I have been a long-time user and fan of the Platypod Max, so I was very excited, and admittedly a little skeptical, when I recently received the Platypod Ultra model a few weeks ago. I was skeptical, because my primary use of the Platypod is as an extra hand to hold branches and other objects while photographing reptiles and the stability of the Platypod Max has never let me down.
I was worried that the Platypod Ultra wouldn’t be as sturdy as I needed with it being about half the size of the Platypod Max. I was very wrong! The Platypod Ultra has given me so much more flexibility to once again downsize the space and equipment needed for my shoots.
With a few exceptions, the vast majority of my subjects can fit in a light box, however I previously would still roll out a full backdrop to give myself more working room with the Platypod Max. The Platypod Ultra fits perfectly in my light box, so I no longer have to do that and it can provide support for nearly everything my Platypod Max did.
I decided to test the stability of the Platypod Ultra, using it to hold a piece of Plexiglas with a few geckos attached creating a fairly tall and top heavy set up. I even tested it with a nearly full-grown New Caledonian giant gecko, which is the largest and heaviest gecko in the world.
The Platypod Ultra didn’t budge at all and gave me the same reliable stability I have loved about the Platypod Max, which blew me away. I also had the chance to mess around with the multi-accessory kit and the silicon pad quickly proved its value.
I have been focusing more on what I use for background materials when shooting and have lately come to like using a white acrylic background to reflect more light, and black felt as a base to prevent fill light where I don’t want it.
Being a very smooth metal, the Platypod slides around on felt, but the silicon pad stopped all of that completely and grips just like a gecko’s foot. I shouldn’t be surprised that the Platypod Ultra works as well as it does but I definitely am, and I am very excited to start using it for more smaller scale applications. The cherry on top is that I didn’t even have to re-organize the case that holds my gear because the Platypod Ultra takes up virtually no space at all!
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Zac Herr is a Nature, Animal & Reptile Photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. Be sure to follow him on Instagram for more awesome reptile pictures!