I’ve been a Vanguard ambassador since 2014, and have used and reviewed a variety of the tripods and digicam baggage through the years.
Lately, they requested me if I’d prefer to check out the Vanguard VEO 3+ 263AB tripod, which marks a brand new path for Vanguard’s VEO line. So, regardless of it not being a journey tripod, I used to be eager to have a play with it and see what it was all about.
As you’ll see, rather a lot has modified with this tripod in comparison with different tripods within the VEO vary. Earlier than we get began with the overview, let me carry you up to the mark. As a result of I do know that not everybody has a wardrobe filled with tripods.
A Historical past of the VEO tripod vary
Vanguard launched the primary VEO tripod again in 2015 as a part of a brand new vary of merchandise (tripods and baggage), aimed on the touring photographer. The purpose with the VEO tripod was to create a light-weight and moveable journey tripod at an inexpensive value level that may provide an amazing steadiness between stability and portability.
I used to be delighted to be concerned within the launch of the brand new vary, and even had considered one of my images featured on the unique packaging, which was a thrill. You may see my overview of the unique VEO vary of tripods and baggage here.
Skip ahead a few yr, and Vanguard launched model 2 of the VEO vary, the VEO 2. Once more, this was a variety of journey tripods and baggage. I used the Vanguard VEO 2 265CB as my major journey tripod for a few years.
The improve from the unique VEO vary to the brand new VEO 2 vary was pretty incremental. The legs went from flip locks to twist locks, and the carbon fibre used for the carbon fibre fashions was improved, resulting in barely lighter merchandise. You may see my overview of the VEO 2 range of tripods here.
In late 2019, extra important modifications began to seem within the VEO 2 line, heralding the arrival of the VEO Three vary. I reviewed the VEO 2 GO 265HCBM, which has come to be my new major journey tripod. New options embrace additional top because of a double extension centre column, and the nifty capacity to transform one of many legs to a monopod.
This brings us now to the VEO Three vary. This marks in all probability the most important shift in method to the vary because it first launched.
First, all the brand new tripods profit from a brand new CNC manufacturing expertise that Vanguard have invested in. With out getting too technical, it means Vanguard can produce even increased high quality tripods with a lot tighter design tolerances. The top result’s some lovely trying and excessive efficiency tripods.
By way of the precise tripods, going ahead, the VEO Three tripods are break up into two ranges. The VEO 3 Go vary will probably be a journey targeted tripod that gives a extra moveable choice for these searching for one thing you’ll be able to carry round all day. The smallest model weighs simply 820g (1.8lbs) and folds all the way down to a tiny 13 inches (33cm)!
Every VEO Three Go mannequin has the convertible monopod leg, and in addition comes with a smartphone connector and bluetooth distant for Android/Apple smartphones. They’re obtainable in each aluminum and carbon fibre fashions at a variety of value factors to go well with all budgets.
The VEO 3+ vary is an entire new product, which Vanguard are billing as their most versatile tripod ever. It has a bunch of recent options, however importantly, this isn’t a journey tripod. It’s designed for when stability and sturdiness are paramount – maybe for heavier gear or photographing in windier situations.
I typically journey with a few tripods once we take highway journeys from dwelling and weight isn’t a problem. For longer hikes I’ll normally take my journey VEO, after which I’ll even have my Vanguard Alta Professional 2 for shoots that aren’t too far a stroll from my automotive.
The Vanguard VEO 3+ competes extra immediately with Vanguard’s Alta Professional line by way of dimension and who it’s aimed toward.
Okay, that’s sufficient tripod historical past. Let’s get into the small print of the tripod itself!
Vanguard VEO 3+ 263AB Tripod Overview
The Vanguard VEO 3+ 263AB tripod is an aluminium tripod that is part of Vanguard’s 2020 VEO 3+ vary. At launch in September 2020, there are 4 fashions within the vary – two carbon fibre tripods and two aluminum fashions. The primary distinction between the merchandise is the top sort, both ball or pan, after which clearly the fabric the tripod is manufactured from, aluminium or carbon fibre.
Let’s have a look at an summary of the specs of the tripod I’m reviewing at the moment, the VEO 3+ 263AB tripod.
