In the world of tripods, there are many choices and options. Looking at the specifications of each tripod, a photographer can narrow down their choice based on what they need. For those photographers who desire a tripod that has a short collapsible length without a price tag, the Vanguard VEO 265AB Tripod might be the ticket.
ABOUT VANGUARD VEO TRIPODS
Vanguard is one of the many companies that manufacture tripods for photographers. The Vanguard VEO line of tripods are dedicated to those photographers who want a compact tripod perfect for travel. Vanguard offers five models of tripods in their VEO line, both in aluminum and carbon fiber. For the sake of keeping focused on gear solutions that also offer a nice price point, I stuck with aluminum.
SPECS OF THE 265AB
The Vanguard VEO 265AB tripod is the top of the food chain in the VEO line. Price at $179.99 through Amazon, the price point is very attractive to many photographers. The carbon fiber model is $279.99.
The extended height is 59 inches, while the collapsed height is only 15.83 inches. This is without the ball head. The tripod tips the scales at 3.7 pounds. For comparison, the carbon fiber model is 3.3 pounds.
The tripod features a total of 4 flip locks per leg. With each tripod, Vanguard sends an Allen wrench so the user can adjust the tension of each lock. Normally, I have had great luck with the locks being just right when I received them. At the bottom of the legs, the rubber feet can be screwed up or down to expose the metal spikes.
Although the legs spread into three different angles, allowing the camera to be positioned lowered, the center section does not articulate into a position allowing the camera to be real low to the ground. A real quick, unscientific measurement found that the base of my camera would be 17 inches off the ground while attached to the TBH-250 Ballhead (review coming soon.) This is about 2.5 inches lower than with the legs in the first position. I have been known to position my camera scant inches off the ground to shoot, I doubt this particular limitation is a game changer for me. If it does start to bother me at some point, well I am pretty sure Black and Decker can help me out.
The tripod also comes with it's own carrying bag. The tripod fits perfectly into the bag, but that is without a ball head.
IN THE REAL WORLD
Now that all the fancy specifications has been listed, how has it performed out on location? So far, great. Although I am in the middle of my busy season with seniors and weddings, I have been able to take the tripod out into the field on several occasions. There are times during my portrait sessions I may need a tripod, and right out of the gate, the first use was during a portrait session.
Unfortunately, one downfall for a tripod such as this is wind. Sure enough, that first portrait session was held when the winds were 20 miles an hour, sustained. Yeah, makes for a long day. Just for giggles, I decided to leave the tripod out in it (without the camera attached of course) to see how long the tripod would stay upright. About one minute. Unlike my Alta Pro model, the VEO series does not have a hook anywhere on it for a weight bag. There is an eyelet on the side where a weight bag can be tied off at. Only problem I have with this is the fact that the weight will be shifted to that side of the tripod.
I tested the Vanguard VEO 265AB Tripod with a Vanguard TBH-250 Ballhead, which would bring the total price to $279.99. For the price and compactness offered, I found the tripod to be a very attractive piece of gear. The tripod is easily attached to the side of a camera backpack or hydration pack if a walkabout through the woods is a normal thing. With the bag, the tripod can be stored safely or tossed into a checked bag separated from everything else. The only minus I would tack on would be the center section. It prevents the tripod from being placed real low to the ground and I have yet to found a real purpose for it being as long as it is. Then again, like I mentioned before, that is not a deal breaker for me. Purchase the tripod from Amazon here.