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VanguardSBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels
 
4.6

(based on 34 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Attaches firmly (26)
  • Stable (26)
  • Strong clamp (22)
  • Large range of motion (19)

Cons

  • Heavy (13)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (26)
  • Night shots (18)
  • Portraits (15)
  • Wildlife (15)
  • Home (12)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (11), Semi-pro photographer (10), Pro photographer (5), Casual photographer (4), Photography student (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (32)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Holds a 5d with grip and 70-200

I put this one up for a test with my 5d mkII, 70-200is and then hung another 5d with strap off of the lense. held it perfectly steady for 2hrs. bubble levels...Read complete review

I put this one up for a test with my 5d mkII, 70-200is and then hung another 5d with strap off of the lense. held it perfectly steady for 2hrs. bubble levels stayed perfect.I will say that if you tighten it down all the way and then muscle it you can get it to budge, it's also smooth but not the smoothest when panning etc. The bottom line is, for up to say 40lbs this is a fantastic ballhead and should not be overlooked. At [$] it's a steal!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Does not tighten level at base or stay tight

I purchased this ball head on 7/23, is failed one month later. The rotation locking knob causes the head to tilt when tightened and remains loose. Rendering the leveled camera not level...Read complete review

I purchased this ball head on 7/23, is failed one month later. The rotation locking knob causes the head to tilt when tightened and remains loose. Rendering the leveled camera not level and shaky. I contacted Vanguard and there warranty process is cumbersome. I decided to discard the unit instead of send it in.

Do not by this cheap ball head. Spend the money on a reliable brand like Arca-Swiss.

Reviewed by 34 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great ball head

By boatman

from Connecticut

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability
  • Strong Clamp

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Home
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Night Shots
  • Portraits

Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

Have had this item for several weeks now. I bought it with a Vanguard Auctus Plus 283CT Carbon Fiber Tripod. The combo is very sturdy and heavier. The ball head is smooth, controls work fine. I like the addition of the knob that allows to set the ball head tension so that when you unlock the fixing knob the head does just flop over. The tripod and ball head work well to support a Canon 5D mark III with 70-200mm f/2.8 II len.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Sturdy Tripod Head

By Zach

from Monterey Bay

Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

Supports my 4x5 and RB 67 very well. Recommended.

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4.0

Strong Ball Head

By Win Tun

from San Jose, CA

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

    This is the 2nd ball head I purchased. It is strong to hold my astrophotography setup (~20lb) and cheaper in its class (70lb loading capacity). The only minor complaint is the rubber wrapping the nobs, which is not precisely cut for both copies I have.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Very solid and adjustable

    By humanizr

    from Iceland

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

    Very solid and adjustable

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Does not tighten level at base or stay tight

    By Nick

    from new hampshire

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Faulty And Cheap
      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • None

      Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

      I purchased this ball head on 7/23, is failed one month later. The rotation locking knob causes the head to tilt when tightened and remains loose. Rendering the leveled camera not level and shaky. I contacted Vanguard and there warranty process is cumbersome. I decided to discard the unit instead of send it in.

      Do not by this cheap ball head. Spend the money on a reliable brand like Arca-Swiss.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Very reliable ball head at a great price

      By Creative Jedi

      from Des Moines, IA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Excellent build quality
      • Good Stability
      • Large Range of Motion
      • Solid feel
      • Strong Clamp

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • All Ball Head Uses

        Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

        I have had a SBH-300 for over 5 years on my main still photography tripod. It has performed flawlessly. I have just purchased a second to use on some of my specialty video applications, such as a slider dolly. This may be the largest ball you can buy for the price, and when it comes to ball heads, size matters. Smaller balls cannot lock down as well, particularly with heavier loads. This one also has a very smooth pan base with adjustable tension, as well as adjustable loose end tension on the main ball, which can prevent rude surprises such as a too-abrupt release of the ball, causing the camera to fall forward onto the lens. This is my favorite ball head ever, and you just can't beat the price to quality ratio. If you are looking for a great ball head - no matter what your budget might be - I strongly recommend the Vanguard SBH-300.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very solid, maybe a bit of overkill

        By Tim

        from Detroit, MI

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Shots
          • Wildlife

          Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

          Very solid and stable ball-head. Maybe a bit of overkill for a small DSLR.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Great quality and easy to use

          By thecanonguy

          from NJ

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attaches Firmly
          • Good Stability
          • Strong Clamp

