REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
VanguardAlta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod
 
4.7

(based on 96 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (73)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (78)
  • Unfolds quickly (54)
  • Lightweight (44)
  • Folds away (33)

Cons

  • Heavy (8)
  • Poor quality (3)
  • Unstable (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (68)
  • Night shots (59)
  • Portraits (53)
  • Home (47)
  • Wildlife (34)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (40), Semi-pro photographer (23), Pro photographer (12), Casual photographer (10), Photography student (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (79)

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 96 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Love it!

By Re Becca

from Las Vegas, NV

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Stability

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Shots
    • Portraits

    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

    My first tripod. Love the height I get, clips are sturdy to hold it in place. I thought it would be heavier in weight but I am glad it's not. I am still getting used to setting it up, I feel awkward ..... but I will get the hang of it.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Handy for macro

    By Hpbpe

    from Acworth GA

    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

    Versatile

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    5.0

    Super product!

    By Alex

    from Wellington, FL

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Stability

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Shots
      • Video

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

      One of the sturdiest and most versatile tripods for the cost-minded pro or amateur. I now have two of them and use them for both video and still photography. Love the multi-angle central column!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Fantastic product!

      By R.J.

      from Thousand Oaks, Ca

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Stability

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Portraits

        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

        This tripod is perfect.. Very light and solid. I really love the lateral feature making it perfect relationship for my food photography work. I reviewed many tripods on the market chose Vanguard because of its flexibility of use and obvious high quality construction.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Solid product

        By Tim

        from Michigan

        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

        I purchased this tripod to replace one lost in a fire. Very happy with Vanguard's quality! This a solid, dependable tripod. It came with a nice drawstring bag.

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        (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Give this one a pass.

        By Kyle May

        from Cleveland, Ohio

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Folds Small
        • Lightweight
        • Unfolds Quickly

        Cons

        • Flip Locks Fail
        • Unstable
        • Weak Ball Mount
        • Weak Construction

        Best Uses

        • Door stop
        • Paperweight

        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

        I own this tripod and it collapsed while I was in studio. Unfortunately I was adjusting my set and was not close enough to stop my Canon 6d with a 24-105L lens and Impact wireless trigger attached from crashing to the cement floor. One of the legs literally collapsed without warning. If you value your equipment, I'd give this tripod a pass. I am not the first to have issues with the Vanguard Tripods.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Rigid and flexible

        By pastpro

        from Central FL

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Stability
        • Unfolds Quickly

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

          I desired a sturdy tripod for those time I would be working close to my car or home and did not need a lightweight tripod. I was looking for something that would set up quick and simple.
          This fit the bill perfectly it is flexible in the many positions that it can be set to. Yet it is very sturdy for my 6 to 8 pounds of camera and lens.
          Though it can be adjusted from 0 to 180 degrees of center column tilt the first 25 degrees or so the center column must be fully extended so the bottom will clear the spider assembly that holds the legs. At this full extension there is some flex
          I am pleased with this tripod and I would purchase it again or recommend it to others.

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          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great for Product Photography

          By LindsaytheShopOwner

          from Moncks Corner, SC

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Folds Small
          • Good Stability
          • Lightweight
          • Unfolds Quickly

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Product photography

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

            Perfect for product photography because I can finally completely face down. Level is also great for making sure the camera is straight, etc.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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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 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

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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 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

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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 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

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                  5.0

                  Great tripod for the money!

                  By Smitty

                  from Houston

                  Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum 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.

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                  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 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

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                    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 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

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                      5.0

                      love it

                      By kate126

                      from nj

                      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum 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.

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      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 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

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                      4.0

                      Nice piece of equipment for the money!

                      By Rd

                      from Pa

                      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Tripod:

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

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      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 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 reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      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 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 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

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