I’ve been a Vanguard ambassador since 2014, and have used and reviewed quite a lot of the tripods and digicam luggage through the years.
Not too long ago, they requested me if I’d wish to check out the Vanguard VEO 3+ 263AB tripod, which marks a brand new course 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, lots has modified with this tripod in comparison with different tripods within the VEO vary. Earlier than we get began with the evaluation, let me carry you up to the mark. As a result of I do know that not everybody has a wardrobe stuffed 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 luggage), aimed on the touring photographer. The aim with the VEO tripod was to create a light-weight and transportable journey tripod at an inexpensive worth 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 one among my photographs featured on the unique packaging, which was a thrill. You’ll be able to see my evaluation of the unique VEO vary of tripods and luggage right here.
Skip ahead a few years, and Vanguard launched model 2 of the VEO vary, the VEO 2. Once more, this was a spread of journey tripods and luggage. I used the Vanguard VEO 2 265CB as my important 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’ll be able to see my evaluation of the VEO 2 vary of tripods right here.
In late 2019, extra vital adjustments began to look 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 further top because of a double extension centre column, and the nifty capability to transform one of many legs to a monopod.
This brings us now to the VEO Three vary. This marks most likely 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 greater high quality tripods with a lot tighter design tolerances. The top result’s some lovely wanting and excessive efficiency tripods.
By way of the precise tripods, going ahead, the VEO Three tripods are break up into two ranges. The VEO Three Go vary will probably be a journey centered tripod that provides a extra transportable possibility 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 likewise comes with a smartphone connector and bluetooth distant for Android/Apple smartphones. They’re accessible in each aluminum and carbon fibre fashions at a spread of worth factors to swimsuit all budgets.
The VEO 3+ vary is a complete 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 circumstances.
I usually journey with a few tripods after we take highway journeys from residence and weight isn’t a difficulty. For longer hikes I’ll often 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 automobile.
The Vanguard VEO 3+ competes extra straight with Vanguard’s Alta Professional line when it comes to dimension and who it’s geared 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 kind, both ball or pan, after which clearly the fabric the tripod is product of, aluminium or carbon fibre.
Let’s take a look at an outline of the specs of the tripod I’m reviewing at this time, the VEO 3+ 263AB tripod.
Weight: 5.four lbs /2.four kg
Folded Size: 30 inches (76 cm)
Minimal Peak: 0.2 inches (0.5 cm)
Totally Prolonged Peak: 68 inches (172.5 cm)
Peak with out Column Extension: 58 inches (147 cm)
Load Capability: 33 lbs / 15 kg
Primary Materials: Aluminium
Head: Ball head
Mount Sort: Arca-Swiss suitable quick-release mount
Value: RRP of £229 GBP / MSRP of $309.99 USD
Don’t neglect you can rating a 20% low cost on these costs by utilizing my Vanguard low cost code FindingtheUniverse on the Vanguard retailer (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 load is one – at 5.four lbs /2.four kg this isn’t a tripod you essentially wish 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 record? Let’s discuss them.
The Multi Angle Central Column
One of many important options of the VEO 3+ vary is the, frankly superior, Multi Angle Central Column, or MACC for brief.
That is the function which significantly 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 photographs to exhibit this in motion.
That is significantly helpful when you find yourself attempting to get a shot of a topic and you must 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.
Nonetheless, with the MACC, you’ll be able to reposition the digicam so it’s in a extra appropriate location on your photographs. You’ll be able to even flip the central column solely, so the digicam is beneath the tripod legs for actually shut up work.
The opposite benefit of having the ability to primarily take away the central column from the tripod legs is that it means you will get the tripod actually actually near the bottom – nearly flat in truth. So when you like capturing these low angle photographs, 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 capability to place the digicam in a spread of areas actually opens up the artistic potentialities accessible to you, which is what a little bit of images gear needs to be all about. For those who love capturing macros, overhead photographs, and common shut ups, then you’re going to fall in love with the MACC.
In fact, I ought to level out that the MACC isn’t new. The Alta Professional tripods even have a multi-angle central column. Nonetheless, 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 contains a detachable retractable hook from which you’ll be able to grasp extra 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? Nicely, let’s discuss that subsequent.
Have you ever ever discovered your self wishing you would connect a couple of little bit of equipment to your tripod? Perhaps you might be doing movie work, and desire a technique to embrace a lighting setup or microphone close to your digicam.
Perhaps it’s an off digicam flash for nonetheless images. Maybe you like chicken images, and would really like a technique to stabilise a scope similtaneously your digicam with out having to hold two tripods.
Nicely, 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 an ordinary tripod thread, so you’ll be able to mainly connect any suitable gadget to it. In order that may be two cameras, a digicam and accent, or a digicam and a scope. Or no matter you need actually.
When you’ve got the MACC prolonged, you’ll be able to simply connect your digicam to the primary 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 somewhat push button to cease it sliding off the mount when it’s free, 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 pay attention to the place you’ve positioned the multi-head, ought to it’s worthwhile to take it off and put it again on once more. For those who’re in a state of affairs the place you might be capturing the identical shot over a time period, this function will make doing that a lot simpler.
The Multi-mount is the kind of accent that many producers would promote as a premium add-on function, however with Vanguard it’s included as a part of the VEO 3+ bundle.
Usually I wouldn’t have a lot to say a few tripod bag, however I really feel that after once more Vanguard have stepped up their sport when it comes to consideration to element all through the entire bundle, 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 effectively padded, suits the tripod and equipment comfortably, and even has an inside zippable pocket so you’ll be able to maintain issues like allen keys and spare ft someplace secure. Small particulars, however all of them add up.
