Today we are taking a look at a unique monitor friction mount made in the U.S. called the Xtender 210 as well as a number of optional accessories for it.
The Xtender 210 is a very robust unit. It is fully metal covered in a black coating and it measures 3.5 inches long (just over 8.5cm) and only 1.5 inches tall (3.5cm) without the base which can add another half an inch or so.
The Xtender 210 has a built-in tilt control and the pan control is added when the base is connected and locked in place. The unit comes with two friction leavers that are user changeable using an included Allen key (which is quite important for the setup process as well – this isn’t a tool-less mount, unfortunately).
Requires an Allen key for setup
The setup process includes connecting the base which requires you to turn the rotating part 90 degrees and removing the top screw. Then you need to use a large Allen key to tighten the base and at least in the case of the cold shoe mount base use another small Allen key to tighten things even more. You should really watch the videos on the Xtender website before you set everything up – we didn’t pay enough attention and we had to go back and re-watch them – there are some subtle nuances and it is not a connect and forget type of mount.
One thing that we learned the hard way. When we tried to connect the smallHD Focus monitor to the Xtender 210, was that the top screw wasn’t able to hold the screen and it popped out which was quite scary. It turns out that the screw was too short. We removed the washer and it sort of worked but after we looked on the Xtender’s website we learned that one of the smallHD accessory optional mounts that we also received for testing, was good for the Focus as well and indeed it works much better.
The two friction locks are a nice idea but in practice, we didn’t feel that they really change the friction all that much and they mostly serve as locks (you do need to lock them tightly to really prevent the screen from moving).
You have a lot of choice with this mount – you can choose the base – either screw mount or a cold shoe mount but you can also buy quite a few specific mount attachments for different monitors such as smallHD, Atomos, and Convergent Design Odyssey & Apollo monitors/recorders – some of these attachments we got with our test unit and we shall test later this year when we review those monitors.
Different optional attachments and accessories
One of our favorite add-ons that you can buy alongside this unit is a universal light post adaptor which is fully metal and extremely well made and it works great both with the Xtender 210 but also with other accessories that connect through a cold shoe or a female 1/4″ 20.
At the end of the day, the Xtender 210 is a robust well built low profile monitor friction mount which is quite flexible and provides a lot of control for the user.
The biggest downsides are the somewhat complex setup, the need to have an Allen key with you if you want to modify the mount and possibly also the wide base which can be an issue for some rigs.
Connected to a camera – Xtender 210
As for pricing, the Xtender 210 with a screw mount or a cold shoe mount sells for just under $170 and the universal light post adaptor sells for an additional $42.
Update: Following our review we had a quick talk with the manufacturer who had the following clarification to add:
“The XTENDER Friction Mounts come ready out of the box in the setup the client orders. The kit we assembled for LensVid was a special circumstance so that you could set it up the way you want. You don’t need a tool to increase or decrease the friction on the unit since there are two different knobs to control them. If you want to go from a 1/4”-20 to a Shoe mount you can use the Allen wrench to change the setup, or, if you want to go from a SmallHD adapter to an Atomos adapter you can use a screwdriver, however almost all our clients use it one way and never change it”.
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