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on November 23, 2014
After reading the reviews I knew you had to screw the camera right on the plate and that the plate was not a quick release, but I was hoping I would be able to unscrew the pan head and use my own ball head in it's place. Now this is where I should have done more research because now I know that once you removed the pan head/plate, there is no screw on the center pole; the pole just has a plastic top with an indention where the head tightens around it to stay in place. Again that was my fault for not doing more research.

My solution.....I removed the pan head/plate and on the center pole I melted & sliced off the top section where the indention is. It left a small hole in the plastic right in the center of the pole, so I drilled a larger hole to fit a Smallrig 3/8"-16 Female to 1/4"-20 Male Tripod Thread Reducer/Adapter (made sure it was going to be a tight fit) and glued it in place using Gorilla super glue. I was then able to screw on a Manfrotto 088LBP Adapter 1/4-Inch- 20 to 3/8-Inch with flange. Once that was all glued in place, I was able to screw on my DMKFoto Heavy Duty Ball Head with Quick Release Plate.

I didn't return the Vanguard tripod because I first thought I was okay with the tripod as it was (screw my dslr on every time I was going to use the tripod). When it became a pain, I knew I had to either purchase another tripod or customize this one to my liking.

I already had the ball head:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BPE3KQ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1SU6RTSUAIWSN

I only had to purchase these adapters:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ANEFZFI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JLK5NW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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on September 29, 2017
This unit initially seemed well made, however, after only a few times using it the plastic where the adjustment arm meets the camera mount completely cracked through... I mean ALL the way through! This wasn't exposed to any violent drops or anything, this was just from the weight of the camera sitting on it for an extended period of time. I had a small DSLR mounted to the unit, but after my experience I would suggest using nothing but point and shoot sized cameras on it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 21, 2014
Talk about the little Tripod that could. I've had great use of it for table top photography. It's rock solid and supports my favorite new Bridge camera the Panny FZ200 with ease and at any angle.

I have a bunch of Tripods ranging from Amazon basics to some very heavy Tripods by ravelli and a few other brands most all of which have been Amazon purchases.

I'll caveat this review by making it clear I'm not a pro, just an enthusiast of still photography and Video. Because I do a good deal of table top photography and my tripods are your standard 62-72 inch floor standing models, I can't get close enough to my subject on my work area which is just an infinity background, a bunch of 5/K lighting diffusers and bounce cards.

And so the search for a compact, solid Tripod began. The reviews of the Vanguard won me over and here's what I like about it.

* Extendable legs with a wide spread make for ideal balance. Like a linebacker or one of our bulldogs the tripod was well designed to disperse weight with a low center of gravity.

* Excellent Build quality, nice textured rubber feet for added stability

* Easy to adjust

* Quality carrying case is always a nice touch

What's not so great:

* Tricky head isn't smooth, I didn't expect a fluid head but this ones a bit sub par

* My fault for not double checking minimum height. But the tripod stands to high. If you need to be 1 cm away from your subject and you're on a level playing ground you'll be better off with a book or two to rest your camera on.

* The fixed plate is a pain, no question about it. Not a deal breaker but even the cheap quality Pods have a universal quick release plate.

* Pivot is restrictive and cumbersome if I need to switch to Portrait and flop my camera on it's side instead of an easy glide you have to fiddle and fuss with it and still the end result isn't ideal.

However, despite it's draw backs, if it fits the bill and excels in performance where you need it most you'll be hard pressed to beat this Tripod at the price it's being offered.

Highly Recommenced
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on April 9, 2012
I purchased this tripod in February because setting my camera on a stack of books to take macro shots wasn't working out so well. I needed a tripod that was easy to use (I am a novice, in the extreme), portable, easy to store and sturdy and reliable. This tripod does all of those things admirably. I love that I can set my camera at a wide variety of angles and heights and all of the changes are pretty easy and fast. My only small gripe is the wide stance of the legs. I have a small dresser top where I do my macro photography and this tripod takes up a lot of room and sometimes it can be a little difficult to maneuver around. I like this tripod and would recommend it to anyone who needs a sturdy, easy to use, basic tripod.
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on May 7, 2017
The legs spread wide enough to support my Nikon D5300 with a 18-55mm lens attached, at least. It's low to the ground, but the head can be raised up several inches to help. It's great for stuffing into a backpack to use for a group photo on a table or bench, or for shooting the night sky on a backpacking trip. Love it!
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on June 5, 2015
Good tabletop tripod. Now I will say this also: I have a Sony Alpha 77, which is a HEAVY camera (I sometimes wonder what I was thinking when I got it)!! Even heavier with lens obviously. This tripod does the job-it holds it up. I did have a couple minor "slips" that nearly happened, but, it was in an awkward position at the time and like I said, I have an extremely heavy camera. I don't think most cameras would have any problem with this tripod staying stable at all. It's sturdy and well built for a good price.
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on May 11, 2017
Built like a tank. Perfect for spotting scope in prone position or on a bench.
Will better stabilize a long spotting scope by extending the leg under the objective lens.
Absolutely no hesitation to recommend to a friend (or a stranger).
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Much heavier duty and sturdier than expected for the price, but will not work with Manfrotto or Arca-style plates. There is no way that I can make an adjustment that will allow this to work with the other plates.
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on August 16, 2017
The Vanguard VS-82 Tripod is a well-built mini tripod that is well suited for table-top and macro photography. The legs are adjustable in length, but all three legs must be fully splayed open for stability. The rubber feet are substantial and ensure a good grip on the surface it is placed on. Very compact, lightweight, and very good for its intended purpose.
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on September 19, 2016
Fits the Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope perfectly without falling over. I use it on the bench at the range.
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