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Review: The UltraPod II Portable Camera Tripod

by Gevon Servo on 04/05/2012

This is a clever little desktop tripod. The UltraPod II, from Industrial Revolution, was not sent to me by a vendor to test; it was purchased by accident. This little tripod was a pleasant surprise. It’s built to hold cameras like the Nikon D7000 or the Canon 60D this is a well designed tool. Small, nimble, and light, the UltraPod II is a fine American made product. When you have to shoot a stable image, but don’t have room for a full size tripod, this is a product to keep in mind

Features

  • Fits any camera with a tripod socket
  • Unique ball and socket camera mount assembly positions camera at any angle
  • Molded from black nylon resin with aluminum threaded components
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fold-out legs with non-slip vinyl feet
  • D-ring Velcro cinch strap
  • Maximum Safe Load: 6 lbs
  • Pan Adjustment: 360 degrees
  • Tilt Adjustment: +/- 90 degrees
  • Angular Adjustment: +/- 20 degrees
  • Dimensions (folded): 7″ x 2″ x 2″, 17.8cm x 5.1cm x 5.1cm
  • Weight: 4.2 oz., 119g

For Macro

The UltraPod II paired with a remote trigger is great for macro. Essentially, the UltraPod II can get lower than most tripods. It also fits on tables nicely enabling sweet still life while not being annoying like other tripods out there. It’s easy to adjust the angle of your shot especially with a lens like my Nikon 40mm f2.8 which is small for a macro lens. This is due to the overall size combo with a camera like my D90. It’s also nice if you are using camera gear like the Yasuhara Nanohax5 on an Olympus EP2. If your macro photography needs an external flash, like mine tends to, putting the flash on the the UltraPod II is a marvelous thing to keep your flash in place for off-camera lighting. It allows you to keep your ISO down and to close your f-stop which creates a great depth of field.

Lighting Uses

The UltraPod II is versatile and can be used to hold lighting, too. With its Velcro strap, it can be mounted to a tree, pole, or railing with a speed light and flash trigger attached giving a lot of flexibility in your lighting set up.

Handheld Stabilization

Another great use of the UltraPod II is the ability to use it in conjunction with your body as a stabilization device. This especially comes in handy if you like to shoot video. It is also good in low light situations where you need to lower your shutter speed around 1/30th.

 Portability

Due to its size this desktop tripod can go anywhere. With its low weight and strength, it is extremely versatile. It has rubber feet on the bottom to keep it still so it works on most surfaces. As long as you have something to strap it to you can get your camera stabilized. Lately the the UltraPod II stays in my bag. Whenever I need to set my camera down, it is nice not having to place it on the ground.

The Ball Socket

 

The UltraPod II ball is much stronger than it looks. When the camera is mounted to the screw mount, it is very simple to fine-tune the ball to get the angles that you want to use; and it gives you a lot to work with. This comes in handy with when a flash is mounted (either to the screw mount itself or with a camera with the flash in the hot shoe).

Limitations

I would not put a camera like the Canon 1DX or the Nikon D4 on this desktop tripod. Similarly, I would not put a big lens, like the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens either. It’s not built for that. The UltraPod II does not replace a standard tripod. It does, however, make for an excellent companion to one.

In the End



For what it is, the UltraPod II does everything right. From the photographer who does not want to carry a tripod in a big city to a creative artist who wants an alternative way to hold their speed light, the UltraPod II is a great little tool. It’s well worth the cost.

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