The Veo 2 235CB is pure travel tripod; small, light, versatile and ready for a life on the road.
The Veo 2 doesn’t just provide support it looks great too. It features an anodised grey finish, knurling, and beautiful carbon fibre legs that look the part for any style conscious traveller.
Of course, it’s not all about looks. When it comes to support it offers a decent maximum payload and working height (with the centre column at its fullest extent).
What are the downsides? For me, the main issue is the leg angle adjusters. The push button catches work well but don’t have the same design quality as the rest of the tripod.
The Veo 2 235CB travel tripod ticks all the right boxes, looks excellent and truly lives up to the travel tripod label.
For Vanguard Veo 2 235CB
- Compact size
- Good payload
- Low weight
Against Vanguard Veo 2 235CB
- Not full height
- not 100% taken with the leg angle adjusters
The term ‘travel tripod’ is applied to almost any small tripod that hits the market, yet a true travel tripod has to meet specific criteria and the latest Veo 2 certainly hits more than most.
There’s a difference between a small tripod and a travel tripod. The main difference is that any travel tripod needs to balance weight with a robust build that can withstand the rigours of travel. Ultimately any travel tripod needs to be able to support your camera in almost any situation and adapt to your location.
From the outset, the Veo 2 235CB lists a packed feature set, but it also manages to stand out from a crowded market by actually being a little bit different.
Vanguard sits just on the edge of the mainstream when it comes to design, and they haven’t so much followed the trends of other tripod manufacturers, instead staying true to their brand and design.
As you look over the Veo 2, you see a definite Vanguard style that is being implemented across the entire range.
You have the unique weave carbon fibre used in the leg construction, as well as the head and crown, and other metal parts use mute grey anodising that gives the Vanguard tripods a slightly industrial look.
This tripod also features Vanguards horseshoe style flip up centre column that enables you to erect the tripod with a single movement.
Carbon fibre has been used for the leg construction to keep weight down and at just 1.35kg it’s pretty light. There is a cheaper aluminium version which weighs in at 200g more.
This weight makes it ideal for fitting in your backpack without adding too much weight. The five-section legs enable the tripod to pack down to 41.5cm.
Fully extended the Veo 2 reaches a height of 1.45m with the centre column at its full extent. Drop the column, and the tripod stands at 1.2m.
As with many of Vanguards other tripods the Veo 2 features the horseshoe style flip up centre column. This action enables you to flip the column around in a matter of seconds making it very quick to set up ready for use.
One of the great things about this style of centre column is that you can turn the orientation of the camera from above to below the crown enabling you to take macro shots nice and quickly.
In the box, if you want to take ground level shots, there is a small column which enables the tripod to be dropped down to ground level.
At the end of each of the legs are small rubber feet, these are of the push fit type. If you pull these off, then there is a screw thread, and the Veo 2 spiked feet can easily be added which is a nice feature.
As ever each of the legs can be adjusted with three different angles; 20, 45 and 80º, these angles can be selected by pushing the button on the side of each leg.
On the crown there is a loop where a bag can be attached to help weigh down the tripod for extra stability of a tripod strap could be attached.
Finishing off the tripod is an elegant Veo BH-50 ball head. This utilises a standard Arca style plate enabling maximum compatibility with other support accessories and plates.
The ball head enables full 360° panoramic rotation and tilt of 90º giving you plenty of options for composing your shot.
Full metal construction of the ball head gives a premium and quality that enables the head to hold a maximum payload of 8 kilograms.
Build Quality & Handling
Vanguard has always been a company that has produced quality supports, and I have used a variety of its models over the years, so I know that they do stand up to long-term professional use.
Indeed, friends of mine who are known for demolishing tripods at a staggering rate swear by the build quality of the Alta range.
The smaller Veo 2 tripod is of a far lighter construction, but it carries forward many of the same design principles and materials.
The carbon fibre tubing is unique in its field with the high gloss finish that will inevitably wear in nicely. During the test this gloss finish held up well and although a few scratches that did appear the overall appearance is still fresh.
The five section legs enable the compact size, and there is a price to pay with the smaller diameter tubes used for the lower sections. There is an amount of flex, but nothing too major to worry about for this style of tripod.
