Skip to main content

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.

To return to the beginning of the article, please use this link.


Popular posts from this blog

Hasselblad H4D-60 review

UPDATE 18 May, 2012: Hasseblad is set to reduce the price on the H4D cameras by as much as $11,000 / 6,200 Euros on the H4D-60, bringing the price to 23,900 euros ($30,995 / £21,995). Please see here for more details.

The last couple of decades have been turbulent for medium format camera manufacturers, but now after several well-known names have withdrawn, the market looks healthy. Two new unexpected entrants, Leica and Pentax have added to the dynamic at opposing ends of the pricing scale, forcing the two established system players to compete fiercely in their traditional rarefied role as well as the entry-level.

Partnering with both Leaf and Mamiya, Phase One has developed a trio of entry-level Mamiya DM models starting at under $14k/ £9k while continuing to offer a wide range of Phase One and Leaf backs, up to 80-megapixels. Through various offers and incentives these backs, are most likely to be partnered with the 645DF body but they are in fact compatible with a wide range of …

Mitsubishi CP-D70DW dye-sublimation printer review

Roll-fed dye-sublimation transfer printers are often used in photo-kiosks but with their fast operation and touch dry photos, they’re also the printer of choice for event photographers.

Mitsubishi Electric CP-D70DW


£1214 (£999 ex VAT) $1,399.95
Mitsubishi Electric;
Mac OS X 10.5 or Windows XP later
Print quality, job times, low media costs, durability, build, noise levels
Noise levels, paper handling niggles, colour profile on request

Buy at Adorama Camera (US) at $1,279.95, plus mail-in rebate available. Buy at Amazon US (sold by Adorama).

Buy the Dual deck CP-D70DW at Adorama now at $1,939.95, plus mail-in rebate (was $2,950).


Unlike the process of dithering liquid ink in an inkjet, dye-sublimation printers produce authentic continuous tone images with an analogous look like that of a conventional lab-produced print. They achieve this using thin c…

Fujifilm IS Pro UV-IR DSLR review

Fuji’s IS Pro is the up-date to maker’s earlier S3 UV-IR camera, and like that particular camera, the IS Pro adopts a modified image sensor that’s not shielded from UV or IR light. Consequently, with various filtration methods, the IS Pro is designed for Ultraviolet (UVA), visible and near Infrared photography.

Although there is a healthy demand for DSLRs with IR capability especially, and there are number of independent vendors (mainly in the US, but the UK also) that offer IR dedicated and full-spectrum conversion of current Nikon and Canon bodies, it’s anticipated the IS Pro will appeal largely to the scientific and forensic communities. With the departure of the S3 UV-IR, Fuji’s IS Pro continues to be the only dedicated full-spectrum interchangeable lens based DSLR that has professional-level support from a camera maker. As well as official product support and 12-month warranty, for government agencies and the like, the OEM status of the IS Pro will be particularly reassuring an…