REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
VanguardALTA PRO 263AB TRIPOD w/HEAD
 
4.7

(based on 195 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (147)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (42)

  • 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 195 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great Tripod for heavy cameras

By Sarath

from Charlotte, NC

Verified Buyer

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

The best thing about this tripod is the ability to shoot @low heights when the shutter needs to be open for long time.. The tripod itself is great to hold heavy cameras. I mostly use it with 70-200 vrii mounted on D810..
For users who hike long distances for landscape photography, you might want to consider the carbon fiber material instead of this since this would be a bit bulky to carry long distances.

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5.0

Great, high quality tripod

By HDSova

from Chicago

Verified Buyer

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

Very stable platform, even in the wind!
Easy to use and very smooth operation.

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5.0

Pro finish and handling at good price.

By Basamba

from Koxville, TN

Verified Buyer

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

I do wildlife, landscapes, and people and this tripod works for 95% of my work.

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5.0

Well worth it!

By Crunch

from Seattle

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

I was hesitant to go with the Vanguard brand at first basd on my lack of knowledge of the brand. After extensive research I discovered that the quality and the amount of features were all on or above par of the more popular brands, but at a fraction of the cost. The tripod is very solid and yet light. There are plastic components on it, but they feel solid and robust. The head is great and provides a lot of grip while functioning like it's lubed with butter. Super smooth solid gliding action! I would definitely recomend this to anyone looking for a great quality tripod without breaking the bank.

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5.0

Best tripod ever!!!

By Five_star_images

from Nj

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

I was searching for a tripod recently and saw this vanguard one. I've always used manfrotto so was unsure about vanguard. Never heard of it. So I took a leap of faith and ordered it. Was one of the best decisions made. Price is great for one. And two very easy to use. This is the tripod of all tripods. I'm very satisfied with this purchase,quality is awesome. Well built. This thing goes in all the angles u can imagine without breaking the bank on other expensive tripods. I'm very picky about my gear and this one blew me away. Perfect in all ways. Take my word for it. Order one and give it a go. U won't regret it.

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4.0

Excellent tripod and head, disposable bag.

By Arturo

from NYC

Verified Buyer

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

I would give this tripod a 5 star rating because it works great and it is very affordable, but the bag was useless after the first time I want out with it. It is a bummer that such a good product has such a flawed bag.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

happy with Alta Pro 263 so far

By Jose

from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Verified Buyer

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

This is my first venture into the thicket of non-cheapo tripods and so far (three weeks) I have not been disappointed, After much research (there are lots of options!) , I settled on this one and, as usual, was pleased by the promptness and professionalism of B&H. Pro: (a) in spite of some reviews to contrary, this holds a relatively heavy camera, in my case Nikon 750 with 28-300 mm glass on it, without drift. I would not, however want to go much heavier. (b) The center unfolds into a "boom" arm more intuitively and quickly than I had anticipated, greatly expanding the options for creative camera placement for a shot. Cons: (a) the ballhead works smoothly, but there is a learning curve to adjust it quickly. (c)The quick-release plate is a little sticky but will probably get smoother with time and experience. All in all I am very pleased with it.

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3.0

Built solid, but not Arca-Swiss compatible.

By Johnny Wad

from Reno, NV USA

Verified Buyer

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

I bought this product, as it was recommended by several websites I visit. This was my first tripod valued at over 50 bucks, so was pretty excited to get it. Unfortunately, it is not Arca-Swiss compatible. I was not aware of this when I purchased it. Completely my fault for not doing my DD on it prior to purchase. This reason alone was the reason I sent it back. Other than this issue, it seemed like a very solidly built tri-pod, and was easy to set up and get the hang of. Unfortunate about the Arca-Swiss incompatibility. Seems it wouldn't be too hard to do this. I would though recommend this tri-pod of Arca-Swiss compatibility is not an issue.

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5.0

Well constructed and competively priced

By Jonathan

from Maryland

Verified Buyer

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

The Alta Pro serves my light to medium use perfectly. It operates smoothy and intuitively.

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5.0

Awesome tripod!

By Kay

from MN

Verified Buyer

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

I set a camcorder up on this tripod to record, and it is very steady. I have to put the camcorder in odd angles, and this tripod allows for it! It's great.

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4.0

Ball Head en perfectas condiciones. Muy buen producto.

By Juan Eduardo Bertrand

from Santiago, Chile

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Reliable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Landscape Photography
    • Macro Photography
    • Portraits

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

    Muy buen trípode. Firme y de gran calidad. A pesar de conocer sus características de tamaño y peso, es más grande y más pesado de lo que se ve por Internet. Muy firme y seguro para la Camara.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

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    4.0

    Works well, very versatile, and good price.

    By medic06

    from Fort Collins CO

    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

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

      Purchased this for low light, lightning photography, and to get those 'tricky' angles (looking up, and lower perspective).

      It is very versatile, it can be set up for a high angle so I can shoot over the heads of the other parents at my sons concert from the back of the room without disturbing anyone's view. can set it up to be just a few inches off the ground and get a more interesting perspective. easy to configure once you get the hang of the nobs and clamps. Pretty sturdy but not excessively heavy.

      The attachment to the camera is a little loose and can be a little challenging if you have a heavy lens and need to go vertical.

      Over all it's pretty good for the price.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      My Best Tripod ever

      By ozn

      from WATERTOWN, MA

      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Everyday use
        • Landscape Photography
        • Macro Photography
        • Traveling

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

        user friendly ballhead
        easy to carrying
        medium heavy
        tested nikon d750. it was good
        quality of material is good
        the best thing is extra bonus plate and help tools

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Very Happy

        By Becka

        from Elyria, OH

        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easy To Use

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Everyday use
          • Home
          • Landscape Photography
          • Macro Photography

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

          I had purchased a different tripod with a ball head for more money, and what a pain. This tripod is sturdy, has great features, and you can't beat the price.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Light and versatile

          By Save or get p!ssed

          from Dallas, TX

          About Me Semi-Professional

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Everyday use
            • Landscape Photography
            • Studio

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

            After reading about issues with the CF version of this tripod, I decided to go with the aluminum one. It is impressively lightweight for the amount of weight it can handle. The pivoting arm is perfect for top-down shoots as well as low angle shots.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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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 TRIPOD w/HEAD:

              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 TRIPOD w/HEAD:

              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 TRIPOD w/HEAD:

              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 TRIPOD w/HEAD:

              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 TRIPOD w/HEAD:

                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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