- Chris Nowell
Latest Vanguard gear
As a Vanguard ambassador I am very proud to work with the company and use their gear. However if there was something I did not like about a product they know I'm quite honest and I would say if something wasn't working or I just didn't like an item. Luckily this rarely happens and I am very proud to work with and use the majority of their products. So here is a shortlist of some of the latest gear available and more specifically items I have used personally which gives me more ability to be honest with the feedback.
VEO 3 263 TRADITIONAL TRIPOD
Straight away this new tripod from Vanguard impressed me with the simplicity of creation. Yes it is a very impressive tripod it is very nice and it works incredibly well for landscape photography. However what I really like about it is the simplicity. This does not for one minute mean it is rubbish instead all I mean is there is no bells and whistles this is straight to the point a very good working tripod which works incredibly well for landscape photography full stop.
As always the tripod is available in carbon fibre and aluminium with me using the aluminium version during this Field test period. I've been using the tripod for a few weeks now both out in the Peak District National Park and Derbyshire Dales and in my local Woodlands during the bluebell season. The tripod weighs an impressive lightweight 2.1 kg with a load capacity of 15 kg. At the highest point the tripod stands at 179 cm which is very good for my 6 foot three height and nicely folds down to 74 cm at the smallest point. The tripod also has a practically noise free twist lock method on the legs very good for those wildlife photographers. The tripod comes with a bag and spikes if needed however I cannot pretend to have ever used a tripod bag especially for landscape photography however it is still a very nice feature for those not working in the great outdoors.
The bullhead as always is very smooth and impressive. The tripod has a very nice liquid indicator for levelling information. Both the bullhead and top of the tripod also have level information making those fine adjustments very easy indeed. The tripod comes with a very nice tripod plate however if like me you use a L bracket this also works perfectly well with no problems whatsoever as the majority of L brackets are very universal. For further stabilisation there is a hook provided at the bottom of the centre column which can be used to hook on your camera bag creating even more stabilisation. This tripod also works incredibly well for macro style images with a number of adjustments with the centre column.
The tripod can also be used as a mono pod by screwing out one of the legs which has a easy to identify unlock symbol to use the monopod. The twist lock legs are incredibly smooth and silent. This is a fantastic feature for those photographing wildlife or just wanting to be quiet in the morning if you are like me out photographing the landscapes.
As I previously mentioned I've been using this tripod for a number of weeks now both in my local Woodlands and out in the Peak District National Park. Overall I am very happy with the tripod and can honestly say Vanguard I've put together a good piece of kit. I have used this tripod out on normal landscape adventures and whilst wild camping. This works very well due to the lightweight side of the tripod but at the same time still produces the trustworthy stabilisation do you expect from Vanguard.
To finish off with the tripod below are a small section of images I've captured whilst using this impressive piece of kit.
This impressive tripod is available to pick up now by visiting the Vanguard photo UK or Vanguard world website depending on where you are in the world by clicking on the photo below which was also captured in the Peak District National Park by using this tripod.
VEO 3+ CARBON FIBRE AND ALUMINIUM TRIPOD
This tripod has been out from Vanguard for sometime now and I've definitely got my use out of it. You can see previous information about this tripod on earlier blog posts and by checking out the Vanguard website again in the photograph above. However just for a quick little bit of information about the tripod here is a bit of my findings as I've had this tripod for almost a year now and I very much do like it.
This tripod just seems and feels that little bit more heavier with slightly thicker legs. Both this tripod and the previous one are brilliant pieces of kit and to be honest I would struggle to pick my favourite out of them as they are both ideal especially for landscape photography. As always again the tripod is available in aluminium and carbon fibre with the one I have being aluminium. Aluminium is just slightly heavier but at the same time carbon fibre can reduce movement with more shock resistance so they both work incredibly well so it comes down to personal choice. Again this tripod has a load capacity of 15 kg and the ball head works very nicely with an L bracket or tripod plate.
One previous occasion I use this tripod was with fellow Vanguard Ambassador Scott Reed photography. Scott visited the Peak District National Park for a long weekend and we visited this location Bamford edge on our first occasion during a overnight wild camp. This image was captured using the tripod at which point we had quite a bit of wind coming over the hill in front of the image and I was more than happy that the stabilisation of the tripod was perfect.
Another day another sunrise another occasion with this impressive tripod. These images show a classic Peak District sunrise at a location which was windy in this occasion again I was more than confident and happy that the tripod gave me incredible stabilisation to capture this pleasant classic landscape image. Basically the tripod gives you the ability to step back create the scene and feel confident at the same time that it's not going to blow over or pretty much not going to go anywhere.
For more information about this tripod and what us the ambassadors really think about it you can check out the link below and watch this video for more information
Vanguard have a number of new bags available all with different purposes and needs for your photography. Starting with the VEO range 20 1M small shoulder bag then up to the Alta sky 68 which is a huge backpack and we will look at some of these bags now.
To start off with you can check out previous blog posts about this bag which was released at the end of last year
The VEO Active tracking backpack is available in two colours and four different sizes. I was using the 46 which personally was a little bit too small. It worked perfectly fine but I could just do with having a slightly larger bag on my back therefore I would go for the 53 size. This bag is very well designed with security in mind. Whilst on your back it is practically impossible for anyone to slip into your bag and take items out, Plus as always it comes with the protection expected with great padding from Vanguard inserts. It can be slightly adjusted with items above and to the side and a good sized drink holder. As well as the impressive USB connection in use with a power bank.
the VEO Range
With me recently changing camera systems from a digital SLR to a Mirrorless camera this camera bag has been perfect to keep the weight down and more than enough room. I have been using the VEO range tactical 48 sized bag which arguably I would slightly prefer to be a little bit bigger but again that's my personal size I'm quite tall and stocky. Overall it works just fine and it's good to have something a lot more lightweight on my back compared to the original 20 odd kilograms. The only downside to using this bag is my choice of tripod. As I previously mentioned I use the two tripods which are not very small therefore it isn't really compatible to fit on the back of the bag so I need to carry it separately but at the same time that's not an issue because that also means you're ready to go at quick speed.
This is a decent sized bag aimed at digital SLRs or Mirrorless cameras. The VEO ADAPTOR R48 GY backpack does everything you'd expect from a camera bag in a sleek modern design, but also includes a USB interface port to allow you to set it up to charge your camera or smartphone on the go. This is not a bag I have specifically used however I did have hands on at the photography show last year and what I found was very impressive.
Both rear and top access can be achievable with this bag and improved waterproof material as well as rain cover for even wetter occasions. This bag comes with the USB connection therefore whilst using the power bank of your choice you can always be connected to a charging source. Plus there is a specific area for the power bank to live with the bag which is also waterproof and protected.
I will now let the experts explain more about the bag for you and you can check this out in the video below.
Finally I am proud to announce I will be attending the photography show once more representing Vanguard Photo UK for at least one of the days in September and I will also be around visiting throughout one of the other days myself. Vanguard will be situated at the same location as last year in the entrance next to the Nikon stand which is a fantastic position. If you are visiting the show be sure to come and say hello and you can physically check out some of the gear I've discussed today and in the meantime be sure to check out the Vanguard photo UK website for more information which is available below.