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Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Tripod Review

Gary Wolstenholme review the new Vaguard Alta CA 233 AGH tripod, with GH-30 pistol grip designed for the enthusiast photographer.

|  Vanguard Alta CA 233 AGH in Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports
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Alta CA 233 AGH


The Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH is a lightweight tripod aimed at enthusiast photographers and costs around £160 with a GH-30 pistol grip head included.

Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Features

Vanguardtripod 663

Despite being strong enough to support a professional body and telephoto lens combination, this tripod weighs only 1.6kg, which isn't much for a tripod of this size that's able to support such a weight. The aluminium legs are complemented with a magnesium alloy canopy, which provides a firm base for the legs to pivot from.

Vanguardtripod 670

Each of the legs can be set independently at three angles, and the push button latch system makes setting the desired angle a pleasure. The centre column has a large hook at its base, which can be used for hanging something with a bit of weight to it, like a camera bag, to provide extra stability.

Key Features

  • Aluminium legs and centre column
  • Magnesium alloy canopy
  • Weighs 1.6kg
  • Can support a payload of up to 5kg
  • Quick flip leg locks
  • Three leg angles
  • Supplied with GH-30 pistol grip head

Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Handling

Vanguardtripod 665

As this tripod weighs only 1.6kg and is 63cm long when folded it is quite portable for a tripod able to support 5kg. As the tripod is supplied with a carrying case and head, the £160 asking price is quite reasonable for what you get.

Vanguardtripod 666

In use, the tripod is simple to set up, with the legs being easy to set up at your desired angle, and the quick flip latches only requiring a light touch to release. In some ways, the ease with which the quick flip latches can be released can be an issue, occasionally undoing themselves if knocked accidentally when being transported without the supplied case. The GH-30 pistol grip has a dial to set the desired amount of resistance, which can be very useful if using the support for panning, as well as for simply being set up static. The quick release plate is small, but easy to affix to the camera, and then to the tripod, which automatically latches onto the plate.

Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Performance

Vanguardtripod 667

For a tripod of this type, the Alta 233 feels very sturdy and stable, although the flat feet can slip a little on soft ground. The large metal hook makes affixing ballast to the tripod very easy indeed, which can further aid stability.

Vanguardtripod 672

The centre column cannot be set up horizontally, but it can be reversed, enabling the camera to be hung upside down from the tripod. The hook at the base of the centre column can be unscrewed, revealing a standard tripod socket, which can take the place of the column to provide further options for setting the camera up for low-angle shooting.

Vanguardtripod 671

The maximum height of this tripod is 156.5cm, which is fairly typical for a tripod of this size. When closed, this tripod is 63cm long, which isn't the most compact, but the light-weight and supplied carry case adds to its portability. 

Value For Money

With a price of around £160 and the ability to support a payload as large as 5kg, the price of this tripod is comparable to other, similarly specified tripods.

For example, The Giottos Vitruvian VGRN 9255 Tripod plus MH5400-652 ball head kit can be picked up for around £150. This tripod and head combination can support up to 6kg, but lacks a pistol grip on the head.

Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Verdict

This tripod is a fairly reasonably priced, sturdy and easy to use item. The build quality of the tripod is very good, and it is very easy to set up, and fold away. The quick flip leg latches may be a little too quick to open on occasion, but if the tripod is carried in its supplied carry case, this is rarely an issue. The GH-30 pistol grip head offers plenty of adjustments, and it is a pleasure to set up, thanks to the large controls, that will even be suitable for operating wearing gloves.

Overall, this tripod is a good buy, for those not wishing to fork out a small fortune for carbon fibre, or wanting a tripod so large it will never leave the home.

Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Pros

Good construction
Reasonably lightweight for its strength and size
Easy to use controls
Reversible centre column

Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH Cons

Quick flip latches can come open too easily when transporting the tripod without a case
Lacks horizontal centre column setting


The Vanguard Alta CA 233AGH is reasonably price, sturdy and easy to use with very good build quality.


Vanguard Alta CA 233 AGH Specifications

Maximum Height157cm
Minimum HeightNo Data
Maximum Weight Capacity5kg
Number of Leg Sections3
HeadGH-30 pistol grip head
Box Contents
Box ContentsGH-30 pistol grip head, Tripod, Carry Case
WidthNo Data

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sherlob Plus
14 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2014 3:50PM
I wish Vanguard would start producing a shortened column for their Alta range of tripods. Its fine having a reversible center column, or having one where you can switch the plane of the center column from vertical to horizontal. However, in the field, I find when doing landscapes neither of these options is remotely as convenient as having a shortened column.

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