Tripod indecision!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Dec 4, 2014
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I really hate to even post this question but I have been wrestling with this choice for days! I have narrowed down my future tripod to these options. Any and all suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated!

MeFOTO RoadTrip Travel Tripod

Vanguard VEO 265AB

Vanguard 264AB-100


I should add, I chose these for the weight rating and the price (under $200). I am exploring all the options that meet this criteria.
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The first four are very compact when folded, the last one is the biggest and most heavy-duty. The last tripod, the Vanguard ABEO Plus 323 is a 3-section model that holds over 26 pounds and extends about 75 inches and weighs almost eight pounds. It is a more or less full-sized tripod. THe others are more compact. The Vanguard 264 is a pretty good deal after the rebate.

Tripods have DIFFERENT roles they fill, for different shooters. If you want one to hike with, get a small, lightweight model. For medium-duty use, get something like the 264. For more "serious" use where portability is much less a concern, the ABEO PLus 323 would easily, easily be the best choice. The tripods with 4-section, screw-lock legs will always be slower to set up and more slow to get leveled than models with fewer legs, or with flip-lock style legs. The MeFoto model show first is reallllly compact, about 15 inches long when stowed, so that would make it easy to lash to a backpack, or even to carry on top of a shoulder bag, and so on. While it might be slower to set-up and level than say, the largest tripod, it would be much easier, smaller,and lighter when being packed in say, three miles, or five miles, and so there's a trade-off.
Thanks for taking a look, Derrel! I don't need super portability but I will be carrying it some.
I have the VEO, and am reasonably happy with it. It can be found for $149.

My only complaint is that there is a minute amount of slop somewhere in the head. When I have my long lens on (Nikkor 70-300) it will dip a little in the front.
In other words: I frame a shot, tighten the ball head, and when I let go of the camera it will drop down 1 or 2 degrees in front, changing the framing of the shot.
I compensate by framing a little high before I tighten the head, but it is an annoyance, especially at full zoom.

Otherwise I'm happy with the construction, operation and build quality.
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I hear ya Zulu42! My current "El Cheapo" tripod does that. It is aggravating and something I am trying to avoid by buying a quality unit.
Vanguard Abeo + 323ab is the clear winner after I honestly evaluated my needs and wants in a tripod. What a bargain too.

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