The only requirement for a tripod is that it must have three legs. The requirement for a new tripod is that it must do something better or something new. Vanguard’s new VEO 2X has a new thing that makes it a little better.
Simple ball head innovation
I’ve been using the VEO line of tripods for several years. They are compact, lightweight and remarkably sturdy. It’s the style of tripod with a center column that inverts for storage, and the legs splay wide open so it can be very low to the ground.
The included ball head is my all-time favorite ball head. It holds everything steady I’ve put on it, from heavy ultrawide lenses to huge spotting scopes. I don’t know how they packed so much stability into such a small head, but I love it. Whether I bring the tripod or not, I always bring the head with a Platypod because it’s so small and light it’s not worth not having.
When I hike and hunt with binoculars, I always bring this tripod so I can mount the binos and spend more time glassing more effectively. Putting binoculars on a tripod makes it much easier to find animals.
The new VEO 2X adds a significant benefit: You can add a telescoping wand for using to pan the head side to side. This makes it much easier to make smooth movements in videos as well as making adjustments when glassing with binoculars or spotting scopes.
The head has independent knobs for panning, tilting and friction, which is not common in a head this small. Since the panning is separate from the tilt, you can make smooth video pans.
You can also adjust the friction knob so that the tilt is stiff enough to hold the camera still but loose enough to allow small and smooth adjustments with the wand. It’s not ideal for videos, but it’s better than nothing when you’ve packed your sticks a long distance. It is ideal for binocular use so you can adjust your view anywhere on the mountain.
Not only does the head sport the new panning wand, but it also has an integrated monopod. One leg removes and then attaches to the center column and head to be an independent monopod or boom.
Often, a monopod is enough stability to make a sharp photograph and it’s much faster to deploy and lighter to carry. It’s also a terrific tool for binoculars.
You can even attach a speedlight to the monopod and use it as a boom to get a light into the right position, or maybe use it for recording sound in a tricky spot with an attached microphone. The top of the center column attaches to the ball head with a standard 1/4″-20 screw that will fit all kinds of photo/video tools. (The ball head has the standard 3/8″-16 thread, and includes a bushing to fit the 1/4″-20 tripod mount.)
As always, Vanguard backs this tripod with a lifetime warranty, and they’ve been making tripods since 1985.
Check out the VEO 2X
The VEO 2X comes complete with an Arca Swiss-style mounting plate, spike feet adapters, telescoping panning wand and a carry bag. The extended height and collapsed length vary depending on the model, whether you get four-section or five-section legs, and it comes in aluminum or carbon fiber with 20mm, 23mm or 26mm diameter legs. The various legs are rated to support from 8-26 pounds. It’s a travel-sized tripod, though, so the maximum height of the tallest version is 5 feet.
MSRP starts at $149.99 for aluminum and $289.99 for carbon fiber legs.
I’ve been using the earlier versions of this tripod for several years, and I’m very satisfied. We’ll get a hands-on review for you as soon as stock is available.
The following specs are for the top-of-the-line model, the VEO 2X 265CBP with carbon fiber legs:
- Leg sections: 5
- Leg diameter: 26mm
- Extended height, center column down: 49.5″
- Extended height, center column up: 60″
- Folded length: 16.1″
- Head: Ball head with pan handle
- Weight: 3.5 lbs.
- Lateral tilt: -90 to 40 degrees
- Leg locks: Quick twist, 1/4 turn
- Max load: 26.5 lbs.
- Quick shoe: QS-60, Arc-Swiss style
- MSRP: $289.99