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VanguardSBH-250 Ball Head
 
4.6

(based on 112 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (73)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (34)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (94)
  • Attaches firmly (82)
  • Large range of motion (75)
  • Strong clamp (71)
  • Durable (5)

Cons

  • Heavy (15)
  • Complicated controls (3)
  • Unstable (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (87)
  • Night shots (71)
  • Portraits (65)
  • Wildlife (47)
  • Travel (41)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (56), Semi-pro photographer (29), Pro photographer (14), Casual photographer (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (95)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great value, greater product

I was looking at replacing my basic ballhead with a more sturdy one that do not creep with my typical setup, which is a Canon 50D with 70-300mm.

I was considering...Read complete review

I was looking at replacing my basic ballhead with a more sturdy one that do not creep with my typical setup, which is a Canon 50D with 70-300mm.

I was considering the Manfrotto 488RC2, and was introduced to Vanguard SBH-100 instead. With that I researched further and found that the Vanguard SBH-250 provides more features compared to the 488RC2. The additional features include:
1. Tension control
2. Sliding mount plate
3. Dual bubble-level
4. Magnesium alloy (much lighter than aluminium alloy)

To top it off, these additional features at a price that is lower than the Manfrotto 488RC2.

I have used the Vanguard SBH-250 in several awkward angles, and it had did not creep at all. Once tightened, it stays that way. Now my tripod leg seems to need an upgrade, as the flaws of the tripod leg becomes more apparent.

Even though the ballhead is made in China, the quality control is very good. If you are not told that it is not made in China, you would not be able to tell.

BTW, the ballhead comes with 2 mount plates, so you can have your backup camera ready to be mounted too.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

"It was great until....."

Purchased this head for use with Nikon D700's and Mamiya M645. The head seems really well made; solid and finished very nicely. It is a bit on the heavy side but that's...Read complete review

Purchased this head for use with Nikon D700's and Mamiya M645. The head seems really well made; solid and finished very nicely. It is a bit on the heavy side but that's not an altogether bad thing in terms of stability. Movement was a bit stiff but that's probably a function of newness and getting used finding the friction points. The real problem surfaced when I attached a Nikon D700 with a heavy lens. Used the lens as the attachment point and when trying to position the camera for a shot, the camera and lens twisted on the mount. In part, I think, because the screw that goes through the mounting plate is very short; only showing a few threads. It looks like there's not enough screw to really get any purchase and you only can tighten so much before you start risking stripping threads. Also, there is nothing on the underside of the plate (like one of those swiveling "D" rings) to prevent the screw from turning. This was a surprising oversight in engineering for an otherwise very well made product. I was really looking forward to using this head for some time, but if the camera is going to twist, what's the point of using a tripod at all?[...]

Reviewed by 112 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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2.0

Poor choice

By art photos

from Marysville, WA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

Quick release plate is very difficult to slide in and out of place.
I returned this head and will be purchasing a different brand.

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5.0

A Genuine Upgrade from my previous ball head

By Math man

from Bellingham, Washington

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability
  • Large Range of Motion
  • Strong Clamp

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Macro
    • Night Shots
    • Wildlife

    Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

    I use this for macro work and focus stacking often in conjunction with a CamRanger. This ball head allows for more precise adjustments than the one I was using previously. It uses screw knobs for the plate release. I find this more secure than the lever release which could become caught on clothing and release inadvertently.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    SBH-250 Ball Head

    By Gerry

    from Boston, MA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Good Stability
    • Large Range of Motion
    • Strong Clamp

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

      Outstanding Ball Head. I used to have the SBH-100, but the problem was when you lock it down it would always move forward just a bit, and that was annoying. After you lock it down, you had to zoom out just a tad. This SBH-250 locks down with out any movement at all. I highly recommend this ball head.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great ball head

      By Cornerbrooker

      from Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada

      Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

      This is a heavy duty ball head. The adjustment knobs are easy to use and work great. Highly recommended.

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      SBH-250

      By seymour templar

      from NY NY

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Compact
      • Good Stability

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Portraits
        • Travel

        Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

        I've bought it a while ago, use it with a heavy camera/lens combo (Canon 1DsMkIII) and I have never worried about the ball head giving me problems, even in vertical orientation.
        It's solid, compact (I travel quite a bit, and then mount it on a separate carbon fiber tripod) and easy to adjust.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Sturdy!

        By Re Becca

        from Las Vegas, NV

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attaches Firmly
        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion
        • Strong Clamp

        Cons

        • Complicated Controls

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

        Keeeps a strong hold onto the camera...swivels and levels easily

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excellent ball head

        By Ted H

        from Columbus OH

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attaches Firmly
        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion
        • Strong Clamp

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Home
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Shots

          Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

          I was looking for a affordable general use ball head and read some recommendation on the web reviews. I am glad I got this one for under $[$]. It's steady and accurate and easy to use.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Best price ball heads

          By JesseH

          from Webster Texas

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attaches Firmly
          • Good Stability
          • Large Range of Motion

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Portraits
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

            I own two of these ball heads and for the price they are excellent.Nice fit and finish and a good design. I would not hesitate to purchase another.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Vangard 250 ball head

