I’ve been asked by the lovely people at Vanguard UK to review one of their tripods on my website. I feel very honored to be asked to do this as this it’s the first time I’ve had something sent out to me In this review I’m not going to go into details on how functional the tripod is as you can see that already on their website and also in videos on youtube. As I have only ever owned one tripod which is the Gitzo G1226, I will be comparing the Vanguard tripod a lot to this tripod. With the package you also get the SBH-100 Ball Head which I will review separately as you can buy this ball head on it’s own if you want to.
What’s In The Box
What I first noticed about this package set you get from Vanguard is that with the Alta Pro 263AB tripod you get a the SBH-100 ball head. Which when first looking at it is a great edition to have with the tripod. You get a carrying case which is very handy as you can carry it over shoulder with no problem, a stone bag which attaches to the tripod for that extra weight and then there are the usual things you would expect like the instructions and a little tool to change the screw size on the top of the tripod.
First Impressions Of The Tripod
The first thing I noticed about the tripod was that it’s quite light to hold which is what you really want in a tripod as you may be carrying for a long time with the camera on the top and you don’t want it to strain your arms. Compared to my Gitzo tripod its about 10cm taller which isn’t a huge problem but does make it a little bit awkward for carrying around. This tripod is a lot different to your standard tripod, there are many things more on this tripod that try to make the job easier for the photographer. For example, the center column can be pulled out of the tripod some you can get more interesting angles that a normal tripod (like my Gitzo) just cannot do. You also get a stone bag, which is placed underneath the center column where you can put sand or stones into it to give it that extra weight and make the tripod a little bit more sturdy.
Out In The Field
I took the tripod out with me to do some landscape photography at my local beach to see how it worked out in the field. Well, I was very impressed! Carrying it over my shoulder was very easy and due to it being so light I probably could have carried it all day without feeling any pains on my shoulder or arms. A handy part on the tripod that most people would over look is the foam that is wrapped around the tripod legs, especially in the winter when the metal on tripods gets extremely cold that you can barely touch it! So this is a huge plus in my books. I didn’t need to use the stone bag as the tripod was very sturdy already and I wasn’t seeing any lack of sharpness in my images even when I was leaving the shutter open for around 30 seconds.
Overall it’s a great tripod I enjoyed using it and I wouldn’t tell anybody not to get this tripod as it is very handy especially to landscape and architectural photographers. Here are my Pros and Cons of the Vanguard tripod. I have also put up the specifications of the tripod below.
- Very light and easy to carry around.
- Easy to use the center column for interesting angles.
- Soft foam around the tripod legs great for cold weather.
- Spirit level placed at the top of the tripod.
- Easy and quick to extend the tripod legs.
- I think it’s a little too long.
- I wish the tripod could go lower with a large telephoto lens.
- The center column is a little too long.
- Extended height: 1730mm (W/Column)
- Folded height: 715mm
- Weight: 2,440kg
- Maximum loading capacity: 7kg
- Number of Leg Sections: 3
- Leg Diameter(mm): 26mm
You can see the tripod kit on Vanguard website by clicking here.
I will also be reviewing the Ball Head that came with this kit in the next couple days.