I recently received the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Tripod with SBH-100 Ball Head for review via the Amazon Vine program. Having a nice tripod for setting up shots is always a good idea, and this one looked to be in the professional range of tripod offerings. To give it an even better trial, I decided to see what one of my friends could do with it. He's a professional photographer, and I figured he would give me some insights I might miss on my review. In short, he (and I) loves it!
The Vanguard Alta Pro was his first foray into professional-grade tripods. He had gone with "box store" tripods before in an effort to save money, but this tripod had him spoiled in short order. He loved everything about it, but he did offer up some thoughts for someone who might be in the same situation he was in terms of using a cheaper tripod on a regular basis.
The Vanguard tripod, being a professional model, is heavier than consumer grade models. That's understandable given the quality of the materials and need for solid stability. He found it to be something you just need to keep in mind when you're putting your kit together for a photo shoot. He also noted that you wouldn't try and use this for unplanned shots. It takes a bit of time to set up, so it's more geared for planned shots where you have the time to make sure to get everything "just so". He noted that the movement of the head was *very* fluid, which made it nice for setting up difficult angles. On the other hand, you have to make sure you're used to the different knobs that are used to tighten up the head in the various angles. It's not a bad thing... just one of those "learn beforehand" things. The only other thing he found off was the leg releases stuck a bit when extending to the maximum height. He wasn't sure if it was just this particular tripod or if it was something that would affect all of them. Regardless, it could make for some precarious juggling if you had your camera attached and you were fighting with the legs.
Overall, we both liked the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Tripod with the SBH-100 Ball Head. There may be minor things to nitpic at, but you have to get pretty picky to come up with any substantial "defects". This is well worth the money.
Disclosure: Obtained From: Amazon Vine Review Program Payment: Free
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Thomas Duff (duffbert)
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
Alta Pro 263AT tripod and SBH 100 ball head are an impressive pair. Alta Pro tripods have unmatched flexibility, stability and enabling more angle possibilities than ever before. Its innovative Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) System allows users to move the central column from zero to 180-degree angles in variable vertical and horizontal positions making macro-photography and special wide-angle shots a breeze.The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System securely repositions the central column in one simple movement, in just a few seconds, while maintaining the tripod’s stability. Additional tripod features include advanced camera vibration and shock control, aluminum alloy legs that adjust to 25, 50 and 80-degree angles, quick-flip leg locks, patented premium magnesium die-cast canopy, hexagon-shaped central column for extra stability, and non-slip, spiked rubber feet for changing terrains and a removable hook for hanging camera accessories. Its SBH-100 fluid-like ball head rotates 360 degrees and has smooth locking knobs, an outstanding loading capacity and fine-tuning functions.