Jamie MacDonald's Vanguard VEO 265CB Review
This entry was posted on 19/05/2016 by Vanguard World.← Previous PostNext Post →

Jamie MacDonald's Vanguard VEO 265CB Review

Jamie MacDonald recently tried out the VEO 265CB Carbon Fiber tripodBBH-200 Ballhead.  Find out what he thought!

For the full review, visit Jamie's blog.

Section 1:
Vanguard VEO 265CB Carbon Fiber Tripod

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

 

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.

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

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.

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

 

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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.

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BRAVO Vanguard.....Bravo!!

Another thing I'd like to mention, which may sound like nothing of note to some, is the choice of material Vanguard chose for the grip pad on the tripod leg. Almost all tripods have one leg which features a padded grip of some sort. Most have a foam grip, and that is alright. Not great, just alright. But foam gets waterlogged, and when wet gets slippery. Yes...I HAVE lost control of a wet tripod thanks to a slick pad. You can get a little careless when running from a thunderstorm and you are getting soaked with rain.  Vanguard has opted for a grip material and design that is well, let's just say, a bit "sportier". The grip design AND material seems to be the same sort used on golf clubs. This may seem odd if you have never golfed, but for those of us who have, we totally get it. This material remains grippy even when wet. And as a bonus it is also thinner than the foam used on most tripods. Oh, and it looks awesome ;)

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Get a grip...A good grip.

While hiking around the Grand Canyon and Sedona there were a few places I wanted to shoot a low perspective shot, and putting the VEO 265CB into a low stance was easy. Vanguard makes adjusting the leg angle simple by the using a big plunger button versus a flip up latch like some other brands. If you look at the collage photo above you will see the big easy to find and use plunger button in the lower right image. And when it comes to getting down low for the shot, the VEO can get you right down to the ground.

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And if you need to get even lower....Vanguard provides a stubby center column replacement that will put your ball head flat down against the legs. I opted to not carry that on this trip so it is not shown here.

The shot above shows the VEO and my Olympus E-M5 MkII in action making this shot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The vast expanse of the Grand Canyon.

This wraps up the tripod portion of the review, and I will leave you with one last shot of the beautiful carbon fiber legs. Light, strong, and gorgeous.

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The beautiful weave of carbon fiber......So form and function do work together.

Visit Jamie MacDonald's blog to learn more about the Vanguard BBH-200 Ballhead.

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

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