REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
VanguardSBH-250 Ball Head
 
4.6

(based on 108 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (70)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (34)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (92)
  • Attaches firmly (80)
  • Large range of motion (73)
  • Strong clamp (69)
  • Durable (5)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (85)
  • Night shots (69)
  • Portraits (64)
  • Wildlife (45)
  • Travel (41)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (55), Semi-pro photographer (28), Pro photographer (14), Casual photographer (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (93)

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 108 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

(2 of 2 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

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

     
    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

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

     
    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

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

       
      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

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

         
        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

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

           
          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

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

             
            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

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

             
            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

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

             
            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

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

               
              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

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                 
                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

                  Share this reviewHelp Icon

                   
                  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.

                  Share this reviewHelp Icon

                   
                  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

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                    (3 of 3 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

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      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

                        Share this reviewHelp Icon

                        (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

                        Share this reviewHelp Icon

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent Ball Head

                        By studio-937

                        from Dayton, OH

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Strong Clamp

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

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

                          Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                          I don't think there is a better product on the market for the price. This Ball Head is a great compliment to my Vanguard Alta + 264 Tripod.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                           
                          4.0

                          Great 2 level head

                          By Alex the photographer

                          from Brooklyn, NY

                          Verified Buyer

                          Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                          I use the product for interiors and 360 panos and it's very helpful for that. The levels are perfect for my purpose and the fact that the head comes with 2 plates is great.

                          Some of the knobs can be a little unresponsive at times and it's peculiar why there are two tension knobs. It's also annoying that you have to rotate the entire head in a certain way to tilt the plate down 90 degrees but otherwise it's a fine head.

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                           
                          5.0

                          Very pleased

                          By JR

                          from NYC

                          About Me Photography Student

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability
                          • Strong Clamp

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Portraits
                            • Wildlife

                            Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                            Did a lot of research regarding ball heads, new to this in the world of heads and tripods, but it was time for one.
                            Without spending a lot of money, and some will say you need to spend more then you are willing, which is not true, you just need to know what your needs are and what the equipment can actually do.
                            I eventually went with the Vanguard SBH-250, there were several others in a similar price range that are just as good, but i chose this one, overkill for my X-E1 with the 18-55mm, but this head works like a dream, very smooth operation and adjustments, some will say it's stiff, and it is for good reason, but IMHO, you can't go wrong for the price, good solid head and i've got it sitting on an Induro AT214 set of sticks, great combination, very happy with both pieces.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this reviewHelp Icon

                             
                            5.0

                            Price is irrelevant. QUALITY IS GREAT

                            By RTuttlePhotography

                            from Seattle, WA

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Pros

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

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots
                              • Portraits

                              Comments about Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head:

                              Does everything you expect and need out of a Ball Head Camera Mount. I like how you control the tension adjustments. The panning on this is SMOOOOOTH. Excellent investment.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this reviewHelp Icon

                              Displaying reviews 1-20

                              Back to top

                              Previous | Next »