Pedco UltraPod II?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by MAubrey, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    So I regularly enjoy backpacking. And probably 50% of my enjoyment of backpacking is derived from photography. I've already gone the route of using a trekking pole as a monopod. That works great for the 50% of occasions where I need extra stability. The OM-D's IBIS covers another 30% of the situations.

    But its that last 20% that has me stuck. Simply propping up my camera on a rock did relatively well for shooting this timelapse:

    But there's still a shift in the camera part way through and I'd also like something for doing to amateur astrophotography when I'm out in the wilderness away from city lights.

    Has anyone had any experience with this little guy?

    Pedco Ultra Pod II

    It's only 4.2 oz and the ability to strap it into place on trees is attractive...or should I just go for a Gorilla pod...?

    Any opinions?
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I actually have both. The Ultrapod is nice, small and light. You can strap it to a fence or small tree but to put it on uneven ground would be a bit iffy. The Gorillapod on the other hand is larger and heavier but far more versatile and stable. I have the largest, because I bought mine to use with a DSLR. For myself, I use the Gorillapod much more often unless space and weight are at an absolute premium.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    Thanks Rev. Bob, I appreciate it. It sounds like the ultrapod is my best bet for backpacking. I only bring the lightest lenses with me anyway and there are always trees around.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Well, can't help you much since I don't own either (though my wife does have a GorillaPod P&S model).

    Just stopped in to say that Ultra Pod looks pretty handy, so thanks for posting the link! I might pick one up myself for a backpacking and travel tripod. I have a ZipShot tripod that has worked well for a basic tripod, group photos etc. but it's not sturdy enough for the heavier lenses like the Panasonic 100-300. That Ultra Pod looks sturdier judging by the pics, and the max weight limit is 6lbs which is double the ZipShot's capacity so it could work out well.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That is a neat little tripod setup! Here is a link to the manufacturer/importer of the Pedco.
    Industrial Revolution - Pedco

    They have some other items as well for hiking and backpaking.
  6. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    In have both the ultrapod and a gorilla pod and likethe ultrapod better.

    I brought the ultrapod with me on a three week trip to turkey recently and it was fantastic. Perfect supplement for me when I can't bring my full CF tripod.

    The biggest advantage of it over the gorillapod is the small size. I find the the gorilla pod is too unwieldy to pack and gets in the way. With the ultrapod, I can slip it into my messenger bag and not even notice its there.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 1, 2012
    I have the Ultrapod and A Giottos mini tripod. I like the Giottos more. It is sturdier and a bit higher.

    The Giottos is a "Giottos Compact Tripod with Ball head (QU305B-1004)"

    • Like Like x 1
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    @bobby_t1: Thanks. That's good to know. The Gorilla pod is just slightly heavier. It was the size that turned me off. It sounds like the ultrapod might be more ideal for backpacking.

    @Joe, that Giottos looks really attractive. I am a little concerned about the weight, though, which is nearly three times the ultrapod. Every ounce counts while backpacking. Hmmm. But it looks really nice. I think both might go on my wishlist. Backpacking season is just ending anyway. I've got time until April/May to decide.

    Thanks, both of you.
  9. 2ndLight

    2ndLight Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2011
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Real Name:
    I looked into the standard GorillaPod but for my purposes, I found it too big and heavy. I have a full size tripod that I love for u43 because it is stable and full height but still folds up tiny and lightweight enough to put it in my regular camerabag (inside, not strapped to the outside back).

    The full size tripod I use is the Sirui T 025 with C-10 Ball Head
    54.6" Max Height
    Folds to 11.8"
    12.8lb Load Capacity
    Weights 1.8lbs
    Sirui T-025 5-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10 Ball BSRT025
    A video review from someone that shows the size:
    [ame=]Surui T-025 Travel Tripod Review - YouTube[/ame]

    However, for when I don't want to carry around the above tripod I recently picked up a new product from GorillaPod the "Mirco 800" made for mirrorless cameras:
    JOBY GorillaPod Micro 250: Always-on camera tripod for point & shoot cameras
    [ame=]JOBY GorillaPod Micro 800 Silent Demo - YouTube[/ame]

    It is much smaller than any other tabletop tripod I have found and so small you can almost leave it on the camera and forget about it (that's how they advertise it but I only put it on if I'm planning to use it in the near term). Generally the problem with the tiny tabletop tripods I found is that they can't handle the weight of a u43 lens. Even if they have a rated weight the covers the OMD plus lens, they can't handle having the center of gravity out in front due to a heavy lens. I have not tried the Micro 800 with all my lenses but it works fine with my 12-35 and the ball head seems plenty stiff to take additional weight from a larger lens.

    Anyway - if you are looking for a very small tripod, take a look at the Micro 800...
    • Like Like x 2
  10. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    If size is of the your primary consideration, another good option to consider is manfrotto tabletop, there are several variety of them but the most versatile probably 209 tripod base, 492 ballhead, with optional 259B extension column [3piece] combination.