Weight: 5.four lbs /2.four kg
Folded Size: 30 inches (76 cm)
Minimal Top: 0.2 inches (0.5 cm)
Totally Prolonged Top: 68 inches (172.5 cm)
Top with out Column Extension: 58 inches (147 cm)
Load Capability: 33 lbs / 15 kg
Essential Materials: Aluminium
Head: Ball head
Mount Kind: Arca-Swiss appropriate quick-release mount
Worth: RRP of £229 GBP / MSRP of $309.99 USD
Don’t neglect which you could rating a 20% low cost on these costs by utilizing my Vanguard low cost code FindingtheUniverse on the Vanguard store (US + UK solely).
There are some things that ought to come out at you as an instance this isn’t actually a journey tripod. The burden is one – at 5.four lbs /2.four kg this isn’t a tripod you essentially need to tackle an prolonged hike. Subsequent, a folded size of 30 inches continues to be pretty massive.
However after all, this isn’t meant to be a journey tripod. So who’s it for, and what options does it have that ought to earn it a spot in your gear checklist? Let’s speak about them.
The Multi Angle Central Column
One of many major options of the VEO 3+ vary is the, frankly superior, Multi Angle Central Column, or MACC for brief.
That is the characteristic which notably units it other than the Go vary. Mainly, the central column can simply be lifted up and out of its place between the tripod legs, after which positioned at any angle you need atop of the tripod.
Listed here are some images to exhibit this in motion.
That is notably helpful if you end up attempting to get a shot of a topic and it’s important to place the tripod close to a fence or different barrier. Usually in these conditions the digicam finally ends up a foot or extra again from the fence due to the positioning of the legs.
Nevertheless, with the MACC, you’ll be able to reposition the digicam so it’s in a extra appropriate location to your pictures. You may even flip the central column completely, so the digicam is beneath the tripod legs for actually shut up work.
The opposite benefit of with the ability to primarily take away the central column from the tripod legs is that it means you may get the tripod actually actually near the bottom – nearly flat in actual fact. So if you happen to like capturing these low angle pictures, you’ll be able to simply do this with the VEO 3+. And also you don’t even want a low angle adaptor to take action.
This capacity to place the digicam in a variety of areas actually opens up the artistic prospects obtainable to you, which is what a little bit of pictures gear needs to be all about. For those who love capturing macros, overhead pictures, and normal shut ups, then you’re going to fall in love with the MACC.
After all, I ought to level out that the MACC isn’t new. The Alta Professional tripods even have a multi-angle central column. Nevertheless, the machining and high quality of the MACC and its management knobs are undoubtedly a step up with the brand new VEO 3+. The MACC additionally incorporates a detachable retractable hook from which you’ll cling further weight, must you want much more stability.
In addition to the MACC, you additionally get the brand new multi-mount.
What’s the brand new multi-mount you ask? Effectively, let’s speak about that subsequent.
Have you ever ever discovered your self wishing you can connect a couple of little bit of package to your tripod? Perhaps you’re doing movie work, and desire a method to embrace a lighting setup or microphone close to your digicam.
Perhaps it’s an off digicam flash for nonetheless pictures. Maybe you like hen pictures, and would love a method to stabilise a scope concurrently your digicam with out having to hold two tripods.
Effectively, your days of wishing are over. Enter the multi-mount!
The multi-mount is a type of intelligent improvements that appears actually apparent when you’ve seen it. Mainly, it’s an additional attachment level that slots onto the MACC. It has a typical tripod thread, so you’ll be able to mainly connect any appropriate gadget to it. In order that is perhaps two cameras, a digicam and accent, or a digicam and a scope. Or no matter you need actually.
When you’ve gotten the MACC prolonged, you’ll be able to simply connect your digicam to the principle tripod head, after which your secondary gadget can simply be screwed onto the multi-mount.
Once more, as with the remainder of the tripod, clearly quite a lot of thought and care has gone into the design. It’s not an afterthought. There’s a bit of push button to cease it sliding off the mount when it’s unfastened, a lever to lock it into place, and a dial to tighten the tripod thread.
