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Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB Tripod Review - Handling & Performance

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Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB  Handling & Performance

VEO 3+263CB


When you first get the Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB tripod out of its box, the first thing you'll notice is the really well-made tripod bag it's stored in. We don't usually talk a lot about the tripod bag but this one is padded, is stitched really well and features an internal zip-up pocket for accessories. There are two carry handles, one of which is an adjustable shoulder strap, but they're not quite as padded as we'd like which is a shame as it would make the bag just that little bit more comfortable to carry. 

Once out of its carry bag and in your hands, you'll definitely be impressed with how solid the Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB tripod is. It's incredibly well made and feels reassuringly sturdy. You can tell straight away that parts are well-milled and ergonomically thought about with clips and knobs shaped to fit fingers which also makes it a stylish looking tripod, too. 


VEO 3+263CB

The leg locks are rubberised which makes them really grippy and easy to turn but don't let this make you think they'll not be secure as we didn't experience any issues with slippage and accidental rotation, which can be a problem with some tripods. They're also called 'clean twist locks' as they allow the 26mm diameter carbon fibre legs to be easily unscrewed, cleaned and reconnected. Handy when you've been shooting on the beach, for example, where sand and sea salt can get into the tripod and overtime, damage it. 

At the top of each leg are locks you can press to adjust the leg angle to either 23, 50 or 80-degrees which feature a push-button lock that's easy to operate and ensures the legs stay in place once an angle is selected. In fact, the locks are some of the easiest to operate locks we've seen on a tripod. 


VEO 3+263CB

The Multi-Angle Central Column is a great feature as it moves almost 360-degrees in any direction so you can use it for various types of photography, including macro work, and it's also supplied with a VEO+ MA1 Adaptor so it can be used as a multi-mount, something vloggers will particularly like as this means they can attach a mic or light alongside their camera. The VEO+ MA1 slides onto the central column with ease and is a lovely addition to what is already a really useful tripod. You'll also notice a scale at the base of the central column and on the central column itself that allows you to repeat a series of shots over time.


VEO 3+263CB

The full working height of the tripod is 172.5cm which is a huge amount of reach and it folds down to 76cm which isn't that compact but it is a full-size tripod, not a travel tripod, so it's not designed to fit easily in a bag designed for aircraft cabin space. It weighs 2.1KG which you will start to notice after a while if you're carrying it on your shoulder but again, it's designed to be robust and offer maximum support so there's going to be some weight behind it. We were pleasantly surprised with how sturdy the tripod is at full height as this is where they tend to become a bit wobbly but even the Autumn wind blowing through didn't really bother it. By the way, releasing the legs top-down as the larger parts of the legs will always give more stability. 


VEO 3+263CB

Talking of the legs, you get the added bonus of being able to remove one to make a monopod which is really easy to do thanks to the twist locks featured on each leg which are separated into 3 sections. To make the monopod, you just combine one leg with the central column and when combined, you'll be able to extend it to 182.5cm. You can get full instructions on how to do this over on YouTube and there's also an instructional video talking you through the easy clean leg locks available on the Vanguard website


VEO 3+263CB

The Arca compatible VEO BH-160 Ball Head with QS-60 V2 quick release plate has a load capacity of 15KG which means a DSLR with telephoto lens will easily be supported and in use, panning and tilting are smooth. It's also easy to use and secures well (the oversized locking knob makes tightening/loosening the head a doddle) so your camera won't move when taking photos. There's a spirit level bubble to help you ensure your horizons are straight, a separate pan-lock and a grading system on the base of the head which is useful when capturing panoramas as you'll know that the photos you capture will stitch together perfectly. If you want to shoot in a portrait orientation, there a quick set portrait slot. 


VEO 3+263CB


Other features include a choice of rubber or spiked feet and a removable hook for hanging weight for additional stability. The tripod canopy also includes a 3/8” thread for an additional support arm to be attached (not provided) and the top of the tripod features a thread that converts from 3/8” to 1/4” so any head will fit.


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