For the full review, visit Jamie's blog.
Vanguard VEO 265CB Carbon Fiber Tripod
I can't believe it has been so long since I have written a product review! I think maybe it has been a long time since I've gotten a product I enjoyed enough to take time out from my schedule to write a review. :) But before I start I have to mention that this tripod and ballhead were sent to me by Vanguard to review. So keep that in mind. Although I will admit right now that the fact it was sent to me has had no bearing on my feelings about this setup.
With an astrophotography workshop in Arizona coming up I decided it was time to start looking at some different option for travel tripods. I had been using the MeFoto tripods for a while now and while they are good, they are not great. I was in the market for something lighter, something compact, and of course, something that was easy to set up and adjust.
The VEO 265CB was just the thing I needed.
Let's talk about some of the things that the Vanguard VEO does that in my mind make it a great choice for not only the travelling photographer, but for ANYONE looking to invest in a great tripod. And notice I said invest. A good tripod is an investment, one whose dividends are paid in clear photos and the ability to enjoy shooting without fumbling with a clumsy tripod.
The way the Vanguard folds up is through a unique swiveling mechanism that keeps the legs oriented in the downward position all the time. What this means is that instead of folding out three legs to set up (like you do on almost all tripods) you instead swivel the center column into position to set up. Thus removing a few extra, and I think, unnecessary steps. Check out the photo below for a little more clarification of how this works.
The VEO 265CB uses clamp style leg locks which I used to not be a fan of. But after using them on the VEO I realize what it takes to make them successful. . On an aluminum tripod with clamping leg locks the clamps are often made of plastic, and that is fine. But plastic expands and contracts at a different rate than aluminum does. So what ends up happening is that the aluminum legs may contract in cold weather, causing the clamps to loosen ever so slightly. And that is all it takes for a leg to collapse and drop your camera. I have had a close call in the past because of this. But Vanguard has chosen to use the clamping style leg locks on this tripod knowing that carbon fiber and plastic share similar physical properties in regards to expansion and contraction. So while using this in the mountains of Flagstaff in freezing temperatures, and then warmer temperatures in Sedona, I NEVER ONCE had the clamps loosen or become too tight.