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Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head

B&H # VEUML Mfr # ULTRA MAXI L
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $109.99
Product Highlights
  • Supports 3.3 lbs (1.5kg)
  • Trunnion Shaft System (TSS)
  • 5-Section Legs
  • Quick Release

Compact and lightweight, the Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod incorporates the patented "Twist Lock" leg-locking system, which allows its legs to lock and unlock quickly and simply with just a half turn twist. This unique system speeds up the set-up time significantly. This model also features the Trunion Shaft System (TSS), where the main leg-bolts are now positioned directly above the shaft, which makes the tripod even more compact when closed.

The tripod's unique leg assembly allows for a five-section tripod with a great expansion/contraction ratio (~60" extended & ~14.2" collapsed). It is especially ideal for use as a traveling tripod, to be used with a standard digital SLR camera system.

The included PHD-31Q is a fully-featured all-metal "revolving" pan/tilt head. In addition to the usual 3-way pan and tilt functions this head has a second revolving plane, basically allowing for any position. It has swing function of 90° to right and left, and 360° pan action. The quick release platform is compact and thin, but is made of aluminum to maintain durability.

Independent leg spread allows each leg to be positioned at different angles, with a choice of three preset angles.
Split center column for low-angle work
Top-leg diameter of 21mm
General
Load Capacity 3.3 lbs (1.5kg)
Maximum Height 60" (152.5cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended Not Specified by Manufacturer
Minimum Height 6.5" (16.5cm)
Folded Length 14.2" (36cm)
Leveling Bubble/Illuminated No
Weight 2.2 lbs (990g)
Head
Head Type PH-31Q revolver pan/tilt head with quick release
Quick Release Yes
Legs
Material Aluminum
Head Attachment Fitting 1/4"-20
Leg Stages/Sections 4/5
Leg Lock Type Leg twist-lock
Independent Leg Spread Yes
Spiked/Retractable Feet No
Center Brace No
Center Column
Center Column Type Rapid sliding
Center Column Sections 2
Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head
  • QB-3B Quick Release Plate
  • Case
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    VelbonUltra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head
     
    4.6

    (based on 16 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (9)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (10)
    • Attaches firmly (8)
    • Large range of motion (7)
    • Lightweight (5)
    • Strong clamp (5)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Travel (12)
      • Landscape/scenery (8)
      • Night shots (6)
      • Wildlife (6)
      • Home (4)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Photo enthusiast (9), Casual photographer (3)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (8)

      Reviewed by 16 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-16

      Back to top

       
      4.0

      Compact stability on a budget

      By Jacky

      from Malaysia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Easy to Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

      • Flimsy Construction

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel

      Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

      I was in need for a lightweight, compact tripod that I can carry along wherever I am travelling. The problem with those tripod over 1.4kg is that their weight seemed to increase as I am forced to carry them over rough terrains over a long stretch of time. A folded length of about 20 inch is also a real hassle when it comes to packing for a trip.This little thing solves all the issue mentioned above: weight, dimensionality and budget wise. I am also rather impressed by the tripod's capability for near horizontal extension of legs.Handling was rather easy after you have spent some time familiarising with the ball head.It can easily support camera & lens combination up to 1.5kg but I suspect it would be unwise to load it beyond 2 kg. The last segment of the tripod is also pencil thin and flimsy: I would not use this tripod fully extended with a heavy setup in a windy day. There's no hook below tripod and some creativity will be required if you want to add additional stability to the tripod through addition of weight.Once again, the best tripod is the one you have with you; for my case, it will always be the Ultra Maxi-L

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Lightweight, compact and innovative

      By nilsca

      from Toronto, On

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Good Stability
      • Lightweight
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Travel

        Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

        The maxi L tripod comes with a smaller pan/tilt head that's has a quick release plate fitting my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Body nicely (G6,battery door stays accessible).

        The mechanism for un/locking is cool, could be a bit smoother though for my taste. Have to really make sure that locked is really locked (clicks only on unlock).

