Velbon Ultra Luxi Mini Tripod

OzRay

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I received my Velbon Ultra Luxi Mini tripod today and the first impression is that it is a very well made and robust little tripod. It's made from a combination of alloy and plastic, alloy for the ball head and leg support and a fairly tough feeling plastic for the legs. The legs can open to three settings, about 30/45/85 degrees, and position with an easily adjustable interlock for each leg. The legs themselves open by twisting anti-clockwise and then lock in the opposite direction. I actually like the way the mechanism works, as it's much better than the ring lock I had on a Gitzo I once owned. The feet are of a semi-soft rubber.

The ball head is attached to a centre column that consists of three pieces, allowing you to reduce it from approx 6" to 3" and then zero in height. Obviously the centre column can be locked into any position in between. It can also be reversed if desired. The ball head is actually a good design, allowing quite a degree of movement in many planes. Also, you don't have to unlock the centre column to rotate the ball head, for when you loosen the ball head lock, it also allow for the head to rotate. The mounting plate on the head is nice and large to accommodate almost any sized camera. The locking lever can also be pulled out and repositioned if it for some reason locks in an awkward position.

However, the test of a good tripod is how well it can stabilise a camera and lens. Given the size and weight of this tripod, one would expect it to be only marginal in this regard, but not so. My usual test of a tripods potential is to open it up fully (less the centre column), place it on a surface such as carpet where the feet will grip and then holding the head, twist it and see how much movement you can get ion the legs. I have to say that there was barely any twist that I could get out of the legs. Even when fully splayed on the tiles, it didn't want to move much at all. Apart from the physics of tripod size vs camera lens size, I'd say that this little jigger could be used just about anywhere with great confidence. And with it's miniscule size and weight, you can always have a tripod at hand. It also comes with a neat carry bag.

Here are a few shots of the tripod in various levels of extension, with the Pen 2 and a Nikkor 300mm f4 lens attached (my apologies for not noticing that the lens hood was skew if):

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As noted earlier, the details of this tripod and where I bought it are here: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Velbon-Tripod-and-Ball-Head-for-Manfrotto-Gitzo-K6G_W0QQitemZ140380040684QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories?hash=item20af4d6dec

Cheers

Ray
 

Brian Mosley

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Nice report on a very well designed bit of kit, thanks Ray! :2thumbs:

You can get one of these from Bristol Cameras for only £48 here in the UK... I may just order one.

Cheers

Brian
 

BillN

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Bloody hell Mate, a skewed lens hood,

I'm reaching for my credit cards as I type - I think I'll have one o' them as my Gitzo 320 and Arca Monoball are a bit heavy for desk top work

Thanks and thanks Brian for the UK link

(note to Amin: get some UK links set up if you can to earn some dosh!)
 

Iansky

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Hi Ray,

That looks like a useful tripod and I am looking for a replacement for my 20yr old Cullman Magic tripod.

Couple of questions please:

1. How high is it at maximum extension?
2. How stable is it with average M4/3 and 14/45 sized lens?

Thanks,
Ian
 

flipGTO

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I was looking at a similar Slik tripod at the local camera store, but this one looks much better, especially with the ball head. Thanks for the review.
 

OzRay

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Hi Ray,

That looks like a useful tripod and I am looking for a replacement for my 20yr old Cullman Magic tripod.

Couple of questions please:

1. How high is it at maximum extension?
2. How stable is it with average M4/3 and 14/45 sized lens?

Thanks,
Ian
Ian

It's max height, without the centre column extended, is about 700mm or so (I can measure it exactly tonight). With the Nikon 300mm and Pen 2 it was very stable, but I can't say how stable it would be in a windy environment, thought it exceeded my expectations by a country mile. I certainly won't have any hesitation in using it outdoors.

Update: Maximum Height - 600mm, Intermediate Height - 480mm, Minimum Height - 240mm (to top of ball head, does not include centre section raised. Centre section adds an extra 90mm).

Cheers

Ray
 

OzRay

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I thought I'd see exactly how solid and stable this little tripod could be, so I attached my E3 and 90-250mm lens. The result is not bad at all. I had no feeling of impending doom, fearing that everything would collapse, in fact, it felt so solid that I wonder about the mere 2kg rating for the tripod. The camera/lens combination weighed in at 5.3kg and I think that the tripod could have easily taken more. So if you're looking for a very compact, yet sturdy and versatile tripod, I would heartily recommend this one. This is the tripod with the legs fully extended in it's more precarious setup:

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Cheers

Ray
 

Bullfrog

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Since I switched over to :43: I've been looking around for a tripod to replce my old Manfrotto 190XB. I reckon I've just found it. Thanks for the heads-up on this Ray :thumbup:
 

OzRay

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I just found another interesting aspect about this tripod, you can actually couple if with a Velbon monopod to create a somewhat taller support:

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http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20100212_348695.html

Cheers

Ray
 

DHart

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Thanks Ray... I too have been thinking about getting a smaller tripod for my m4/3 gear and that looks like an awesome rig!
 

Iansky

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Ray, thank you that is a great analysis of the tripod so I must now search for a source in the UK and see what the damage is!

Might just be the one to replace my 20yr old Cullman!

I can pick one up in the UK for about £50 so have to doe some serious thinking!
 

Brian Mosley

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Ian, did you miss my link further up this thread? £48 from Bristol Cameras.

Cheers

Brian
 

Brian Mosley

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Ian, did you miss my link further up this thread? £48 from Bristol Cameras.

Cheers

Brian
 

Iansky

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Thanks Ray and Brian,

I have now ordered my tripod so looking forwards to a replacement for the 20yr old Cullman.

Not sure the Brit version comes in a bag though - hope so.
 
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