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Travel
            • Video

            Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

            This is my second SBH-300 Ball head. I really liked my first one and bought this is one as a backup.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            4.0

            Good enough for my needs

            By tclune

            from western MA

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Attaches Firmly
            • Strong Clamp

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Wildlife

              Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

              I have a Sigma 150-500 that I use for birding and the like. My tripod is an Induro AT413 with a Manfrotto gimbal, which is wonderfuly stable but weighs a ton. So I typically use a good hefty monopod (Opteka M900) when I need to go into the field. But the ball head I had was too small for my birding lens. So I got the Vanguard SBH-300 to use with the monopod. It is just about ideal for that. The ball is large enough (1.75" diameter as far as I can tell) to make positioning the lens easy; the friction adjustment is simple and reliable; when locked down, the head doesn't move under load; and the quick release is large and has a safety latch to keep it from slipping off the head accidentally. As a bonus, spare quick release plates are priced reasonably -- unlike just about every other ball head you can buy. Given that I use it on a monopod, my requirements are not very demanding. But the Vanguard meets those needs admirably, and does it at a very attractive price.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Solid

              By Agent Roux

              from Orlando, FL

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy to Use

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                I use this ball head with a Dynamic Perception motion control slider. It's solid and stable. The extra long release plate makes it easy to shift the center of gravity when I'm using a longer lens.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Worth the money

                By David - The angle at which we see

                from Chicago, IL

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Easy to Use
                • Strong

                Cons

                • Travel When Tightening

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Travel

                Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                Well worth the money. The only issue that I have with this unit is that it "travels" slightly when tightening down the ball head so you need to compensate when you are leveling. Otherwise this is a great unit. Holds my D5200 with Tamron 24-70 di and flash mounted on the camera.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Very Good Ball Head for the Price

                By Win Tun

                from San Jose

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Built Quality

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Astrophotography
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                  Built quality is very good. I also have SBH-200 and buy another SBH-300 for my Astrophotography. I like both SBH-200 and 300. All I can say is good buy.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Like It

                  By Opposable_Thumb

                  from Colorado

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability

                  Cons

                  • Complicated Controls

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                  Like it.....don't love it. Not upset I bought it but could be more user friendly. Is very sturdy with long lenses (400mm). Level bubbles are excellent.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Wonderful

                  By sw

                  from Atlnta

                  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
                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                    Excellent for stability

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Very Strong

                    By Jeremy

                    from Santa Barbara CA

                    About Me Photography Student

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                      I love how large the plate is, makes for a good strong mount for my D800.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Solid, heavy duty ball head

                      By Dan

                      from Omaha, NE

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

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

                        Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                        I use this ballhead for HDR photography and panoramic photography, along with studio work and other general forms of photography. It is very solid, will hold a great deal of weight, and is easy to use.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        nice sturdy ball head

                        By western runner

                        from los angeles, ca

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Good Stability
                        • Strong Clamp

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Home
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Portraits

                          Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                          very nice weight compared to size and load capacity. also have vanguard abh-340K head, which can be had for a similar price (used to be quite a bit more) but the abh unit is smaller, lighter, higher capacity and easier operation wtih higher end feel. this unit does the job though, and is priced right. panning lock not completely lockable, and the rubber ring around that knob is a little lose. other than that, happy using it with a slik 700dx pro.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          4.0

                          Great value for the buck.

                          By Bobcat

                          from Chelsea OK

                          About Me Casual Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

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

                          Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                          Large ball which will support a lot of weight which you can set the friction on.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Great quality ballhead

                          By vpanicker

                          from San Jose, CA

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability
                          • Well-built

                          Cons

                          • Arca swiss incompatible
                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery

                          Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                          I bought this ballhead in 2010 and I am still using it. Well-built and heavy but works very well. The only issue I have with this ballhead is that the clamp is not arca swiss compatible.

                          Anyway, I replaced the quick release clamp with a Kirk arca swiss compatible one and it works very well now. I had to get a hex screw and cut the screw head to attach the Kirk clamp to the ballhead. A little loctite was used to help with the bonding.

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                          5.0

                          Great Product!!

                          By Andy

                          from Charlotte, NC

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

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

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Portraits
                            • Wildlife

                            Comments about Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head W/2 Bubble Levels:

                            It's a great ballhead; I have had issues with the head moving when I had a heavy lens on my old trigger head but so far not with this one. It is very sturdy and a great value! Others suggested heads that were $300 to $1200 but I see no problem with this head at all and would highly suggest it!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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