Velbon Videomate 438/F

Lightweight aluminum tripod with fluid head

Item #: 780VM438F

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2 Reviews

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When the day is cloudy and dark, or when you'd like to get everybody, including yourself, in the picture. When you'd like to take a time-lapse series of pictures. Or when you'd like the video to not feature your possibly shaky camerawork. These are just some of the situations where you'll be glad you own the Velbon Videomate 438/F fluid panhead tripod. Lightweight and compact, the 438/F folds down to a mere 2 feet in length and weighs less than 3 pounds, making it ideal for strapping to the side of a backpack or camera pack. Three-section aluminum legs and rubber feet make it secure on varied surfaces, and the geared center column adds additional vertical range for that high-angle point of view. Radial leg braces keep everything stable.

Product Highlights:

  • minimum height: 49-13/16"
  • maximum height: 60-7/16" with center column fully extended
  • supports cameras and camcorders weighing up to 5 lbs.
  • includes fluid panhead (PH-248) with quick-release plate for mounting camera to tripod
  • geared center column
  • radial leg braces allow for maximum stability
  • aluminum construction
  • folded height: 23-1/4"
  • weight: 2.71 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Black aluminum tripod with PH-248 head and QB-4L quick-release platform
  • Black zippered carrying case
  • Operating Instructions

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Product Research


Overview: The Velbon Videomate 438 is a lightweight aluminum video tripod with a fluid head, a geared center column, and lockable 3-section legs.

PH-248 Panhead: The PH-248 2-way fluid panhead is equipped with the QB-4L Quick Release platform and a 1/4" tripod socket. The head features tension adjustments on both the tilt and pan mechanisms for smooth movement and more control. A single bubble level on the panhead ensures the camera is level perfect.

3-Section Aluminum Legs: The 3-section telescoping legs include radial braces and quick lever leg locks for maximum stability. The legs are tipped with non-slip rubber feet.

Geared Center Column: The geared center column, or elevator, gives you a vertical movement range of approximately 10-5/8".


  • Operating Height:
    • Maximum: 60.43"
    • Minimum: 49.8"
  • Folded Length: 23.2"
  • Weight: 2.71 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 4.41 pounds
  • Diameter of Tripod Legs: 0.8"

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Velbon Videomate 438/F Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Has limitations

Written By JPFIT, Central, Maine on Friday, September 13, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Maybe good if you are looking for an easy to carry, portable light weight tripod. Load capacity less than 4.5 lbs. Appears to be somewhat "delicate" vs sturdy. Pan head swivel resistance can "tip" tripod up off from floor/ground. Camera mounting platform will tilt forward and backward, not capable of lateral tilt, left or right. I will use this for light weight IR illumination, but would not trust it with the camcorder.

Pros: Light weight good for portability.

Cons: Questionable sturdiness and load capacity.


Written By Shenanigandoah Valley Studio, Staunton, VA on Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As promised, my new liquid head tripod arrived in 2 days flat, very securely packed, and I couldn't be more pleased. Its construction quality is top-notch, and its operational action is flat-out terrific. The liquid head horizontal and vertical panning mode smoothness is flawless, and perfectly drag-touch adjustable using the smoothly gradual stop/lockoff turn knobs. The crank-operated elevator column is totally securely housed in a seamless aluminum tube = no shake whatsoever, even with its lockoff knob 100% loose. The elevator column's crank action is totally smooth, and its stop/lockoff knob also perfectly adjusts to your drag-touch needs = amazingly smooth vertical rise and drop. Leg length adjustment flip-locks are heavy duty and secure tightly. The 3 cushion-firm footpads are thick, and totally non-slip. Both the vertical and horizontal liquid head pan modes are very visibly scale calibrated in bright white, so you can easily and exactly read and re-match previous shot angle settings, even in very dim light. Unit is totally operationally rock-steady in fully leg-extended and maximum height riser column mode. Unit collapses completely down quickly and easily, and its supplied over-shoulder carrying strap woven nylon case has a heavy-duty very smooth action zipper, and heavy-duty sewn and grommetted strap attachment = very rip & tear-proof. (Tech tip for any zipper: lightly rub zipper teeth length with wax candle stub = smoothest action, less wear).

Pros: This unit works perfectly for my needs: smoothly gliding in 3 dimensions = two hands simultaneous operation on 1) vertical riser crank, and 2) liquid pan head as I digitally videograph fine artworks staged on a revolving display base with cyclorama backdrop. Unit's compact footprint really helps prevent trip-ups, and is also amazingly operationally rock-steady for exotic "cheated" shot-angles made using uneven leg lengths and partially collapsed legs = the 3 vertical column slider leg supports.

Cons: None noticed or anticipated.