REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
VanguardAlta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod
 
4.7

(based on 66 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (48)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (57)
  • Unfolds quickly (42)
  • Lightweight (36)
  • Folds away (29)

Cons

  • Heavy (6)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (53)
  • Night shots (46)
  • Portraits (42)
  • Home (39)
  • Wildlife (29)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (32), Semi-pro photographer (17), Casual photographer (9), Pro photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (56)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Sturdy, Light and Versatile

The basics: The Alta Pro 263 is very sturdy, well built and light for it's size and stability. I've used this with a Canon 5D with a 100-400mm lens. It holds that...Read complete review

The basics: The Alta Pro 263 is very sturdy, well built and light for it's size and stability. I've used this with a Canon 5D with a 100-400mm lens. It holds that weight with no problems.

The legs are only 3 sections which means it doesn't fold up as small as some others. However, this means it deploys very fast as you only have to open 2 clamps per leg for full extension. My previous tripod had 5 section legs and opening all those clamps got old. Also, more sections means thinner tubes and less stability.

The leg tubes and clamps are very nice. The legs extend smoothly and the clamps are firm. The feet are large and steady with the ability to screw in to reveal terrain spikes. They seem well built as does the entire assembly.

There is place at the top to attach a shoulder strap for carrying. I attached an old strap from a carry-on bag to this. On the other end of the strap I added a bungee cord which I loop around the feet of the the tripod. This allows the tripod to hang, inverted, from my shoulder very comfortably and out of the way when hiking. Once again, the lightness helps here.

The bag that comes with the tripod is very well constructed. It has a carry strap and loads in from one end with two cinch cords to close it. It is long enough to accommodate the tripod and a good sized ball head (Manfrotto 468MGRC2). All load bearing areas of the bag are web reinforced. I prefer my shoulder strap for most things as it's quicker to deploy than a bag. Still, the bag is a nice addition and will last a long time I'm sure.

Beyond the basics: The Alta's unique feature is it's central column. This makes this the most versatile tripod I've used.

The column acts just like a standard tripod when that is what you want. If you need to reach an interesting angle over an obstruction or right down low to the ground, you just extend the column a bit farther and this allows the column to extend horizontally and then rotate to any angle you like. I've used it for overhead shots, to extend my camera over obstructions, for ground level shots and more.

It really lets you put your camera where you want it quickly and easily. I was worried that this would be a cumbersome feature. It is not. I own a Benbo 1 and a Benbo Trekker. The Alta allows me to put my camera in the same odd positions faster and with more stability.

I've taken this on many hikes and find it to be everything I need in a tripod. Just add your favorite ball head and you are good to go.

I'm very please with my purchase.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Low quality materials

I use it for landscapes. After one year of using it leg stopper does not work on one leg. Center column is not stable, always has some degree of play, especially when camera...Read complete review

I use it for landscapes. After one year of using it leg stopper does not work on one leg. Center column is not stable, always has some degree of play, especially when camera is tilted upwards, even with moderate telephoto. In non-vertical position this play is couple of inches, making it unusable.

Reviewed by 66 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
4.0

Good all-around tripod

By Mixed Media

from CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Folds Small
  • Good Stability

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Product Shots
    • Travel

    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

    Initially when I was shopping for tripods, I was just going to get a generic tripod that cost much less. Then I figured since I was going to be doing some product photography, that I should look into my options for taking pictures horizontally. It came down to the Benro A2970F or this tripod.

    After talking with a B&H product rep I settled on this tripod. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the quality of the purchase. The legs are a bit stiff, but not to the point of being inhibitive. Setup is pretty easy and it seems pretty sturdy.

    The only thing I noticed is that sometimes the foot grips become loose and then the spikes on the bottom slip out when I don't need them to be because I'm on a flat surface.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Solid Tripod

    By Fredwillbe

    from Northern Minnesota

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Folds Small
    • Good Stability
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Stacking Macro Images

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

      Bought this to do macro photography where I will stack the images for greater depth-of-field. Needed something sturdy and easy to set up in tough places. This seems to actually do the job. I can photograph from nearly ground level and get shots I couldn't do before.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Fantastic Tri-pod!

      By Christy

      from Virginia

      About Me Photography Student

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Good Stability
      • Lightweight
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

      • None

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Macro
      • Night Shots
      • Portraits
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel
      • Weddings/Events
      • Wildlife

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

      I am loving this Tri-pod! It is much lighter than I thought it would be, very convenient to set up and extremely sturdy. I used it for the first time on a Nature shoot and hike through the woods and it was just great. I could secure and balance it on any terrain and at any angle. I highly recommend Vangaurd products to pros and novices alike. You will be very pleased with the range this tripod has. Best of all it is great for us tall people. No more leaning over, YES!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Excellent!!!

