September 27, 2023

Choosing a Tripod

Katie and Gene Hamilton

Bring Binocular News

Features we look for in a tripod are being lightweight, stable and easy to adapt

If you’re considering a new tripod, we encourage you to choose one that offers more than just support for your optics, camera or video camera. We just received a new and very versatile tripod from Vanguard. Over the years we’ acquired three or four aluminum tripods, but this is our first experience with a lightweight carbon fiber version.

The Vanguard VEO 3 GO 235CP tripod is a compact design that’s handy for field work, traveling and sky watching.  It’s a quick-change artist that easily goes from three legs to one as a monopod. If you’re shooting videos or podcasts that versatility makes it even easier to set up and move since it comes in different head configurations.

This vanguard tripod is lightweight (2 lbs.) and opens to 51.6 inches high. The leg and body tubes are made of carbon fiber, with twist locks and body parts machined from aluminum, producing a lightweight tripod strong enough to support more than 7 lbs. It collapses into a 13.5-inch package that slips into its compact carrying case.

The carbon fiber construction makes this tripod very light while still being stiffer than aluminum. Once set up it provides a very stable platform. Because it is so light, we found it handy to hang the carrying bag filled with some of our heavier gear on the hook shaped bracket at the base of the vertical support tube. The extra weight helps lower the center of gravity and stabilizes the tripod.

Our tripod came equipped with a VEO 2 PH-25 two-way pan/tilt head. The handle can be loosened and folded down to create a slim package. The head has a panning lock lever so when it’s loosened the head can rotated 360 degrees. The base has a handy built-in bubble level.

We ordered a few quick shoe base plates that can be attached to the base of any device with a standard tripod mounting screw socket.  These inexpensive brackets are easy to attach to our optics swapping binoculars for a camera or smart phone is easy to do.

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Gene and Katie Hamilton are long-time writers about using binoculars for boating, bird watching, stargazing and traveling. They are members of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

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