Buying Guide | Zero Y vs Zero F38 Travel Tripod


Travel tripods have taken the world by storm, everybody needs them. With a massive increase in demand, sub-standard products start pouring in. Pick up a rock, and you can find a travel tripod under it, and it is true even for carbon fiber ones. Everybody's making them. However, we at Ulanzi is one of the very few companies still in the business of making quality products that stand the test of time.  

Today, we will compare two of our bestsellers, Zero Y and Zero F38. If you are just in the market to get a sturdy yet versatile travel tripod but don't want to be taken advantage of, pick either one.

But for the more technical ones, let's get into the details and see which one you prefer.

Which is the newer one?

Again, if you are just like the average person, or in this case, a photographer, who doesn't bother with all the nitty-gritty, this one is the deal-maker. See – Usually, the newer one comes packing a few new features. Indeed, it is true in this case as well. Zero Y Travel Tripod is the original design, it came first. And like we said, Zero F38 is the updated version with a few new tricks up its sleeve (or, you can say, center column). So, if you want the new shiny one, go for Zero F38.

[NOTE: A little spoiler for those who want to scroll till the end, Zero F38 comes with a new Quick Release system. Make your purchase accordingly.]

Height and Weight

First things first, photographers are already lugging around a lot of weight. A low-profile lighter travel tripod really makes their day and keeps the back a bit more on the comfort side.

If we talk about the exact dimensions, the Zero Y has a maximum working height with a center column of 156.7cm (61.7''). On the other hand, the F38 stands slightly taller at 159cm (62.6'').

Take out the center column, and you get 132.7cm (52.2'') and 134cm (52.7'') respectively.

Pretty good, but don’t just take our word for it. Check out the positive reviews these products have received from hardcore photographers and vloggers. And you can rest assured about the carbon fiber build quality, the tripods will stand their ground even in the toughest of situations.  

Coming to the weight, both are equally matched at 1.1kg.  

Zero Y has a load capacity of 5kg, but the F38 eclipses with a full kilo, bringing its total to 6kg. (It matters when you pick a beefy lens.)

Ball Head and Quick Release System

Here comes the exciting part. Most of the features of both tripods are similar, but the main exception is the ball head and quick release (QR) system.

The F38 has a new quick release system that extends functionality from just the ball head to your backpack’s shoulder strap. They have these different accessories that you can attach to your strap, even to a JOBY GorillaPod for vlogging. Slide the camera in, press the button, and it stays locked. Press the button, slide it out, and there you go, ease.

As interesting as it might sound, it's different from the Arca-Type seen in the ZeroY. So, naturally, the novel plates require compatible gear.

Keep this point in mind when making the decision.  

Going Panorama

Another exciting feature that separates Ulanzi’s best from the competition is the accessibility of panorama shots. Just loosen the ball head, and you can take a panorama shot without hindrance. In the competitors’ best version, the center column had to be lifted for this use case. Here, we loosen it up and go 360.   

Oh, and we almost forgot to tell you about the level head. In Zero Y, it is present under the Arca-Type plate. You can’t see it once the camera goes on. However, we have improved the design and placed it on the side to stay visible all the time. Well, it might not be much for some of you, but the details matter.

So, Does it cost an Arm or a Leg?

Before we hit you with the price, let us cushion the blow. Some of the other players in the market have some excellent travel tripods too. But here’s a fact: both Zero Y and Zero F38 have leaped ahead of them in performance and pricing. Relatively, both of these stellar tripods are better and cheaper than anything they have to offer yet.   

But here’s the thing, relative comparison aside, these things might not be for everyone.  

Zero Y is currently available for $369.95. But here’s to our goodwill, you can get Zero F38 for the same price and a free center column.   

See – They are cheaper than what others have to offer in the same category of performance and build quality. We do not compromise on quality, and you might be surprised at the tricks these little guys can play on the field.  

We have dared to make the best products for the best artists. Play with them, and let us know what you think of them.  

The Final Verdict

Now that you have scrolled so far, we ought to give you something. In terms of build and performance quality, both tripods are star performers. They are lightweight and have a low profile, swing them around the shoulder, and you’ll never know they are there.

So, it all comes down to the QR plating. It’s a novel feature in the F38 and gets the work done, but you will need a few extra accessories to enjoy the full accessibility that comes with it. If you have never had a tripod before, or are sore with the limited ease of other tripods, go for it.  

In conclusion, it all boils down to ease vs. compatibility. Ulanzi continues to innovate, and we hope to have you on our side on this evolutionary journey.

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