Vanguard VEO2 265CB ( with BH50 head)
VANGUARD’S REPUTATION FOR innovative design, good build quality and fair prices are all in evidence here, with a light and very compact tripod, complete with ball- head. Two features are immediately obvious. There are no less than five leg sections, secured with grippy twist- collar locks, that explain the very short 41cm closed length combined with a height of 122cm. But that includes the head which is about 9cm, so it's just a bit too short to be comfortable for most users without extending the centre- column. The other thing catching your eye is the unusual centre- column design, with a cut- out on one side of the top platform. It looks like some sort of articulating device, and technically it is, but it's not for positioning the camera in difficult positions as others do. It's actually part of the quick- folding mechanism, so instead of pulling the legs up and backwards over the raised centre- column ( as with the Slik), you simply swing the centre- column down through the cut- out, without touching the legs.
It's a pretty cool feature that saves a lot of waving legs around somewhat awkwardly, but there's a serious flaw. The cut- out section robs the top platform of its integral strength, and it's impossible to lock the centre- column tightly in position. It wobbles, especially in the direction in line with the cut- out, and combined with the five leg joints that also add unwanted flex, resulting in disappointing stability test figures. For windbuffet, the Vanguard scored 50%, and 56% for mirror- shock, giving an average rating of 53%.