The new Fotomate V-Pod-S table top follows the design principle of well known table top tripods as for example the discontinued Manfrotto 709B or it is maybe a little closer to Giottos U-Pod 305/405 idea, which has an extendable center column but it may not be considered a clone of either.
V-Pod-S differs having arched legs which fold 180 degrees back forming a very uniform compact rod that can be also used as a grip.
Min Height......... 4,0cm*
*The min height of 4cm can only be realized without ball head and with the legs flat out with no brake which is useless.
**Includes ball head
Measured Specification: (Without ball head)
Leg angle 79o (flat)
Min Height......... 6,7cm
Max Height.........19,5cm (column retracted)
Max Height.........26,9cm (column extended)
Leg angle 45o
Max Height.........26,0cm (column retracted)
Max Height.........33,5cm (column extended)
Weight.............288g (with ball head)
Weight.............296g (with ball head and bag)
Ball head specification:
|Fotomate V-Pod-S comes in the usual Fotomate blister pack with some operating instructions on the carton back.|
|Unpacking reveals a compact aluminum rod, fitted with a small ball head and accompanied by a simple nylon fabric drawstring bag.|
|By rotating the top plate counter clockwise by 1/2 turn, the center column loosens and can be extended a little in order to allow the legs to unfold outwards.|
|The center column can be removed from the base...|
|...and reach a very low shooting position by mounting the ball head directly on the base.|
|I warn you this is a close up so do not misinterpret sizes! The factory fitted ball head to the V-POD-S is tiny, only capable to hold a Point and Shoot camera, a stand for your iPhone, or a Speedlite Flash at the maximum.|
|Could be Mrs Ballhead going shopping with her kid... But no..., just for an idea of size, I put side by side, Triopo RS-3 and Fotomate tiny ball head. Considering that Triopo RS-3 is a medium to small sized ball head you may figure out how small the Fotomate is.|
Adding a decent ball head
No matter how small the included ball head is, it is not a limiting factor, as it can be easily exchanged with something more appropriate. Fotomate V-POD-S may become a nice base for a small footprint ball head like the Sunwayfoto DB-36TRLR in order to hold larger camera/lens combinations.
|In this case an 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 converter bushing should be utilized so as the ball head be mounted on the 1/4"-20 Pod's stud.|
|Except for the table top use, this can prove to be a nice combination for very low level macros or shooting resting the pod on a car top. For some uses it is a far more versatile solution than a been bag and can handle quite heavy camera/lens setups.|
|I've tested it quite successfully with a gripped Canon 50D + EF 70-200 f2.8 IS USM combination, which balances optimally on the lens collar foot.|
Using the pod as a grip
By keeping the legs together the V-POD-S can become a very handy grip with many uses. Can hold an extra flash unit, a camera or a long lens either by its 1/4"-20 stud or by attaching a small Arca Swiss® compatible clamp on the top plate for faster exchange of equipment.
|The V-POD-S is shown above, with the Hejnar PHOTO F012A 1.5" clamp attached via an extra 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 conversion bushing. The F012A clamp is identical to the F012 clamp as described in my Hejnar Photo F010A & F012 Quick Release Clamps Review, except for the smaller black knob.|
Very low price.
Good quality for the money.
Versatile removable center column.
I would mention the tiny ball head here but due to the fact that competitive products do not include a ball head at quite higher prices, then the small ball head may be considered a benefit as it can be used with an P&S camera or a flash.
In my opinion this is an affordable nice to have gadget, that can perform a lot of tasks other than the one originally intended by the manufacturer. So I can only judge it as such, even though it can perform well in many situations.
Is light weight and compact enough to keep it always in your bag just in case.
By the way, prices in the web vary a lot for the same product, but you shouldn't pay more than USD 19.00 (shipping with tracking number included).
I hope you found this review useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2012 S.C.Vlachos
The Fotomate V-Pod-S is available
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