This can be a guest assessment of the Pedco Ultrapod II mini tripod by landscape photographer Usnea Lebendig.
As an avid backpacker and traveler, I’m all the time making an attempt to get the load of my package to a minimal. At the similar time, I really like capturing lengthy exposure, night time time photographs, and HDR, which suggests I want some type of digital camera stabilization.
More often than not I just chew the bullet and lug round my Zomei Z669C travel tripod (the lightest in its category I might afford), but these days I’ve been enjoying around with the Ultrapod II and the Joby GorillaPod to see if I might get away with a much lighter tripod.
The Pedco Ultrapod has been around for many years, for much longer than the GorillaPod. It’s additionally much lighter, more compact, and cheaper than the GorillaPod.
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The Ultrapod II is the slightly stronger version, able to holding cameras up to 2.7kgs (6 lbs). It seemingly works nice with all the things from GoPros and point-and-shoots to mirrorless and smaller DSLRs.
Lately I’m principally capturing on my Sony A7 III, so I figured it was a superb match. Right here’s what I found.
Pedco Ultrapod II Assessment | Design
Collapsed Peak: 7″ (17.eight cm)
Extended Peak: 6″ (15.2 cm)
Weight: zero.26 lbs (119 g)
Most Load: 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
Worth: Click on here to seek out the newest worth
The Pedco Ultrapod II is a lightweight, folding digital camera tripod that matches simply into the water bottle pocket of any backpack. It encompasses a unique ball and socket head that permits for 360 degrees of panning and tilt/angle +/- 90 degrees.
It uses a regular screw (1/4″) for mounting, so it matches nearly all of cameras and camcorders on the market, in addition to speedlights and video lights.
The legs and body are constructed from a black nylon resin that appears pretty sturdy. In contrast to the GorillaPod, the legs aren’t bendable. As an alternative, they’re L-shaped and both fold out like a normal tripod or bundle up into a single stack. (Both formations can be used for help.)
I didn’t really assume the L-shaped legs would work properly (having tried the GorillaPod first), but the Ultrapod II’s legs are surprisingly secure and match properly on nearly every thing. The rubber recommendations on the ends of the ft successfully stored it from slipping on nearly every floor I tried it on.
One cool function with the legs on the Ultrapod II is that one is longer and heavier than the others, allowing using longer lenses. (I solely had my Sony 16-35mm with me, so do not know if one thing like a 70-300mm would work.)
Past the body and screw, the Ultrapod’s comes with a D-ring Velcro strap. That is what turns it into one of the versatile mini-tripods out there. With it you possibly can connect it to any medium-sized tree, submit, or railing.
The complete package deal is remarkably durable, considering how mild it’s. I’ve put mine by way of a little bit of abuse already and it doesn’t yet have a scratch. (I’ve heard of them lasting properly over 20 years and not once failing – even the Velcro!)
It’s also a lot stronger than it seems to be, together with the Velcro. I used to be stunned to seek out that it held my digital camera and fairly heavy lens firmly to a tree with just a little bit of Velcro attaching. (Yes, I was nervous about it and took enough precautions, nevertheless it held just superb.)
All-in-all, Pedco’s Ultrapod II is an easy yet surprisingly effective design. Its versatility, mixed with its mild weight and compactness make it a simple element to pack. It gained’t substitute an ordinary tripod, but for what it’s meant for its simply a superb design.
Pedco Ultrapod II | Purposes
At first glance the Ultrapod II appears like a normal table-top tripod, and it definitely works properly as one. What makes it particular, nevertheless, is every part else you can do with it.
As talked about above, the Velcro allows it to be hooked up to anything with the diameter of roughly 1-2 soda cans. The rubber-coated ft adapt to rough terrain and not using a drawback. Uneven ground isn’t really much of a problem, because the ball and socket let you degree out the digital camera.
Because the Ultrapod II folds up like a knife and has L-shaped legs, it additionally makes for an excellent handheld stabilizer. Simply attach your digital camera to the top after which lay the legs flat towards your wrist.
This comes especially in useful whenever you’re on the go and capturing video and/or dealing with low mild.
One factor that may add enormously to the Ultrapod’s versatility is a distant set off. It will permit for all the things from wonderful macros (because the Ultrapod can get much lower to the bottom than most tripods) to long-exposure photographs, with out incurring digital camera shake.
It additionally makes it straightforward to take selfies of yourself out in nature – something fairly scorching in at present’s images world.
One other especially cool software is when you use off-camera lighting (especially speedlights). Because the Ultrapod II’s screw mount matches most flashes, you possibly can solidly attach an exterior flash to only about anyplace with a tree or submit.
