Vanguard VEO BH-250S review: it’s a whole different ball game

The Vanguard VEO BH-250S is a very clever head, full of neat tricks, super-strong and hugely versatile.

5 Star Rating
Vanguard VEO BH-250S
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

I’ve used ball heads with just a single locking knob, but the Vanguard VEO BH-250S is a feast for the fingers and thumbs. Sprouting no less than five knobs, it’s supremely sophisticated and voraciously versatile, along with a mighty 25kg maximum load rating.


  • +

    Dual axis panning

  • +

    Easy leveling

  • +

    Strong 25kg load rating


  • -

    Bubble level obscured by QR plate

  • -

    Necessarily complex

  • -

    Pretty pricey

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If you can keep a level head when all about you are losing theirs, you might just get a winning shot. And leveling is really what the VEO BH-250S ball head is all about. Naturally, any ball head makes leveling up fairly easy, even on tricky terrain where it can be a time-consuming chore to level the tripod legs on which the head is mounted, by monkeying around with individual leg section extension lengths. But if the tripod legs aren’t leveled, things go askew if you start panning, which we’ll come to later. That’s where the ‘dual axis’ nature of this specialized ball head comes into its own, enabling it to jostle for a position in the best ball heads for tripods hall of fame. 

The other ‘big’ thing about the head is that it has a really hefty 25kg maximum load rating. As such, it pairs well with the similarly mighty Vanguard VEO 3+ 303CBS tripod, for which the head is included as a complete kit. It’s also the perfect add-on for shooting stills with the similarly strong Vanguard Alta Pro 3VRL 303CV 18 video tripod, thanks to the quick-release nature of this kit's video head and the facility to pop the ball head onto the tripod in its place.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Maximum load25kg
Base diameter58mm
Plate typeAcra-Swiss
Pan lockYes (2 locks)
Friction controlYes
Bubble/spirit levels1 bubble
Manfrotto XPRO Ball Head with Top Lock

The Manfrotto XPRO Ball Head with Top Lock is an excellent heavy-duty ball head that’s very sturdy and easy to use, although it only has a single panning lock, situated at the base.

Benro GX35 Low Profile Ballhead

The Benro GX35 Low Profile Ballhead is another famous-make ball head that has a dual panning function, similar to that of the Vanguard, and actually has a heftier 35kg load rating.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.