Velbon Ultrek UT-63Q: The Little Goliath

 
Velbon Ultrek UT-63Q

Velbon Ultrek UT-63Q

The size and weight of a tripod are always deciding factors when you need to carry one on a long travel shoot. Shridhar Kunte tests the Velbon Ultrek UT- 63Q, to see if passes muster.

Velbon has usually manufactured entry-level tripods, but now, they have released the Ultrek UT-63Q, targeted at mid-end users who travel a lot. As with all Ultrek tripods, the design is the most fascinating thing about this tripod. The legs can be folded in a reverse direction while transporting.

It may look flimsy at first sight, but this is one strong tripod. You can get a rough idea about the size comparison in the product shot, where we have shown both views to scale. The expansion to contraction ratio is 5.4 times!

At a Glance

Extremely Quick to Set Up
You can adjust the legs to different angles as well as different lengths. This is advantageous because it makes it easy to place the tripod on an uneven rocky surface, thus making it great to carry on hikes or landscape expeditions. This property also makes the Velbon a useful tool in tight spaces.

The tripod is fitted with a pan-tilt ball head. There are two separate locks for panning and tilting. A twist-and-lock arrangement is used to interlock each section of the leg. This leg locking takes some time to get used to, but once that happens, the expansion and contraction is very quick. My only concern is the 6-section leg arrangement. As one increases the height of the tripod, there is potential instability due to the number of sections. However, my fears were put to rest when I mounted a Canon full frame camera with a 70–200mm f/4 lens. There was no shake, whatsoever.

The Velbon Ultrek UT-63Q is a very good product, but with a price point that is almost Rs. 30,000, it is probably the price tag that could have the last laugh.

Final Ratings
Features
2 axis level gauge, Quick release plate
13/15

Performance
Easy to set, Flexible panorama ball head
21/25

Build Quality
Made with magnesium alloy
22/25

Ergonomics
Twist and turn lock, Two separate locks on head
22/25

Warranty & Support
Limited service back up
3/5

OVERALL: 80%
Value for Money: 3/5

Who should buy it?
Photographers who are constantly on the move.

Why?
The tripod is quite sturdy, yet extremely portable. If you have are willing to spend around Rs. 30,000 for a tripod, then the Velbon UT-63Q is a good investment.

Tags: Shridhar Kunte, November 2013, Velbon Ultrek UT-63Q, Velbon Ultrek UT-63Q review, velbon tripods