Up close & personal - macro tripod review part VII

Velbon Ultra Luxi M complete with head $150 (£69)

SPEC PANEL (inc ball-head)

Max Height (column down): 119cm
Max Height (column up): 139cm
Min Height: 19cm
Leg Sections: 5
Closed Length: 34.5cm
Weight: 1.26kg
Load capacity: 2.5kg

Quality 4/5
Features & Design 4/5
Value for Money 4/5
Overall 4/5

At first sight the diminutive Ultra Luxi M seems out of place in this company, but shorter leg tubes and 3-position leg joints it can be used quite successfully for low-level work. And, thanks to the 5-section legs the Velbon is capable of extending to the height of the others on test, but it lacks a tilting column to get in close.

I’m not normally a fan of Pan and Tilt heads, but I have to admit I was really impressed by the bundled Velbon PHD-41Q head. Not only were the locking handles really smooth, allowing high precision when locking the head off but it was steady as a rock too. If I have a concern, it was as a result of some slight play in the rubber-covered quick-release plate. I had to all but over-tighten to prevent vibration.

A sliding mechanism for the 3-position leg joints is a neat design and that as well as a two-piece column allows the Ultra Luxi M to get low, but it’s still difficult to get in level for small subjects with a 50 or 100mm macro. Even so, if pack weight and size is critical, the Velbon is well worth a closer look.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for part VIII.

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