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05-07-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
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Vanguard AltaPRO 263AGH? Pistol Grip


Decided to get a new tripod so sold my old Benbo Trekker and have been having a look at what is out there.
I originally looked a 3 Legged Things but the price for a metal tripod is to much for me.
So have been looking at the Manfrotto 055XPROB and Vanguard AltaPRO 263AT.

I think I have decided on the Vanguard AltaPRO 263AT but am undecided if to go for the GH-100 Pistol Grip or just go with the SBH-100 Ball Head.
From what I read the head can slip a little on heavier cameras, I don't think it will effect me with the K-r with 18-55 but am thinking of upgrading to a K5II later in the year. So am a little worried the extra weight of the K5II body and WR 18-55 lens might make it creep.
I might be worrying myself for no reason as most people see to be having problems with full format cameras, and I cant see myself doing full format in the future, if I could afford that I could afford a new head! But I have thought of getting a battery grip.

Does anyone have any experience using the GH-100 head with a K5II or similar sized camera?

Cheers, Steve

05-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #2
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I absolutely love my AltraPro 263. It is superb. Lifetime warranty, packed full of features, and best value out there. Only complaint is the weight, but you trade that for features.

I have the SBH-100 and it will hold my K-r with any of my lenses, no problem, no slippage. It will also hold the K100d no problem... but none of my lenses are drastically heavy.

The only reason I have the SBH is because it came with the kit, otherwise I would have bought the BBH series. I am still tempted to get the BBH-50 and sell the SBH-100... but I lack motivation
05-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #3
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Hi used the GH-100 pistol grip on a K5 and various lenses. I would say a K5 (or K5II) and a 18-55mm will be no problem, but if you put on a heavier lens my experience was not the best (i used a Sigma 150-500, which was an overkill… my bad ). The design itself is pretty awesome but the lever to adjust the pressure of the ballhead is situated to far away from the actual bullhead, i found the grip of the ballhead got to loose after a short period of time, and fabric peels of the ballhead... My advice: i would stay away from it if you plan to use heavier lenses in the future.
05-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Hi thanks for the replies.

I should think it would be OK for my needs, the longest lens I am likely to have is a 50-200.

Cheers Steve

05-09-2013, 04:27 AM   #5

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I bought the pistol grip back in 2011 to replace an undersized ballhead. Here are my thoughts on it.

1) If you mount the camera body to the grip with a short lens, the grip will hit you in the chest when you focus. This is not a problem when it is mounted to a long lens with a collar mount (Like in the YouTube videos). I move the handle to the left side, which is really nice on a monopod for stabilzing everything.

2) Which side you move the grip handle to when mounting directly to your camera will depend on if you think you will want your camera to be able to tilt up or down with the most range of adjustment. The head clamp has 2 long slots at 90 degrees to each other for tilting the camera up or down, depending on orientation.

3) When the camera is in portrait orientation, your up and down tilt adjustment is strictly by the 360 pano adjustment collar.

4) The gripping pad on the circular camera mount plate is not very grippy. It works much better with heavier lenses if you add a little of the rubberized shelf liner material or a flat rubber washer between the mounting plate and the camera. This is especially true when the camera is in the portrait orientation.

5) This thing is built like a tank (1.65 pounds) and the tightening feature for the pistol grip works as advertised.

Like any new piece of equipment, it took me a little while before the adjustment features become second nature after using a ballhead for many years.

05-09-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply TIm, I never thought about the handle getting in the way.

Cheers, Steve
07-08-2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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Just an update on this...

I got the Altapro and pistol grip head for my Birthday/Anniversary.
I've not used it in anger but am so far impressed with it, I found I quite like resting my cheek on the pistol grip, and it fits my need very well.

Will have to see how I get on with it in the really world, but so far I am pleased.

One slight annoyance is that it doesn't fit in the bag with the pistol grip.... Vanguard didn't really think of that one!

Cheers, Steve

07-12-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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I recently got the Vanguard GH-200 pistol grip and attached it to my Induro tripod. In my brief use so far, I like it. I got a standard Vanguard ballhead for my monopod. Both use Arca-Swiss compatible plates, which is a great feature I think.

Last edited by nater; 07-13-2013 at 07:40 AM.

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