, a three-leg formation forms a circle that will hold well even on uneven surfaces.

While on the other hand, if it had 4 legs, one leg adjusted improperly would ruin the whole thing.

There are other mathematical explanations why three legs are better than 4, but I don’t want to go that far, I am just a fellow photographer.

Here’s a break down of a traditional tripod.

 

3 Types of Tripods that You Will Encounter:

As I mentioned above, there are different types of tripods, let’s see the differences and their uses

Monopods:

A monopod is a “tripod” that has only one leg, and mostly you have to use it on your hand like a “selfie stick”. Some high-end monopods also come with feet in case you want them to stand on the ground.

The whole idea of a monopod is to give us more freedom when shooting moving subjects, for example, run and gun movies.

With that being said, a monopod also includes its main objective, which is stability. It will gift us more stability and prevent shaky footage while also helping with the extra weight.

Travel Tripods:

As the name implies, travel tripods are made solely for traveling photographers.

If you are a photographer who travels a lot and you need a compact lightweight tripod, that can be easily stored/folded,

a travel tripod is what you need to look for.

Pocket Tripods:

A pocket tripod crosses the portability boundaries even further than the travel ones.

This is a really small tripod that can fit almost anywhere, *cough* pocket *cough*, yet that it is a bit ironic, It didn’t fit on my pocket.

Jokes aside, this one is used mostly on flat surfaces just to keep the camera steady and nice.

Also, it is mostly used with phones, an example of making use of it would be your workspace desk.

Final Words:

While those were the ones that you might see the most, different known brands don’t stop exploring and testing new ideas of tripods.

You will encounter some “weird” and unique tripods along your way.

Hopefully, this article managed to clear some thoughts.

Until next time,

Enjoy!

 

Alex Hampsink