Versatile Photographers Need a Versatile Tripod

Jan 7, 2013 • News4 Comments

I can’t claim to be the world’s best photographer, but I can tell you one of the more frustrating things when I’m taking a photo is getting my tripod to actually line up the shot at the angle and height I want.  I know photographers who’ve put together all sorts of crazy contraptions to get the perfect shot, and while they do sometimes get what they’re looking for, often times their camera is placed in a precarious position as a result.  I’ve even seen costly accidents due to an innovative but ill-advised setup.

One of the more interesting and versatile solutions I’ve seen for this problem is the Vanguard Alta+ 263AT Tripod with Pistol Grip Ball Head.  The tripod itself is very tough, and the weight is a nice balance.  Too light and your tripod might fall over from wind.  Too heavy and you won’t want to carry it to those far off locales where the best shots can be found.  This Vanguard Tripod weighs 2.156kg.  That’s just right.  It’s made of aluminum, so it’s more than capable of supporting your expensive equipment.

But that’s a fundamental of any good tripod.  The Vanguard Alta separates itself with the fantastic Pistol Grip Ball Head.  Check it out:

Vanguard Alta Plus Pistol Grip Tripod Head

The Pistol Grip Tripod Head really separates the Alta Plus Tripod.

Vanguard clearly put a lot of time and effort into this Tripod Head.  It uses a friction lock to keep the head in place, but you can adjust it to give you just the amount of give you need, and the pistol grip lets you move the head at a moment’s notice.  And it’s not just the speed or convenience of the head, it’s also the versatility.  You can turn, angle, pan and more at a moment’s notice.  Need a super low angle shot?  Not a problem. At the same time, you might want to turn your camera on its side to get a sweet side view.  Again, not a problem.  Want to pan with your video camera?  That’s a breeze, and as soon as the action stops you can lock the head in place smoothly for a nice steady shot.

The Pistol Grip Ball Head gives you the chance to take shots from a ton of angles!

The Pistol Grip Ball Head gives you the chance to take shots from a ton of angles!

I was just looking at the user reviews for the Vanguard Alta+, and while we don’t have a ton of reviews (only four as of my writing), they’re all perfect scores!  5 out of 5 across the board!  But the reviewers also focused on what I figured they would, which is a combination of the tough tripod that one reviewer said he felt comfortable trusting more than $5000 worth of camera equipment to, and he liked the ball head for its ease of use.

But this tripod isn’t just for photography (though I’d say that’s the primary intended use), it also works really well with spotting scopes and larger binoculars when hunting or birding!  One reviewer mentioned how easy the Alta+ makes glassing the field from a hunting blind.  That’s important.  You don’t just look at one particular place when waiting for game.  You need to pan back and forth a bit to make sure you see everything.  While you may not be taking pictures (although if you’re birding/hunting and want to digiscope a few shots of your targets it’ll give you that chance too), it’s still important to have a nice, smooth pan for a clear image.  You don’t want any deer or birds to go unnoticed because your spotting scope is jostling all over the place and ruining your image.

You invested a lot of money in your spotting scope or camera.  Don’t risk it falling from a substandard tripod, and don’t waste your glass’s potential because of shaking.  If you have a Vanguard Alta+ Tripod you’ll get a great shot from the angle you want, find game easier and just have an overall better experience the next time you need your camera or spotting scope mounted on a tripod.

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4 Responses to Versatile Photographers Need a Versatile Tripod

  1. DUDLEY. FIELD says:

    I WOULD PURCHASE THIS IF IT ALSO HAD A RAIL SYSTEM SO i COULD ADD OTHER LIGHTS, OR A LASER TARGETING LIGHT.

  2. Shawn Bayles says:

    Ok what is new Surefire has been making replacement forearms with lights for year for both Remington and Mossberg, problem is the cost low in being 300.00. You can get a replacement forearm with a rail and attach a 1 inch mount with a tac light a do the same thing. I set up 3 shotguns for what one would cost if I did a surefire replacement forearm.

  3. Brian says:

    That’s a great idea, and one we hope SureFire looks into as well! I will say this particular light is so ergonomic that an additional rail might make it too bulky, but there does seem to be room on the end for a rail. Maybe next years model will have further customization options.

  4. Brian says:

    This particular model and the intuitive and ergonomic design is what’s really new with the SureFire Mossberg Forend light. You certainly can buy a regular replacement forearm with a rail, but the great design on this light makes it much easier to turn on without changing your grip.

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