Review: VEO2 235CB Tripod (a Great Tripod for the Traveller)

The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is a great, portable tripod for the travel photographer

When it comes to tripods, there hasn’t really been a whole lot of innovation in the past few years. Sure, the designs change and get better but there is nothing that has been completely game changing. The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is in some ways the same thing we’ve been seeing over the years, but you also have the supreme build quality that we’ve always experienced with Vanguard products. We field tested this while hiking, on airplanes, on the NYC subways, in cars, and on rugged waterfronts. Somehow or another, Vanguard was able to take the build quality that we expect with the Alta series and put it into a small enough package with the VEO. Granted, you’re not getting all the features and are really limited to a few heads, but if you’re shooting photos then the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is pretty difficult to beat.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • The rubber sections for the legs feel really good
  • If you’re on the sand, they will keep dust and dirt from getting into the legs
  • Pretty much all the versatility that most photographers will need providing they adjust carefully
  • Lightweight
  • Fits onto the side of most backpacks

Cons

  • I wish there was a hook at the bottom to weigh the tripod down

Gear Used

The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB was used with Sony, Pentax, Canon, Fujifilm and Leica cameras. Most of the time it was on the side of the Olliday Journeyman or the Tenba DNA backpack

Tech Specs

Specs for the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB taken from their website listing

MATERIAL Carbon Fiber
WARRANTY 2 Years
EXTENDED WARRANTY 8 Years
WEIGHT (LB) 2.6
LOAD CAPACITY (LBS) 13.2
FOLDED LENGTH (IN) 15.8
EXTENDED HEIGHT (IN) 57
LEG SECTIONS 5
LEG ANGLES 3
LEG LOCK Twist Lock
HEAD SPECS VEO BH-50
HEAD BASE ATTACHMENT 3/8 and 1/4
QUICK SHOE QS-60S
BUBBLE LEVEL ON HEAD 1
SWIVEL 360° Yes
INDEPENDENT PAN LOCK Yes
INDEPENDENT TILT LOCK Yes
FRICTION CONTROL Yes
COLOR Carbon
CARRYING BAG INCLUDED Yes

Ergonomics

The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is a tripod that starts out pretty small and then grows into being around 3/4 the size of an average American man. The center column flips up and into the body in order to become even more compact and the legs also fold up to continue the process of making it TSA friendly. The legs are made of carbon fiber.

One of the main parts of the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is the tripod legs. When they’re at their most compact, they look like this. There are five sections which give you a finer amount of adjustment. Plus they’re made of rubber and aren’t latches. Instead, you just turn them. So with a single turn, the entire tripod leg can extend. The legs can also extend even further to allow the tripod to get lower to the ground.

The ballhead that comes with the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is pretty standard. It isn’t a pistol grip head or anything but instead has all the usual controls.

At this view, readers will see that the head has two main knobs for functionality. The lower knob allows the photographer to pan the head across in a circular motion. The other controls the ball pivot socket. This whole column has a plate on it that attaches to the bottom of the camera.

You can also see a little liquid level here that greatly helps with getting things perfectly straight.

Here’s another view of that ballhead. It’s nice and while it seriously isn’t the most complicated, I like that. It puts everything you really need right at the front and center.

Build Quality

In my tests, the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB survived the deserts of Sedona, the sands of Williamsburg beach, rain, the NYC subway, TSA agents who seriously couldn’t care any less, and of course my own roughing around. Vanguard’s quality has seriously improved since I started this website and they do it at a bargain. I’ve put heavier cameras and lenses on this and had little to no issues. I don’t think that I’d want to take it into a seriously heavy storm though simply because there is no counterweight mechanism to prevent the camera and tripod from flying away. I mean, look at the bottom of the center column.

With all this said, Vanguard deserves a lot of praise but I still feel like Manfrotto at the moment is creating better products.

Ease of Use

What I seriously enjoy about the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is not only its solid build quality, but how simple it is to use. Vanguard gives you a head that just works without any fuss, legs that are quick to deploy, and a tripod slim enough to fit onto the bottom or the side of most photo backpacks. These days though, I see tripods as a very big compositional tool more than anything else and I barely use them except if I’m on a press trip, filming a video, or using my medium format cameras. For digital work, I rarely use something like the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB unless I’m shooting the night sky or a timelapse. But for film work, I’d use either the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB or a Manfrotto tripod to stabilize a Pentax 67 or a Mamiya RB67.

Conclusions

The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is a pretty damned good tripod. It’s higher quality than many of the house brands retailers sell and Vanguard does it at a bargain of a price point. At a bit under $200, you’re getting a solid deal. If you’re a landscape photographer, travel photographer or an urban explorer, this is the tripod that you’ll most likely want to bring with you.

The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB receives four out of five stars.