There are even markings on the central column so you’ll be able to simply be aware of the place you’ve positioned the multi-head, ought to you could take it off and put it again on once more. For those who’re in a scenario the place you’re capturing the identical shot over a time period, this characteristic will make doing that a lot simpler.
The Multi-mount is the form of accent that many producers would promote as a premium add-on characteristic, however with Vanguard it’s included as a part of the VEO 3+ package deal.
Usually I wouldn’t have a lot to say a couple of tripod bag, however I really feel that after once more Vanguard have stepped up their sport by way of consideration to element all through the entire package deal, so it will be remiss of me to not point out it.
The bag that comes with the brand new VEO 3+ tripods is very nice. It’s very nicely padded, matches the tripod and equipment comfortably, and even has an inside zippable pocket so you’ll be able to hold issues like allen keys and spare toes someplace secure. Small particulars, however all of them add up.
One of many enjoyable new options that the complete new VEO Three vary has is the flexibility for one of many legs to show right into a monopod.
What I respect about this characteristic is that it’s very easy to do. You simply unscrew the precise leg from the tripod, detach the multi angle central column from the tripod, after which screw the 2 collectively.
The top result’s a monopod together with your tripod ball head on the highest which extends to 72 inches (1.82cm) in top. That’s actually excessive!
You may after all be questioning why you would want such a tall monopod. Effectively, clearly you’ll be able to collapse the leg extensions to a shorter top, however having the additional top is perhaps helpful in getting pictures above a crowd.
A monopod can be utilized for a variety of functions. It may be nice for motion pictures of sports activities or wildlife pictures, the place you could shortly have the ability to transfer your (normally heavy) lens, however nonetheless need to have the ability to assist it between pictures. It’s additionally a very good lighter weight choice for mountaineering and even vlogging. Or as my spouse is utilizing it beneath – to regular our scope for birdwatching!
The Tripod Legs and their Locks
As a result of this isn’t a journey targeted tripod, the folded size isn’t a lot of a priority. As some extent of comparability, the VEO 2 Go 265HCBM folds all the way down to 16.1 inches (41 cm), while the VEO 3+ I’m reviewing is sort of twice as massive when folded, at 30 inches (76 cm).
This truly has some benefits. First, the journey tripods need to have 4 and even 5 leg sections with a purpose to obtain such a svelte folded dimension. The Veo 3+ solely has three leg sections, and two leg locks.
This implies extending and collapsing the VEO 3+ is rather a lot quicker as there are solely six leg locks to cope with as an alternative of 12. Right here’s a picture evaluating the VEO 3+ 263AB (left) with the VEO 2 265HCBM (proper). For those who look carefully you’ll be able to see the VEO 3+ has six twist leg locks and the VEO 2 has 12.
As weight is much less of a priority, the legs are additionally thicker. This implies the tripod is extra secure, and may in actual fact assist a powerful 33lbs / 15kg of weight. For many photographers, that is greater than sufficient to assist their heaviest gear.
Earlier than I end with the legs, one final thing. The legs locks are particularly designed to come back fully aside for simple cleansing. Provided that extending and shutting the legs can result in filth being trapped inside, the truth that they’re designed to be taken aside shortly for simple cleansing is certainly a profit.
The tripod comes with rubber toes connected as commonplace, however if you happen to look within the snazzy tripod bag, you’ll discover a set of steel spiked toes. These can present further buy for out of doors pictures particularly, and I respect once more that these are included within the field and never an additional buy.
One characteristic that undoubtedly units the VEO 3+ forward (ahem) of the Alta Professional vary specifically, is the truth that all of the VEO tripods include a tripod head. This implies the tripod is able to use out of the bag, and also you don’t need to buy a separate head.
After all, the top is removable, so you’ll be able to swap heads in order for you.
There are two head choices obtainable, relying on which tripod you select. The 263AB (B on this case standing for ball head) comes with a VEO BH-160 ball head. It is a very nice head, and the standard of development is apparent. Particularly, the locking knob and separate pan lock knob are very well made.
They’re machined from stable aluminium, making them simpler to make use of, very strong, and actually fairly eye catching to have a look at!
