Velbon V4 Articulating Boom Arm
Review Date : Wed, 20 Jun 2012
Author : Nigel Atherthon
If you fancy upgrading your tripod for one of those new fancy ones where the centre column can be fixed horizontally,then this aluminium boom arm is an alternative worth considering.
|Pros:||Adds versatility to your tripod, can double as a macro rail, geared extension allows for precise control, good build quality|
|Cons:||Extension arm could be longer|
If you fancy upgrading your tripod for one of those new fancy ones where the centre column can be fixed horizontally - whether it's for nature close-ups or flat copying work - then this aluminium boom arm is an alternative worth considering. Not only is it cheaper than buying a new tripod, it's more versatile than your standard tripod's centre column.
Weighing in at a fairly lightweight 572 grams it fits onto your tripod legs in place of the head (it comes with ¼ inch and 3/8 inch mounting threads so will fit any tripod) and you then screw your tripod head onto the end of the articulating arm.
A rubberised grip at one end of the boom provides a comfortable handle, and twisting it anti-clockwise unlocks the arm's tilt and rotation action to provide 180° tilt and 360° horizontal pan. The arm can be increased in length by turning the handle, which extends a geared 205mm extension arm, increasing the boom's length from 340mm to its maximum extension of 545mm.
As well as making it easier to shoot down towards the floor the arm also doubles as a useful macro extension arm, as the geared extension control allows for precise fine-tuning of lens-to-subject distance. Filmmakers could also use the arm for tracking shots, though it isn't long enough for those swooping bird's-eye shots you see in the movies.
Overall the V4 is a great little accessory for nature and macro photographers. If you already have a tripod it can be heartily recommended. If you don't then it needs to be weighed up against buying a tripod with a flexible centre column of its own. For occasional use that would probably do fine but for more serious users wanting precise control a standard tripod with a V4 unit would probably still be the best option.