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by PowerReviews
VanguardAlta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead
 
4.7

(based on 189 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (142)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (41)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (105)
  • Lightweight (51)
  • Unfolds quickly (51)
  • Easy to use (50)
  • Durable (49)

Cons

  • Heavy (33)
  • Heavy / bulky (7)
  • Not functional (4)
  • Cumbersome (3)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (103)
  • Landscape/scenery (101)
  • Night shots (87)
  • Home (81)
  • Travel (63)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (67), Enthusiast (29), Semi-pro photographer (28), Semi-professional (19), Casual photographer (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (170), Yes (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

great tripod for the price

Photo-enthusiast, semi-pro wanna be. Overall I am giving this about 4 1/2- 4 3/4 stars, it has it's drawbacks, but the performance makes up for it in the asking...Read complete review

Photo-enthusiast, semi-pro wanna be. Overall I am giving this about 4 1/2- 4 3/4 stars, it has it's drawbacks, but the performance makes up for it in the asking price.

I am always looking to step my camera skills up to the next level and felt the urge to purchase a new tripod because the one I had been using for years would not squat low enough for macro shots. This one does that and I very pleased with it so far.

For convenience I was looking for one that I could strap to my back pack - that criteria was a fail on my part because I underestimated the actual size (no fault of the vendor, they gave the size specs). The size fail was easily forgiven because it has its own carrying case with a strap. In addition the size was overlooked because I was unwilling to compromise on the max load capacity. The lighter/smaller tripods couldn't meet the 12-15 lb max load I wanted -- I was looking at possible future purchases of heavier full-frame cameras and heavier zoom lenses.

At this point I've only used the tripod twice; once for a night cityscape shoot and another for a macro shot of a spider web (photo of tripod in action attached) and I am more than happy with it.

I'm new to both the ball head and the ISSL features. The multiple levels are very handy too. Really loving the ISSL for macro shots. I think the ISSL will prove itself as well for the radical angle shots I am fond of (when using a wider lens). The legs are a bit sticky as mentioned in a previous review, but that didn't warrant for a poor rating from me. Neither was the lack of understandable directions a big deal for me because I am more of a hands-on learner.

I am very VERY pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend this tripod to someone who wasn't willing to spend a lot of money for a professional grade tripod. Attached is an image to show what the tripod and ISSL is capable of. Please pardon my amateur snapshot, as it was taken with my phone and intended to show off the the tripod itself. Also please note that I wasn't worried about the tripod tipping because the one foot was jammed up against a solid wall - wouldn't recommend this set-up out in the open unless the weight sack is hanging between the legs of the tripod. Thanks for the read.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Tripod = 4 Stars - Head = 2 Stars

I've been using this tripod/head combo since May 2014. The tripod is good - I like the leg angle feature and the articulating center column. The ball head leaves a lot to be...Read complete review

I've been using this tripod/head combo since May 2014. The tripod is good - I like the leg angle feature and the articulating center column. The ball head leaves a lot to be desired, though. It shows in it's marketing material a 70-200 2.8L lens on the center column, but I can attest from experience that putting a 70-200 2.8L on this head you will experience slippage.

I had hoped to use the articulating center column with the 70-200 2.8L plus a Canon 500D close-up filter but aiming this lens with either a 7D2 or T3i + grip with this head is a royal PITA - it simply wont stay put when you aim then lock it down.

Apparently they were very generous in the weight rating on this ball head - specs say it's rated for 22 lbs yet it won't hold a 7 lb camera/lens without slippage? Will probably end up selling it and looking at other options.

Reviewed by 189 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

happy with Alta Pro 263 so far

By Jose

from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

This is my first venture into the thicket of non-cheapo tripods and so far (three weeks) I have not been disappointed, After much research (there are lots of options!) , I settled on this one and, as usual, was pleased by the promptness and professionalism of B&H. Pro: (a) in spite of some reviews to contrary, this holds a relatively heavy camera, in my case Nikon 750 with 28-300 mm glass on it, without drift. I would not, however want to go much heavier. (b) The center unfolds into a "boom" arm more intuitively and quickly than I had anticipated, greatly expanding the options for creative camera placement for a shot. Cons: (a) the ballhead works smoothly, but there is a learning curve to adjust it quickly. (c)The quick-release plate is a little sticky but will probably get smoother with time and experience. All in all I am very pleased with it.

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3.0

Built solid, but not Arca-Swiss compatible.

