Several folks on the TMIP forum have asked me to talk about the tripod that I take on vacation with me, and a few have actually purchased the same one. The tripod, a Velbon Ultra Luxif, is probably my favorite travel tripod ever. I used to swear by the Slik Sprint Mini, and I still think there is nothing wrong with that one, BUT… the Velbon (“VUL” from here on) is just too good to replace. Let’s talk about what i really like about it.
First thing is the size. The VUL folds down to a very manageable 15 inches and expands to a very tall 63 inches. As a person who is over six feet tall, I appreciate a tripod that stands nice and tall. Add a Manfrotto pistol grip head (322 RC2) and you have a tripod/head combination that is tall enough to see over people’s heads and get you some nice shots. The VUL also is not super heavy, weighing in at approx. 2.9 pounds. It comes with it’s own carrying case with a shoulder strap so it’s easy to get from the car to the park and it’s also small enough to easily fit into your suitcase on vacation.
The leg sections extend and lock with a unique twist lock system as opposed to the traditional lock lever system. It does take some getting used to and every once in awhile you will notice the tripod ‘shrinking’ because you didn’t lock the legs tight enough but it’s a minor annoyance. The nice thing is the tripod is quite steady which is key when you are taking long exposures of night time scenes or fireworks.
I purchased the model with the platform head, but there is a model that comes with a ball head. Personally, I prefer the platform head because it easily accepts my Manfrotto 322 RC2 Grip Action Ballhead for a really nice 1-2 punch.
For more information or to purchase your very own Velbon Ultra Luxif tripod for some high quality night time shooting in the parks, please follow this link to see the current Luxi offerings from Velbon at B&H Photo, where the professionals get their gear!