Get a Grip

The Playpod Handle is a camera or light support accessory that works as a handle for vlogging, a riser on a tripod or other support, or as a short boom. Its length varies from 6.5 to 10.5 inches, or you can use only the lower section as a 3-inch riser. Weighing less than half a pound, it stably supports an 11-pound load. While designed to complement a Playpod eXtreme or the smaller Platypod Ultra plate, it also works well with tripods, light stands, or anything else with a standard 3/8"-16 thread bolt. Its black anodized aluminum body and bare metal milled silver grooves make it look like the hilt of a lightsaber from the "Star Wars" movies. 

There are four parts to a Platypod handle: the two-piece column, a captive telescoping column inside the upper column, and a detachable eight-sided cap. 

The handle's cap may be its most interesting part. Crowned by a solidly mounted 3/8"-16 thread bolt, each of the cap’s eight sides has a threaded receiver for ¼"-20 bolts for attaching miscellaneous accessories such as miniature lights, microphones, and small-form video monitors like the Atomos Ninja V.

©Ellis Vener
Here the Platypod Handle is mounted on a tripod with the Platyball as the connection joint.
©Ellis Vener
With some improvisation, Platypods can help you mount equipment almost anywhere. The Platypod Ultra is bungied to a pipe and secures the Platypod Handle as a flash mount.
©Ellis Vener
The Platypod Ultra acts as a base for the Platypod Handle and an Elbow to hold an overhead constant light.

If you want to mount the Platypod handle on top of a tripod head, you can screw it onto a 3/8"-16 bolt via the socket in its base, or fit the round base into any Arca-Swiss quick-release clamp.

The $69 handle can also be used as a short boom on a tripod in a copy stand setup, which is also great for lay-flat product still lifes and food photography. This requires a sturdy tripod and head and ballast on the tripod for safety. 

The company sells short magic arms (called Elbows) that can mount accessories to a Platypod handle or Platypod. They have geared central joints and freely pivoting wrists on both ends. Platypod also sells stiff but flexible 10.5-inch long aluminum goosenecks capable of supporting small devices such as the Lume Cube 2.0 LED light. 

Ellis Vener is a commercial and portrait photographer and a contributing editor to Professional Photographer magazine.

Tags: gear