Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB100: The Incredible Contortionist
Conchita Fernandes tests the flexibility of the stylish-looking Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB100.
When buying a tripod, we often look at how sturdy it is, the load it can withstand, how practical it is for regular use, and finally, its price. The Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ checks all of these factors, and some more. Let’s look at what they are.
The Alta Pro 2+ can be bent and extended in a variety of ways. There are seven rubber knobs, each one fulfilling a specific purpose. There’s a Quick Shoe Knob beside the release plate that can be twisted to free the plate from the tripod. What I liked about it was that even when the plate was at its loosest, it wasn’t flimsy to fall off from the tripod. The plate itself is supported by a ball head, whose movement is dictated by the Main Locking Knob and the Friction Control Knob. There’s also a Panning Locking Knob, and a rotational/panning angle marking right below this. These two are ideal for panning in videography and when making panoramic pictures.
The center column of the tripod can be extended to the desired height by twisting the Central Column Locking Knob. It can also be detached by pressing the Central Column Release Button at the base of it. The column can bend at six different angles (up to 90°), via the Multi Angle Central Knob. When extended in this fashion, the column can be rotated to 360° by adjusting the Panning Locking Knob located next to the tripod legs.
Each of the tripod legs comes with a Leg Angle Marking (offers four different angles) and a Leg Angle Adjustment Button. The latter allows you to flatten the tripod to up to 80°. The bottom of the tripod legs have rubber locks that can be twisted to alter the height of the tripod. The base of the tripod legs are covered in anti-slip multi angle rubber feet. It can also accommodate spiked feet (for added stability), but it is sold separately. There are also three spirit levelers. Two of them are located next to the quick release plate, and the third one is located next to the tripod leg.
At first, the tripod may look complex with all its markings and rubber knobs. However, with regular use it became significantly easy to work with. All the knobs and locking mechanisms were smooth and effortless.
The tripod is compact and sturdy, and is made up of aluminium alloy. It weighs 2.4kgs, which is not exactly lightweight, but is not bulky either. Vanguard claims that the tripod can take on 7kgs. However, it’s not a tripod that I would travel around with, and would instead use it for local shoots. There is also no hook at the base of the center column to add additional weight for sturdiness. Moreover, two of the tripod legs have rubber grips on them which is great when using in colder climates. The tripod also comes with its own bag.
The Alta Pro 2+ is extremely versatile. By flattening the tripod, either to 80° or 60°, and by extending the center column laterally, you will be able to get close enough to your subject. This is beneficial for those interested in macro photography. And if you want to further alter the angle or position of the camera, the smooth rotating ball head can be moved 360° (when upright and when it is 90° to the ground). The panning action was smooth too, and is beneficial for those interested in videography or lenticular imaging.
The tripod was very steady, even on uneven terrain. I even took it to the beach and had the legs extended at different angles, and the tripod did not budge. Mid-sized DSLRs with its kit lens or a medium telephoto lens, as well as mirrorless cameras, can all be accommodated on the tripod. But when using mid-size DLSRs with a medium telephoto lens, it is advisable to only half extend the center column (for sturdiness).
The Alta Pro 2+ is available at a price of Rs. 17,490, and comes with a five-year warranty. It is definitely priced on the higher side, but with the inclusion of the warranty, it will certainly appeal to even someone starting out in photography. Professionals and advanced beginners or hobbyists will recognise the value of quality, stability and finesse in the Alta Pro 2+, and will consider investing in it, regardless. All the rubberised grips and knobs are fashioned in a way to endure rough usage. All in all, the Alta Pro 2+ will leave no scope for any disappointments.
Tags: August 2018, better photgoraphy, Conchita Fernandes, Review, Tripod, Vanguard, Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB100