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

(based on 152 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (118)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (105)
  • Unfolds quickly (51)
  • Lightweight (40)
  • Durable (24)
  • Easy to use (24)

Cons

  • Heavy (30)
  • Heavy / bulky (4)
  • Cumbersome (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (102)
  • Night shots (87)
  • Portraits (83)
  • Home (67)
  • Travel (55)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (67), Semi-pro photographer (29), Enthusiast (13), Casual photographer (12), Semi-professional (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (142), 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

 

Misleading name

"Pro"? No. After one week of use the legs won't stay extended, it takes almost no weight or pressure for one of the legs to compress when locked. The...Read complete review

"Pro"? No. After one week of use the legs won't stay extended, it takes almost no weight or pressure for one of the legs to compress when locked. The ball head is nice, but these legs are garbage. I'm using it with a T2i and Canon 100mm Macro 2.8L and it can't support the weight. I tried tightening the locks but the screws/bolts are already as tight as possible, I'd only strip the screws. I've been using gaffers tape to secure the legs, but this is time consuming and I've missed several photo op's while trying to put the tape in place, talk about frustrating. If you want a good tripod don't bother with this, spend a little more and spring on something italian.

Reviewed by 152 customers

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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

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      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

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        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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          5.0

          Inspires me to shoot more

          By Tripod newbie

          from Chicago, IL

          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easy To Use

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape Photography
            • Macro Photography

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

            This is my first tripod, ever. I bought it so I could go on a Meetup to photograph the Supermoon and not be laughed out of the park. I obsessed for over a year about what to buy - I knew I would want a tripod eventually, although I wasn't sure exactly for what - and became frustrated by all the options out there, expensive or otherwise. I finally came across one in-depth review that targeted inspired amateurs and enthusiasts, and not professionals requiring tripods in the $thousands. I've only used it twice so far, but the first time I took it out, I required zero instructions to operate it. It's very intuitive to use. Of course, any tripod is better than none, but I appreciated the steadiness and relative lack of bulk, and of course, the end result (amazing test shots of my cats in poor indoor light). It was a little awkward to carry while biking a few miles in the dark and wearing a backpack too, and I probably looked silly, but oh well. My moon shots - well it was densely cloudy so the moon shots were a bust, but it was fun to compare my tripod to others (mine was probably somewhere in the middle, as far as weight, size, and price go) and to play around with long exposures. And the experience made me want to hike around some more with the tripod, rather than discouraging me. And so although this review is more about my experience, and not the technicalities of the equipment, if at least one tentative person goes out and tries the 263AB SBH 100 tripod as a result of reading this, then I'll be one happy gal.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Great Tripod for Product Photography

            By KM Photography

            from Cleveland, Ohio

            About Me Semi-Professional

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Reliable
            • Secure
            • Very stable
            • Well Constructed

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Macro Photography
              • Portraits
              • Studio

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

              I do product photography for catalog/internet and this tripod paid for itself the first time I used it. It's perfect for getting in close and for odd angles which is a daily occurance for me. Some nice features include the ability to lock the quick release mounting plate securely onto the tripod, the ability to use the tripod as a boom, the versatility of the leg assemblys and the ball mount that tightens securely enough to hold my 6D and macro lens.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              You can't ask more for the price

              By German

              from Panama

              About Me Semi-Professional

              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:

                Looks pretty solid, it holds a nikon d7100 with a zoom lens with the extension arm position to the side, without a counterweight.
                -It comes with some tools and a replacement plate.
                -The ballhead is great, a little time consuming to detach.
                -It's not really that heavy has others say.
                I can't complain real hard because of the price, ballhead + tripod and a lot of play for positions, what else can you ask for.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Standing Still

                By SP-LPC

                from Chatham, NJ

                About Me Semi-Professional

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Easy To Use
                • Reliable
                • Stabile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • City
                  • Everyday use
                  • Home
                  • Landscape Photography
                  • Studio
                  • Traveling

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

                  I bought it recently. I used it in the City (New York) for night shooting. It performed perfectly! It's well made. In full height it may move a bit, but you can't have everything at once. If you know how to use it you'll definitely be satisfied! You just can't ignore laws of physics. This was just one thing that the thing from tripod you attach to the camera by screw started to move, but it was really after long time and some hard use. So I don't really take it as a con. I would definitely recommend it to a friend. When you hold it you can feel it's nice piece of equipment.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Great Tripod!

