Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP Review

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review
Review

Price when reviewed

£149

$159
Check current price

Our Verdict

Essentially a monopod with feet, the Vanguard VEO 2s CM-264TBP offers a slimline, high-quality support option for everyday use. It features carbon fibre leg sections and comes as a complete kit. It's all solid enough, with a small ball head at the base that gives a little side-to-side movement that can be locked in and out as required. On top is the compact pan ball head which makes this monopod ideally suited to the usual wildlife and sports genres, as well as being perfectly adaptable for shooting basic video. The VEO 2s CM-264TBP is a complete product there's no modular approach which might not suit all, but then this is a product that sets out to provide high quality, easy to use support at a decent price, and that's exactly what it does.

For

  • Feet offer additional support
  • High quality panhandle head
  • Arca Swiss base plate

Against

  • Limited side-to-side movement from base ball head
  • Quite weighty for carbon fibre
What is the Vanguard VEO 2s CM-264TBP?

Once you try a monopod, it’s hard to go back, they’re smaller, lighter and more convenient than a tripod.

The VEO 2s CM-264TBP is a monopod with added features, compact fold-up feet at the base for extra stability and a panhandle ball head.

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review

Those extra features add to the functionality and make it a good choice for both wildlife and sport. The feet add extra level of stability that also makes the Vanguard VEO 2s CM-264TBP a great choice for on-the-move video, as well as the more traditional stills use.

Monopods always seem like a great idea, compact, lightweight and easy to use.

They’re also that one piece of kit that I often hear photographers deliberating over, I have a tripod, do I really need a monopod as well?

The standard answer is yes, they’re incredibly useful, on those days when you’re just going out for a hike and don’t want to take a tripod, that’s when the monopod comes into play.

If you’re shooting wildlife, sports, air or an event, a monopod can come in very handy. It gives you fast support and flexibility, well beyond what’s possible with a tripod.

Today with the rise of video a monopod is also a great tool for adding that little extra support when out filming. Again it provides support but also plenty of flexibility.

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review

Specification

  • Product type: Monopod
  • Leg sections: 4
  • Lock type: 1/2 turn twist
  • Folded length: 62cm
  • Max Length: 172cm
  • Max Load: 6kg
  • Interchangable head: Yes
  • Interchangeable Feet: No
  • Weight: 1.3kg
Features

The Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP is a complete kit, you often find that a monopod is modular but here everything you need is provided.

It features four-section construction with 1/2 turn twist locks that secure each section.

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review

The monopod has a decent maximum payload of 6kg which is more than enough for any mirrorless camera I can think of, and pretty much any DSLR and lens combo.

At the base are the three feet which fold down and give that extra level of stability. These feet are attached to a small ball head that enables some side to side movement.

This ball head features a lock so you can lock it off in the central position if needed, and it’s sprung which acts as a feedback guide to that central position when in use.

Topping off the monopod is the VEO 2 BP-120 ball head. This head features a panhandle, panoramic markings and friction control. The base plate is Arca Swiss compatible, so other baseplates can be used.

The head can be removed and replaced if you wish to add a different option.

Weight-wise this monopod comes in at 1.3kg, folds down to 62cm and has a maximum height of 172cm.

Build and Handling

Vanguard’s build quality and design often mark them out in a crowded market. Their tripods and monopods are distinctive with the matt grey finish and high-quality plastic and rubber.

The Veo 2s CM-264TBP is no different, the touches of yellow for the hand strap, logo and graphics make for a good looking product.

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review

Those looks transfer to the build quality. Most monopods are relatively light, which is great for carrying but can often result in legs that don’t quite meet the strength requirements. But there are no such worries here.

For a carbon monopod, it has to be said that the Veo 2s CM-264TBP is a touch on the weighty side, but that weight can be attributed to the head.

This head is of the pan style and offers plenty of control and is just a high-quality offering.

Looking over the tripod there’s an overall feeling of balance. Quality seems to be first and foremost and then how to get that quality into a product at a certain price point.

It’s a fine balance and one that Vanguard has been successful in doing, the ball head is as good as any and offers excellent control. That panhandle helps to provide smooth rotation and it all makes senses when in use.

Looking down at the feet, and these fold out to provide that extra support. These will support the monopod without holding it when on flat surfaces. Not something that is recommended when using a digital interchangeable lens camera, but perfectly good if you’re using a 360 camera such as the GoPro Max.

Those feet are really there just for a little added support, fold them out and that support is provided. At the base there’s a small locking ring, undo this and this releases the ball head so you can get some side-to-side movement.

This movement isn’t quite to the level of some other bases such as the 3LT Docs2, but it’s still plenty for use when taking stills and basic video.

Also unlike many other monopods with feet those feet are fixed, I don’t see this as an issue, as why buy a monopod with feet if you’re not going to use them.

Once you finish with the feet they can be folded back up into position. They’re on a spring mechanism that requires the foot to be pulled out before it’s flipped up.

As ever the twist grips work well, these aren’t Vanguards excellent 1/4 turn versions that you’ll find on the Alta Pro 2, but they still provide an excellent lock with just a 1/2 turn.

Performance

You would think that it wouldn’t be hard for a monopod to do its job, after all, it’s a stick with a head-on that you mount your camera.

However, what I’ve often found is that companies have focused on weight and how to create the lightest possible product, rather than that rigidity and strength that you’re after.

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review

Here the Veo 2s CM-264TBP has balance strength and weight, it does tip the scales on the heavy side, but once strapped onto a backpack with the latest mirrorless inside you’re hardly likely to notice.

At least you won’t notice that small additional weight as much as you would an over flexible lightweight monopod.

In use, the monopod works well, used for photographing deer in the New Forest and it worked as you’d expect.

The Arca Swiss style clamp held the camera firm and height could be quickly adjusted with the twist locks.

Used as a standard monopod and there really is little to fault. If you’re at a location for a while and want that extra support then those feet can be folded down ready for use.

One situation where I found these particularly useful was when shooting landscapes. Feet down, ball head unlocked, a foot on one of the monopods feet and then with the pan head you have plenty of control to shoot a standard landscape or panoramic.

For stills, the monopod worked exceptionally well.

I use monopods relatively frequently when shooting video, they give a good amount of flexibility and most importantly they can provide a solution to some tricky panning shots.

Unfortunately with the Veo 2s CM-264TBP, the limitation of movement with the small ball head at the base is quite restrictive, so while you can get some vertical panning affects the range of movement is limited.

Verdict

At £139 the Veo 2s CM-264TBP is expensive for a monopod, but once you add in the feet and robust high quality build it is in line with the competition.

It’s a good balance of quality materials and features and looks great.

Vanguard Veo 2s CM-264TBP review

The small feet really do add to the performance and usability of the monopod, if there was just a little more movement from that ball head it would make it more desirable for video as well.

As it stands it’s an ideal alternative to a tripod for everyday use, in fact, it’s a far better solution. The monopod style is after all far more flexible.

The choice of that Panhandle head adds to the function of the monopod and is ideally suited to wildlife and sport, although through this test I also found it a great companion when shooting landscapes.

As ever monopods have a wealth of alternative uses and having those feet just helps to push how worthwhile they are, from a standard, monopod, to mic and lighting stands even to hold a 360º camera.

If you’ve kicked yourself for leaving your tripod at home, but haven’t fancied a straight monopod because of the lack of support, then the Veo 2s CM-264TBP is well worth a look.

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