      By TheCohbrah

      from Michigan

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Pros

      • Build quality
      • Good Stability
      • Lightweight
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

      • Plastin Insert

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Shots
      • Portraits
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events
      • Wildlife

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

      I purchased this tripod because my 80 dollar Promaster 7150 broke. I was hesitant on spending the money on this due to me trying to "budget". Well considering I will be having a few thousand dollars in equipment, why not spend a little more to protect it while shooting with a tripod? The tripod is excellent in build. The versatility this one has to offer is unmatched in a sense of the numerous configurations that is possible with it. The only complaint I have is the plastic part that goes inside the tripod to hold the shaft that holds the camera. There is a button you press that is similar to that of summer lawn furniture. If you insert the part with the button at the small tab on the plastic insert, prepare to find the piece broken and unable to effectively use it until it gets replaced. Luckily for me, the warehouse was only 30 minutes away from home so I drove there and they replaced it for free with no questions. Great product overall!!!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      ATLA PRO 263 AT

      By Eetz Juan

      from Georgia

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

            I just received this tripod about two weeks now. Straight from the box it is nicely packaged. It is sturdy and I love its versitile abilities (multi-angle central column system). The tripod legs are stiff right now when trying to open the legs apart. Mainly I think it's because I need to break it in.

            Overall I am satisfied with my purchase.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            excellent tripod.

            By Darrel

            from Illinois

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Folds Small
            • Good Stability
            • Lightweight
            • Unfolds Quickly

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Portraits
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Video

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

              For the size,stability and price this is a great investment for years to come.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Amazing

              By C0123 (CORE) Photography

              from North Texas

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Folds Small
              • Good Stability

              Cons

              • Leg Snap-locks

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

              I mainly use this product for astrophotography, which means you have to have a stable base. That brings me to say that it feels SOLID! It *does* weight 4.4 lbs but that's the price you pay to feel safe with any model DSLR & lens attached. Even with the center column at a 90 degree angle with the legs in the second locked position, its sturdy as can be! I've considered using this for other aspects of my photography as well. HIGHLY recommend! this is my first decent tripod! Only dislike is that the little push-in button to tilt the center column needs to be easier in general, it gets slightly "stuck" from time to time but it snaps back out quickly! Also, I'd like if it had rotate lock legs instead.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Great Tripod for Price

              By Doug

              from West Bend, WI

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Price

              Cons

              • Unstable

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Product photography

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

              I need the articulated center column but just didn't have the money until I found this one. Not as good as I want but it is everything I could expect at this price point.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              My favorite

              By Heaven

              from Los Angeles, CA

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Folds Small
              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Travel

                Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                It's light (compared to my 500 pound tripod I've used for forever) and portable. Couldn't have asked for better.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Decent product

                By Randy

                from Harrisburg, PA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Unfolds Quickly

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                  So far I have been pleased with the product. Have not used it a lot yet but seems it will prove to be a good investment. I had a camera with a 500mm zoom and it did not seem to be very secure. Had some trouble getting it to stay still but I'm sure with some practice I can figure it out. Overall very satisfied.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Good Stuff for the price

                  By Photo Jim

                  from Canada

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Folds Small
                  • Good Stability
                  • Lightweight
                  • Unfolds Quickly

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Portraits
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Video
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                    Good Stuff for the price, is what I expected.
                    I used outdoors with a very windy weather and the tripod was sturdy and keep the camera without any problem

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Great all-around set of legs

                    By Koko Joe

                    from Vegreville, Alberta, Canada

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Folds Small
                    • Good Stability
                    • Lightweight
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Macro
                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                      I use mid-70s SLRs for landscapes, portraits, macro, and astrophotography. I was looking for a set of legs with decent weight capacity for their weight(which, by the way is actually 4.4 lbs.). When I saw these at the discounted price I pulled the trigger. I paired them with a Giottos MH-1300 ballhead. So far I am happy with the controls and fit and finish. I don't expect them to perform like Gitzo carbon fibre, but at a small fraction of the price, and for my needs they don't need to. Great value-to-cost ratio. The only thing left is to see how they stand up over the long haul.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      Good Value

                      By TNPhoto

                      from Nashville, TN

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Excellent value
                      • Good Stability
                      • Unfolds Quickly

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Shots
                        • Portraits
                        • Wildlife

                        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                        Purchased this tripod on the recommendation of a Macro Photography instructor. It is a very good value for the money. I also own a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod at 4X the price of this tripod. While the Manfrotto is better built and stronger, this tripod is very similar in functions and is a much better value for the money. Tripod comes with a case and a small tool kit for tightening, etc. Also includes a combination spike and rubber feet for versatility.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Great Tripod!

