Pros Light, compact and quick to set up; decent ball head. Cons Legs aren’t the most rigid and don’t extend especially far. We say A good balance of strength and portability. You first get an idea that this tripod is a bit different when you see the length of its box. At just shy of 30cm when closed, the UT-53D is by far the most compact set of legs in our line-up, yet by some miracle it manages to reach over 155cm at full stretch.
The secret to its slinky-like extension ability is its six-section legs and two-section centre column. You needn’t worry that so many components will mean it takes a lot of time to set up, though, as just two extension clamps secure each leg. The trouble is, with so few locking points, rigidity is compromised and there’s only a three-kilogram payload rating.
Build and material quality aren’t up to the standard of the rest of the group either, but then the asking price is far lower.
Quick to set up when you’re out
The Velbon closes down very small