Pedco UltraPod II Review and Giveaway

No mistakes here, this tripod gets it right.

I spend a lot of time walking around with my camera, from serene wooded trails to bustling city streets. I like to stay lightweight and compact with my gear, gone are the days of a large backpack, two DSLR bodies, multiple lenses, a speedlight or two because you never know and a full size carbon fiber tripod.

Now the small bag I carry can hang on my shoulder for hours while my small Fuji X-T20 hangs around my neck without causing any discomfort or fatigue. The trade off to carrying a smaller bag is that I need to be more selective about what I carry. I also have to consider size as there’s not a lot of room in smaller bags. When it comes to carrying a tripod with my scaled down kit, strapping a full size tripod to my small bag would not only look ridiculous, it would be impractical. Shooting without a tripod is an option of course but some shots are not going to be possible without a solid base that allows you to position your camera exactly how you want it.

When I went looking for a tripod small enough to fit in my bag but still capable of actually supporting a camera and lens, I came up with three choices; the Manfrotto PIXI, the JOBY GorillaPod and the Pedco UltraPod II. I may still try the other two but ultimately I went with the Pedco UltraPod II for it’s combination of low price, six pound support capability, short seven inch height when folded and its extremely light weight.

Ultrapod at Grand Canyon
UltraPod II on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

The UltraPod II owes its lightweight to plastic construction but don’t let that fool you, this tripod is stout. The first time you open it, you’ll see this isn’t a cheaply made tripod, it’s a piece of equipment designed to be compact and strong. The end of all three legs are capped with rubber tips which keep the tripod from slipping on most surfaces and also gives you the option to place the tripod on a surface you might not normally place your tripod. I’ve used my UltraPod II on the the hood of my car a couple of times and the rubber tips have kept the hood scratch-free.
Smokey Mountain Creek
Long exposure of a creek using the UltraPod II. The tripod was placed on a large, wet rock in the middle of the creek.

The mount is a typical 1/4×20 threaded stud and sits on top of a ball and clamp for adjustment. Positioning while the tripod is open and on its legs is almost infinite when considering you can can rotate the tripod and mount. You have an easy to turn knob to lock in your position when you have your composition set. Once tightened, this is not going to move on you. A word of caution however, I have read reviews where people have not had a good experience with the adjustment mechanism, I would suspect some people have over-tightened the clamp. It doesn’t take much to lock this in and you can over do it so don’t go overboard on tightening or you may damage your tripod. I have no trouble putting my Fujifilm X-T20 w/XF18-55mm lens on the tripod, aiming it at an angle up or down and having it hold that position.
Milky Way
Milky Way shot with the UltraPod II. This was a 30 second exposure resulting in small star trails but no blur from tripod movement.

The strap that wraps the tripod and keeps it closed when folded doubles as an alternative mounting option.
When the tripod is folded closed, the legs form a “V” that makes a perfect channel for straddling fence poles, tree branches, light poles, etc… The strap is used to secure the tripod to whatever you’re going to mount it to.
Strapped
UltraPod II mounted to vertical railing post using the attached strap.

If you’re looking to scale down your kit’s size or weight, the Pedco UltraPod II should be a serious consideration for your tripod. It doesn’t take up much room in your bag or even a pocket on a jacket or cargo pants. It won’t add noticeable weight coming in at about a quarter pound. What it will do is give you a versatile and trustworthy tool for making photos. If you want one right now, you can find it here. If you really want one and can wait just a little bit, or don’t have the cash laying around, see below for your chance to win one.

This blog is new blog with very few email subscribers so far. I’m going to give one of these away if I hit 30 subscribers by the end of May. I post about once a week so you’re not signing up to get spammed with email, you’re signing up to win an amazing tool for your bag and your odds are going to be great at about 1 in 30 unless there’s a mad rush of sign ups. If that should happen, I’ll give away a second Pedco Ultrapod. Look in the bar on the right and find that red “Follow” button and click it for your chance to win one! You have to be a current subscriber at the time of the drawing to win.

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