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

(based on 168 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (131)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (33)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (105)
  • Unfolds quickly (51)
  • Lightweight (47)
  • Durable (37)
  • Easy to use (37)

Cons

  • Heavy (30)
  • Heavy / bulky (4)
  • Cumbersome (3)
  • Not functional (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (101)
  • Portraits (92)
  • Night shots (87)
  • Home (73)
  • Travel (60)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (67), Semi-pro photographer (28), Enthusiast (19), Semi-professional (16), Casual photographer (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (156), Yes (5)

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 168 customers

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5.0

LOVE IT

By Chanan Tzionov

from New York, NY

About Me Semi-Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Macro Photography
    • Studio

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

    What can i say? Manfrotto did it again! This tripod is so versatile and its ability to work on various angles is truly magnificent. If you do any photo or video in a light box THIS is the tripod for you. Its such a good investment

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    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 review

       
      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

        Share this review

         
        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

          Share this review

           
          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

            Share this review

             
            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

              Share this review

               
              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

                Share this review

                 
                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

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great tripod

                  By Natan

                  from McKinney TX

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

                  Great quality and reasonable price, smooth operation. Plus always great experience buying from B&H online.

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  STURDY! and Easy to Use

                  By smallmob

                  from near Chattanooga, TN

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

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

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

                    This is the first tripod I've bought for myself. Have seen others that had me worried they'd tip over and drop my camera. My son is a professional photographer and he was very impressed at how "beefy" it is! It's easy to set up and get straight with all the built in levels. I can't find any "cons" to owning and using this great piece of equipment. The ball head is smooth operating and
                    just what I needed for my work.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Best in Class

                    By Nielsenius

                    from Pittsburgh, PA

                    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Everyday use
                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Portraits
                      • Studio

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

                      I prefer not to use a tripod unless I'm dealing with very low light or some landscapes. I find the Alta Pro to be wonderful to use, however. The build quality is great, it looks good, and it has tons of easy functions. The tripod comes with a very good ball head and a carrying bag. I'd say it's the best deal out there.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Good Sturdy Tripod

                      By Lee

                      from United States

                      About Me Semi-Professional

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape Photography
                        • Macro Photography
                        • Portraits

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

                        This tripod is very sturdy, even leaning on the heavy side. It is well made and seems like it will hold up very well. Folds down a bit large (long). I am pleased with my purchase, especially for the money.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Great!

                        By Jdlay28

                        from Michigan

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

                        Received this tripod as a gift and am very happy with it so far. It's a little bit large to carry around but it's not too have, and comes with a carrying bag the mitigates that. It was a little difficult initially to figure out how to tilt the center column but again, that wasn't too big a deal. I've only used it a few times but I definitely think it is worth it!!

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Decent for the Money

                        By studiosteve

                        from los angeles

                        About Me Semi-Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        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 use this tripod for macro, and believe it or not video. I recently had to relinquish my video tripod and this works great until I can get my tripod back.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Every thing I wanted

                          By Sunny

                          from Florida

                          About Me Semi-Professional

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Everyday use
                            • Landscape Photography
                            • Traveling

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

                            Excellent product
                            Everything I expected
                            Durable and easy to use!!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Great Tripod!

                            By Peggy

                            from Colorado

                            About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Everyday use
                              • Home

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

                              The tripod is very easy to use and extremely sturdy and flexible. I will be taking photos of jewelry primarily and I find the tripod to be very mobile and useful for my purposes.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Built Solid

                              By Buckey

                              from Marco Island, FL

                              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Durable
                              • Easy To Use

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape Photography

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

                                I was very suprised on how solidly built it is. Bought it mainly for using it at Disneyworld and didn't want something too light weight that would get knocked over easely by people not looking where they're going.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                1.0

                                Worst tripod ever!!

                                By 7imagegroup

                                from London, ON, Canada

                                About Me Professional

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                  • Not Durable
                                  • Not Functional
                                  • Poor Design

                                  Best Uses

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

                                    I bought this tripod less than two years ago to replace a cheap little $ Manfrotto that I had been using - big mistake! All three legs are now loose and flopping around and cannot be tightened. Furthermore, the rubber grips on the ball head dial, the QR plate dial, and the pan adjustment dial are either spinning, or have long since fallen off. Also, I'm not (was never) able to fully tighten the ball right since day one!Do yourself a favor and look at another brand.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Solid as a rock, fast and easy to use,

                                    By ScottB

                                    from Upstate NY

                                    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Durable
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Reliable

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

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

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

                                      I tried a few tripods, hands down, this one beats them all! ... Sturdy, fast to setup, can handle weight, not too heavy, versatile. Feet can sit on rubber or spikes (good for all occasions). The center bar can be used in many different ways; Marco, 90degree, To get to eye level (I'm 6'2" .. no problems), Love the quick release legs, A few bands of Velcro and I can add my CamRanger, and other items I might want mounted to my tripod.
                                      VERY worth the money!!

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Update of a great tripod

                                      By toxictabasco

                                      from Nevada

                                      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                                      Verified Reviewer

                                      Pros

                                      • Durable
                                      • Easy To Use
                                      • Reliable

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

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

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

                                        I still use this for almost everything. Long exposure, landscapes, indoor, night photography, etc..., and it still works great. I have used this on over 60 photo shoots in the past 8 months. And, the only problems I had was the rubber grip rings on the ball head came loose, and some periodically tightening of the leg clamps (2 times). I take this everywhere I shoot, be it the walk about in urban terrain, or out in the desert trails, and it's reliable and comfortable to carry. From freezing to 110+ degree Mojave Desert temperatures the tripod still performs well. It even survived a few days in the desert baking in the car at over 140 degrees. That's when the rubber grip rings on the ball head came lose (my bad). As for portability, The weight is minimal at 5 lbs., and the size is ideal for walk around. It's fast to deploy the 3 section legs. But it takes some time developing a system where you orient the ball head and it's many angles and knobs to make fast adjustments. But once you develop a system and have a base line set up, this tripod and ball head is very fast and accurate to set up. Once you get the system down, you can make the adjustments blind without looking at/for the knobs. Going to portrait angle gives you a Gimbal style system with the panning loose and the lock down knob semi loose. Lately, I have been seeking a replacement tripod for my current set up and a future long telephoto lens. But with this tripod I can't justify another tripod. As this tripod still performs very well without any issues, and as good as anything I would expect from more expensive tripods. And, I have tested a few top brands at the local camera store.

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

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