People who are familiar with my work, blog posts or my photography ethos from workshops will know that I have a very old school approach to camera gear and the purchasing of it, taking the approach that if it is still doing the job it is intended for and well, then really it does not need replacing. Obviously I buy the bits and bobs that will help my photography and make my work a little easier, but by and large a few extra megapixels or focus points on a new camera won't temp me into a 1000's of pounds purchase.
I genuinely believe that good camera equipment can truly take years to fully appreciate, it grows with you as a photographer as you learn it's nuances, molding itself into your workflow and becoming an essential part of your go to kit over time. All this in mind and it would not surprise you that I had been using the same tripod for what seemed like donkey years..... a solid, heavy and cumbersome beast that has undoubtedly served me well, offering the incredible stability needed for the HDR work that is a staple of my portfolio. Much as it more than done it's job, my needs have changed as my photography took me further a field into wilder locations, the extra weight started to become a hindrance, I needed to find a better balance between weight, stability and portability.....step up the Vanguard Veo2 235AB.
Being a bit of a 'Product Researcher / Purchase Ditherer' I surprised myself when deciding relatively quickly on this this tripod, a product that sits squarely in the mid price range of Vanguards impressive kit lines, which boasts camera gear that would not be out of place in anyone's everyday kit. Having now spent some month's with this impressive tripod, I thought it was about time to put a bit of a spotlight on this crucial element in a landscape photographers toolbox, even though I usually tend not to discuss kit too much here on my blog. Since purchase my Veo2 235AB has already ventured with me to a wide range of locations, and in a variety of conditions, from the open windy exposure of the North East Pennines to the challenging wooded valley's of my home turf in County Durham.
Weighing in at just 1.4kg / 3.1lbs, this lightweight tripod is easy on the back even in the most difficult of terrain, with a small folded form factor that is no hindrance to mobility when on the move, something crucial to the more adventurous landscape photographers. It is clear from the outset that this product has been designed by a company that truly understands photography, from the Magnesium and Aircraft Alloy to achieve that amazing weight / strength combination, to the small folded footprint and the wonderful advanced 'Twist Lock' leg system that gives ease, stability and speed to setting up on location.....very handy if you are running late, something I suffer with when chasing sunsets!!
I am very much still learning with this, having not fully tested the low angle shooting ability of this tripod, but it is this versatility that truly makes it shine, and this is not even taking into account the very adaptive ball head included in pack, this alone features 3 independent controls for Pan, Lock and Friction. All this adds up to a piece of kit that Vanguard seemingly have managed to produce that is suitable for most needs and photographers, and at a price point that won't make the eyes water.
Like all camera kit, the tripod market is saturated by countless numbers of products, and it truly can be difficult to purchase the right thing for you, this is why buying gear can be very subjective and near on impossible for companies to cater for everyone in one item. It is these reasons that I only recommend kit after careful consideration and use by myself in the field, it's the only way I can accurately talk openly and honestly about things that maybe a big investment to some people. I have purposely not written this with every tiny detail as I don't consider this a product review of the Vanguard Veo2 235AB, it is more about my journey with it and how it may slot into your camera kit.....considerations based on my experience with it.
You can probably tell that I love this tripod, and most certainly comes with my personal recommendation, especially as it will suit the needs of most photographers and light enough to travel with, providing stability in all but the most extreme conditions.
Product Page: www.vanguardworld.co.uk/photo_video_gb/products/tripods/veo-2-235ab-red.html#go-sectionTop
Until next time, take care out in the wilds!!