Thanks to the Digital Zoom team I had the opportunity to review in detail two Vanguard travel tripods: the VEO 2 – 235 AB and VEO 2 – 204 AB. In the following lines, we will see in comparison every aspect of the two models.
What’s in the box?
In the contents of both, you will find: tripod, instruction manual, a quick-release plate, a low angle adapter, an Allen key, and a comfortable carrying bag.
Materials and weight:
The two models are very similar, both in aluminum with feet, twist lock, and rubber grip. At first glance, the 235 AB (1,38 kg) is a little more solid than the 204 AB (1,14 kg). The difference in weight is just 240 gr.
The diameter of the foot tube in the 235 AB measure 23 mm, 20 mm in the 204 AB. The difference is slight but relevant.
The manufacturer declares a capacity of 4 kg for the 204 AB against 6 kg for the 235 AB.
In the 204 AB there is a ball head (VEO BH-45) which is controlled by two knobs:
1. General knob for ball movement and panoramic movement;
2. Adjustment of the quick release plate.
The 235 AB is equipped with a ball head (VEO BH-50) that can be adjusted with 4 knobs:
1. The larger one allows to change the angle of the ball;
2. The second controls the rotation of the pan (360°);
3. The third adjusts the hardness of the movement of the sphere;
4. The fourth regulates the application of the quick-release plate.
The angle of inclination of the feet:
Both models can be adjusted to 20, 45 and 80 degrees.
With 80 degrees of angle, we can photograph from a point of view almost equal to the ground by mounting instead of the central column the low angle adapter, as in the picture below. It is also possible to attach the head to the adapter so that you can move the camera to the angle you want.
The 204 AB reaches a maximum height of 1350 mm, compared to 1450 mm for 235 AB.
Both tripods have Twist Locks for quick foot lengthening/shortening.
Both tripods are equipped with a QFCC (Quick Fold Central Column) system, which allows you to close the tripod for transport, as you can see in the video below.
Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Funkorama” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Both 235 and 204 AB measure 380 mm when closed. Very small size and a big advantage when traveling.
To give more stability to the tripods you can buy separately a counterweight: Vanguard Sb 100 Stone Bag.
The two models are intended for amateur photographers, as well as professionals looking for a solid and lightweight alternative, with an excellent price/quality ratio compared to other brands. Clearly, we can’t put them on par with higher range models, which in any case weigh and cost more.
Finally, between the two I would choose the Vanguard VEO 2 – 235 AB, which exceeds the 204 AB in several points:
1. Tube diameter, more solid construction;
2. It reaches a higher height;
3. Increased load capacity;
4. Four dedicated head control knobs.
The difference in weight is almost irrelevant and when closed the measure in length is the same, they take up very little space.
Even the price does not change much, the VEO 2 – 204 AB is 99.99 USD on B&H, while the 235 AB costs 110 USD. In my opinion, it is worth spending a little more on the second.
It’s a pity that the counterweight is not already included in the package, hope that Vanguard will take it into account for future models.
If you are looking for an inexpensive, stable, lightweight and well-built tripod to take on a trip, it might be the ideal equipment!