Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminum Tripod Kit
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- 26mm 3 section aluminum alloy legs adjust to 25, 50, and 80-degree angles to enable extreme low angle photography
- Easy to operate with precise pan and tilt function, the PH-32 three-way panhead includes a quick release plate and 3 bubble levels
- Hexagon-shaped central column moves from 0 to 180 degrees
- The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System securely repositions the central column in one simple movement
- Premium magnesium die-cast canopy and anti-shock ring
- Quick flip leg locks and rubber feet with retractable spikes
- Outstanding stability and loading capacity up to 11 pounds
- Folded height: 28.5", Extended height: 69.875", Weight: 5.73 pounds
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From the manufacturer
VANGUARD Alta Pro Tripods
Vanguard is a global company that designs and manufactures tripods, bags, sporting optics, and accessories. For over 30 years, our drive to disrupt mediocrity and commitment to innovation has allowed us to create the highest quality products for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts at an affordable price.
VANGUARD Alta Pro Tripods
Change Your Point-of-View
Quite possibly the most flexible tripod in the world Alta Pro is everything you need for out-of-this-world photography. Alta Pro tripods have unmatched versatility and stability, enabling more shooting angle than ever before.
- Hexagon-shaped central column moves from 0 to 180 degrees
- Premium magnesium die-cast canopy and anti-shock ring
- The legs have settings for 25°, 50°, and 80° with easy-release buttons for quick set-up.
- Outstanding stability and loading capacity
- Available in Carbon Fiber or Aluminum
- Carrying Case Included
The Multi-Angle Central Column
The Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) system allows you to move the central column from zero to 180° angles in various vertical and horizontal positions, making macro-photography and special wide-angle shots a breeze.
3 Different Leg Angles
The aluminum alloy and carbon fiber legs have settings for 25°, 50°, and 80° with easy-release buttons for quick set-up. Flip and twist locks are available.
A magnesium die-cast canopy, quick-flip leg locks, non-slip, spiked rubber feet and a removable hook for hanging camera accessories make this tripod a great addition to your kit bag.
Swivel Stop-n-Lock System
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.
|Alta Pro 263AT Tripod||Alta Pro 263AB Tripod with Ball Head||Alta Pro 263AP Tripod with Pan Head||Alta Pro 263AGH Tripod with Grip Head||Alta Pro 283CT Carbon Tripod||Alta Pro 284CB Carbon Tripod with Ball Head|
|Folded Height||24.75 in||28 1/8 in||28.5 in||28 5/8 in||25.25 in||25 in|
|Extended Height||65 in||69 1/8 in||69 7/8 in||69 1/8 in||66 7/8 in||67 1/8 in|
|Minimun Extended Height||52.75 in||56 1/8 in||57 5/8 in||56 1/8 in||53.75 in||58.50 in|
|Macro Height||6.25 in||10 3/8 in||10 3/8||10 3/8 in||6.5 in||5.75 in|
|Leg Diameter||26 mm||26 mm||26 mm||26 mm||28 mm||28 mm|
|Material||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Carbon Fiber||Carbon Fiber|
|Max Load Capacity||15.4 lbs||15.4 lbs||11.00 lbs||13.2 lbs||18 lbs||18 lbs|
|Weight||4.41 lbs||5.38 lbs||5.73 lbs||5.84 lbs||3.75 lbs||4.81 lbs|
MIKE MOATS: Pro Macro Photographer
"As a macro photographer I need a tripod that has the ability to maneuver my camera into all kinds of angles, and also be able to get my camera right down on the ground if I need. The Vanguard Alta Pro is the perfect tripod for accomplishing this task."
Compare with similar items
Backed by popular demand, we merged our award-winning Alta Pro tripod with our popular PH photo pan head. Alta Pro has unmatched versatility and stability and enables more angle possibilities than ever. The legs have 25, 50 and 80 degree stops for extremely low angle shooting. Its innovative Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) System allows users to move the central column from 0 to 180-degree angles in variable vertical and horizontal positions, making macro photography and special angle shots a breeze. The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System quickly and securely repositions the central column in one simple movement while maintaining the tripods stability. PH-32 is a lightweight, easy-to-operate 3-way pan head with precise pan and tilt functions.
