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Handling & Performance
The Velbon V4, oddly titled V4-unit, is a boom arm that is designed to make your tripod more versatile. So if you've been considering changing your tripod for one of the new feature-packed models with an integral reversible column, you now have a lower priced option to consider.
- Geared column
- Friction control
- 3/8 or 1/4in adaptors
- Grip handle
Close up of the Velbon V4 arm and friction knob.
The Velbon V4 arm comes with 1/4in and 3/8in thread spigots.
Using the Velbon V4 arm in copying position.
Using the Velbon V4 arm as a macro rail.
The large grip at the end of the arm is twisted to lock and unlock the pan & tilt action and can be held while you adjust position. It could be used for controlling video too.
Having the geared adjustment of the arm extension ensures precise control and makes it really useful for macro work where you may just need to move the camera backwards or forwards slightly.
When the camera is positioned down you can use it for copying by extending out over and away from the legs. I would have liked to mount the camera directly to the arm for this as I wouldn't need a head, but the thread from the arm is 10mm long and too deep for a standard camera base.
The extension is not that long, so when trying to shoot from a very low angle you ideally need to use it on a tripod with a short leg profile, or with ones that splay out wider so the top is nearer the ground. On my Manfrotto 458B it only just cleared the leg releases, so I needed to splay the legs wider to get a ground position. A perfect solution would be a double extension arm to deliver twice the length.
Value For Money
The £60 Manfrotto 131D Repro Arm has a camera thread at each side but doesn't have geared adjustment or angle. The Gitzo G-532 Lateral Side Arm has one camera mount and no angle adjustment and costs a typical Gitzo wallet-emptying £180. In both cases you could attach it to the top of the tripod head, but then you'd need another head for the camera. The nearest competitor for features was the Cullmann 3060 Extension/Macro Arm. We say was because it's no longer available, but did have geared column and pan/tilt and a longer 34cm of movement compared with 20.5cm on the Velbon. So the £69 Velbon is clearly alone in providing versatility, unless you upgrade your tripod and buy one with a built in rotating center column, but even that is unlikely to be geared.
|The Velbon V4 offers precise control and increased versatility with camera shooting position.|
Velbon V4 Boom Arm ProsMakes your tripod more versatile
Great as macro rail
Good for video
Velbon V4 Boom Arm ConsColumn not very long
1/4in thread too long to attach camera directly to arm
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Velbon V4-unit Specifications
|Maximum Weight Capacity||No Data|
|Number of Leg Sections||1|
|Box Contents||3/8 adaptor, spanner|