June 28, 2023

Platypod Handle

The photography gadget you never thought you needed until you got it. The Platypod Handle is a clever tool from the makers of the Platypod

In January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced a new Apple device to the world. At the time, most people couldn’t see the need for a mobile phone that played music. Sixteen years later, finding someone without an iPhone or Android equivalent is hard. Maybe the makers of Platypod have come up with something similar with their recently introduced Platypod Handle. One gadget with many uses for product, macro photographers, and even vloggers.

What is the Platypod Handle?

The Platypod Handle was launched on Kickstarter, where 1539 backers fully funded it. I opted for the Early Delivery package of the Platypod Handle, Platypod Disc, Platypod Elbow and two Gooseneck attachments. The simple description of the handle could be a combination of a tripod extension and video grip. However, that would hide so many of the different uses of this neat gadget.

The base of the handle has a 3/8” socket which means it can be screwed into most tripod legs. The top of the handle has a 3/8” mounting bolt. You can attach the handle to your camera’s tripod socket by adding the Platypod Disc, which converts it from a 3/8” bolt to the standard ¼” bolt used in most cameras.

Platypod Handle as a tripod extension

The first use of the Platypod Handle is to make it work as a tripod extension. As delivered, it can be screwed into tripod legs (or a Platypod base plate) and increases the height by 6½” (16.5cm). By twisting the collar lock toward the top of the handle, the height extends to 10½” (26.7cm). The top cap of the Platypod Handle can be twisted off, and the middle stage removed. Once the top cap is added to the handle’s lower stage, the height gain is reduced to 3” (7.6cm).

The advertised weight capacity of the Platypod handle, when retracted, is 10 kilograms (22 lbs) and 5 kilograms  (11 lbs) when extended. That can support a full-frame camera and a 70-200mm lens.

Platypod Handle for vloggers

I’m in the final stages of planning to move my blogs from text to video. One of the things that have been stopping me is finding a solution where I can video myself out in the field without carrying multiple tripods. Now, with the Platypod Handle, I can attach my DSLR, and I have a light and reliable way to hold it in front of me, knowing that the camera isn’t going to fall to its expensive death. The grips along the length of the handle are really comfortable to hold, and the handle itself weighs in at just 216g or a little over 7 ounces.

Platypod Handle for product photography

One of the biggest challenges of product photography is to put light where you need it to prevent reflections or highlights. With the Platypod Handle and the addition of either The Platypod Elbow or Gooseheads, you can take total control of those product or macro images.

At the top of the handle, there are eight ¼” threaded sockets allowing you to attach all kinds of modifiers. As long as there is a ¼” hole in your LED light, mobile phone holder or microphone, you can attach it to the handle via a Platypod Elbow or Goosehead. On the Platypod website, you can buy a whole collection of clamps, lighting cubes and holders. Most of the attachments made for GoPro-style cameras will attach to the Platypod Handle, so you have limitless ways to take control of your photography.

Where can I get a Platypod Handle?

The Kickstarter finished in June, and the early delivery handles are just being sent out now. They expect to fulfil all the Kickstarter deliveries by August, so the quickest way to buy one of these handy pieces of kit is to pre-order at https://www.platypod.com/collections/tripods-1

Everything on the site is priced in US Dollars, but they ship to the UK. The Platypod Handle is $55 (approx. £43). A bundle including the Handle, Elbow and Disc is $79 (£62). I can definitely see myself adding this to my camera bag this autumn, along with my Platypod Ultra, to have all the benefits of a tripod without all the weight so I can shoot those close-to-the-ground mushroom photos. Your imagination is the only limit to the uses of this nifty bit of a kit.

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About the author

As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions and was featured in a members-sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com.