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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
VanguardALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD
 
4.7

(based on 216 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (165)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (45)

  • 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 216 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

very solid

By Ry the Fry Guy

from MPLS

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

I am just getting started in photography and this was the first tripod i bought. I read a lot of articles and reviews of it and they were all right. This is a great tripod that is very sturdy and solid. I have had no problems with it so far.

 
4.0

I would get a different head

By Tom

from Oxford, Mississippi

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

I love the tripod, but hindsight being 20:20, if I had it to do over again, I'd get a slightly heavier-duty head, and one with wand-type adjusters instead of knurled knobs, just because the fine leveling adjustments would be a little easier to control.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A very satisfactory tripod for an advanced beginner.

By Nick

from Montana

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

I've only used it outdoors a few times but is reasonably lightweight enough to make it easy to carry; inside it is no more inconvenient than any of the other tripods I've used -- it wants to occupy more space than I have. It is also my first ball head tripod and that is taking a bit getting used to but I think once I am it will be good.

 
5.0

Happy with my purchase.

By Tracy

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Just what I was looking for, I'm very happy with the quality. Well priced for a Ti-Pod of this caliber.

 
5.0

Absolutely Wonderful & A Great Value

By Francisco

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

NOBODY PAID ME TO SAY THIS:

This tripod is magnificent. Overall the build quality is very good. It is lightweight (enough) and compact, yet still quite sturdy when you need to go big. The rubberized grips on the legs are appreciated compared to what I was working with before, they really do a lot for comfort, and quality feel. The leg extension locks are ergonomic, satisfying to open/close and they really do feel secure. The bundled tripod head is great, and perfectly adequate for my use, the knob positioning can feel a little bit counter-intuitive at times, but I feel like maybe that's because this is my first proper ball-head.

In case you're wondering, the moving center column feature is NOT a gimmick. I mostly use this tripod for product photography, and while I'm sure there are more sturdy, overall better setups out there for product photography, I can't see anyone getting anywhere near this value/price. I must admit, the process for properly setting up the tilting center column with counterweights for sturdy deployment can be a little finicky and time consuming, but at this price point, you'd be a hard pressed to find a better option; I really get the feeling that for some things, I can't do my job without it.

Personal Use: Mostly product photography. Canon 6D DSLR w/ 50mm lens, & 24-105 L lens. This tripod handles both setups just fine.

 
5.0

Solid and light

By Joshua

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Very sturdily built. Easy to handle, set up, disassemble. Has a great "feel" to it.

 
5.0

Best Tripod for the money

By Derrick

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

This tripod is just awesome! I would say it is the best tripod for its price point. Since I have got this tripod, I have used it in all kinds of situations and it has yet to fail me. It is a bit on the heavier and non compact side,but that is ok with me.

 
5.0

Extremely pleased

By Connor

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Compared to the heap tripod I was upswing previously, this thing is amazing. It's quick to adjust with plenty of help for making sure photos are level. There aren't too many leg sections to extend so it's quick to setup that way as well. It's a bit heavy for long treks, but plenty light enough for carrying along.

 
4.0

I would buy the legs again only.

By Yurneka

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

I was in the market for a new tripod that met within my budget. I read many of reviews and I finally went with this one.

Love the sturdinessof the legs but not the head.

If you are on a fix budget choose this tripod.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Good value for money

By Jim

from Berea, OH

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

I purchased this tripod because of an assignment for a photography course I am taking. I needed a stable, lightweight tripod that allowed the camera to be positioned parallel to the floor. I am very pleased with it. I especially like the fact that it came with a head.

 
5.0

This is the best tripod you can get for under $200

By Alejandro

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Awesome first tripod. Really great!
Very stable, good ball head, lots of height. Adjustable center piece.

Highly recommended to anyone looking to get a tripod this range.

This is the best tripod you can get for under $200

 
5.0

Solid tripod; well built

By J2e

from Canandaigua, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

The Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB 100 is just what I was looking for. It is solid, well built, easy to use, and tall enough for my comfort (I am 6' 1"). The 3 levels are very convenient. It may prove to be a bit large and heavy for airline travel. B&H customer service was excellent as usual.

 
5.0

Love it

By Alexisj

from Undisclosed

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

This tripod is definitely an upgrade from the $30 tripods I have been using in the past. It stays steady in the wind when I'm taking night shots. It's so amazing

 
5.0

Good tripod

By Melodie

from Undisclosed

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Haven't had any issues with this tripod thus far! Bought specifically for food photography/videos and have yet to be disappointed.

 
5.0

Everything I expected

By Craig

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

When I set out to buy my first "good" tripod I new my budget would mean I could not get everything I wanted. Since it is going to be use mostly with birding at a nearby reservoir, I figured I could sacrifice some on weight to get the stability and flexibility I needed.
I am very pleased with how stable and flexible it is. I am not experienced enough to compare this head with a fluid head, but it is stable and seems to move smooth enough for me to take movies of flying birds.

 
5.0

Absolutely great tripod for macro photography

By Sai

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

All I can say is "It is simply awesome!!"
Very flexible and sturdy. Most recommended tripod for macro photography (at least in my case).

The only thing which I feel a bit hassle is the screw of quick release plate that screws with camera. I need to search for a coin or something to tighten/loose it. It would have been more handy if they provided some kind of handle/grip to turn the screw as other normal low cost tripods are providing now a days.

 
5.0

Great buy

By Connor

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Buying my first tripod took a lot of research and reading a lot of reviews but I think I made a great choice with this one. Lots of helpful features like the reversible center column, the different angles the legs can be adjusted to, the hook on the center column, and a sturdy ball head just to name a few. Would definitely recommend to beginners or more advanced photographers.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Solid product at a good price

By Terry

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

I bought this tripod after my previous one fell apart from years of use, and yes, abuse. I wanted something heavier and sturdier because my home area often has gusty winds that wreak havoc on attempts to do low light photography. The Altra Pro 263AB fills the bill.

I noted its heavy, solid feel when I first unpackaged it. It's not going anywhere in wind. The ball head was smooth and quiet and locks in place solidly. The quick release connector is something I've gotten use to from previous tripods. This one is smaller and less obtrusive when mounted on the camera, which is where I keep it. It locks solidly onto the ball head.

I'm 5'11" and old and this is the first tripod I've had that puts my camera at eye level without having to raise the central column. Thus, a much more stable platform.

I enjoy night sky photography and pre-dawn shooting and so the foam sheathing on the upper sections of the tripod legs were great for keeping my hands off of cold metal whenever positioning it. The legs lock solidly and can be spread wide to accommodate a low shooting angle.

The central column also can be swiveled into a horizontal position to place your camera virtually anywhere you need it. I took the manual that came with the tripod and tried all the moves depicted while in the comfort of my home. I did so to familiarize myself with it, something I'd advise anyone to do with new gear.

Finally, it comes with a black carry case with a shoulder strap, a nice addition given that I tend to leave my tripod on the floor in front of my pickup's backseat. All in all, the tripod is worth every penny. It's not lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber, but it does what I need it to do.

 
5.0

Very fast

By Mark

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Very fast. No complaints.

 
5.0

Great Tripod!!!

By Kim

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD:

Great sturdy tripod! A little on heavy side but great value for the money!

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