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Review: Platypod Ultra Flat Tripod + Multi Accessory Kit



Overview : The Ultra Plate Camera Support with Multi Accessory Kit from Platypod is a low-profile support for mirrorless and mid-sized cameras. Moreover, the Multi Accessory Kit contains accessories that will help you stabilize and create photographs in combination with the Max Camera Support.

Features :
  • Ultra tripod base plate is a flat tripod compatible with any tripod ball head except ones that have knobs that extend past the bottom of the head.
  • At just 4.3 mm thick and about the size of an, 5.08 x 3.36, Ultra is the perfect travel buddy by fitting in any photography bag.
  • 4 titanium “legs” for stability on uneven surfaces, with spikey or rubber ends depending on where you need stability.
  • Attach to tripods or quick-release devices with the ¼-20 and 3/8-16 accessory threaded holes
  • Includes a 20 inch-cinch strap to mount Ultra to poles or branches, creating a stable surface for timelapse and HDR photography.

Quality/Usability : When I first saw and heard of Platypod, it was at PhotoPlus Expo. I had stopped by the booth and was intrigued with the Platypod Ultra. They were nice enough to provide one to me for review so I can test it out and share it with my readers.


The Platypod Ultra is fairly basic. Included with the Ultra is the plate itself, carabiner clip, velcro strap, and a pouch that housed four legs.

The included carabiner clip can't be used for climbing but you can attach it to the Platypod Ultra and clip it to your backpack for easy carrying. So when you need it, all you have to do is just unclip it from your backpack and start using it.

 

The Ultra is made of anodized aluminum, so it is durable. There are multiple mounting points and they are labeled to let you know what each does and what it can be used for. On the underside is just blank.

The Ultra can also be mounted on a tripod as well or if you wanted to mount this to a more permanent location, you can screw it into where ever you want this mounted.

  

Near the center is a 3/8" screw that allows you to attach a ball head. I tested it with a Sunwayfoto XB-52DL and it was too big but worked. Smaller ball heads are best suited for the Ultra as the base of it will not exceed the width of the Platypod Ultra.

 

Here is a picture of my Canon 5D Mark IV with the EF 24-70mm f2.8L II. The Platypod Ultra had no problems holding the camera. This is great if you're looking to place your camera on a flat ledge or rail and want that steady shot.


  

But what about if you to place the Platypod Ultra on an uneven surface? The included pouch includes four spiked legs. They screw into the Ultra and you can adjust it to whatever height you want it to. They are made from stainless steel. There are also chrome nuts that help keep the legs locked and prevents them from moving.

If you don't want to use the spikes, you can actually insert them from the bottom so that black tips are now your feet and this won't damage the surface you're working on.

 
  

The included 20" red strap has velcro sewn onto it. This allows you to mount the Platypod Ultra to a pole, tree branch or even a rail for added security and stability.

 

Here, you can see that I attached the Platypod Ultra to a pole in my house. Once it is wrapped around the pole and tightened, it stayed on pretty well without a camera mounted. But once I added a ball head and camera, I thought that the Platypod Ultra would begin to slide down due to the weight and gravity. To my surprise, it didn't budge at all! If it did, it was very minimal.

I had left the camera on there for a good 10 mins, and it stayed put. I was impressed.


An optional accessory that you can pick up is the Multi Accessory Kit (works with both the Ultra and the Max). This retails for about $29 and includes a 36" long strap that is 1.5" wide, a 0.5" riser, a 3" long spigot adapter, a 4x6 silicone pad and a drawstring pouch to hold all those items.

The red strap is similar to the one included with the Platypod Ultra. Only difference is that it is 36" long instead of 20" and slightly wider. This gives you the ability to wrap the Ultra around a bigger pole, beam or branch where the included strap wouldn't be able to. This also prevents any scratching that may be caused on furniture or cars.

The silicone pad is just a rubber pad that prevents the Ultra from sliding on a smooth surface. For instance, if the pole or beam that you're attaching to is too smooth and is causing the Ultra to strap and you have tightened it as tight as you can, the silicone pad would give it some friction and prevent it from sliding.

  

The 3" spigot adapter attaches to the tripod screw on the Ultra and you can attach something to the other end that is 1/4"-20 such as a friction arm. This gives you the ability to get an extra 3" for whatever you're mounting such as an LED light or a flash.

  

The 0.5" riser, makes your Platypod compatible with more tripod ball heads, such as smaller ball heads and those with a wing knob or lever incompatible with the flat Platypod surface (3/8" socket devices require a 1/4"-3/8" bushing, commonly supplied with a ball head).


Conclusion : Overall, the Platypod Ultra Flat Tripod + Multi Accessory Kit is a nice setup. This is great if you're a landscape photographer that needs a steady shot whether you're on a flat or rugged surface. It's very portable and lightweight. And for something so lightweight, it has no problem holding a camera setup that is 5-7lbs.

As a reminder, the Multi Accessory Kit is optional and not included with the Platypod Ultra.

If you're looking for something that is a little beefier and a bigger plate, Platypod also makes the Platypod Max (Amazon / B&H Photo / Adorama / eBay).




Manufacturer: Platypod
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama
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