Van­guard VEO 235AB £120/$130

AN OP­TION THAT LIKES TO BREAK THE RULES

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A slip of a thing, the Van­guard is a mere 38cm long when folded, and weighs just 1.5kg, mak­ing it one of the small­est and light­est tripods in the group. How­ever, de­spite hav­ing five sec­tions in each leg, rather than the usual four, it only reaches 147cm at full ex­ten­sion. But what re­ally makes the Van­guard stand out is that, in­stead of the legs swing­ing up­wards around the cen­tre col­umn when folded, the cen­tre col­umn ro­tates down­wards through 180 de­grees in­stead.

One pos­si­ble ad­van­tage of the piv­ot­ing de­sign is that the cen­tre col­umn could have in­cluded a hor­i­zon­tal boom mode. Sadly, this isn’t avail­able; you can only use the cen­tre col­umn ver­ti­cally up­ward or down­ward, the lat­ter for low-level shoot­ing. At least it saves the need to re­move the cen­tre col­umn, in­vert it, and re­fit it. Plus points in­clude re­tractable spikes within the rub­ber feet, a ball head with pan­ning lock, an Arca-Swiss type quick-re­lease plate, and a stylish padded soft case.

Per­for­mance

The legs have a mod­est 4kg load rat­ing and feel a bit wob­bly at max­i­mum ex­ten­sion, es­pe­cially as the bot­tom sec­tion of each leg only has a di­am­e­ter of 11mm. With 12 clip-style clamps, set­ting up the tri­pod and folding it down can be a bit of a chore, but at least the cen­tre col­umn is quick to en­gage. How­ever, you need to re­tract the cen­tre col­umn up­wards a lit­tle when it’s in­verted, which can be fid­dly.

Specs

Con­struc­tion ma­te­rial: Alu­minium Weight: 1.5kg Al­ter­na­tive ma­te­rial: None Max/folded height: 147cm, 38cm Max load (legs, head): 6kg, 9kg Head mount plat­form dia: 42mm Head at­tach­ment screw: 1/4 inch Ball head: Van­guard TBH-50 Quick-re­lease plate: Arca-Swiss Head ad­just­ments: Lock, pan

Ver­dict

Fea­tures Build/han­dling Per­for­mance Value for money

Over­all

Good value, but it’s a pity more hasn’t been made of the piv­ot­ing cen­tre col­umn.

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