        Surprisingly sturdy, a good package for a lighter camera /lens combo.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Outstanding portable tripod

        By Night Vision Mike

        from Fredericksburg, VA

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attaches Firmly
        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Travel

          Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

          This tripod expands to the tallest and shrinks to the smallest of any tripod I have found for a very reasonable price. It stores at about 14" and expands to about 61", it is light and is very sturdy.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Great buy for the price

          By Suma

          from Providence, RI

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Stability

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Shots
            • Portraits
            • Travel

            Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

            Its lightweight and travel compatible. fits my camera bag perfectly well. After a long search this is something i have settled on and am glad i made this choice

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Lighter than my purse

            By val

            from ohio

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Firmly
            • Good Stability
            • Strong Clamp

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Travel

              Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

              That was the first thing I said when I picked this up. I thought I was going to return it for sure. However,I am in love with this and I tell everyone. In fact it had been recommended to me and I thought there was no way it could be sturdy enough for my Nikon D90 with a zoom lens. Not only is it fine but I can carry it around while I travel which is exactly why I wanted it.I'm taking it to Italy. As they say, what good is something if you don't have it with you. Put the camera on timer release doesn't shake and you have a great photo.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Interesting concept

              By Wireline hand

              from Australia

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact
              • Easy to Use
              • Lightweight

              Cons

              • Flimsy Construction

              Best Uses

              • Travel

              Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

              The Ultra Maxi-L is a ultra light weight tripod that I intend to use for travelling.
              The folded length is very compact and this tripod is quite tall but avoid using the centre column. The tripod is very light and with narrow legs it feels a bit flimsy and unstable. I don't think it is a strong tripod but the best tripod is the one you have with you and I think I could comfortably carry the Ultra Luxi-L around. It is also an expensive tripod compared to other cheap, lightweight tripods but the Velbon leg-locking system is unique and efficient.
              This tripod requires good technique and is not suitable for heavy cameras and lenses. I suggest 1 kg max and use mirror lock-up for longer exposures. Hanging a weight (e.g. camera bag) below the centre column may help stabilise the system.
              I feel the PHD-31Q head is too bulky and heavy (mass c. 240 g) and will swap it for my 120 g Manfrotto 482 micro ball head (current model 492). Beware that this tripod has a fixed 1/4" screw and most tripod heads are 3/8". I have ordered a thread bushing to adapt.
              I think the Ultra Maxi-L is a useful tripod but with convenience comes compromise.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Compact and sturdy!

              By Michael

              from Fresno, CA

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Strong Clamp

              Cons

              • A little heavy

              Best Uses

              • Travel
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

              I carry can easily carry this tripod in my day pack. It sets up and collapses quickly and is very stable. I only wish it was a couple pounds lighter!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great for travel

              By Pete

              from Wenatchee, Wa

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Lightweight
              • Quick and easy action

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Travel
                • Wildlife

                Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                This tripod is just what I was looking for. Based on my search criteria I gave it a 5 star. It weighs only a little over two lbs. and it is easy and quick to operate. The head pans easily and the quick release is positive. I wanted a tripod for travel and this one fits the bill well.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                On my second Ultra Maxi

                By Merlot

                from Mission Viejo, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Travel
                  • Video

                  Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                  This is my second Ultra Maxi. I travel a lot, and shoot travel videos, which I want to look very steady. I spent many years looking for the perfect tripod and bought many. This is my perfect travel tripod. It is light and is small enough to carry all day and in every venue, and then it expands to place my camera at eye level. I expect to use it for many years. My only suggestion would be to make a fluid head available on some models. The tripod is not as steady in a high wind as a really large tripod, but for me, the ability to carry it easily makes up for that.

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  A great travel tripod.

                  By Dharma Lab

                  from Buffalo, NY

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                  • Unsure locking at times

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Travel
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                  My intent was for a lightweight, small tripod which I can fit in a backpack when I go hiking. It had to be tall enough to not be a pain for my 6"3" height. It also had to hold my Canon 30D.

                  This tripod was one of maybe 3 that could fit the bill for under $125, and it has done so nicely.

                  I love how small it compacts, and how lightweight it is. I find because of this simple fact that I'm carrying it with me out & about at way more places than I would consider taking my roomie's Manfrotto.

                  The head plate is small, but does the job.
                  The head moves well enough, and the rubber feet grip well. The legs can be moved & lengthened independently & freely.

                  Areas that could use improvement:

                  -locking of legs isn't super smooth, and you twist to lock them, so I always feel like I have to double check them. No locking mishaps so far.

                  -The locks to angle the legs out don't always snap at the defined angles, so sometimes you have to play with it a little to lock it in place.

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Very compact and light

                  By Guch

                  from Honolulu, HI

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Portraits
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                    I bought this tripod to carry with me everywhere I went in Tokyo, JP. It is very sturdy and very compact... perfect for those trips you are walking a ton. The flexibility of the wanted heights are awesome as well... plus it comes with a nice handy bag. You won't be dissapointed.

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    One of the lightest tripods going...

                    By El Delo

                    from Puget Sound Region of WA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action
                      • Travel
                      • Weddings/Events
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                      I recently broke my ~8-10 year old similar model.

