Vanguard Veo 2 Go 204CB review

Vanguard Veo 2 Go 204CB review

When the announcement of several new travel tripods announced before The Photography Show UK 2019 I couldn’t help but be a little excited with what Vanguard Photo had planned. The new Veo 2 Go sounds great on paper being super lightweight, compact and takes some of the best bits of the Veo 2 travel tripods and adds the cherry on the icing with some extras which can make life easier as a photographer.

Vanguard Veo 2 Go
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What Vanguard says:

VEO 2 GO 204CB is an ultra-compact and ultra-lightweight, 20mm, 4 section carbon fibre travel tripod kit with a compact ball head optimized to carry a camera kit of up to 3kg / 6.6lbs.

  • Folds down to 325mm and weighs just 770g

  • Extends to 1300mm

  • Sturdy Ball Head T-45 with large ergonomic knobs optimized to support working loads up to 3kg/6.6lbs. 

  • Inverted 4 section carbon fibre legs that fold for compact carrying

  • Twist leg locks-New Open to click feature.  Also, easy to clean disassemble and reassemble if needed

  • Arca compatible QR plate. QS-64

  • Secure head lock system and top plate on the central column

  • All parts are aluminum alloy machined (CNC)

  • 2 section telescopic center column with 1 static section for great stability

  • Added retractable hook to assist in weighing down the tripod when desired

  • Independent Leg positioning at 3 different angles (21°, 50°, 80°) for greater adaptation to uneven terrain and to shoot more creative pictures.

  • Non-slip, all-weather TPU grip on 1 leg 

  • Round rubber feet allow for easy set up on different types of terrain

VEO 2 GO 204CB is an ultra-compact and ultra-lightweight, 20mm, 4 section carbon fibre travel tripod kit with a compact ball head optimised to carry camera capacities up to 3kg / 6.6lbs.   Designed to be able to be taken on-the-go the VEO 2 GO 204CB provides a lot of versatility from sitting level shooting while being able to be extended up to 130cm/51.2 inches.

Designed for Mirrorless, Bridge and smartphone cameras this smooth tripod works well in both portrait and landscape modes.  The ARCA compatible ball head T-45 is easy to use and its large lock/unlock knob allows for quick efficient setup.  The QS-64 mounts quickly and efficiently and is equipped to stay on the bottom of your camera so that you can be ready to use your tripod in a blink of an eye.   Extra QS-64 plates are available for multiple camera users.

Shooting at the beach, in dirty conditions while taking landscape images or seizing unexpected moments of wildlife take your VEO 2 GO carbon fibre tripod anywhere.  Windy?  No problem.  Mount a camera bag or additional weight to the retractable hook located at the base of the centre column.   Clean-up is a snap too! The new open to click twist leg locks allow for easy fresh water rinsing after working in most demanding environments.   VEO 2 GO goes everywhere!

Vanguard Veo 2 Go
Vanguard Veo 2 Go

The lightest of the new Veo 2 Go tripods was a mere 770g and folds up to 32cm, extends to over 130cm in height and can take a payload of 3-4kg. Sounds amazing eh but how practical is a tripod that weighs only 770g, surely just breezing on a tripod this light is going to knock it over?

I was hesitant to say the least at how practical and useful this might be, especially when you have no control over the weather or conditions in the outdoors. With the Veo 2 Go 204CB weighing nearly half that of the Veo 2 264CB (770g vs 1300g) the Veo 2 is more sturdy and heavier so better suited to windy/poor conditions. So, when the opportunity to go to Scotland and focus on mountaineering and scrambling alone, with less emphasis on the photography I thought the Veo 2 Go would be better suited here. After all, I didn’t want to carry anything more than I needed, especially when scrambling on knife edges and scree paths which plummet some 200 metres below you.

All packed I opted only to take the Veo 2 Go tripod which ultimately was a huge risk to leave the reliable and much loved Veo 2 but in hindsight looking back at our week in Scotland it was the best decision.

Not only did the Veo 2 Go perform better than expected, it was the weight and size that really helped and took it to that next level.

Vanguard Veo 2 Go
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It wasn’t perfect. You can guess where the problem lay? Remember 770g is light. If I was being blown over and I weigh 12 stone (76kg) which is 100 times that of the tripod, this little tripod was nearly blown over, if it wasn’t for me holding it during the gusts. If we rewind back a few months I had the same issue when climbing Cadair Idris with 90km/h winds the Veo 2 struggled, as did the larger tripods (Benro Mach 3 and Vanguard’s Alta Pro). When faced with 60km/h plus winds its hard to expect any tripod to withstand that force when yourself can barely stand up. These conditions are extreme!

