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VanguardAlta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod
 
4.7

(based on 88 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (66)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (73)
  • Unfolds quickly (51)
  • Lightweight (42)
  • Folds away (31)

Cons

  • Heavy (8)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (65)
  • Night shots (56)
  • Portraits (50)
  • Home (44)
  • Wildlife (34)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (39), Semi-pro photographer (21), Pro photographer (11), Casual photographer (9), Photography student (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (74)

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

 

Good First Tripod

I have now had this tripod over two years. It has done fairly well. You can't beat it for the money. I have paired it up with the SBH250 ball head.
Read complete review

I have now had this tripod over two years. It has done fairly well. You can't beat it for the money. I have paired it up with the SBH250 ball head.

It taught me many things I like and dislike. I like the snap levers for the legs. They have a firm positive grip. They provide a stable locking mechanism. I like the bubble level, it is easy to see. The upper part of the legs are padded and that makes it easy to carry. There is a nice bag included that will fit the tripod and head.

Now to the dislikes. I don't care for the center levelers. The center post and center rotate levers are very similar and it is easy to confuse the two when concentrating on getting the shot or at night. The legs loosen up after time and have to be tightened. The set screw to tighten the legs is under the legs and a pain to get to. The center weight hook is too small and hard to use. I have tried to use my pack to weight it down, but it is impossible to use. Now the legs are becoming difficult to extend.

I do like this tripod. It has taken a lot of abuse. I hoped it would last a little longer. If you want a light to medium duty tripod this is it. Make sure you tighten the set screws for the head. I had to learn that one when the head loosened up on the trail.

Reviewed by 88 customers

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5.0

This is what I needed

By jggj

from Miami, FL

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Sturdy Good Stability

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

      Sturdy and stable enough to hold my D800 with long lens.
      It could be more foldable for easier fit to a regular luggage with a ball head.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      10 Stars

      By Constante Photo

      from San Antonio, TX

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Good Stability
      • Lightweight
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

      • None

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

      I'm a wedding videographer and this tripod works like charm. With a D800 attached onto a fluid head, this tripod handles the weight of my camera and lenses with no issues at all. If you can't afford the other brands and need a stable shot without any wobble at all, get this tripod. I'm about 5 foot 4 inch and this thing goes maybe a foot taller than me. I haven't had any complaints so far. This tripod is awesome!!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Excellent Tripod for the Money!

      By PhotoBill

      from Venice, FL

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Multi-angle Center Column

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Close-Ups
        • Macro
        • Portraits

        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

        Above anything else, the center column is the best feature of this tripod. Great for hard to get angles and close-ups. Comes with a nice multi tool/caddy for adjustments and tightening. I use it indoors exclusively for product and general all around studio work. Can't beat it's flexibility for the price!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great tripod for the money!

        By Smitty

        from Houston

        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

        This is my second tripod, and I'm sure it will be my last. I love this tripod! Light weight, solid, good construction. I Use it for all types of photography. You can't buy a better tripod for this price.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great for Workshop Videos

        By Sliverman

        from Formerly Great State of MN

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Stability

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Video

          Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

          In the woodshop are many obstacles such as benches table saws and outfeed tables. The item being photographed or featured in the video is most often on a piece of equipment so that it cannot be moved aside.
          I placed the Alta Pro tripod on a tripod dolly which works fine since the tripod has no spreader.
          Really pleased so far.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Stability at it's best

          By Pastor Vic

          from Clayton, WA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Stability
          • Unfolds Quickly
          • Versitile

          Cons

            Best Uses

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

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

            WOW, what a great tripod. This Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT is the best tripod I've owned. It is very sturdy and extremely versatile, making it possible to capture that amazing shot.

            At 4.41lbs, it's a bit heavy to throw on my back for a long day, but it's worth it. If you travel a lot or carry your tripod into the back country and have the cash, I'd consider the carbon fiber model.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            love it

            By kate126

            from nj

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

            The best tripod for heavy duty use with very long glass. Holds tight no slipping. Very stable. I feel confident putting my 5D mklll on here with a 150 to 600 lens.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Good for the price

            By JB541

            from Central, OR

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Stability
            • Unfolds Quickly

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Shots
            • Portraits
            • Travel

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

            I've used this tripod on a few occassions now and must say it's nice and stable and can get into just about any position you can imagine. It says the minimum height is 6" but if you invert the center column you can hang the camera upside down and litterally be right at ground level. This tripod and a good ball head will allow you to shoot however you want.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Nice piece of equipment for the money!

            By Rd

            from Pa

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

            Great tripod for the money, will do the job for most.

            Share this review

             
            3.0

            Good First Tripod

            By Rogue Digital

            from Corvallis, Or.

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Good Stability

            Cons

            • Cumbersome

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

            I have now had this tripod over two years. It has done fairly well. You can't beat it for the money. I have paired it up with the SBH250 ball head.