By Johnny Wad

from Reno, NV USA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

I bought this product, as it was recommended by several websites I visit. This was my first tripod valued at over 50 bucks, so was pretty excited to get it. Unfortunately, it is not Arca-Swiss compatible. I was not aware of this when I purchased it. Completely my fault for not doing my DD on it prior to purchase. This reason alone was the reason I sent it back. Other than this issue, it seemed like a very solidly built tri-pod, and was easy to set up and get the hang of. Unfortunate about the Arca-Swiss incompatibility. Seems it wouldn't be too hard to do this. I would though recommend this tri-pod of Arca-Swiss compatibility is not an issue.

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5.0

Well constructed and competively priced

By Jonathan

from Maryland

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

The Alta Pro serves my light to medium use perfectly. It operates smoothy and intuitively.

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5.0

Awesome tripod!

By Kay

from MN

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

I set a camcorder up on this tripod to record, and it is very steady. I have to put the camcorder in odd angles, and this tripod allows for it! It's great.

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4.0

Ball Head en perfectas condiciones. Muy buen producto.

By Juan Eduardo Bertrand

from Santiago, Chile

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Reliable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Landscape Photography
    • Macro Photography
    • Portraits

    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

    Muy buen trípode. Firme y de gran calidad. A pesar de conocer sus características de tamaño y peso, es más grande y más pesado de lo que se ve por Internet. Muy firme y seguro para la Camara.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

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    4.0

    Works well, very versatile, and good price.

    By medic06

    from Fort Collins CO

    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Everyday use
      • Landscape Photography
      • Macro Photography
      • Portraits
      • Traveling

      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

      Purchased this for low light, lightning photography, and to get those 'tricky' angles (looking up, and lower perspective).

      It is very versatile, it can be set up for a high angle so I can shoot over the heads of the other parents at my sons concert from the back of the room without disturbing anyone's view. can set it up to be just a few inches off the ground and get a more interesting perspective. easy to configure once you get the hang of the nobs and clamps. Pretty sturdy but not excessively heavy.

      The attachment to the camera is a little loose and can be a little challenging if you have a heavy lens and need to go vertical.

      Over all it's pretty good for the price.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      My Best Tripod ever

      By ozn

      from WATERTOWN, MA

      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Everyday use
        • Landscape Photography
        • Macro Photography
        • Traveling

        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

        user friendly ballhead
        easy to carrying
        medium heavy
        tested nikon d750. it was good
        quality of material is good
        the best thing is extra bonus plate and help tools

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Very Happy

        By Becka

        from Elyria, OH

        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easy To Use

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Everyday use
          • Home
          • Landscape Photography
          • Macro Photography

          Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

          I had purchased a different tripod with a ball head for more money, and what a pain. This tripod is sturdy, has great features, and you can't beat the price.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Light and versatile

          By Save or get p!ssed

          from Dallas, TX

          About Me Semi-Professional

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Everyday use
            • Landscape Photography
            • Studio

            Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

            After reading about issues with the CF version of this tripod, I decided to go with the aluminum one. It is impressively lightweight for the amount of weight it can handle. The pivoting arm is perfect for top-down shoots as well as low angle shots.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Execllent Value

            By Poniatowski

            from Australia

            About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Reliable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Spotting Scope

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

              Great tripod I bought this based on internet reviews in birding forums and use it for mounting my Celestron Regal 80mm spotting scope. This tripod handles this job brilliantly. Its compares very well against the Manfrotto tripods on the range, better in many respects (strong, steady, smooth fluid ball head, tiltable head).

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Unfolds Quickly; Good Stability;

              By Suku

              from IL

              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy To Use
              • Reliable

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape Photography
              • Macro Photography
              • Portraits
              • Studio

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

              I have found this tripod to satisfy all my needs from such an accessory. It is quite heavy but came with a bag which makes carrying it much better. I have used it for landscape and family photos. Glad I bought it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              awesome tripod

              By sheru

              from new jersey

              About Me Semi-Professional

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy To Use
              • Reliable

              Cons

              • Bulky

              Best Uses

              • Everyday use
              • Home
              • Landscape Photography
              • Macro Photography
              • Portraits
              • Studio

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

              Solid tripod, you can position the camera in any angle you want,it can be set to very low height, great for macro photography.very well built tripod, its heavy and stable for outdoor shoots. inherent disadvantages would be, as its an aluminium tripod its not light weight. Bottom line: its very good tripod over all, only thing i don't like about it is its folding length.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great Beginner Tripod