                  By Alan

                  from Buffalo Grove, IL

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Lightweight
                  • 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:

                  This is an amazing tripod! It supports my camera and heavy lens without issue in any position!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  1.0

                  Misleading name

                  By Tony from NS

                  from Nova Scotia, Canada

                  About Me Semi-Professional

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                  • Not Durable
                  • Not Functional

                  Best Uses

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

                    "Pro"? No. After one week of use the legs won't stay extended, it takes almost no weight or pressure for one of the legs to compress when locked. The ball head is nice, but these legs are garbage. I'm using it with a T2i and Canon 100mm Macro 2.8L and it can't support the weight. I tried tightening the locks but the screws/bolts are already as tight as possible, I'd only strip the screws. I've been using gaffers tape to secure the legs, but this is time consuming and I've missed several photo op's while trying to put the tape in place, talk about frustrating. If you want a good tripod don't bother with this, spend a little more and spring on something italian.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Awesome tripod

                    By Phillip

                    from Houston

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

                    This feels sturdy and well manufactured. I can tell it's going to last me a long time. Love the bag it comes with too.

                    Share this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Excellent value for price

                    By Jack

                    from Waxahachie, Texas

                    About Me Photography Student

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Excellent value
                    • Good Stability
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

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

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

                      I was initially skeptical about this tripod due to its low price. After using it, I am astounded at its value and quality for its market niche. This is the perfect first tripod for anyone looking to step up their game. It is very stable and has many neat features. I honestly have no complaints given my initial expectations.
                      If you are looking for your next-step-up from that wobbly crank-centerpost tripod you got in a bundle six years ago, you will be blown away.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      great sturdy tripod

                      By dance mom

                      from carlisle pa

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability
                      • Unfolds Quickly

                      Cons

                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

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

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

                      economical choice with strength to hold Long zooms. head very versatile. balance great

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Really Nice Tripod

                      By Markos Berndt

                      from Muskego, WI

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Travel

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

                        Its light and its versatile. I also use the Manfrotto Neotec which is a pretty nice tripod as well. I wanted a tripod with a flexible center column, this fit the bell and then some.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Really Nice Tripod

                        By Markos Berndt

                        from Muskego, WI

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Lightweight

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Travel

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

                          Its light and its versatile. I also use the Manfrotto Neotec which is a pretty nice tripod as well. I wanted a tripod with a flexible center column, this fit the bell and then some.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          That is what I need

                          By ibrhmymn

                          from Turkey

                          About Me Casual Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to use
                          • Good Stability
                          • Solid

                          Cons

                          • None

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Video
                          • Weddings/Events

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

                          It really gives you amazing shooting alternatives with variety of angles and perspectives. It has also very good construction and is very solid. It gives you an sense of confidence also very helpful for your long time exposures.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          Very nice Tripod

                          By John123

                          from Hamilton , ON

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Folds Small
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

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

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

                          This an awesome tripod; it was on sale for about 30% off and I had to have it.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          best value for money

                          By dede

                          from Boston, MA

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Wildlife

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

                          I did a lot of research before buying this one. It was on sale at B&H when i visited the store (i wantend to "feel" the tripod before buying it, I didn't want a chap one as i use it a lot) felt very good at the store, the manfrotto 55 was almost twice as much with the head. I am glad i bought this one, it is tall enough for me, sturdy and easy to unfold and position. the ball head is smooth and the locking plate worked flawless so far. It is not a light tripod, and it is not compact when folded, but it has everything, including a nicely made carrying bag. I will not reccomend for travelling, but this is a great tripod for the money, and it looks like it will last!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          just what i needed

                          By SouthernGal

                          from Deep South

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Home
                            • Portraits
                            • Video

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

                            The inexpensive bundle tripods suited my needs with my inexpensive gear, but after upgrading to a full frame and purchasing heavy lens (also from B&H!), I knew I needed a sturdy tripod made for heavier loads. After researching for days I ran across a youtube video on this vanguard model. I was not even considering a vanguard, actually had never heard of the brand. I was impressed enough to do more research on it and decided this was a good value with more features than I really even needed. I've used it twice now, and am really impressed with how sturdy and well made it is. As someone else mentioned, the only two things I've noticed is that it's easy to pinch your fingers when pulling the legs out to extend, and the lack of a D ring on the quick release plate that attaches to the camera. Both of those are things I can live with, so overall I'm very happy with this purchase. The order was shipped quickly and packaged well, as all my orders from B&H have been.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Excellent

                            By Rocket_Scientist

                            from Cleveland, OH

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Good Stability
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

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

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

                              This is very solidly built tripod that has all the degrees of freedom in motion that I needed. The pod is light and easy to carry and has bubble levels in the right places. Operations is tools-free except for the one bolt that connects the camera to the pod. There's a tool attached to the pod by a string to deal with that.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              4.0

                              Pretty light weight for a senior citizen

                              By Vicki

                              from Lake County, CA

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Good Stability

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Home
                                • Wildlife

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

                                I use this tripod for my bird watching pictures. Not sure I could pack it very far because of my weight limits but for around the house it's great. The leg clips and easily pulled to adjust them. I'm still getting used to using a ball head so I won't comment on that yet.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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