Construction aside, one of the key attributes to be taken into consideration when shopping for a tripod is the degree of flexibility the tripod offers when it's used in an environment that is not ideal. In addition to the limits of a tripod’s minimum and maximum height capabilities, one should also take note of any limitations the tripod might experience when shooting on surfaces other than flat, level floors. Don’t forget the speed and agility factors that can become particularly crucial when working under pressure—environmental and otherwise.
Giottos’ latest VGR series tripods possess several attributes designed to enable the capture of sharp imagery when working in rough-and-tumble environs, the first being their Da Vinci-inspired Vitruvian legs, which in addition to three pre-set click positions, can be positioned at any point in the span of their 180-degree arc. This makes it possible to secure your camera in almost any position regardless of the physical landscape. When the going gets too tough or too tight for three-legged camera stabilizers, all six of the Giottos VGR series tripods can be converted into monopods by simply removing one of the legs and attaching it to the tripod’s removable center column, making it possible to capture sharp images while working in a tighter footprint.
All six of Giottos’ VGR series tripods feature Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release heads with an appropriately sized camera plate (MH645 or MH646). Each head also features a bubble level, a retractable hook for hanging additional stabilizing weight to the rig, and fully marked 360-degree rotation with separate controls for the ball and rotation collar.
Each of the new Giottos also features rubber feet, and depending on the model, retractable metal spikes. Depending on the model, Giottos VGR series tripods are available in four- and five-section configurations with 25mm or 28mm diameter legs. Giottos’ new VGR series tripods are solidly built and feature leg pads for an added measure of comfort when hiking, not to mention thermal protection, when carrying the tripods in cold temperatures.
The Giottos VGR8255-S2N Carbon Fiber Tripod/Monopod with Arca-compatible QR Ball Head is one of the heftier, though lighter weight, carbon models. The Giottos VGR8255-S2N maxes out at 62” when fully extended as a tripod and up to 64.3” fully extended in monopod mode. The five-section VGR8255-S2N features rubber feet, which are removable for times you want to add the Giottos accessory feet to your VGR8255-S2N tripod system. The Giottos VGR8255-S2N folds down to 15.6”, weighs a relatively scant 2.8 lb, yet can support rigs weighing up to 8.8 lb.
Slightly heftier and taller than the VGR8255-S2N when fully extended is the five-section Giottos VGR8265-M2C Carbon Fiber Tripod/Monopod with Arca-compatible QR Ball Head, which like the VGR8255-S2N is also constructed from weight-reducing carbon fiber. The Giottos VGR8265-M2C, which weighs 3.7 lb, has a maximum height of 66.6” in tripod mode or up to 69.3” in monopod mode and can handle loads of up to 13 lb. For lower-angle shooting, the VGR8265-M2C can take your camera down to 16.1” above ground level. The Giottos VGR8265-M2C features rubber feet with retractable metal spikes and, as such, is not compatible with any of Giottos’ optional foot accessories.
The remaining four Giottos VGR series tripods are made of aluminum, which while slightly heavier than the carbon-fiber variety, are correspondingly less expensive. Being a four-section tripod, the Giottos VGR9254-S2C Aluminum Tripod/Monopod with Arca-compatible QR Ball Head is taller than comparable five-section Giottos VGR series tripods when broken down to its shortest folded and working heights (16.5” and 16.3” respectively).
The Giottos VGR9254-S2C opens up to a maximum height of 60.5” (with center column) in tripod mode, and up to 63” fully extended in monopod mode with a total weight capacity of up to 8.8 lb. Like the carbon fiber VGR8265-M2C, the Giottos VGR9254-S2C features rubber feet with retractable metal spikes and, as such, is not compatible with any of Giottos’ optional foot accessories.
The Giottos VGR9255-S2C Aluminum Tripod/Monopod with Arca-compatible QR Ball Head is a five-section aluminum tripod and it folds up to a more compact travel size (15.6”) and working size (15.4”). Fully extended, the Giottos VGR9255-S2C extends to a full 62” in tripod mode and up to 64.8” in monopod mode. In terms of weight, the Giottos VGR9255-S2C weighs a relatively light 3.3 lb and can support camera/lens combinations of up to 8.8 lb. The Giottos VGR9255-S2C sits on rubber feet and accepts Giottos optional foot accessories.
The last two new Giottos VGR series tripods are heavier load, four- and five-section aluminum models. The four-section model is the Giottos VGR9264-M2C Aluminum Tripod/Monopod with Arca-compatible QR Ball Head , which folds down to 17.7” (17.4” in shooting position) and opens up to a full 65” (with center column). The Giottos VGR9264-M2C weighs 4.3 lb, can support a maximum payload of up to 13 lb and in monopod mode has a working range of 33” to 67.2”. The Giottos VGR9264-M2C is fitted with rubber feet with retractable metal spikes.
Last up is the Giottos VGR9265-M2C Aluminum Tripod/Monopod with Arca-compatible QR Ball Head, a five-section aluminum tripod that has a maximum working height of up to 66.6” and a minimum working height of 16”. Like its four-section compeer, the Giottos VGR9265-M2C weighs 4.3 lb, can support a maximum payload of up to 13 lb, and in monopod mode it has a working range of 30.8” to 69.3”, which depending on your needs, might or might not be preferable to the four-section version. (Regardless of your choice, both models perform as advertised.) The Giottos VGR9265-M2C rests upon rubber feet with retractable metal spikes, making it a reliable camera support that's adaptable to all surface conditions.