Top customer reviews
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I paid over $200 for this tripod and it has seen mild and always well cared for use. Until the other day, I would have given this a 5 star review but I had it set up in my garage holding a Canon 7D and 60mm macro. The conditions could have been any better for a tripod.. flat, level, cement floor - indoors, no wind - the rubber feet had great grip - and it wasn't unbalanced or precariously positioned... yet when I was just far enough away to not be able to catch it in time, it collapsed to the floor, lens first. Somewhat fortunately, Canon makes robust gear but the lens is definitely damaged and will never be the same and there is damage to the body of the camera.
The reason? The quick release locks on the leg extensions apparently (and inconspicuously) loosed themselves over time to the point where the "locked" position was just tight enough to give me a chance to walk away. The worst part is they need tools to be tightened. If this happened on a trip or during an event, I would be out of luck. If this is out of convenience, I'd rather be inconvenienced when setting up my tripod and know my gear will be held.
I don't give one star reviews lightly, especially on something that is otherwise as good as this one is, but if I can't trust the product to do the one thing it is supposed to do - especially with so much invested in what it holds - then it is of no use to me.
Maybe I am expecting too much and should just carry tools in my camera bag? That'd be disappointing as well but at least my gear will stand a better chance of not being destroyed.
Out of the box, this is stunning tripod that’s clearly very well thought out and engineered. Their MACC (Multi Angle Central Column.) system sets them apart. But despite the lure of this pod’s innovations, it was soon clear that while this might truly be the ‘cat’s meow’ for most, it was not the one for me. If you use your tripod fully extended as much as I do, and know what solid feels like, this one is not of “Outstanding stability…18lbs”. Way too much twist/vibration with 4 sections out. Sure, it gets better at 3 and pretty sweet at 2; but when you flip the column to 90, with a full frame/decent lens on it, the leg twist/vibration with the legs extended 4 is just scary. Again, it gets better as you retract, so I’m sure the 3 section 263 version, or the carbon fiber 283 are no doubt more stable, but they’d still have the same MACC parts, and regardless of how truly innovative I find their design, in my opinion their brilliant ‘MACC’ system has a flimsy feel and lacks the strength/stability for confident professional use.
Upshot: Love this things bells and whistles, still think it would make a nice travel pod; but I had to admit that I’d soon be pushing its limits and would always be in fear that one of its niceties would fail and I’d break something really expensive. Couldn’t get beyond feeling that I’d ultimately come to regret keeping it, so I’ve somewhat reluctantly sent it back.
Final Part One
This is a great prosumer pod, but it’s just not ‘pro’ enough for me. However, if you like cool gadgets, you’re not going to use it too hard (don’t go over say 6-8 lbs.) and can stand the motion at its extents, this could be the pod for you. I still want to take it out on dates; just can’t see marrying it.
If you want more, here’s most of my specifics:
• The 25-50-80 angle options are nice, and the Leg Angle Locks and their release are super smooth with silent detents; but getting that smoothness had to come at the compromise of strength. I just have no faith in a leg lock that doesn’t ‘click’ in hard between angles. I’m too indelicate to trust these and I’m pretty sure I’d they’d wear out fast under my use.
• Leg Section ‘Flip’ clamps are plastic, but they’re very smooth, quick and easy, and they can be re-tensioned if (when!) they fatigue.
• Leg sections don’t start at in the 28mm, as mislabeled in Amazon’s blurb, though the legs would have been so much better if they had!! They’re 26mm, and the smallest is only 17mm! I’m just not buying the 18 lbs. claim.
• Retractable spikes might seem like a nice idea for feet, but these have no positive lock; if you move a pod around as much as I do, they’re going to loosen, so you better make checking them frequently a part of your routine.
Center Column & Swivel
• I really love the versatility of the MACC (Multi Angle Central Column.) I’d say that Vanguard arguably has the most ingenious approach to the column flip; but sadly, I think they sacrificed too much strength for weight and style. Again, I’m too indelicate for this piece of art.
• Column up-down feels smooth, is solid when clamped and there’s sound logic to the octagonal shape. Kudos!
• The brilliance of their MACC engineering starts here; there’s actually 2 column locks: the inner locks the column at a vertical height, or at its extension when it’s in a flipped/rotated position. The outer is a swivel bearing centered in the canopy that allows the entire column mechanism, when flipped and/or vertical too, to rotate 360, and that bearing has a fluid feel, so it makes its horizontal rotation act as a mondo fluid pan head. You can even reasonably adjust its degree of ‘fluidity’ with the locking screw.
