In the last installment of my tripod reviews for awhile, this review will cover the Vanguard VEO 235AB aluminum tripod. You can read my previous review on the Vanguard 265AB here.
ABOUT VANGUARD VEO TRIPODS
Vanguard manufactures several different lines of tripods, from the Alta Pro line to the VEO line. The VEO line of tripods are perfect for those that travel a lot and need space, and they are also great if you are looking for a compact tripod to take into the back country.
SPECS OF THE 235AB
The Vanguard VEO 235AB tripod is in the middle of the food chain of the VEO line. The VEO 235AB is priced at $149.99, which is a very attractive price point. The tripod comes with a TBH-50 ballhead. I tested the tripod with this ballhead.
The extended height is 57.13 inches, while the collapsed height is only 14.88 inches. This is without the ballhead. The tripod tips the scales at 3.3 pounds. Load capacity is 13.2 pounds. For comparison, the VEO 265AB is just about two inches longer in extended height, less than half an inch in collapsed height and less than a half a pound heavier than the 235AB. The tripod also comes with it's own bag, and allen wrench. Like the 265AB, the tripod does not come with a hook for a weight bag.
Like the 265AB, the 235AB comes with 4 flip locks per leg. With the supplied allen wrench, the user can adjust the lock tension. So far, I have had really good luck with the locks having the right amount of tension upon arrival.
Like all other Vanguard tripods that I have used, the legs can be spread to several different angles. And like other Vanguard tripods, the 235AB has a rotating center column. This can hinder operation somewhat. Unlike the Alta Pro tripod, the center column on the VEO line rotate on axis with the top of the tripod. The Alta Pro columns basically have their own mount within the center portion of the tripod. What this means is that on the VEO line, the center column cannot be moved to where the weight of the camera is supported by the tripod. With the Alta Pro line, the center column can be moved so that weight is supported. So what does this mean? The 235AB could not support the weight of my Pentax K-5 II with battery grip with the center column extended. I never did test this setup without the battery grip attached. In essence, I was limited to about 15 inches off the ground as the lowest I could position my camera.
IN THE REAL WORLD
Although my testing was limited, I utilized the tripod over a weekend. I used it during a wedding, and the next evening with some night photography. All in all, the tripod performed as advertised. While I would stay away from using this tripod in the wind, I was happy with it.
There are definitely some questions a photographer has to answer before jumping on a VEO 235AB. If you use a lightweight camera system, then this tripod might be for you. I never had any issues while using it, other than the center column, but there was a slight feeling of insecurity with my DSLR body on top of it. If you would like to purchase a Vanguard VEO 235AB, you can find it on Amazon.
Do you want a new tripod? Here is your chance. Head over to my Facebook page, and check out the giveaway that I am holding for this tripod.