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

(based on 180 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (138)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (37)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (105)
  • Unfolds quickly (51)
  • Lightweight (48)
  • Durable (46)
  • Easy to use (46)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (101)
  • Portraits (101)
  • Night shots (87)
  • Home (79)
  • Travel (61)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (67), Semi-pro photographer (28), Enthusiast (25), Semi-professional (18), Casual photographer (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (166), Yes (6)

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 180 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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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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              (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Vanguard falseley denies rebates

              By Harlan

              from Phoenix, AZ

              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

              Pros

                Cons

                • Bulky
                • Not Functional
                • Poor Design

                Best Uses

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

                  I was attracted by the $[$]rebate offer for the Alta Pro. Purchase made in mid-May, rebate period is March 1 to May 31, and I received an email stating the purchase was outside the rebate period. This does not appear to be a company that can be trusted - no phone number, no email response.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Super Tripod and With Ballhead

                  By pakarate

                  from Doylestown, PA

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Everyday use
                    • Landscape Photography
                    • Macro Photography
                    • Wildlife

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

                    I got this primarily for outdoor use for nature/wildlife photography. It is an excellent tripod, not to heavy and at an affordable price. Quick setup, sturdy locking mechanism and I love the ballhead. It also extends tall enough for me to be comfortable for a day of shooting ( i am 6'1"). The Vanguard Alta Pro is capable of holding large lenses, macro angles, and good flow with the ballhead.

                    Cons - the only one is that I would like a quick head release so I could in the future quickly switch from the ballhead, but not an issue in my mind.

                    Pros - Sturdy, light weight, easy to use, tool kit, excellent ballhead, bag, quick setup, durabliity.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

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                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Tripod = 4 Stars - Head = 2 Stars

                    By Wheeler Photography

                    from Franklin, TN

                    About Me Semi-Professional

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • Difficult To Use
                    • Not Functional

                    Best Uses

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

                      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.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      5.0

                      Suits my needs

                      By Melanie

                      from New York, NY

                      About Me Professional

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Reliable

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Everyday use
                        • Portraits
                        • Studio

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

                        It's a sturdy tripod with great versatility. I was initially hoping to purchase something under $, but found this to be a much better choice. I don't have to worry about flimsy legs or a poorly constructed product. I wish it were a little lighter in weight, but it's fine.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Any Position

                        By Jim

                        from Green Bay Wisconsin

                        About Me Semi-Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Durable
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Lightweight
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape Photography
                          • Macro Photography
                          • Portraits
                          • Studio
                          • Traveling

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

                          Great features and flexibility with this tripod. I can get it into any angle and position I need whether shooting with my macro lens or looking for a unique telephoto angle as well.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          professional

                          By serious about photos

                          from Tucson

                          About Me Semi-Professional

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Reliable

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

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

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

                            this is a very nice tripod at a price that won't break you budget. the qualify exceeded my expectations.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Versatile tripod suitable for any terrain

                            By Juan M

                            from Miami, FL

                            About Me Semi-Professional

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • 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:

                              The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 is a versatile tripod thats suitable for any terrain. This tripod can be adjusted to a plethora of angles and heights. Its great to get really low to the ground when needed. Tied together with the ball head and you have even more options for configuration.

                              Its made out of aluminum, meaning its stable and light!

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Great for the price

                              By NatureGuy

                              from Conneaut, Ohio

                              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Use
                              • Reliable

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Everyday use
                                • Home
                                • Landscape Photography
                                • Traveling

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

                                Very pleased with this so far. I use for everything from in creeks for waterfalls to night shots and anything in between. For the price it's been very sturdy and easy to use. The knobs take a little time to get used to but when everything's tight it works very well. Glad I didn't pay twice as much for something else!

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                4.0

                                Great Tripod

                                By NickT

                                from Newburgh, NY

                                About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Durable
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Reliable

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

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

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

                                  I'm very happy with this tripod. I've had it for over 2 years. It is a little heavy, but I am not really carrying it around all day. That said, the weight makes this a very stable tripod. The center column can be configured horizontally for macro shots. I bought an sbh-50 ball head for my monopod so I can use the same plate. I've never had any problems with the ball head or legs. The clamps are very sturdy. They are plastic, but I don't see them failing or weakening unless they are mistreated.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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