Vanguard’s new Nivelo 245 is an ideal tripod for those wanting compact, lightweight portability, without sacrificing performance. Boasting one of the highest extension ratios on the market, it can extend from a folded length of 38cm up to a maximum height of 161cm. It weighs just over 1.1kg.
Key to this height transformation is Vanguard’s innovative ball-and-socket joint in the tripod canopy. This attaches to a two-part extendable central column that can swing up from between the three main legs to enable the maximum height, or hang down for low-level shooting.
It’s a great feature that works well and significantly boosts height, without adding any extra bulk or length to the tripod’s total folded dimensions.
On top of the tripod is a dinky pan head in keeping with the Nivelo’s compact ethos. It’s not exactly the last word in versatility – switching between portrait and landscape shots requires remounting a camera through 90 degrees – but it functions smoothly and locks securely. There’s also a multi-directional spirit level set into the head, though mounting anything larger than a Nikon 1 will obscure its visibility.
In the field, the Nivelo 245 proves itself a capable foundation for a DSLR and kit lens. The five-section aluminium legs give good stability in most conditions, with the quick-twist leg locks providing easy adjustment and secure hold.
However, larger DSLRs, especially those coupled to heftier lenses, are likely to be pretty unwieldy on such a diminutive head and may expose flex in the slender tripod legs.
Although the Nivelo 245 won’t really cut it with a heavyweight professional setup, its decent build quality and clever expansion design make it a convenient, if relatively pricey, addition to most enthusiast-level kit bags.
Price: £120, $150