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03-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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Vanguard Alta Pro 284 tripods?

I was looking into a Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod for the center column that goes from vertical to horizontal when, due to a magazine ad, I discovered this one made by a company called Vanguard for somewhat cheaper. The center column also seems to have a greater degree/range of adjustability than the Manfrotto when horizontal.

So has anyone used the Alta Pro 284, and if so is the center column smooth when converting from vertical to horizontal and vice-versa? And how do you like this tripod in general?

There are very limited reviews of this product out there, so your input would be great. I don't want to pay less for something only to find out that I got what I paid for.

03-08-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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I don't have experience with the 284 line but I do have a Alta Pro 263 which is Aluminum. I absolutely love it! The quality is excellent! and the transition from vertical to horizontal is pretty smooth...
03-08-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoxatnep Quote
I was looking into a Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod for the center column that goes from vertical to horizontal when, due to a magazine ad, I discovered this one made by a company called Vanguard for somewhat cheaper. The center column also seems to have a greater degree/range of adjustability than the Manfrotto when horizontal.

So has anyone used the Alta Pro 284, and if so is the center column smooth when converting from vertical to horizontal and vice-versa? And how do you like this tripod in general?

There are very limited reviews of this product out there, so your input would be great. I don't want to pay less for something only to find out that I got what I paid for.
I have had that model for about 8 months now (and Vanguard's excellent ball head too, the ABH-120L). It is a great tripod for several reasons, I only have one minor complaint.

In terms of the good, it is relatively lightweight, strong, and compact too. I have the strap the K-7 came with hooked up to it, and I carry it easily upside down on my back. All the different ways you can angle your camera is very cool, and like they claim, it only takes a quarter turn to loosen or tighten the legs.

My minor complaint is that sometimes (not always) the top joints require a firm pull to extend them (I have their equivalent carbon monopod, and its top joint is the same way). I would rather that all the joints smoothly slide out and into place for tightening, but instead I have to tug a little on occasion.

However, I would not sell it. I love it's compactness, light weight, and versatility. A great tripod.
03-08-2011, 08:21 PM   #4
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Vangaurd has really stepped up their game. I have the 264, and I love mine.

03-08-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Alta+ 263AP here. Wanted a pan head since I like them a bit better. Very happy with it.
03-08-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
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Oh and yes the center column conversion is very smooth. I too was looking at Manfrotto, but after playing with both at the local shop I went with the Vanguard. I did go with a Manfrotto head though.
03-09-2011, 06:13 PM   #7
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I can highly recommend the Vanguard Gh-100 grip ball head. It's absolutely a dream to use.
03-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cacain Quote
Oh and yes the center column conversion is very smooth. I too was looking at Manfrotto, but after playing with both at the local shop I went with the Vanguard. I did go with a Manfrotto head though.
Is it true that the Vanguard's center column has more positioning options when not vertical than the Manfrotto? In other words, I think the Manfrotto can only extend to strictly horizontal, but the Vanguard can tilt in different increments from strictly horizontal, but I want to be sure.

03-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
I can highly recommend the Vanguard Gh-100 grip ball head. It's absolutely a dream to use.
I'm getting the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head. I'm sick to death of ball heads, especially when doing work that requires only the tiniest adjustment of pan or tilt.
03-10-2011, 08:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoxatnep Quote
Is it true that the Vanguard's center column has more positioning options when not vertical than the Manfrotto? In other words, I think the Manfrotto can only extend to strictly horizontal, but the Vanguard can tilt in different increments from strictly horizontal, but I want to be sure.
Yup, vanguard center column has every possible angle to even straight down. Very handy!
03-10-2011, 08:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoxatnep Quote
I'm getting the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head. I'm sick to death of ball heads, especially when doing work that requires only the tiniest adjustment of pan or tilt.
Well, you just might be surprised at how nice the GH-100 is...
04-26-2011, 11:17 PM   #12
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my only complaints about the alta+ 264 I just got are:

my preference for levers instead of knobs on the head, lever release instead of button release on camera foot, and that the box couldn't be found for the floor model I got for $110...

In summation: my issues are matters of nitpick and personal taste. Even if you don't like the Vanguard heads, the legs are high quality and a good value and worthy of just about anything you could mount on them.

Last edited by cWj; 12-01-2011 at 08:25 AM. Reason: correct info, typo
05-02-2011, 02:29 PM   #13
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Before I purchased the Manfrotto model the OP mentions, I looked at the Vanguards. It's good to hear they are a solid, and perhaps better, option.

In the end though, I went with the Manfrotto based on the fact that it was replacing a 27 year old Bogen/Manfrotto 3221. And that was replaced only because it was accidentally run over.

Brand loyalty and all that
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