Vanguard VEO 235AB £120/$130
AN OPTION THAT LIKES TO BREAK THE RULES
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.
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.
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
Features Build/handling Performance Value for money
Good value, but it’s a pity more hasn’t been made of the pivoting centre column.