Michael Topham takes a look at the Vanguard VEO AM-264TR monopod

Vanguard-VEO-AM-264TRVanguard VEO AM-264TR at a glance:

Other than price, build quality, material and weight, there’s little that separates one monopod from another. They are, for all intents and purposes, height-adjustable poles that we, as photographers, rely on every so often to provide additional camera support when required. Vanguard’s VEO AM-264TR has a slightly different design to a conventional monopod, while offering the advantages of being easier to carry and quicker to set up than a tripod. The difference is at the base, where three foldable legs, each fitted with an anti-slip rubber foot, are designed to provide a tri-stand platform. Where the four-section aluminium-alloy leg attaches to the tri-stand, there’s a ball joint to allow smooth panning and tilting motions, while the top features a thick rubber handle that provides excellent grip when your hands are wet
or you’re wearing gloves. With an extended height of 1,630mm, a folded height of 565mm and a maximum load capacity of 6kg, it’s about as feature-packed as a monopod gets.

Weighing 900g, the only real disadvantage with the VEO AM-264TR is that it’s around 350g heavier than your average monopod of a similar size. With a professional-spec DSLR and long 150-600mm telephoto zoom mounted on top, the flip-leg section locks withstood the weight of this heavy camera and lens combination with no concerns. It was only when serious force was applied by hand that the lowest section began to flinch and started to slip a little. Folding the tri-stand feet in on themselves reveals a rubber foot for the times you’d like to use it as a traditional monopod, and the ball-head tightening screw is effective at keeping the central column vertical when you don’t want it to swivel or tilt.

Out in the field, the monopod performed well, and I found the tri-stand particularly useful for additional support when working in a confined area where a tripod’s legs often spread too wide. It’s superbly finished and comes with everything you need ready to mount a tripod head. If you’re after the most featured-packed monopod on the market at a sensible price, look no further.

SCORE: 5 out of 5

 

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If you don’t wish to use the tri-stand, the legs can be retracted very quickly