                        By Film Fan

                        from Dayton, OH

                        About Me Casual Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Folds Small
                        • Lightweight
                        • Unfolds Quickly

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                            Great tripod specially for the discounted price! The multitude of extra potential filming angles is great.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Great trypod great price

                            By Larry

                            from Langley B.C.

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Good Stability
                            • Lightweight
                            • Unfolds Quickly

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots
                              • Portraits
                              • Sports/Action
                              • Travel
                              • Wildlife

                              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                              Bought for home studo and is all so great in the field

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              First Tripod

                              By Kyle

                              from Indianapolis

                              About Me Casual Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Good Stability
                              • Versatility

                              Cons

                              • Cumbersome

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Macro
                              • Portraits
                              • Video

                              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                              I was in need of a "real" tripod, I researched for what felt like too long until I narrowed it down between a couple different makes and models.

                              The two selling features of these legs were the ability to pan and the variable angles of the center column when extended. Similar legs were lacking either one or both of these options. There are a handful of knobs to work with and will take some getting use to when it comes to remembering their placement and function.

                              The build quality is fair, I'm satisfied with it but I'm sure there are more expensive legs that feel much better. The legs have almost a toy appearance with the orange and silver plastic components, but that's just a personal opinion. Each leg has a foam cover. I carry the setup by these grips, but I've noticed an odd smell that gets on my hands from the foam. I imagine this should go away over time and isn't a deal breaker.

                              The legs seem to stick from time to time after unlocking, a bit annoying at first but I have gotten use to it. A slight jerk releases them and they slide into place.

                              For the price and features I do recommend these legs. I have a light setup and I feel these will serve me for years to come.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod by

                              By Gerard Kuzawa

                              from Sacramento, CA

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Folds Small
                              • Good Stability
                              • Lightweight
                              • Unfolds Quickly

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Home
                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Night Shots
                                • Portraits
                                • Sports/Action
                                • Video
                                • Weddings/Events
                                • Wildlife

                                Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                Hefty enough to hold the DSLR/DSLT, but also accessories (when set up appropriately to balance and secure everything... even against the wind).

                                I am currently using it in conjunction with the Vanguard 300T Pistol Grip Ball Head along with the Vanguard Multi-Mount 6 Tripod Utility Bar.

                                I use a flash cable to set the flash(es) several degrees offset from the lens' line of sight, sometimes on 15-ish inch extensions.

                                I am a rather large strong male so I do not empathize well with those that make comments about things being too heavy short term or long term. Additionally, for having served in the US Military and having been in wars, all this stuff is way easier to carry about than then:-)

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                you wont need to upgrade after this one

                                By Len skibum

                                from Bklyn, ny

                                About Me Pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Home
                                    • Landscape/Scenery
                                    • Night Shots
                                    • Portraits
                                    • Sports/Action
                                    • Travel
                                    • Wildlife

                                    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                    very easy to extended/retract legs. has a foam grip around each upper section which is the best invention ever when used in winter !! Very sturdy.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Why would you pay more for a tripod?

                                    By Frog Pond Photographer

                                    from Dallas, Tx

                                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Folds Small
                                    • Good Stability
                                    • Lightweight

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Home
                                      • Landscape/Scenery
                                      • Night Shots
                                      • Portraits
                                      • Travel
                                      • Weddings/Events
                                      • Wildlife

                                      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                      I can't believe the money folks give for tripods. This is a very well built, sturdy tripod at a reasonable price. Not too heavy, yet not flimsy at all. This tripod can contort itself into most any position you could fathom and is rock steady. I was worried that the tripod would suffer in stability when holding my camera and fairly heavy lens when positioned out to the side. No worries. It performed nicely. Again, I just can't imagine what this tripod would lack that someone would want to spend a penny more on any other tripod. Sturdy, fairly light, compact, master of contortion. Awesome!

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Excellent value for your money!

                                      By Alejandro

                                      from Columbus OH

                                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Good Stability
                                      • Unfolds Quickly

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Home
                                        • Landscape/Scenery
                                        • Night Shots
                                        • Video

                                        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                        I am writing this review based on my first impression of this tripod as I took it out of the box.This is a solid well thought out piece of gear.The tripod is very solid! The finish on the aluminum is very nice.The multi-angle central column works very smoothly.Little details like the adapter to accommodate 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 threads on your ball head and tools to tighten components complete the package.This is the third tripod I have purchased, wish I had found this one first.Great value for the price!

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

                                        Share this review

                                        Displaying reviews 1-20

                                        Back to top

                                        Previous | Next »