Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP review

This smart little carbon fiber tripod coverts into a monopod and comes with a ball head that's also a panning head

Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP review
(Image: © Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This smart, high-quality travel tripod packs down very quickly and neatly for easy transport in the bag that comes in the box, yet also provides a stable base for photography in many situations. The leg locks feel great and do their job perfectly; plus you get spikes to swap for the standard rubber feet, and the head can hold a camera or a smartphone.

Pros

  • +

    Lovely build quality

  • +

    One leg converts to a monopod

  • +

    Ball head has a pan handle

Cons

  • -

    Ball movement not the smoothest

  • -

    Wouldn't recommend using the centre column at full-height

  • -

    Fiddly to get the narrowest folded size

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The 235CBP sits in the middle of Vanguard's Veo 3T range of travel tripods (opens in new tab). It features 5-section carbon fiber legs with twist locks and a 2-section carbon fiber centre column. A sprung hook at the bottom of the centre column enables a weight to be hung to give extra stability.

Vanguard supplies the tripod with a ball head, the Veo BP-50T, which is made from aluminum alloy and has a socket to attach a telescopic pan handle for easier control. In addition, the Arca-Swiss compatible quick release plate doubles up as a smartphone holder (with a cold shoe) that can accommodate a phone up to 85mm wide.

With the centre column fully extended, the Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP has a maximum height of 1.55m, and with the center column down but the legs still fully extended, the height is 1.155m. The centre column can be reversed for low-level shooting, or it can be swapped out for the low-angle adapter.

The tripod folds down to 41cm in length, ready to be slipped into the included drawstring carry bag.

Vanguard supplies a few nice extras with the tripod, including a Bluetooth remote control for triggering IOS and Android devices and spiked feet that can be fitted instead of the stand rubber feet. It's also good to see two 3/8-inch thread holes in the tripod's canopy for mounting accessories via Vanguard's Tripod Support Arms. 

Specifications

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Material: Carbon fiber and aluminum alloy

Folded length: 410mm

Maximum height: 1.55m

No. Leg sections: 5

Weight: 1.6Kg

Maximum load: 8Kg

Build and handling

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

When you remove the Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP from its packaging, it's clear that it is a well-made tripod. It also looks very smart, and all the locks and threads run smoothly.

The Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP's legs flip up over the centre column and head for transportation, and it makes a slender package. However, the head needs to be tipped at just the right point and the pan handle removed to get most compact result.

Each of the legs folds smoothly down with a nice degree of resistance. Pressing the broad button at the top of each leg releases the angle lock to enable it to be set to one of the three positions. 

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

There's a rubberized covering on each of the leg and center column locks, which gives excellent purchase so they can be loosened and tightened quickly. Conveniently, when the legs are collapsed, the leg locks are close enough to be covered by one hand and loosened together. 

The top section of one of the tripod legs has a rubber covering that provides excellent grip. It also denotes the leg that can be removed by untwisting to create a monopod in combination with the center column. The plug that holds the hook in the base of the centre column must be unscrewed before the center column can be removed and threaded onto the leg to create a 1.58m monopod with a ball head.

Performance

Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP review

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

It's important to remember that the Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP is a travel tripod rather than a full-sized studio tripod. For its size and weight, it's impressively sturdy, with the hook in the center column making it even more stable when a weight is attached. 

However, even with a weight attached, there's quite a bit of wobble around the center column when it's extended to its full height. I'd recommend keeping the column as low as possible unless you're shooting with a tiny, light camera or a smartphone in windless conditions. 

There's a single control over the ball movement of the tripod head and another to lock or release the panning movement. Both have a wing-like shape, making them easy to use and lock tight. The ball movement, however, is a little sticky rather than super-smooth. Nevertheless, it's easy to move a camera into position to get the composition that you want. 

Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP: Verdict

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

The Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP is a very nice travel tripod with a great range of features that make it suitable for many situations. Vanguard has neatly incorporated a smartphone mount within the quick release plate. The fact that the clamp is Arca-Swiss compatible means it can accommodate a camera with an L-plate (opens in new tab) mounted directly.

It's best to use the center column with caution, especially on windy days, but the 1.155m maximum height without it is fine for many situations. Importantly, it doesn't take much brainpower to work out how to flip the centre column or change it for the low-level adapter, and neither is a lengthy procedure, so you can be shooting at the height you want very quickly. 

Read more:

• These are the best travel tripods (opens in new tab) right now
• We pick the best tripod (opens in new tab) for all round photography
• These are the best cameras for travel (opens in new tab)
• The best camera backpacks (opens in new tab) right now

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Angela has been testing camera gear from all the major manufacturers since January 2004 and has been Amateur Photographer’s Technical Editor and Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio (Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo (opens in new tab)Practical Photoshop (opens in new tab)Photography Week (opens in new tab) and Professional Photography magazines, as well as the Digital Camera World and TechRadar websites).