Use it to set your flash at a 45 degree angle to your digital camera, create backlight, or even use two or three speedlights to create a multiple-light scene. (The Ultrapod II, at the least, is so inexpensive it wouldn’t tax the wallet to have a number of of them.)
Obviously you’re not going to have the ability to get photographs much above floor degree when there’s nothing to attach to. Meaning you’ll should get artistic when there are not any timber or posts around.
Still, that’s not likely a nasty thing – capturing from that low down is a singular perspective and for me, that was part of the fun of it. (It definitely beats making an attempt to put my digital camera on my pack for stability once I don’t have anything higher.)
Pedco Ultrapod II | Ease of Use
The Ultrapod II is hailed as extremely straightforward to make use of, and with follow this is completely true. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some things to get used to, though.
For example, there’s just one knob for controlling both how your digital camera sits on the legs and the tilt/yaw of the ball-and-socket head. This isn’t all the time as intuitive as one may assume – particularly when the whole gadget is hooked up to one thing.
It’s additionally a bit bushy attaching the digital camera + Ultrapod to something when the digital camera is already hooked up. Attaching the Velcro tends to take two palms, yet one wants to hold the whole lot safe at the similar time.
This won’t be much of an issue with a flash, smartphone, or point-and-shoot, however my Sony A7 III + extensive angle lens was heavy enough (and costly enough!!) to wish a hand on it. Attaching the digital camera after attaching the tripod wasn’t really an choice, as there was not often room to do so.
I additionally discovered the putting of the Velcro on the strap created rather more limiting attachment choices than I expected. Not solely might I not transcend the length of the strap, but I also couldn’t work out learn how to go smaller than a soda can (i.e. to a trekking pole).
What it did attach to, although, it hooked up to quite firmly. I used to be both stunned and pleased.
Otherwise, every part worked as anticipated. The ft gripped magnificently, even on wet rocks. Carrying it around with the digital camera hooked up was no drawback.
On the bottom it was fairly sturdy, even with a little bit of wind. The Velcro, once hooked up, was additionally strong. Best of all, it fit better in my pack than another tripod I’ve ever carried.
Pedco Ultrapod II vs the GorillaPod
In some methods the Ultrapod II and the GorillaPod may look like they’ve rather a lot in widespread. They’re each light-weight, table-top-size tripods that fit simply in a pack and may attach to quite a lot of things. Beyond that, although, there are many variations.
The most blatant distinction is how they attach. While the Ultrapod II makes use of Velcro paired with straight, L-shaped legs, the GorillaPod makes use of bendable legs to adapt/connect to just about anything. This provides the GorillaPod a bit of a bonus in versatility… however that’s where the benefits stop.
The Ultrapod II is both smaller (a full 3 inches shorter than probably the most comparable GorillaPod, the 3K) and is a third of its weight (119g compared to 393g). It’s also a lot simpler to get into a totally loaded pack.
As far as capacity is worried, the GorillaPod 3K wins out barely by holding a most of 2.9 kgs (6.6 lbs), compared to the Ultrapod II’s 2.7 kgs (6 lbs). However that difference may properly be made up by the truth that the Ultrapod II’s longer, sturdier leg can hold longer lenses than the GorillaPod.
Worth-wise there’s no contest. The Ultrapod II is just $19, while the GorillaPod 3K is $40. Positive, you may buy a cheaper GorillaPod, however the 3k is the one that the majority matches the UltraPod II’s capacity.
In the long run, which one you determine on will rely in your software. For those who discover that you simply typically need the GorillaPod’s capability to grip things, that could be the best way to go. In any other case, save yourself some money and get an Ultrapod or two.
Pedco Ultrapod II Evaluate | Conclusion
Whether you’re a traveler not eager to lug around a tripod in a metropolis, a backpacker needing to attenuate their weight, or a artistic photographer who loves to use off-camera flash, the Ultrapod II is a useful little device.
It holds up properly, does every part it’s alleged to do, and opens up a world of prospects. It’s additionally quite reasonably priced.
I wouldn’t put a digital camera just like the Nikon D4 on it, or a large telephoto lens. It’s not constructed for that type of weight/measurement. But for lighter digital camera/lens combos – particularly mirrorless or smaller – it should do properly.
For me, though, one of the best half about it’s its portability. It folds up so small and packs so compactly, you’ll hardly notice it in your pack. All in all, the Pedco Ultrapod II is a stellar piece of drugs and nicely well worth the worth.
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Disclaimer: All suggestions are neutral and based mostly on consumer expertise, with no bias to the merchandise or the brand. The products on this submit include affiliate hyperlinks which help help Shotkit.