Vanguard Camera Tripods & Gear

I bought mine on here a while back, but have yet to see a deal as good as the one I got. (I wouldn’t mind another).

Vanguard ABEO 323AB Aluminum Tripod with SBH-250 Ball Head $144
It has the clamp legs instead of the twisty legs (I think clamps are better).

It’s built like a tank, my particular one is heavy, but I wanted it that way. I shoot mostly outdoors and hike around a lot, so it provides extra stability in winds and other places for long exposure, vs the thin and light tripods that always vibrate or shake in the breeze.

I absolutely love the SBH-250 ballhead. (same one being sold here). I had never used one before, having only using the traditional pan/tilt video style cheap tripods. I fell immediately in love with the ball head after only a few minutes of use. For any serious photographer, I would highly recommend the ball heads, and this one in particular.

Mine also came with 2 plate mounts, both of which are extremely low profile, so you can put them on multiple devices and never take them off, as they will never get in the way.

Another thing I really like about the head’s mount is that the plates, when you slid them in place, have a safety lock that clicks in place as you slide it in. Twice now I’ve slid it in, and [something happened] to where the camera would have fallen off the tripod, but these little locks saved it. Once you slid it in, there’s a tightening mechanism that cinches it down.

The ball head moves freely and fluently. You can adjust the tensions for every piece of movement it does and adjust it to any crazy angle you want.

It’s worth every penny if you just need a new tripod head.

I picked up the Vanguard PH-21 panhead the last time I saw it on Woot. While I haven’t yet had the opportunity to thoroughly put it through its paces, my initial reaction was that it seemed very solidly built and the panning was fluid. It’s quite heavy and should have no trouble supporting even larger DSLRs.

One downside I noticed is that the locking is controlled by twisting the handle. As a result, it was quite easy to inadvertently tighten/loosen it while panning. Some people might call it a feature, but I think it may lead to some frustration (although I may also get used to it).

Now I’m hoping to see a decent slider on Woot…