If you want sharp shots from your once-in-a-lifetime trips, you’ll need some support, and travel tripods don’t come much lighter than this.
You probably won’t need a tripod for most of your daylight shots, but if you want to capture city streets at dusk or amazing interiors you’ll often be shooting in low light and risking camera shake without one.
At the same time, there’s no point taking a tripod so big and heavy that you end up leaving it at the hotel, so what you need is a tripod small and light enough to carry around in your camera back or backpack, one that’s fast to set up and yet can still take the weight of a full-size camera.
The Velbon UT-3AR is designed to tick all three boxes. tripod weighs just 787g and folds down to a length of 29.5cm. It does this using the reverse-leg arrangement used by most travel tripods now, where the legs fold up through 180 degrees to enclose the head.
Fully extended, the Velbon reaches a height of 135.5cm, and it achieves this using 5-section legs which are extended and locked using Velbon’s ‘Ultra’ fast locking system. You wouldn’t it to be as rigid and sturdy as a regular tripod, but Velbon says the UT-3AR can support camera gear up to 3kg in weight, so mirrorless and DSLR cameras with moderate-sized lenses should be fine.
Besides, even a lightweight tripod is better than no tripod, and as long as you’re careful about traffic vibration or knocking the legs accidentally, it should be perfectly possible to get sharp shots with long exposures.
Velbon UT-3AR features
There’s a sliding centre column with a locking mechanism for height adjustment, and this column can be reversed to get the camera close to the ground for low-level and macro photography.
A ball and socket head is built in, and this is fitted with an Arca Swiss compatible quick release plate. This is about the closest thing there is to a standard camera mounting plate for tripods and it’s a pleasant surprise to find it on a low-cost tripod like this one. You also get a protective carrying case and a five year warranty.
More information: Velbon UT-3AR product page