            It taught me many things I like and dislike. I like the snap levers for the legs. They have a firm positive grip. They provide a stable locking mechanism. I like the bubble level, it is easy to see. The upper part of the legs are padded and that makes it easy to carry. There is a nice bag included that will fit the tripod and head.

            Now to the dislikes. I don't care for the center levelers. The center post and center rotate levers are very similar and it is easy to confuse the two when concentrating on getting the shot or at night. The legs loosen up after time and have to be tightened. The set screw to tighten the legs is under the legs and a pain to get to. The center weight hook is too small and hard to use. I have tried to use my pack to weight it down, but it is impossible to use. Now the legs are becoming difficult to extend.

            I do like this tripod. It has taken a lot of abuse. I hoped it would last a little longer. If you want a light to medium duty tripod this is it. Make sure you tighten the set screws for the head. I had to learn that one when the head loosened up on the trail.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Very good for the money

            By Craig

            from Knighsen, Ca

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Stability
            • Lightweight
            • Unfolds Quickly

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

              If you can't afford a $400-1,000 tripod, then for [$] this is a pod that will last a very long time. The difference between a $1,000 pod and any as this one is tolerances and material quality. The tighter the tolerance and quality of materials, the more expensive to make. Bells and whistles are good, but you want a product that has decent tolerances and material qualities, this tripod here has these. You can't go wrong. Also, I would buy the best head you can after this purchase, the 200 head by this company is the best head for the money.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Great tripod

              By Jerry

              from Austin, TX

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Flexible configuration
              • Good Stability

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                After a long search for reviews on the web and hands on at a local shop, I decided that this was the tripod for me. After using it I found that the reviews where correct. It is very sturdy and more important it is VERY flexible. It was a great buy.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Vanguard Tripod

                By OG

                from Columbia, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Stability
                • Unfolds Quickly

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                  I use the tripod for whatever shot that I want to have complete stability - telephoto, macro, low light, long exposures etc. It is my go to tripod.The tripod functions very well. it is easy to set up and adjust. It is "medium" weight and goes reasonably well attached to a backpack.I like the way the tripod extends and how the Multi-Angle Central Column allows you to basically get on the ground which is especially good for macro photography and low level shots.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  I love this thing !!!

                  By Jersey Joe

                  from Princeton, NJ

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Stability
                  • Lightweight
                  • Unfolds Quickly

                  Cons

                  • None

                  Best Uses

                  • Macro

                  Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                  I think this is my new favorite piece of gear.It's lightweight, strong and well built.It came with a nice carrying case too!This tripod is very versatile and can be put in to numerous positions and configurations. It's especially great for macro photography or for just getting your camera into that hard to reach spot. I own a lot of tripods, some of which I've paid a wedge of cash for... but I don't like any of them better than this, it's great!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Exactly what I'm loking for .

                  By Marck

                  from Windsor , Quebec , Canada

                  About Me Photography Student

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Stability

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

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

                    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                    I don't have to up side down the center pole for take shot on the ground . I'll use it for macro photo , for wildlife I can stay low on the ground or use it like a normal tripod . I'm very satisfy.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Fantastic Tripod!

                    By Naravara

                    from Bangalore, India

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Beautiful
                    • Good Stability
                    • Great Design
                    • High Quality
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots

                    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                    A rock solid (a bit heavy after I fixed the Vanguard SBH-250 Magnesium Ballhead) tripod and a great value for the quality workmanship. Very easy to use: I could figure out moving the legs and the center column to set the tripod to various heights and angles. Comes with a carry bug and 1/4" & 3/8" screw adapter. An allen wrench is included with the tripod.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Nice little tripod

                    By Fred

                    from MN

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Stability
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                        This is the second one I've bought. I plan to remove the legs and build another base for it so I can use the arm to stick out beyond boardwalks in bogs etc.to photograph low-growing orchids and such. If I didn't like the first one I wouldn't have bought this one.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Very sturdy

                        By MJ

                        from Minneapolis, MN

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Good Stability
                        • Unfolds Quickly

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Macro

                          Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                          This tripod is so much sturdier than my Manfrotto for the same price. It's easier to manipulate and I love the central column system that allows me to get directly over a subject.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Really Sturdy and Solid

                          By PBJ Studios

                          from Chicago

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability
                          • It Comes With Tools
                          • It Has A Bag
                          • Lightweight
                          • Sturdy
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

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

                            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                            This tripod is sturdy and pretty solid for what I need it for. I was able to sit my Nikon D3s and not worry about it being to support the weight. The Multi Angle Central Column System allows for a sand bag to be attached to the bottom to assist with the different angles. The feet have retractable spikes in case you need it on the surface you are working on or you can screw them in with a turn of the pad if you need the rubber on a delicate surface. I was pretty impressed with the design and cost. I was able to put the head from my other tripod which was pretty expensive to this one with a removal of a screw.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Great tripod at a good price

                            By Joey

                            from Houston, tx

                            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                            Great tripod. A nice large carring bag large enough for a large ball head. I will probably buy a carring strap so I can hike out in the dark and not have to worry about loosing the bag.

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