Slik U212 Universal Deluxe Tripod with 3-Way Pan Head #212


List Price: $239.90

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Slik U212: Picture 1 regular $159.95

About Slik U212

The award winning U 212 DX is world-renowned designing that has carefully evolved for more than 20 years. Designed primarily for light weight 35mm SLR cameras or compact film and digital cameras, it features a number of exciting design concepts that were born with the original U 212 and have been copied into other tripods world-wide.

The U212 deluxe was one of the first tripods to feature speed release leg locks on three-section "NON-TWIST" squared legs that will not turn and have retractable rubber leg tips and spikes for sure footing on any surface.

The quick release camera post is smaller than most quick release plates and can be left on the camera almost all the time, so the camera is always ready to be mounted on the U-212 DX's ultra-smooth 3-way pan-head. The head has a lens calibrated panorama guide to make 360 &Mac176; panoramas from multiple pictures. A geared center column makes fine height adjustments easy.

A threaded mounting post on one leg lets you bring the camera down to just 8 inches (200 mm) from the ground for low angle photos, macro photography in the field, or copy work. The head also includes a bubble level for accurate vertical positioning.

The Slik U212 is commonly used for Long exposures, Photography, Portraits, Stabilization and more.The Slik U212 is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Photo enthusiast among others.The Slik U212 is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Slik U212: Attaches firmly, Large range of motion, Stable, Strong clamp and Unfolds quickly

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Stable (13),Attaches firmly (6),Large range of motion (6),Strong clamp (5),Unfolds quickly (5),Folds away (3)
Heavy (5)
Best Uses:
Long exposures (10),Photography (10),Portraits (10),Stabilization (9),Landscape/scenery (3),Night shots (3)
Reviewer Profile:
Photo enthusiast (6),Enthusiast (3),Pro photographer (3)

Slik U212 Features

  • A unique lens calibrated panorama guide eliminates the angular calculations normaly required for effective panoramic photos.
  • When using 28mm,50mm,or 100mm lenses on a 35mm SLR camera.A panoramic series of photos can easily be made by panning from one calibrated guide mark to the next.
  • Supports long tele/zoom lens at two points for stability.Ideal for nature photography.
  • For low-angle shooting and copy work.Also useful to avoid "red eye" problems by moving the flash away from the camera.

Slik U212 Specifications

Head Type
3-Way Pan Head w/Quick Release
Max Height w/closed column
Minimum Height
Closed Length
Leg Sections
Max Load Capacity
5.5 lbs.
6 lbs.
Mfr #

Slik U212 Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 16 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Great travel tripod!

Overall a great tripod for the price. I replaced a Slik U112 with this version and it's just as good, if slightly larger. The leg locks are easy to use, even with gloves, and the combination rubber feet with internal spikes makes the U212 stable on hard surfaces or soft. My only gripe is the 3-way head, which is fairly sturdy but made mostly of plastic. I replaced that with a ball head which, in my opinion, is a much better choice.


Most Liked Negative Review


Cheap Leg Clamps That Always Break

The Slik U212 has a fatal flaw. The quick-release leg clamps are made of plastic and are under-designed, causing them to break under the considerable pressure of normal clamping. It really doesn't matter how well you treat this tripod, the clamping mechanism is just fragile. I've had two of these and they both broke the same way after about 10 uses. Slik should make the clamp, itself, out of metal, or heavier-gauge plastic. I've included a photo showing the broken clamps on both tripods.

Reviewed by 16 customers

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent Quality


from Portland, OR  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I have had my U-212 for 16 years now and Have no major complaints. For me it has been a solid, stable platform for night shots, Macro work, floral and Landscape photography. The longest lens I have used on it has been a 500mm and the tripod performed beautifully even with Semi-trucks going past at 65 mph less than 15 feet away.(I was feeling the effects of their going by) I have experienced the clamp cracking problem myself and was able to purchase a replacement clamp from Slik Co. [...] I had the tripod operational again in less than 30 minutes. As I am quite tall, I like the full extension height of the column. There is a little loss of stability at full height due to a slight column wiggle but at high shutter speeds it's not noticeable.The one complaint I do have is the weight of the tripod. At six (6) pounds it is a bit heavy. It's not really the thing you would want to lug along on a two or three day wilderness trek.All in all I like this tripod. On a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 9.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great tripod for the money


from Los Angeles, CA  -  Photo Enthusiast

A classic tripod that can do a little bit of everything. Make no mistake: it's heavy. But the amount of things that this tripod can do more than compensate for its weight. Stands high enough for taller people, and can get really low to the ground for "floor shots." I wouldn't recommend this camera for video, though, as its panning capabilities are not as smooth as it could be. But with the money you've saved, you can always purchase another head to add to the unit! The clamps are plastic, but with care, they should last a long time. And they are replaceable. [...]