              By S

              from Boston, MA

              About Me Getting Started

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy To Use

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Everyday use
              • Home
              • Landscape Photography
              • Macro Photography
              • Portraits
              • Studio

              Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

              Being new to photography, I delayed purchasing a tripod until it became glaringly obvious that I needed to have one to further my photography skills. After a lot of research, I settled on the Alta Pro 263AB. This is a solid tripod with great features. The kit comes with a ballhead which is another expense if bought separately. The legs are easy to break down, the middle column breaks down and can swing down a full 180 degrees, the ballhead is smooth for panning shots. If you are interested in night photography or macro and are new to photography, this is a great tripod to have in your repertoire.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Perfect tripod for my needs

              By Canal Shooter

              from Belfair, WA

              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Adjustability Sturdiness
              • Durable
              • Easy To Use
              • Reliable

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Everyday use
                • Home
                • Landscape Photography
                • Macro Photography
                • Portraits
                • Studio
                • Traveling

                Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                I am not a longtime photographer, but this hobby has gotten into my blood, and I love to shoot landscape. Although I also shoot portrait and other still photos requiring a triop. I was happy I could find this combination of tripod and ballhead. It is an ideal for my needs. Sturdy, and perfectly sized. I had a smaller tripod that wasn't steady. This one is rock solid. It would be better if it were a little lighter, but it's manageable and it's not a handicap for me. For the same functionality and stability with less weight, I'd have to go to carbon fiber, which is beyond my budget. At just over $[$]I feel I did very well. The ballhead and all the adjustments confused me at first, but I easily mastered their usage and settings. A nice feature is the ring on the bottom of the center rod for hanging a weight to add stability when needed. It's been a wonderful addition to my photo equipment.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Great Beginner Tripod for a professional Photographer

                By Megan Nicole

                from Brooklyn, New York

                About Me Professional

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Everyday use
                  • Landscape Photography
                  • Portraits
                  • Studio

                  Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                  Extremely sturdy and holds up my mamiya RB67 with ease.
                  Downside is that it is slightly heavy but its more advanced functions make for its weight. Definitely my next tripod will be a carbon fiber one.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Love this Tripod

                  By dlars

                  from Syracuse, NY

                  About Me Casual user

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                    Solid. Great features. Wait for a good price.

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                    5.0

                    Alta Property 263AB trioid

                    By Gerry

                    from Boston, MA

                    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                    • None

                    Best Uses

                    • Everyday use
                    • Landscape Photography
                    • Macro Photography
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                    My first tripod, so I don't have anything to compare it to. What I know is that it works perfectly and my pics are extremely sharp. I don't have any complaints at all. For the money I paid including rebate, it's hard to find a better tripod.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    4.0

                    Sturdy and Well Built

                    By The Girl With A Camera

                    from Myrtle Beach

                    About Me Professional

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Easy To Use

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Everyday use
                      • Home
                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                      I was pleasantly surprised how sturdy and well-built this tripod is for the price. I do a lot of shooting at the beach and didn't want to ruin another expensive carbon tripod, so I purchased this one based on other reviews. Very pleased!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Versatile Heavy-Hitter

                      By Professor Larry

                      from Boston

                      About Me Semi-Professional

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Flexible
                      • Solid

                      Cons

                      • Bulky

                      Best Uses

                      • Macro Photography
                      • Studio

                      Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                      This tripod is a solid and versatile system. It was purchased for macro photography both inside and in the field supporting a marine biologist. It has the flexibility needed to put a camera squarely inches above a tray with a specimen or settlement plate or for shooting at low angles on uneven rocky shores. Reversing or tilting the center post is straightforward but is not to be hurried. Biggest shortcomings are that it is quite heavy and not at all compact, so lugging it in the field can be a strain. Another con is that the quick-change plates (a) require a coin or screwdriver to attach to the camera and (b) have no provision for centering the camera socket (lens center/focal plane) precisely over the pivot of the ballhead, making panoramas iffy.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Sturdy easy to use not disappointed

                      By jo

                      from Leonardtown, Maryland

                      About Me Semi-Professional

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight
                      • Reliable

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Macro Photography
                        • Portraits
                        • Studio

                        Comments about Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead:

                        I use my tripod with my DSLR Nikon camera. I recently purchased a micro lens and this tripod is exactly what I needed for this type of sense. The tripod is easy to use and is very stable. It comes with a nice case to carry and is very light to carry as well. I have used other tripods before at a much less cost and you can really tell the difference. I highly recommend this tripod. I found out about this tripod from a professional Nikon photographer. I am not disappointed.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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