One of many enjoyable new options that your entire new VEO Three vary has is the power for one of many legs to show right into a monopod.
What I recognize about this function is that it’s very easy to do. You simply unscrew the particular 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 along with your tripod ball head on the highest which extends to 72 inches (1.82cm) in top. That’s actually excessive!
You would possibly after all be questioning why you would wish such a tall monopod. Nicely, clearly you’ll be able to collapse the leg extensions to a shorter top, however having the additional top may be helpful in getting photographs above a crowd.
A monopod can be utilized for a spread of functions. It may be nice for motion photographs of sports activities or wildlife images, the place it’s worthwhile to shortly be capable to transfer your (often heavy) lens, however nonetheless need to have the ability to help it between photographs. It’s additionally a superb lighter weight possibility for climbing and even vlogging. Or as my spouse is utilizing it under – to regular our scope for birdwatching!
The Tripod Legs and their Locks
As a result of this isn’t a journey centered 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 nearly twice as large when folded, at 30 inches (76 cm).
This really has some benefits. First, the journey tripods must 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 lots quicker as there are solely six leg locks to take care of as a substitute 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 might in truth help a formidable 33lbs / 15kg of weight. For many photographers, that is greater than sufficient to help their heaviest gear.
Earlier than I end with the legs, one very last thing. The legs locks are particularly designed to return fully aside for simple cleansing. On condition that extending and shutting the legs can result in dust 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 ft connected as normal, however when you look within the snazzy tripod bag, you’ll discover a set of steel spiked ft. These can present extra buy for outside images particularly, and I recognize once more that these are included within the field and never an additional buy.
One function 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 must buy a separate head.
In fact, the top is removable, so you’ll be able to swap heads if you’d like.
There are two head choices accessible, relying on which tripod you select. The 263AB (B on this case standing for ball head) comes with a VEO BH-160 ball head. This can be a very nice head, and the standard of development is clear. 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 sturdy, and truthfully fairly eye catching to have a look at!
The opposite head possibility is VEO 2 PH-48 panning head. A panning head is mostly thought of 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 publish, however I needed to carry it up once more as a result of it’s necessary. It’s actually obvious that the funding that Vanguard have made of their manufacturing capabilities has paid off. The tripod simply looks like a very top quality product. Every thing suits collectively seamlessly.
Panning and motion of the ball head is easy. Extending and positioning the MACC is tremendous straightforward. The knobs feel and appear unbelievable 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 effectively made, and for these of you searching for a stable and reliable tripod it is a superb decide.
The flexibility means it really works for everybody from panorama photographers via to macro and meals photographers. Once I was enjoying with the central column, I saved pondering how nice it will be for these overhead meals photographs. It’s additionally a wonderful possibility for videographers, with a pan head accessible too.
In case you are searching for one thing lighter and extra journey centered, then I’d advocate the VEO Three Go vary as a substitute. Nonetheless, the VEO 3+ is a tremendous alternative for these of you not too anxious about having to hold it significantly far.
For me, it will be the right tripod for highway journeys or some other situation the place I would like one thing sturdier that I don’t intend on climbing with for miles to a distant location. I imply, you are able to do that if you’d like. If that sounds good, I’d advocate the carbon fibre mannequin over the aluminium mannequin on this evaluation because it shaves up fairly a little bit of the load (while including a bit to the worth).
I’m blissful to advocate this tripod, and am solely unhappy I needed to ship it again to Vanguard on the finish of the evaluation.
Vanguard Low cost Code
For those who’re focused on shopping for a VEO 3+ tripod for your self, or some other 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 retailer (presently US + UK solely), and save 20%!
That’s it for my evaluation of the Vanguard VEO 3+ 263AB tripod – I hope you discovered it useful. Earlier than you go, I needed to share a few of our different content material which we expect you will see that helpful.
- Our evaluation of the Vanguard VEO 2 265CB tripod after three years of standard use, the Vanguard VEO 2 Go 265HCBM tripod and the unique VEO vary
- We have now a information to why you want a tripod, a information to selecting a journey tripod, and a round-up of our favorite journey tripods
- We have now a information to learn how to use a compact digicam, learn how to use a DSLR digicam, and learn how to use a mirrorless digicam. We even have a information to how a DSLR works
- Understanding learn how to compose an amazing photograph is a key images ability. See our information to composition in images for plenty of tips about this topic
- We have now a information to what depth of discipline is and once you would wish to use it.
- We’re large followers of getting probably the most out of your digital photograph information, and do to that you’ll want to shoot in RAW. See our information to RAW in images to grasp what RAW is, and why you need 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 photograph enhancing software program on. See our information to the most effective laptops for photograph enhancing for some tips about what to search for.
- For those who’re searching for extra recommendation on particular suggestions for various eventualities, we additionally have you ever coated. See our information to Northern Lights images, lengthy publicity images, fireworks images, suggestions for taking photographs of stars, and chilly climate images.
- For those who’re searching for an amazing present for a images loving good friend or member of the family (or your self!), check out our images present information,
- For those who’re available in the market for a brand new digicam, we have now an in depth information to the finest journey cameras, in addition to particular guides for the finest cameras for climbing and backpacking, the finest compact digicam, finest mirrorless digicam and finest DSLR digicam. We even have a information to the finest digicam lenses.
- In order for you a digicam or lens, however the costs are a bit excessive, see our information to the place to purchase used cameras and digicam gear for some funds financial savings choices.
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So you recognize: Vanguard offered me with the tripod earlier than common launch so I may type my very own opinion with some actual world use. I returned the tripod to them as soon as I used to be performed, and I haven’t been financially compensated for this evaluation.