The opposite head choice is VEO 2 PH-48 panning head. A panning head is mostly thought-about extra appropriate for video. This head has a most weight of 6kg.
Total Construct High quality
I’ve already talked about this all through the put up, however I wished to carry it up once more as a result of it’s essential. It’s actually obvious that the funding that Vanguard have made of their manufacturing capabilities has paid off. The tripod simply seems like a extremely top quality product. Every little thing matches collectively seamlessly.
Panning and motion of the ball head is clean. Extending and positioning the MACC is tremendous straightforward. The knobs feel and look implausible in use.
That is undoubtedly a premium product that’s designed to final for a few years.
The VEO 3+ 263AB is a tripod with quite a lot of options for the worth. It’s very nicely made, and for these of you searching for a stable and reliable tripod it is a wonderful choose.
The flexibility means it really works for everybody from panorama photographers by way of to macro and meals photographers. After I was taking part in with the central column, I saved considering how nice it will be for these overhead meals pictures. It’s additionally a wonderful choice for videographers, with a pan head obtainable too.
If you’re searching for one thing lighter and extra journey targeted, then I’d advocate the VEO 3 Go range as an alternative. Nevertheless, the VEO 3+ is an incredible alternative for these of you not too nervous about having to hold it notably far.
For me, it will be the proper tripod for highway journeys or another situation the place I need one thing sturdier that I don’t intend on mountaineering with for miles to a distant location. I imply, you are able to do that in order for you. If that sounds good, I’d advocate the carbon fibre mannequin over the aluminium mannequin on this overview because it shaves up fairly a little bit of the load (while including a bit to the worth).
I’m joyful to advocate this tripod, and am solely unhappy I needed to ship it again to Vanguard on the finish of the overview.
Vanguard Low cost Code
For those who’re curious about shopping for a VEO 3+ tripod for your self, or another product on the Vanguard retailer, don’t neglect to make the most of my 20% low cost code for the Vanguard retailer.
Simply use the low cost code FindingtheUniverse at checkout on the Vanguard store (at the moment US + UK solely), and save 20%!
That’s it for my overview of the Vanguard VEO 3+ 263AB tripod – I hope you discovered it useful. Earlier than you go, I wished to share a few of our different content material which we expect you will see that helpful.
- Our review of the Vanguard VEO 2 265CB tripod after three years of normal use, the Vanguard VEO 2 Go 265HCBM tripod and the original VEO range
- We now have a information to why you need a tripod, a information to choosing a travel tripod, and a round-up of our favourite travel tripods
- We now have a information to how to use a compact camera, how to use a DSLR camera, and how to use a mirrorless camera. We even have a information to how a DSLR works
- Realizing compose an amazing picture is a key pictures ability. See our information to composition in photography for plenty of tips about this topic
- We now have a information to what depth of field is and whenever you would need to use it.
- We’re massive followers of getting probably the most out of your digital picture information, and do to that you will want to shoot in RAW. See our information to RAW in photography to know what RAW is, and why it is best to swap to RAW as quickly as you’ll be able to in case your digicam helps it.
- You’re going to wish one thing to run your picture modifying software program on. See our information to the very best laptops for photo editing for some tips about what to search for.
- For those who’re searching for extra recommendation on particular suggestions for various situations, we additionally have you ever coated. See our information to Northern Lights photography, long exposure photography, fireworks photography, tips for taking photos of stars, and cold weather photography.
- For those who’re searching for an amazing reward for a pictures loving buddy or member of the family (or your self!), check out our photography gift guide,
- For those who’re available in the market for a brand new digicam, we now have an in depth information to the best travel cameras, in addition to particular guides for the best cameras for hiking and backpacking, the best compact camera, best mirrorless camera and best DSLR camera. We even have a information to the best camera lenses.
- If you’d like a digicam or lens, however the costs are a bit excessive, see our information to where to buy used cameras and camera gear for some finances financial savings choices.
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So : Vanguard supplied me with the tripod earlier than normal launch so I may kind my very own opinion with some actual world use. I returned the tripod to them as soon as I used to be carried out, and I haven’t been financially compensated for this overview.