A Tale of Two Tripods

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Brian Chichester
Brian Chichester Contributing Member • Posts: 553
A Tale of Two Tripods

A couple of years ago I bought a used Velbon Ultra Maxi tripod, with a view to using it as a travel tripod. It certainly had light weight, compact folded size, and respectable extended height on its side, and remember I am talking about a bygone age when airline baggage limits were a thing.

Of course, I realised that with something so small I might be flirting with the lower limits of acceptable stability; in practice I had no disasters but it looked and felt flimsy.

It had to go, and for a few trips I made do with a large-ish table-top tripod, which ticked the boxes as regards size and weight, but simply did not go high enough for general use.

Now under lockdown, travel being longer possible, I became aware that the Ultra Maxi had a big brother, cryptically called the Ultra Luxi. In short, this resembled the Maxi on steroids, being a fraction larger, heavier and sturdier, but made to the same basic design. There is still some new stock of this one around, though I decided to go for a used model.

The size difference is small but I think it is critical. It looks and feels fine at full extension (135 cm): there is an extra 25 cm of extension in the centre column but I think at that point, what you gain in height you lose in stability.

Anyway, after disposing of the rather cumbersome 3-way pan/tilt head supplied, and substituting a lightweight ball-head, the weight is 1.05 kg and the folded length is 39 cm, so it will travel well, when it gets the chance. The max. load is “only” 2.5kg, which is a good deal less than many current travel tripods, but since none of my preferred travel camera/lens combos weighs above 1kg, I'm good.

Velbon Ultra Luxi F: the camera is a NEX-6

Disclaimer: I should add that I am not an employee of Velbon Corporation, nor am I receiving any financial consideration for posting this material. (Anyway, if they were paying me, I wouldn't be plugging a discontinued model, would I?)

 Brian Chichester's gear list:Brian Chichester's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus PEN E-PL6 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +6 more
Sony Alpha NEX-6
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