            By None

            from Hartland WI

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Firmly
            • Good Stability
            • Large Range of Motion
            • Strong Clamp

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

              This is a great ball head stable holds a lot of weight have it on 2 tripods and 1 mono pod. Easy to use great product for a small expense.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Works as it should

              By Tim the Runner

              from San Diego, CA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Strong Clamp

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                Works great for holding d7000 and long tele lens

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Very good ballhead for amazing price

                By Jeremy H

                from Tucson AZ

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion
                • Price
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                • Not Arca compatible

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                I use this ballhead on my Slik Pro 700 DX tripod for landscape and bird photography.
                It easily holds my Gripped 7d with 100-400L lens.
                The tension knob works great and the ball is very smooth to move.
                The pan knob works well and the head roates smoothly.
                This head is NOT Arca Swiss compatible so know that going in.
                It came with 2 quick release plates which was nice.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                awsome

                By johnnyangel91

                from lancaster ca

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                heavy duty

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                I would by this product again.

                By luckyketch

                from Traverse City, MI

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                  I use this with a Sigma 120-40MM and a Canon 70D, I am going to purchase a 2nd to use with a Canonon T4i and a Tamron 150-600MM. I have been using for a year now and am very happy with it.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Great ball head at a great price.

                  By Bob

                  from Annapolis, MD

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots

                    Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                    I now have three Vanguard ball heads, the SBH-250, the SBH-100, and the SBH-50 for use on my large tripod, small tripod, and monopod. They all use the same camera plate which is a great convenience. The SBH-250 is a heavy-duty head that locks solid but is easy to adjust.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Happy I gave the Vanguard's SBH-250 Ball a chance

                    By Vision Quest Media

                    from Quincy IL

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Firmly
                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                      I am a virtual tour photographer that shoot 500-600 properties a year. Needed something easy to level but strong enough to hold pano head. Been an excellent product so far. Been using 3 way pan head for 15 years so been an adjustment to use ball head but I really like it so far.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Better than bulky ball heads

                      By Odil

                      from Woodbridge, VA

                      Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                      It is great for use with DSLRs on a slider.

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                      5.0

                      Great ball head

                      By Jeff

                      from Brandon, Fl.

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easy to Use

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Family Photos
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Travel
                        • Video

                        Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                        This ball head is very stable and locks down real good. Have placed Canon 7d W/70-200 No problems as of yet.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Vanguard is Incredible!

                        By Rob

                        from Fort Worth, TX

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Pros

                        • Durable
                        • Easy to Use
                        • Lightweight

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Family Photos
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Travel
                          • Video
                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                          Back on 6/18/2014 I made a review here of the SBH-250 and I stand behind it still. But even more, having a recent issue develop with the Head, Vanguard was more than quick to help out. It had developed a leak at the base of the main body. Fluid was coming out all over the place. I was ready to have to buy a new one, except after contacting Vanguard directly ( I spoke with Michelle ) and they informed me of the Limited Lifetime Warranty and suggested I send it in to them. So since I had nothing to lose on this, why not? I did what was asked, sent it in and they sent me brand new one back in the box. Keep in mind I've had this head for almost 2 years but was in studio use primarily, only outdoor use very few times.

                          All I can say is, the product is sound, anything man-made can develop a problem. But when a company backs up their products even after this long of a period, all I can say is that Vanguard has not only earned my business on future purchases but I don't feel you could go wrong with them at all. They are a great company and I haven't had the pleasure of dealing with such in a very long time. Cudos to Vanguard!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          Great Ball Head

                          By fricelfd

                          from SW Florida

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Compact
                          • Durable
                          • Easy to Use
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Family Photos
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Travel
                            • Video
                            • Weddings/Events
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                            I am using this Ball Head on a FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Rapid Tripod Legs and it works perfect on my Mark III and T3I.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            High Quality at a Great Price!

                            By Rob

                            from Fort Worth, TX

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Pros

                            • Build
                            • Compact
                            • Durable
                            • Easy to Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • Price

                            Cons

                            • None

                            Best Uses

                            • Family Photos
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Travel
                            • Video
                            • Weddings/Events
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                            I've had mine now for over a year. When I started looking at Ball Heads seriously, the cost of a good one was just way out of my reach for certain known brands. Then I discovered Vanguard, thought the price was too good to be true for something that looked so well built. In my year of ownership, there have been no regrets, I've used it for everything I do.I shoot products for a company as well do some freelance jobs here and there. Also do a lot of carrying around to locations for outdoor and event jobs. It's rugged, light and has everything I wanted. Including the markings on the base dial for doing specific step rotations for Panoramics.The build is sturdy, light weight and the plate you use to lock your camera in place has the two level bulbs which I find extremely useful. There may be other brands that use better build materials, but they cost you two to three times the price. I'm a firm believer you get what you pay for, here I got more than I expected for the price and I highly recommend it to anyone.It works super smoth, the dials are very fluid and have not lost grip in my time with it at all. The tension setting seems to be the only part I feel could have been a little better, but it works fine without a hitch.I use a Nikon D80 that has the battery grip and I use a 300mm Lens at times and it supports this weight with ease. When I decide to get another to replace this one, I will definitely be looking at Vanguard first!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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