Tripods are always a very special thing, when you need them you usually don’t have them with you and that’s why you look for light and small tripods 😉
Tripods are unfortunately a necessary evil and over time, more than 1 tripod usually ends up in your equipment. This goes from quite heavy video tripods to mini tripods or a medium-sized version, which are relatively heavy but also have a fairly large pack size. You always want two things that are usually not compatible: a small pack size, compact stability and very light weight. You might end up with a lower quality product that you then have to exchange.
Last fall it was time again, I have the Feisol Carbon tripod, which I have been taking with me more and more often lately, mainly for weight reasons. However, as I also do a lot of close-up and macro photography, I was simply missing the center column. I had done some research beforehand and came across the Vanguard 264 CB, a compact tripod with a flexible center column.
The tripod was then on sale for almost €70 less, roughly the price of the aluminum version, so I bought it.
Like my Feisol, the Vanguard 264 CB is a carbon fiber tripod with the legs folded down for transport, so that the center column is located between the tripod legs.
The tripod weighs in at 2.2 KG and has a pack size of just 48 cm, which I think is a very good value given the presence of a foldable center column. For comparison, the Feisol 3442 is specified with a size of 49 cm, but at 1m14 KG (without head) it is a good deal lighter than the Vanguard tripod. But as I said, you always die a death.
Compared to the Feisol, the Vanguard is taller due to the center column construction, although the pack size is almost the same for both tripods.
The center column
The center column, which of course makes the tripod heavier, can be swiveled to the maximum and also repositioned, e.g. to get even closer to the objects when taking macro shots close to the ground.
The additional mounting option with a tripod thread opens up a wide range of options. For example, you can attach a flash, a light, another camera or other accessories to the tripod.
But as I said, the construction also allows you to have the center column upside down to get even closer to objects.
Despite the center column, the Vanguard 264 CB is a very compact tripod that is also suitable for close-up and macro shots, for example. It is also sufficiently stable for a camera such as the Lumix S5 with a Sigma 105mm/2.8 Macro. A stronger ball head would only have been desirable for mounting as shown above, but this would of course also make the tripod heavier.
I can live with it very well and can definitely recommend the tripod.