                      The one I had is apparently no longer in production and this was the closest thing to it (by specs), so I bought one.

                      I was very pleasantly surprised by the upgraded features, such as the variable leg angles, the split/removable CC, and the threaded plug in the bottom of the CC with the hole in it (which makes it easy to add a hook or mini-biner to hang weight from.)

                      Anyways, I love these things! No, they are not as stable as CF or more substantial tpods. However, comparable (in weight and size) CFs start at about five times the price, and anything anywhere close to this in price weighs at least 2-3 times as much.

                      The bottom line is pretty simple... As a pro photog friend says, the best kit is the one you have with you.

                      I found I was missing a lot of shots because my (rather substantial in bulk and weight, but otherwise nice) DSLR kit was often not with me.

                      Well, at significantly less packed space and lighter weight than even the smallest equivalent CFs (once you add a head), and certainly much, much lighter and much less packed space than any fullup tpod even close to it, this thing fills a niche that no other tpod even fits!!!

                      Toss in a lighter, entry-to-mid level DSLR + kit lens, or something like the Canon G11 and a few accessories etc, and you've got an entire kit that weighs about what a single prosumer or better DSLR + one good lens weigh! And the entire kit packs into about the same space as one full-ish-sized tpod does (collapsed.)

                      For myself, on both the old one and the new one, I removed the Velbon n-axis head and replaced it with a small, lightweight ballhead (there are several on the market, just check some of the typical makers) with a Kirk-compatible clamp.

                      Voila!

                      Now, using this thing can be challenging. While it is better than no tpod, it is not as stable as many others and is more prone to vibration than many others. YMMV and be sure to employ sound tpod techniques, such as used timed release or remote release whereever possible, etc.

                      But the key is again, the notion that it's better than NO tpod even if it's not the equal of most other tpods. And believe me, if you are like me you will be carrying this thing in places you just would not have even considered a more substantial tpod!

                      Share this review

                      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Very Solid Product - Would Buy Again

                      By JBone

                      from Albuquerque, NM

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Home
                      • Portraits
                      • Video
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                      I use the tripod for hunting purposes. It is a very secure tripod for high end spotting scopes...nice and stable. It is also easy to use. The only reason why I am giving it 4 stars and not 5 is due to weight. It would be great if it were lighter, but hey, for the money, you cannot beat it.

                      Share this review

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great tripod

                      By Matt

                      from Clinton Twp, MI

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Long Exposures
                        • Photography
                        • Portraits
                        • Reducing Noise (ISO Reduction)
                        • Stabilization

                        Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                        This tripod is great! Easily holds an SLR with a 70-300 lens. Surprisingly stable considering how thin the legs are and how tall it gets. It's very quick to set up and take down. Small and easy to carry in the included bag.

                        Share this review

                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Unique product

                        By mil

                        from IL

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Long Exposures
                          • Stabilization

                          Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                          A nearly full-size tripod that folds to 36cm/14". There aren't many other similar products.

                          It's not rock stable, but that's to be expected from a five-section tripod with 9mm (11/32") bottom sections. Still, it's stable enough to hold my (small) DSLR with a kitlens, and if I don't extend the center column, even with a 70-300mm lens. It is definitely a quality product.

                          One thing that irritates me a little is that the quick-release plate can't be firmly attached just with your fingers; an extra piece of metal is needed to tighten it.

                          Also, in spite of what it says on the website(s), on the box itself the maximum load is listed at 1.5kg (3.3lbs).

                          Share this review

                          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Velbon PHD-31Q

                          By Oren

                          from Little Rock, AR

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Good Value
                          • High Quality

                          Cons

                          • Heavier than hoped

                          Best Uses

                          • Backpacking
                          • Bicycle touring

                          Comments about Velbon Ultra Maxi-L Tripod w/ PHD-31Q 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head:

                          I use a tripod for personal and travel purposes. In this instance I needed a very lightweight but sturdy tripod for picture taking while bicycle touring. This product is rated at 2.2 lbs, and that may be so w/o the head, but with the head it's certainly more than that. So it's just barely within allowable limit to carry long-distance on a bike. It's also rated as supporting 4.4 lbs, but is sturdy enough to hold much more.

                          Very nice build quality! All the mechanics are compact and solid. Clearly a lot of thought put into down-sizing the required features. All axis controls are precise and secure...no cheap plastic here. Pivot points for the legs are strong and sturdy...ingenious slide device allows legs to open horizontally. Love the twist-lock legs and rubber leg ends.

                          Gets an A+ for quality and compactness. Gets a B for overall weight. Comes with cordura-type carrying bag.

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