The metal construction of the crown sets this travel tripod apart and gives it a premium feel.
A twist lock secures each leg. This requires about a third twist to lock or release securely. The twist locks are a level above what you would usually find on a travel tripod and the limited rotations ensure you always know which way to twist to secure the legs.
The small rubber feet are a tight fit and stay in place securely requiring a good firm tug to remove if you do want to add the spiked feet.
The only area of the tripod that I am a little hesitant about is the leg angle adjusters. The push button system seems to work well, but there’s just something that doesn’t match the quality of the rest of the tripod.
This is a personal preference, and during the test, they did nothing untoward or wrong, but I just felt that they didn’t meet the high-quality design of the rest of the tripod.
When it comes to the head, the BH-50 is about as good as it gets for a tripod of this size. I adore the finish and the fact that it Acra fit just means there’s plenty of compatibility with all of my other support accessories.
If you’re going to test a travel tripod there’s only one thing that you can do, and that’s go travelling, or at the very least chuck everything in the car and head down to Devon for a family holiday. OK, it might not be trekking the alps, but it does give a good impression of how the tripod performs.
The first thing to note is that the Veo 235CB packs down nice and tight and strapped to the back of the Veo 46 backpack adds very little to the overall weight.
During the test, I used the tripod with my brand-new Sony Alpha 7 Mark III. It’s nice and compact and perfect for travelling.
I coupled this with the Sony 100-300mm f/4, Sony 12-24mm and the excellent Tokina 20mm Firin f/2.
Before attaching the camera, it is, of course, necessary to erect the tripod.
The first stage is to flip up the centre column and lock it into place. This takes one swift action with a bolt on the side enabling the columns release before it can be swung 180 degrees and secured.
Once swung it can then be lowered or left at it’s fullest extent. For the most stable base, drop the centre column down to the crown.
A 1/3 rotation of the twist locks releases each leg section to length. Another quick twist and the leg section is locked in place.
The action of the twist locks is exact, with the twist having a set amount of rotation that ensures you know precisely when the leg is fully released and fully locked. It’s a small detail that makes a big difference when out using the tripod.
With the centre column down this puts the level of the camera just below chest height. However when using the tripod with the centre column at it’s the fullest extent the camera was raised to chin level and provided decent working height, and all felt stable enough.
On the crown is a small bubble level which helps you to get things straight, its position makes it easy to see and does the job it’s supposed to do perfectly.
Once the legs are all adjusted to the length you can then sort the leg angles with the leg angle adjusters, I’m still not 100% about these, but they work, it’s then time to attach the camera.
Attaching the camera to the tripod using the Arca plate is straightforward enough with the usual clamp mechanism securing the camera in place.
When it came to mounting the Sony 100 -300mm, which has its own mounting, I used a third party Arca plate which made it quick to switch.
The small ball head stands out with the grey anodising and yellow markings and detail. The head features three controls, panoramic enabling full 360-degree rotation, ball release and friction control.
A nice touch here is that all three knobs are of a different size or design so that once you’re familiar with the head, there should be no mixing up of the controls.
The ball head once positioned locks into place solid, and with all camera, lens combinations tried it held the camera without drift or movement.
There’s a lot to like about the Vanguard Veo 2 235CB. I firstly love the way it looks, with the slightly different weave of the carbon fibre and attention to detail of the twist locks and small ball head.
The overall build quality is excellent, and it honestly feels like a tripod that has been built to last and travel.
During the test of the Veo 2, I didn’t hold back and will admit that the tripod suffered a couple of seawater dunkings as well as being thrown about into the back of the car or simply onto the ground after longish rather hot trek.
This use provided me with a few key points that highlighted the careful balance that this tripod makes.
On first looking, it strikes you that the carbon legs could be a touch thicker and an extra 10-20cm of hight would make all the difference when it comes to that maximum working height.
But these wants are outweighed by its compact size and weight that makes it an ideal travel companion and tips the balance when it comes to leaving or taking a tripod with you.
It’s more than light enough to carry around, and although it may not offer full height, it’s tall enough to be valuable support when you need it.
The design, build and function make the Veo 2 235CB a true travel tripod and one of the best.