Bought this tripod a few years ago, it died this year (one of the leg extensions has become fully loose/broken, there is an inner plastic bit that broke)... Overall it's ok.
update , the 2020 version no longer has a quick release head and the feet are just rubber , no spikes plus the tilt up collar is not there , you can still invert the column.
I've had this tripod head for many years now and it's been used heavily for pro hybrid work in many outdoor architecture and construction environments. It's good, but not great. The pan smoothness is a 7/10. A bit grabby from the start position after years and the lubrication seeps a little from the swivel points and it's very sticky when picking up and moving the tripod. The head is also difficult to screw tightly onto the legs and panning will eventually loosen it and again make panning jumpy.
Apart from that the plate, levels and twist lock handles are great. I've looked for new and more expensive replacements but this style with fluid drag is very uncommon. It's simply the best type of hybrid head for my work that needs to go from dead level photography to moving video immediately. Would I buy it again? It's served me well, great value for money and not a lot of alternatives, so probably. Although Manfrotto have something similar that's just been released but I'm sceptical of Manfrotto's long term quality too.
If you're not a pro, you won't regret buying this head.
Can you show a footage captured with that head? I want to see how does it's fluid head performance?
Great review Jamie - going to go go grab myself one now.
I've had one of these for some years now and it has seen a lot of use. I'm a big fan first off, and it's one of the best gear investments I've made for shooting youtube vids. I use the pullout center thing all the time to get shots close to the ground, over tables etc. That feature is truly awesome. BTW, I don't use it a lot, but you can also put the centerpiece in upside down. I also use the adjustable leg angles a lot, often on uneven ground to compensate, instead of adjusting the leg length. I have not been nice to this tripod and it has never really let me down. It just needs a little screw or nut adjustment now and again as things do work loose over time. I got pine pitch on the legs once, which made them hard to move in and out, but though all the other mud, ashes, dirt, bits of forest debris and grime, it's never got stuck or anything. I have a different head, a pistol grip ball head, it's kind of cool, but that head is probably more versatile and the ball head doesn't pan well. So yeah, thumbs up and it's durable.
can someone explain 264 vs 263? I can't see the difference lol
I love your hands, that's what I have to say.
Just purchased one and I love it. I did my own research and came up with the same idea, however, I didn't realise that you could remove elevator column and turn it into an horizontal object viewer - thanks for the tip. You can change the head and turn it into both horizontal (has it already) and vertical smooth action camera pan capabilities. It's just a real nice rig. Sincere thanks for your review.
Mine also says Alta 263P but does not have the red latch in the middle with that 90 degree setup :-( The central column does not come off clean as there is a stopper at the bottom where the hook hangs of ... hmmm.. I guess they are all a bit different! Any comment? Awesome video by the way .. you are a champion!
so amazing we enjoy that is, thanks alot
Great review! Are you still happy with it? Have you used it for video much since getting it, if so how do you find the head for video work? Did you go with Vanguard for a reason (I am tossing up between this one and one of the Manfrotto models with the extendable centre column)?
Hi Jamie. Many thanks for this. I found it to be a very helpful and practical review.
I prefer tripods with twist locks, but they seem to be almost as rare as hens' teeth these days.
Question - what cameras did you shoot this video on? Thanks again.
Great video. Just received mine. Can't figure out how panoramic knob works. Mine seems to be locked in place.
Just purchased myself one. Arrived yesterday. Can't wait to use it!
Dont recomend it... I mean its a good tripod, very versatile, sturdy, except its leg locking mechanism, when changing leg angle i dont hear the click anymore, it has worn out after couple of weeks of occasional use... :(
I just bought this model based on your wonderful review. I ordered the Alta + 263 AP with the pan head and it DOES NOT have the horizontal bar option. Just in case someone else buys the same, it was the same price, I ordered in the states, looking closely there are details not present in the Alta + 263P. I am a bit bummed because I wanted to get excited about my tripod too:) I will send back and try to get the one you mentioned:)
Hi , thanks for video. Is this ball head has sort of «timer « to turn the head to take panoramas view ?
What's the difference between this and the Alta+ Pro 264ap?
Great review fella - Subscribed and looking forward to watching more.
what is the difference between the Vanguard Alta Pro2+ 263CT & Vanguard Alta Pro2+ 264CT ?
Are the amy you would compare it too?
Will my Alta Pro 263AP Pan head fit the Pro 2?
I just bought this tripod to try and upgrade from my Amazon Basics tripod with quick release plate. My big complaint is why did Vanguard design the quick release plate to take several knob turns to actually release the plate?? That is Not quick release. The Alta Pro has quick release shown here https://youtu.be/2c5BdzjrGvg . I thought I was getting a better tripod with the 2+, but the Not quick release plate has me regretting. I've been used to the real quick release plate for years and now this. Buyer beware. Don't get me wrong. Thank you Slanted Lens for the review.
Thanks for the video, I have a vanguard PT-170, it was a gift. Do you know what the PT stands for? I can seem to find any info on line.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0746HXPQX?ref=myi_title_dp , Zomei M8 professional overhear tripod with 89.99GB in UK market
I wish you put links up for the specific products; like the camera backpack. I own the aluminum version of this tripod; it's great.
Your name is really J P Morgan????
Is mentioned in the discription that , is every month a giveaway but in my country is not aviable ....
no sandbag hook?
HOLY COW! The 4min mark was also my first reaction when I noticed that feature, Love that Vanguard 264 Carbon
If it doesn't shake with the arm extended it would be a great macro rig! The spud in the side could be used to mount all sort of goodies. External off camera flash arm or, a tablet holder for viewing a larger screen shot , etc.
Hi Jay. An interesting tripod, however, I have zero experience with Vanguard products, so can't speak rto their quality firsthand. However, in my 40 years of photography, using many tripods, I can absolutely recommend the FLM CP26 Travel Tripod! It has super-strong 10x Carbon Fiber legs (with a 26 lb load capacity!) with very well-made twist locks, and a ball head that has several unique features that I've not seen in other tripods...For example, the "Pan" function permits butter-smooth normal panning, but in addition, adds a 15-degree ratchet function that is fantastic for us landscape/panorama photographers! There is also a "Tilt" knob that limits the ball head to only one vertical/up/down plane available. And finally, there is a "lock" function that locks the ball head from panning/turning, so that it can easily be unscrewed and/or mounted solidly. The kit comes with very well-made screw-on metal spikes, and folds up to a compact 15.5" for travel. Quite ingenious and precision design overall, and highly recommended for travel!! Bottom line: This FLM tripod simply exudes Quality. FLM-Canada supplies the US. Thank you, and Happy 2018!
hi! I finally bought this awesome tripod but there is a small problem with one of the legs. one of them isn't firm enough how can I adjust the friction of the legs Like Manfrotto tripods?
I have had two copies both faulty out of the box, if I get one more faulty copy I will demand a refund, I am yet to even attach a camera to one, there is chipped paint and slight defects on both copies, I’m skeptical of the quality control.
3.6 LB not equal to 3.6 KG
Really enjoyed the music for this review. Where is it from?
+The Slanted Lens Will this tripod allow me to get a 90 degree angle so I can point my camera and take video straight down?
3kg for the weight of the tripod are you sure ??
Thanks for this informative review! This tripod is really fascinating! Considering to buy.
Would you recommend the 3 section or 4 section legs?
Hi does it still worth its price? Do u advice to change head? Is there any smaller that is as good as this one with same possibilities for macro etc?
After a few years using this tripod (with a Manfrotto 498RC2 head) i can say that it's pretty nice. It's very sturdy and the center column is quite handy. But i have a few complains: it's quite heavy, quite long in the "closed position" and the rubber feet are now stuck, because salty water ruined the screws but that's probably my fault. But the weight and big size when mounted on a backpack are quite annoying. It's not the best for long walks. And yeah i caught my skin a few times...
As for the Manfrotto head is quite nice but when using the camera on a vertical position you can't rotate the levers 360 degrees. The camera gets in their way...
10 years after it's first release and it's still a useful tripod to own. Using mine in 2019.
I bought this a couple weeks back in anticipation of taking night photographs of the milky way while on vacation. Worked great. Built real solid and the fit and finish is worth the money. It's not the lightest tripod but if you're going for extreme weight reduction you're going to buy carbon fiber, most probably, anyways. Overall it performed great. I recommend it.
Would you recommend this tripod over the Manfrotto XT190xpro3?
Not high enough
This isn't a review.
Its a used car salesman telling you how a tripod works.
haha! Skin caught. Classic.
This was super useful just to see it before buying online. Certainly convinced us to spend more or better!
is this good enough for Macro photography ? secondly is the head replaceable and will it carry heavy lenses like Nikkor 600MM on my D810
great vid. i have read many people say the legs stop locking after a few months of use
I bought one of these (legs alone, since I already had a Vanguard ballhead) primarily for macrophotography.
I've been very happy with it so far. It's sturdy without being excessively heavy. Given that 80% of my photography is macro, weight isn't an issue in any case.
