Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH review

Aluminium 263AT tripod plus a quick-fire GH-100 pistol grip head form a handy kit

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For

  • Legs boast advanced features that are quick and easy to use
  • Well implemented 180 degree centre column pivot facility
  • Very good build quality ensures stability

Against

  • Pistol grip head lacks firm clamping action and is fiddly to use
  • AGH kit isn't much of a money-saver
  • Tension adjustments have cross-head screws instead of allen key screws

There's often money to be saved by buying a complete kit that includes both tripod and a tripod head in one package. In this case, however, the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT legs sell for around £125 on their own and the GH-100 pistol grip head is available for about £85 if you shop around. Buying them as kit you can expect to pay around £195, so you'll only save about £15. Even so, there are plenty of novel features to capture the interest.

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT tripod has a sturdy aluminium construction with a maximum load rating of 7kg. The GH-100 pistol grip ball head is a close match, rated at 6kg and, indeed, they look every inch as if they're made to be together.

When combined, the photography tripod and head enable a minimum shooting height of 68cm, which rises to 175cm with the centre column fully extended.

The kit folds down to a carrying height of 73cm. Like most modern tripods, the three-section legs have highly effective, quick-action clip-locks and, more unusually, the rubber feet come complete with retractable spikes which are good for offering a stable platform when shooting on carpet or loose ground.

Leg diameters range from 26mm to 23mm to 20mm, from top to bottom.

A full complement of advanced features includes three-position multi-angle legs, a bubble level on the tripod collar and a pivoting centre column. The pistol grip head is more unusual, with a trigger action to release the clamp and enable positional adjustments.