    Manfrotto 209 Tabletop Tripod Legs w/ 492 Micro Ball Head B&H

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  11. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    Wow, I didn't expect all of these great ideas...

    It looks like I'm going to have to do some serious thinking. The Giotto and Manfrottos look really, really nice, but are perhaps a little heavier than I'd want on a long trip. But they might be just what the doctor ordered for a day hike or even, perhaps a weekender...depending how heavy our packs are already.

    I think the Sirui is a little heavier than I'd want. It'll looks like the ideal situation would be a more stable Manfrotto or Giottos for regular day trips with something small & light like the Pedco or Gorillapod for bigger trips. I'm leaning toward the Pedco, but I should probably get to a store and examine a Gorillapod in person to decide how I feel about it.

    Thanks for all of the great advice, everyone!
  12. Joon525

    Joon525 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    I have the Pedco and can honestly say that it is so small and light that carrying it PLUS something else like the Manfrotto probably wouldn't be a big deal.

    You could attach the Pedco Ultrapod II to the leg of a bigger tripod with its included strap and probably not even notice it too much.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Real Name:
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    Have a look at the Gorillapod hybrid. Ball head, shoots in portrait.
  14. scott0487

    scott0487 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Real Name:
    I also have the Ultrapod II and think it's a perfect solution for the few times I need/use a tripod. I just throw it in my backpack or messenger bag, never even notice it, but always have it handy. And for less than $17, it was a no-brainer for me.

    Lots of options though. Good luck.

  15. Dc5e

    Dc5e Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2012
    I had the gorillapod hybrid and then got a Pedco UltraPod II. I don't really use the gorillapod anymore because one of the joints cracked and so it lost some weight bearing capabilities. It's also more of a hassle to set up than the UltraPod because each joint articulates.

    I like the UltraPod II because it's so compact and light. I almost always carry with me anywhere I go, even if I'm bringing a regular tripod. It's just so light that you won't really notice it.

    The only downside of the UltraPod II is that the ball head only articulates in two axis because it is "clamped" from two sides. Many ball heads normally have a notch on one side and can be rotated. It's a little hard to explain, but the Ultrapod II's clamp does not rotate, so you can only tilt it forward and back and pan left/right. The only way to shoot portrait would be to rotate the whole tripod. This is not usually an issue unless you're strapping the tripod to something else. In which case you would just have to reposition the tripod while strapped to get that last axis of freedom. You do have about +/- ~20 degrees of flexibility though in this last axis.

    For example, if you strapped the tripod vertically to a small tree, to pan left and right across a horizon, you would have to reposition the tripod.

    But for the price, weight, and size, it's definitely nice to have.

    Also, if you bag doesn't have enough space inside, you could always strap it to your shoulder strap, etc. The strap feature is very nice.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. mcumeda

    mcumeda Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    I have an ultra pod, and it is pretty great. It is light, sturdy, solid, and cheap. If you use trekking poles, you can use the poles and the ultra pod as a monopole.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. adsinger

    adsinger Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 2, 2010
    First Coast, FL
    I have pretty much every tripod mentioned above, and a few more, as my search for the perfect small tripod continues. The Ultrapods (1 and 2) are good, the 2 better for a larger camera. I use it often with my G1. Another I use with my GF3 and Leica DL4 is the Joby Micro 800 ( I keep this one on th camera all the time as it folds flat against the base plate when not in use. It's quite stable and more versatile that you might think looking at it.

  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Dude, where's your bushcraft sense? You should be making a stand out of wood and cordage. ;)

    All you need to carry is a blade or saw, and some paracord if you want to save time in making natural cordage.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. mix123

    mix123 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2011
    Which ultra pod would you guys recommend for the epm1? Is the version 1 better than the two?
  20. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have the Ultrapod II-which has served me well over the years, but I do find the head design to be somewhat fidgety compared to a regular ball head. Quick release would be nice to have too, on hikes-it's a pain having to reattach all the time-although I suppose you could add on a piece like this:Slik DQ-10 Mini Quick Release Adapter Set

    I just got the Giottos QU 305B set mentioned below and it really is a very well made and versatile little tripod. I needed something which would permit a low height and a better ball adjustment feel for table top still life photography than I could get with the UltraPod II. You can remove the center extension and just use the base either alone or with a ballhead; or add the extension and it's adjustable for heights from 12.75"-16.6". The downsides-it's significantly heavier than the 4.2oz Ultrapod II; Giottos is 9.6oz + 3.5oz (Slik SBH-100/SBH-100DQ ballhead); and at full extension I'd be wary of leaving it unattended with my OM-D attached, but sill doable. Have I mentioned I really like these inexpensive Slik ball heads ? :smile:. The 100/120 series are a perfect size for the OM-D; unless of course you need more sophisticated panning capabilities.

    That being said I still may pick up the Ultrapod I in the future to use as a sort of bare bones shirt pocket tripod solution for going out, travel, keep in my work bag etc. It seems like the best option of the ultra minis out there.