Vanguard VEO 235AB Travel Tripod
You can probably assume that because the above line has the term ‘travel’ attached to it that this tripod may lack in many ways, especially when being compared to its much larger relatives. Well, that’s just not the case here. Its construction and ease of use are comparable to the larger models, just smaller in size.
The model I have tested is the VEO 235AB, constructed using an all aluminium alloy rivalling any carbon fibre of the same size. It is very light weighing only 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) and can fold itself into a very manageable length of 14 7/8” (378 mm). Ladies, this thing will fit into some of your purses (in a collapsed position, of course). The legs that extend this model to 57 1/8” (1450 mm) are constructed of 5 section extensions with 3 different angle options using a brilliant push button system to unlock each leg. No pushing a leg inwards to release the mechanism. Just push the button and adjust! Each leg includes 4 quick locks that cinch and release with ease. The rubber bushings that surround each leg provide both stabilisation and smooth operation, while the rubber feet with adjustable protruding metal spikes make this unit capable of gaining steady ground on various terrains. The ball head includes two adjustment knobs, one for loosening the ball and the other for adjusting your horizontal plane and can hold equipment weighing up to 13 lbs. Not as much as the larger tripods, but impressive none the less.
There are only two cons about this tripod and can be applied to many makes and models, not just this one. First and foremost, the screw in the plate. You know, that little silver threaded thingy that’s supposed to keep your camera safely attached? This unit, along with many others, uses the standard screw for holding your camera securely to the plate. Regardless if you had to dig for a nickel or a set of keys to get it as tight as humanly possible, they ALWAYS work themselves loose – especially when flipping the camera into a vertical position. The ball stays in place, but the weight of the camera is usually just too much. Bring on the D-Ring and let’s call it a day. Secondly, the height. To get the full extension of 57 1/8” (1450mm), you need to have the centre column fully extended. My opinion is that if the centre column is fully extended, you are no longer using the 3 legs the tripod came with. Yes, I agree when you think to yourself, ‘well, just don’t extend the centre column all the way’. But, standing in the Karate Kid – Pelican stance is not the most comfortable way to photograph.
All kidding aside, this tripod is nothing short of impressive. Good looks. Nice carrying case. So easy to carry and use. It’s very obvious that Vanguard was listening when the photographer was talking. A very capable tripod in a very small package. Let’s hope it doesn’t go all Napoleon on us!
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