This test and review was conducted and written by Matt Holland, a full-time creative from Berkshire, UK with a passion for all things outdoors. You can read more about his work here, or visit his website below:
For the past month I have had my hands on the new Vanguard Veo2 235AB in blue, but is it worth the change over from the first model Veo tripod?
Well as someone who still uses the original Veo, yes it most certainly is! Vanguard have taken a great product and made it even better, but it does come with a few compromises. Personally the compromises I feel are good and don’t affect me but for others it could be different.
Before getting onto the main product being the tripod we’ll start with the new bag. If you were a user of the original Veo then you maybe like me and not bothered with the bag only because it was limiting. You could only pack the tripod in folded up in its travel form so taking it from bag to shoot you would have to raise the head up and unfold the legs. Doesn’t take long but it can be annoying if you are on limited time chasing light.
The new bag is longer so you have the option to fold the Veo2 down in its travel form or leaving it set up so you can pull it out of the bag and good to go. I love this as a new option and for one have kept the case strapped to my bag now to help protect it on longer trips knowing I haven’t got to go through the faff of setting the tripod back up.
When it first arrived in its box I was shocked. Picking up the box it didn’t feel like much was in there, you could have mistaken it for an empty box. Somehow Vanguard has shaved of a whole 150 grams off from the original. Through better build quality, change of the leg lock system and the lack of spiked feet have added up to a large weight save but it still offers the same payload in weight on the head this being 6-8kg which is more than enough for most modern CSC / DSLR users.
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Throughout the review I used my Nikon D500 with 16-80mm or 70-300mm lens which at max was 2kg and the head felt sturdy and strong. No slack or loss of friction even in 60mph winds I had no shake when I kept the tripod low down.
On the note of friction, the new ball head has a third dial, this being the friction dial so you can adjust how stiff the ball head moves.
Yes you read correctly before, a change to the leg lock system and no more spikes in the feet. This is where things could become a sway for some photographers.
The previous Veo used flick locks which were great, easy to use and you could open them all in one go and close the same way. They were perfect really so why change them? Less parts in a twist lock, ultimately makes it lighter for travel and a good twist lock is typically seen on the more expensive tripods like Gitzo or Benro.
I was anxious at first but the twist locks on the Veo2 are really easy to use and don’t lock up in the wet or cold. I had no problems in the wet and cold in Storm Brian unlike some of the other guys who were using Gitzo’s and had some minor issues with the locks.
As with the previous flick lock system you can open and close these in one hand so speed isn’t compromised and certainly not the quality either. A nice touch although it makes no difference is the red or blue tones on the legs (Depends on the model you buy).
No more spikes on the feet. That’s a lie you have to buy them separately now which isn’t a problem. I very rarely used the spiked feet on the first Veo, in fact mine have become slightly rusted as they’re a pain to clear properly with the rolling rubber grip.
As I mentioned you can buy the spikes separately and are £20 for the set, all you need to do is simply pull the anti slip rubber feet off. I say simply, I’ve found it rather difficult to pull them off but I imagine the more you do this they may become more slack and easier but straight out the box it was tough. So you’ve been warned if you want to use the spikes.
The Veo2 uses the same arca swiss quick release plate and the height when fully extended is the same as the old Veo and sits at the same height when shortened. They both also have the rubber handle for grip and low angle adapters which is brilliant for macro photographers.
The arca swiss quick release plate might be the same but how you put it on has changed. You no longer need to keep a penny on you to twist off the bolt instead you have a handy rounded pin to use. This is also really handy to attach to you bag with a carabiner so you can go hands free**
So the new Veo2 – New paint job, lost a few grams and update to areas. As a whole has made a dramatic different to style and overall perform for the better and it all comes with a new bag for great ease of use for travel or quick set up.
Overall I love the look and new features Vanguard have added to the new Veo2 and will be packing my old Veo up and saying good bye as I welcome in the new Veo2 with future trips.
The key features that have stood out for me has been the update to the arca swiss plate which I find really useful when scrambling and reading maps, keeping my hands free when I attach it to my bag using a carabiner.
The twist locks are very well made and I have had no issues or problems changing to this new lock and finally the new bag with its updates.
You can’t go wrong with this tripod with its versatile and strong construction. You can achieve any photography when you push yourself. You can see some of the images captured using the Vanguard Veo2 below.
A handy tip for videographers – use a travel tripod like the Veo2 extend the neck and spray the legs out flat and make yourself a steadycam/balance rig when it rests in your hands, rather than going handheld.
** Please use a camera strap around your neck or another part of the bag in case either fails. I’m not being held responsible for any cameras falling off bags or straps.