Having recently discovered that there's visible flex in my living room floor causing movement blur. I put this tripod on my macro table along with the subject and light tent. I discovered if I configured the legs like those on the Browning M1917 tripod and used the swinging center column, I could both fit the tripod on the table and achieve a low and stable position with good objective to subject distance.
I plan to eventually buy an extra center column and cut it off short to allow a low ballhead position with the legs at their lowest position.
I've found this tripod to be of high quality. It's an excellent value for the money.
I plan to use the 180 degree column rotation to take macro pictures of stuff from above, namely 35mm film!
It's also useful for any other kind of macro work that requires to be low to the ground, where flowers usually are...
I've had great use out of this tripod and it's still going strong after nearly 4 years. It's sturdy and solid. However it is heavy (2.2 kg without a head) and I now mainly only use it with a gimbal head attached when I'm doing wildlife with my 50-500mm Sigma lens - and believe me it doesn't get to go too far from the car unless I've got a pack mule with me!!! The centre column versatility is also very useful and has allowed me to get my camera right over the subject when I've been doing macros.
I've had the Alta Pro 264AT for a couple of years now (pretty much the same as the one you show here). I like all of the functions, such as the removable post for macro work and I like the lock in plate. By biggest dislike is the fact that it is not acra compatible. So, as it comes with only two plates that means I either have to buy more plates to put on my other gear or keep changing them. As I have more Arca stuff I have now switched the head to an iOptron which is very good but doesn't have the safety lock function. Another thing about the Vanguard SB100 head - the rubber grips are crap - I have lost the one that adjusts the plate tension and have replaced it with rubber bands.Also, when I was trying to remove the ball head it took me quite a while to realise that there are grub screws under the head part (top of post) that need to be released. Man, they hold it well! Having said all that, overall I think it is a bloody good tripod for the money and at this point I think that I would get another and change all my plates to the Vanguard QS39. - Oh, one other thing, the adjustable position on the legs doesn't seem to 'click' in very well anymore.
Does it fit ARCA plates?
@2:12 looks like you "caught skin" in the leg adjustment lever. Looks painful.
I am looking at this tripod for macro...one of its best features,imo, that you failed to mention that was you can get the legs to lay nearly flat...will be great that low with a macro lens!
Let me know what your favourite tripod is at the moment. What do you think of this one?
I've seen that you no longer have the tripod, but could you please tell me if you had the same issues as this user? https://lightsandtones.com/blog/2017/6/23/review-vanguard-alta-pro-2-ab100-tripod
Basically the complaint is about the centre column locking mechanism... Even when the colum is strongly tightened, it's not completely stable (the review has 2 gif's that exemplify that).
Did yours have the same problem?
Is it an issue at all? If there is no wind I guess it should be fine, but in windy conditions, I just don't know... I was going to buy this tripod but now I'm doubting my choice... Thank you in advance!
By the way, which one are you using now?
Did Vanguard give you this tripod to review?
This review was quite helpful for me. I just purchased a used one and hoping to try some overhead cooking shots with it. Love the versatility and range of motion this tripod offers. Thanks for making this video!
Nice review, thanks for that. By the way what is the max height without extending the central coloumn. I am looking for a tripod tall enough so i dont have to stoop while doing landscape.
Thanks .. I’ve had for 2 years or so and still learned something new from your video (I never read instructions 😵) . Love this tripod
Very nice! Thanks for making this video! I’ve been on the fence on which model to get and I’m definitely buying this one right now!
I wasn’t twisting the head hard enough. Good review. Thank you.
Do you know how to remove the head?
How is this tripod holding up after almost 2 years?
very helpful review , good work.
Thanks for this great video. I just ordered the same one. I could see clearly the material surface and you did a great job showing how everything works. I bought it for photographing artwork so I opted for the pan and tilt head and hope it will help me get precise angle and alignment. I am hoping the tilt head can come off in case I want to fit a ball head on it instead.
Just ordered one of these with the pistol grip head. Mainly for using a monocular for bird watching as I can follow the birds easier.
Just ordered this to use for action figure photography and reviews. Really hoping I like it! I saw in a previous comment that you mentioned selling it. Did you find the tripod to be stable and did you like the way it panned?
Thanks! I just purchased one but with the ball head. This will be my slightly smaller, lighter second tripod. Still using my 8 yr old Vanguard Auctus Plus 283AT. It still works like new after hundreds of location and studio assignments! So I'm also a big Vanguard fan.
I enjoy using the tripod you have with a ball head. Just want you know that I made a great choice.
thank you very much. with the extension at the end, you mentioned some features I was looking for, that no one else talked about :D
Please let me know of it's model and how much it is. Thanks!