• This makes fine tuning a shot with the column rotated a joy and I can only imagine how cool this could be for horizontally sweeping a video (i.e., with the column horizontal and a camera out at its end), and I’m also sure that the less aggressive angle of its outboard pivot point would make for much less ‘bowl’ when sweeping/stitching a panorama! Way cool!
• However, the initial motions of the actual column flip are not as easy as they should be and made me fear for my camera. The detent on the bottom of the column has to be pushed to click over the canopy base, and then pulled to click a second time into the portion of the column lock that privets, and at that point everything is loosey-goosey with the column is at its limits. I’m sure you could learn to do this dance step fairly well in time, but I’d still say be safe and just pull the column.
• Regardless, once you have the column secured into its vertically pivoting lock, you can rotate and lock it anywhere in its full 180 degrees of vertical motion. This gives you the option of fine tuning the height by pivoting the center column instead of raising/lowering the legs.
• The indexed locking system they devised to accomplish this a really great idea, but I think it’s a disaster waiting the happen. When you’re rotating the column, you’re effectively swinging a lever bolstered by the weight of a camera at its end. That puts tremendous stress on the cogs/teeth of its inadequately sized bearing (a mere 30mm OD (+/-) with its housing). I’m betting that this is the most commonly broken component point. Definitely tingles my ‘spidey sense and a killer for me. Would that its OD was only half again as large!
SBH 100 Ball Head
• Really like this head; magnesium was a great & light weight choice for the housing!
• It only has a single ball tensioner, but with its large, smoothly-moving ball, I didn’t miss having the secondary at all; rather, I welcomed it; less felt like more!
• The pan is equally good and even better as it’s got a fluid bearing; nice for a quick DSLR video pan without changing heads!
• The main drawback for me was the mounting plate; just felt cheap and I hate having to carry a quarter. This pod was brand new, but other Vanguard I saw have 1/4x20 hex head screws (with a wrench to loose), so maybe there’s a newer version that might also have a beefier plate.
• I wasn’t so warm and fuzzy about its ‘Quick Release’; there’s a lot of pressure on its little plastic button.
• Didn’t like the levels either. Unless you can see them both at once, single axis vials levels are worthless on a camera. Both need to be bulleye’s with the second at off 90.
• I might actually buy one of these, ‘cause I like the ball/weight/pan so much; but if I do, I’ll put a Manffrotto quick release base on it so I could use their plates.
Final Part 2:
The ‘MACC’ system, with its mondo & fluid swivel bearing in the canopy and full 180 sweeping center column, was both the hardest thing for me easiest thing for me to give up in this tripod; it was definitely a love/hate thing. While the great innovations in this pod are probably adequate for a more casual user, innovative or not, I was pretty sure I’d break it.
- Multi-angle head is the best one in the industry (in my opinion)
- Leg Angle adjusting buttons are best in the industry (in my opinion)
- Lightweight but feels solid
- Goes super low and quite high
- Came with a free bag which is good enough for me
- Price is BETTER than the name brand rivals which aren't as good as this one
- Haven't found any yet. Seriously.
I must have bought 10 different tripods trying to find one I am happy with. I finally made it to this one and really feel satisfied. Let me tell you why I hate every other tripod that is comparable to this:
The multi-angle feature that is becoming standard on most tripods are very insecure, flimsy, and overall feel clunky. This is the best one available in the industry, by far. Manfrotto includes this feature on their mid-to-lower end tripods and I swear it almost broke on me when I tested it out. It look like the center column chamber was going to split. When the Manfrotto center column isn't standing straight up, it shakes like it's a cold, wet dog. Not sturdy at all. The Alta Pro has a separate tightening knob just for the center column which I have not seen on any other brand.
The angle buttons for each of the tripod legs are nice big push in buttons compared to everyone else's smaller push in wedges. Those wedges are a joke compared to these guys. The Alta Pro is so much easier to push. If you tried to push in one of those wedges on a cold day with frosty hands, you're eyes will water from the pain it causes. And it pinches me all the time!
Those two features alone are why I would award this tripod "The Best In Class" award.
Also, it has the actual flip locks for the leg lengthening which I prefer over the circular screwing. And it includes the metal spiked feet which are non-standard on other brands. I am really surprised I haven't heard much from this brand before.