When out of the wind and just faced with the rain or boggy grounds, the Veo 2 Go performed perfectly and with the added rucksack clip below the centre column I could weigh down the tripod a little further to reduce some shake.

Veo 2 Go

Despite the clip on the centre column I rarely needed/used the clip for my rucksack. The tripod held its own and experienced no shaking or balance issues on the coast of Castle Stalker, shores of Kilchurn or 1150m above sea level, surrounded by clouds on Bidean Nam Bian and 967m of Sgorr nam Fiannaidh. In both the instances of Bidean Nam Bian and Sgorr nam Fiannaidh we had a three-hour scramble and hike to summit these mountains, the scrambling of which was majority grade 2 and difficult to severe. Having the lightest pack helped a lot and knowing I still had a near full sized tripod that could perform at the summits was a huge relief. I knew I didn’t have to compromise or not bring a tripod.

Where I can really see the Veo 2 Go come in to its greatest means is bike packing and general travel on aeroplanes. Even travel tripods, for example the Veo 2 264CB is still a good 44cm in length so if you can shave another 10cm off that in length and half the weight. Well, it’s a dream come true for those who regularly fly.

The Veo 2 Go folds up on itself and the centre column is fixed. It can’t be taken out or reduced further in height which can be a little frustrating, especially if you need to get lower to the ground but the easy compromise is to use the tripod upside down. This takes some getting used to, the working upside down that is but it’s certainly do-able. However, where the legs are being folded up regularly the points may become loose. I had this issue only once during the trip and was simple to fix.

It happened on the first day out so perhaps it was loose before it reached me, or the rain had some effect to the locks but a simple re-tighten using the provided Allen key for the locks solved the issue. No dismantling required but still a little disappointing the tripod needed tighten in the first place. After tightening the locks, I didn’t have any further issues throughout the week and the tripod spent most of the time in salt water or the rain.

Vanguard Veo 2 Go
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Veo 2 Go

As a whole the tripod was incredibly easy to use and set up. Often leaving the legs folded down ready to go, it was a case of twisting the leg locks in one hand and tighten to the required height. Most times I didn’t bother with the extra height the centre column could offer. Where low down was needed the legs could go near flat leaving the base of the centre column touching the ground which was plenty low enough for most requirements. Say 98% covered, only twice on the trip could a little lower be helpful. Other Veo 2 Go models such as the Veo 2 Go 235AB have spiked feet and low angle adapter, the tripod can still fold down to 32cm in length but weighs 1.2kg so not much less when compared to the Veo 2 235CB. The real benefit is the compact size when folded but with the Veo 2 already in my arsenal, is there a need to save 10cm? Personally no, but for some this could be the craved size needed to make a big difference.

The ultimate question. Could you rely on this tripod being your only option?
Honestly, no. I did it for Scotland, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it being my only choice on future trips. It worked perfectly here where I needed to be super light. The Veo 2 Go is the perfect companion to the full-sized Alta Pro2+ or even the Veo 2 tripods. Think of it as a backup or specialist for certain needs.

I wish I had this tripod a few weeks earlier when assisting with the Snowdonia Ultra Trail marathon. I only had my Vesta mini tripod which is tiny! I could had done with a little extra height, but I didn’t even want to lug an extra 1.3kg from the Veo 2 with my 35kg rucksack already but this is where the Veo 2 Go would had been the swaying point between the mini tripod and the larger travel tripod. Between the Vesta Mini, Veo 2 Go and Veo 2 tripods I have everything covered for weight, size and means for my mountaineering, scrambling and outdoors. The holy trinity of tripods some could say.

Key takeaways

Cons:

Being so lightweight it doesn’t take much wind to cause an issue.
So far my testing has only been extreme winds of 60km/h winds which a grown man would struggle with let alone any tripod.

Maximum height of the tripod is limited, the tripod is best suited to low angles which suits me aiming to get a foreground in shot and no tripod legs to spoil the view.

Pros:

Lightweight = 770g
Compact = 32cm in length
Ideal for minimalist set ups, suited to wild camping, mountaineering and scrambling.
Stuck with weight and baggage restrictions, this tripod will hide away inside a suitcase so well you’ll forget you’ve packed it.

Vanguard Veo 2 Go
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Transparency Notice: Please note that I am a Vanguard Photo UK brand ambassador and receive the products for free to review from Vanguard Photo UK and are returned after completing the review. The review is no guarantee of endorsement. I receive no monetary gain from Vanguard Photo from the reviews or discount codes. Any Vanguard kit I own has been bought by myself.

The above blog contains affiliate links to Amazon UK to purchase products, by purchasing through one of these links I will get a 5-8% per purchase.

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