Sturdy tripod


from Vancouver, BC  -  Photo Enthusiast

I bought this as my first tripod, so I don't have much else to compare to. After owning it for 3 years, and putting it through lots of use, I am very happy with the purchase. The tripod is well made. I didn't have any issues with the clamps breaking or cracking. Everything functioned like it should, and it is very sturdy. I've used this around rocks and trails with uneven surface, and it has always does the job. I don't really like the quick release piece (the little knob that screws to the bottom of the camera body). With the piece screwed into the camera, you can't set your camera down on a table. It would be nice if it's a plate rather than a knob. Also, the tripod is a tad heavy to haul around. It's great for use in the studio or at home, but I wouldn't take this hiking up a mountain. For this price and the stability/durability of the product, I think the tripod deserves a 5-star.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


30 Years old and still going strong.


from Chicago area  -  Pro Photographer

30 years and still going strong. What more can I say, it is awesome.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)




from Nashville TN  -  Pro Photographer

I intially really liked this tripod but at some point when I opened the legs umbrella style one leg would never lock and the tripod was forever unstable after that. I've considered user error but for the life of me cannot figure out how to secure that one leg. SLIK really doesn't have any support. No manual. etc. The tripod is totally useless to me now.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Slik U212


from Colorado  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I have been using this tripod since the mid 1970s and I never have any problems with it. I took it all over the world with me. The only thing I had to do was to glue the rubber pad back on the head.






(5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Cheap Leg Clamps That Always Break


from Boston  -  Photo Enthusiast

The Slik U212 has a fatal flaw. The quick-release leg clamps are made of plastic and are under-designed, causing them to break under the considerable pressure of normal clamping. It really doesn't matter how well you treat this tripod, the clamping mechanism is just fragile. I've had two of these and they both broke the same way after about 10 uses. Slik should make the clamp, itself, out of metal, or heavier-gauge plastic. I've included a photo showing the broken clamps on both tripods.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Old Faithful


from Potomac, MD  -  Photo Enthusiast

You never forget your first tripod. I had one of these stolen out of my car after 20 years of dutiful service. I went with the Bogen Manfroto setup about 2 months ago but it was a LOT heavier and twice the price. That mistake got returned. The only down side of the SLIK is the double-edged sword feature of weight. It's easy to carry but difficult to keep planted at times. However, you can hang your camera bag from it if you need to. It folds up short and tight, too, so it easily fits into slim camera bags. LOVE the built in bubble level. I use that plus the grid lines in my NIKON to make sure I'm level, though I just picked up a triple-plane bubble level for the hot shoe. If I'm not plumb now I'll never be.


An Old Friend


from Albuquerque, NM  -  Pro Photographer

I'm in the market for my third U212. Yes, third. I've been using this tripod for low level photography since the mid-1980s. Install a ball head, cut down the center post, and you are as stable as possible and super low to the ground. It doesn't matter if the ground is flat, angled, or rocky, this tripod will get the camera where you need it. The only issues I've ever had are the plastic leg locks that do break with enough use, and don't superglue back together. The broken leg locks are the only reason I've needed to replace the tripod. This is the tripod that always gets packed, and I'm tickled to see it's still available.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  can this tripod be used with a digital camera?
DANIEL S  Yes, I will add that the thread size should be 3/8", which is standard for most cameras but check to make sure yours will fit.
Shopper  can this tri pod be used for a pretty high end spotting scope ?
CHARLES E  My experience is that it will work, but is not as good as the dedicated scope stand, that has a heavy base plate and a vertical rod to clamp the scope. The tripod is much lighter leading to vibration in any wind, and the legs take up too much ground space, making them prone to being kicked. I did not try using mine with the legs retracted and sitting on a bench. This would probably be OK if the bench was not the same one you're firing from, but you can be the judge of that. I haven't had much luck with a scope sitting next to me, because of vibration causing alignment drift. Also, the legs of the 'pod might be so high that you have to stand to use it properly, unless you set it up with the elevator in upside down like you would for macro-photography of insects, etc. All said it is usable, but I think the dedicated floor stand is the best.
Shopper  Where to repaire in New York City my Olympus E- 510 ?
LEWIS M. D  I did purchase a Slik U212 and really like it. This is my second U212. I am not sure how this relates to the repair of an Olympus E-510/
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