The Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB Carbon Fibre Tripod with the VEO BH-160 Arca Compatible Ball Head is Vanguard’s most recent member of the hugely popular VEO range. But this new model takes Vanguard tripods in an exciting new direction with a more robust, easy to use and indeed stylish design. Is this the Vanguard’s best tripod to date?
Tripods are an essential accessory for many photographic subjects and situations and are one of the most important purchases you can make alongside your cameras and lenses. There are many factors to consider and features to look out for, and the VEO 3+ manages to address the majority of requirements photographers typically have, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
- Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC} moves almost 360° in any direction for the perfect setup for any shot, from landscape to macro
- MACC can be used as a multi-mount with the VEO+ MA1 Adaptor (included free in-pack)
- Extends to 172.5cm/67/ 9/10 inches and has a maximum load capacity of 15kg/33lbs
- Folds to 76cm/29 9/10 inches and weighs 2.1kg/4.7lbs
- 26mm diameter carbon fibre legs with 3-sections
- Includes a tripod leg that converts into a monopod
- Easy set, solid and easy clean twist locks
- Three easy set leg angles (23°, 50° and 80°) with innovative push button lock
- Includes rubber feet that can be replaced with spiked feet (provided)
- Removable hook can be used to hang weight for additional stability
- Arca-compatible VEO BH-160 Ball Head with QS-60 V2 quick release plate
- Premium padded tripod bag with shoulder strap and internal zip up pocket
The VEO 3+ is a sturdy, yet lightweight tripod with a Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) that allows for the centre column to be positioned horizontally at three different angles. This makes it possible to position your camera close to the ground with the legs spread out and centre column in a horizontal position, or over objects such as walls when the legs are extended.
One great new feature of the MACC is that the VEO 3+ comes with a free VEO+ MA1 Adaptor, which attaches to the centre column and provides an attachment point for accessories such as a video monitor, an LED light, a microphone, a tripod head or anything you need to attach to the tripod.
The VEO+ MA1 Adaptor slides onto the bottom of the centre column after the hook for attaching weight to the tripod to increase stability is removed. One is included but you can purchase additional adaptors separately if you need to attach more than one accessory at a time.
This is a full-size rather than travel tripod, and as such it provides a high degree of stability in a package that weighs just 2.1kg. Despite this low weight for a tripod of this type, the VEO 3+ extends to a maximum height of 172.5cm with the centre column extended, and 147cm with the column down. This is with a maximum load capacity of 15kg, so it’s more than capable of safely supporting the majority of camera and lens combinations. The folded length of the tripod is 76cm.
Few tripods come with so many free accessories, and on top of the VEO+ MA1 Adaptor and metal spike feet, the VEO 3+ also comes with a premium padded carry bag with an accessory pocket for carrying the spiked feet and adaptor. The bag is great for keeping the tripod safe while in transit in the boot of a car and makes it comfortable to carry if you prefer not to attach tripods to your camera bag.
The head that’s included with the kit is the VEO BH-160 Arca Compatible Ball Head, which features an oversized metal locking knob providing a huge amount of grip. There’s also a spirit level and a pan lock alongside a grading system on the base to assist when shooting panoramics, and a side slot for moving the camera into portrait format. All knobs are made of machined aluminium, in keeping with the tripod legs.
Build and handling
The overall design of the tripod is, in some ways, simplified compared to the Alta Pro 2 range of tripods; all controls, apart from the leg locks are made of CNC machined aluminium, providing both robust and more tactile knobs and dials that are incredibly easy and comfortable to use. So, not only does the tripod handle well, it looks fantastic too.
The 26mm diameter three section carbon fibre legs can be set at 23°, 50° and 80° angles to provide stability in a range of situations as well as control over height. These positions are locked in place with the metal notches at the top of the legs and released with the push of a metal button that makes changing leg position quick and easy.
The leg locks, for each section, can be taken apart and reassembled with ease for cleaning, and one of the legs can be unscrewed to be used as a monopod at height