Say Hello to my Little Friend
I haven’t done any product reviews on this blog and don’t have any plans to do so in the future either, but on this occasion I couldn’t help it. I normally consider the pros and cons and take my time before making purchases, but with this mini tripod I hesitated very little. It wasn’t exactly cheap, but considering its tiny size combined with considerable load capacity, it had to be a part of my gear.
For almost a year now, I’ve been experimenting with shooting handheld in low light so my tripod has been sitting in the corner of the room since. I was using this technique during my last trip to Montenegro and came back with great results thanks to the high ISO performance of a modern full frame DSLR. But what if you can have a small tripod that fits into the side pocket of your backpack that is also capable of holding a big camera and lens?
In a couple of weeks’ time I’m off to Morocco and the Velbon Ultra 353 mini tripod is coming with me. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but this is a solid piece of engineering that firmly holds together against all odds. With a folded length of 19cm, this tiny thing has a load capacity of 2kg. This means that it can hold a Nikon D750 body with the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, which is what I’ll be taking on the trip. The QHD-33M ball head is designed in accordance with the qualities of the tripod: it’s small and it’s about as strong and sturdy as a ball head three times its size. Using one single twist lock for four leg sections can extend the unit to 47cm. This may not be enough for some but it’s still a great alternative to not taking a tripod at all on a trip to an interesting location. Only time will tell how long the Ultra 353 is going to last, but after testing it out a couple of times my first impressions have been great. It sure feels like a miniature tank.
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