Words by Dave Williams
Location – Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland
Field testing the Platypod eXtreme in Iceland meant exploiting one thing to me – Ice! The sheer abundance of ice in Iceland, as one would expect, gives a multitude of options, especially in January, when these photos were taken. As a lover of Iceland, it was perfect. To test the capabilities of the spikes on the Platypod eXtreme, I decided to bring it along on a day shooting at an ice cave on the edge of a glacial tongue at Vatnajökull National Park, specifically on the Breiðermerkurjökull glacier. The objective of the shoot was to portray fire and ice, the nickname given to Iceland because of its geological makeup.
To shoot in the spectacular surroundings of the ice cave, I was using a Nikon Z 6 and a variety of lenses, but at the time of testing the Platypod eXtreme, I was using a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8. The combined weight was 1520g, with an additional 624g for the Platyball Ergo, giving the eXtreme a total of 2144g (4.73lb) to support. The first thing I did was extend the spikes and put the rig on some ice. With the same principle as the Platypod Max and Ultra in play in the form of the spikes for support, the eXtreme has the same system but with the simplest of tweaks it’s been totally redesigned. Having the ability to simply twist and lock the screw spikes into place and level off the eXtreme makes a huge difference instead of removing them from their holder and inserting them.
The mechanism for swiveling and locking the spikes into place is strong and robust, and it allows multiple positions for the spikes. I was able to place my Platypod eXtreme with it’s load attached onto the sloped walls of the ice cave with absolutely no problems or concerns. I’m often wary of putting my gear into risky situations, particularly when it comes to testing new products. I can tell you now that I had no concerns with my gear on the eXtreme on the ice. The angles I got the rig into appeared to even defy gravity at times, and I’m very happy with the results it allowed me to get. My first impressions of the Platypod eXtreme are that it’s incredibly capable, incredibly well designed, and it’s taking a permanent spot in my camera bag.
To view more of Dave Williams work visit his website here. You can hear more from Dave on the EPIC Photography podcast and its respective Instagram page. To learn more about the newest member of our Platypod Family, the Platypod eXtreme visit our Kickstarter campaign to back our project and receive yours.