Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
SpecificationVanguard, once known for budget priced and budget quality tripods, reinvented themselves as a brand a few years ago, their tripods have won prestigious awards, gained reputation amongst professional photographers and impressed the industry. And now with this latest Nivelo 204SL model they aim to appeal to the mass market.
It's a really compact and lightweight model that measures just 30cm when folded but can be extended quickly to 101cm. To extend the legs you just grip a leg and twist clockwise to release and slide while doing so to extend. This one action can get the leg from collapsed to fully extended. Three quick twists and the tripod is ready for use.
You can choose to adjust one section of the leg and retract that if you need a shorter height for uneven surfaces.
The head has a standard tripod mount that will fit all current cameras with a thread in the base. And there's a tilt lock so it can be swivelled 90 degrees to take portrait format shots. Another lock lets you pan which is good for those cameras with a panoramic stitching feature. Unlike many compact tripods, the centre column has an anti spin feature to prevent the camera position moving when the height lock isn't locked.
The head also has a bubble spirit level built in, so you can ensure everything is lined up evenly.
But one of the main selling points of this model is its reversible column. It's not a new feature but it's rare to see on a compact tripod and especially the way this one works. With many you have to take the column out. On this one you slide it to the end and swivel it through 180 degrees. You can then shoot from the ground. This is ideal for macro photography or creative angles.
It comes with a soft nylon style storage bag with a draw string closure, but it doesn't have a carry strap.
The reverse feature is quick to put into action. You can do it with the camera attached unlike many and getting right down to the ground level gives you an opportunity to shoot sharp photos that others would miss.
The legs lock easily but with all twist lock types you have to be sure you've tightened enough or the leg starts to slip. And you don't want that to happen while taking a self portrait as watching the thing topple over in front of your eyes is not a pretty sight. The legs don't have defined locks and with the all in one action design it's easy to miss tightening one section.
Vanguard Nivelo 204SL: Pros
Quick to extend
Vanguard Nivelo 204SL: Cons
No carry strap on the pouch
Ball and socket would be a more useful head
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
|Number of Legs sections||4|
|Construction||Aluminium alloy and Plastic|
Buy the Vanguard Nivelo 204SL from our retail partner.