Vanguard VEO AM-264TR Monopod

What Vanguard say:

A perfect complement to photographers on-the-go, VEO monopods will help you capture memorable moments from one adventure to the next. Quickly stabilize your shot, then pack your VEO monopod away to fit easily in your carry-on.

  • Extends to 163cm with a 6kg maximum load capacity
  • 3 retractable legs, each fitted with anti-slip rubber foot
  • Ball joint at the base for tilt action and smooth panning
  • Multifunctional use: for video, photo and for use as walking stick
  • Ultimate strength flip locks to maximize loading capacity
  • Soft rubber handle provides an unbeatable grip in any weather

The VEO AM-264TR monopod is one of the most compact of its kind, and yet still performs excellently at full extended height. It can be used for video or photo support and can also double as a walking stick. The 4-section aluminum alloy legs come equipped with strong flip locks, maximizing the monopod's camera loading capacity. Quickly stabilize your shot with the innovative tri-stand. The built-in ball joint feature allows smooth pan and tilt photo/video options. The legs fold easily and lock in seconds. The soft rubber handle will provide an unbeatable grip in any weather. You may then pack your VEO monopod away to fit easily in your carry-on to make it to your next adventure.

Specs

Material: Aluminum
Warranty: Applicable by national law
Extended Warranty: 5 years
Weight (lb): 1.98
Weight (kg): 0.90
Load capacity (kg): 6.0
Folded Length (mm): 565
Extended height (in): 64.13
Extended height (mm): 1630
Leg Lock: Flip Lock

On test with me:

The Vanguard Veo monopod is a great addition to any wildlife and macro photographer's arsenal. Being lightweight and compact it's great for those on long trips and hikes where every gram counts.
Even the lightest tripods can't do it and if you don't require the tripod but do need some stability a monopod is great for filling this gap.

You can get many styles to monopods, the 264-tr has the benefits of being larger than others in the range at 26mm and of course the three folding feet.  Although the feet make it bottom heavy and somewhat more difficult to pack away into convenient locations on your rucksack.
Turning it upside down is really the only option to fit it inside webbed pockets and bungee cords on the back.

Despite all this it is still light, weighing in at 900 grams and at the lowest structure the monopod can hold a DSLR on its own without falling over. It is worth noting this is only possible in good weather and light/no wind. Any strong wind would require you to hold the system.  And with this in mind you wouldn't be using this for long exposures. As I stated at the beginning this is great for wildlife photographers and videographers on the go who require extra support but don’t want to be slowed down by tripods.

Wildlife and sports togs will typically have large and heavy 150-600mm lens and after an hour with this lens you'll be feeling it. The monopod being small and discrete can be attached to the lens to aid in balance and take weight off whilst in use so by the end of the day you are in joy, hopefully from your photos you have captured and not suffering from lugging this lens.

I found using a TBH-50 ball head and slacking all the points off enabled me to be quick to turn and very flexible if the right picture was there. The three feet helped further with stability and took more of the load and added to the overall control and balance with the monopod.

The 264-tr can take a lot of weight for its size. Able to carry up to 6kg and if you match this with the ball head you will be very happy and never reach its limit. Even with larger 300-500mm lens the ball head and monopod were stiff but fluid with movement.

Three feet are better than one. It's a great addition to any photographer's arsenal.

In some situations it can make a huge difference to use a monopod: sports, wildlife and macro. Even in events where you can have low light, slow shutter speeds and require higher ISOs but restricted with space. The monopod becomes handy in that it takes no floor space but gives you more support. Handy in large crowds, potentially great if you're on holiday exploring museums and cities with lots of people around and on long trips walking I found the monopod easier to use rather than the tripod, put this tripod with some of the recent Mirrorless cameras such as Olympus 5 Axis stabilisation you could happily trade off the tripod for your landscape photography and bringing your shutter speeds down to a second - Just as I did last year in Wales on my expeditions with the smaller monopod.

The Veo 264-tr is a heavier monopod and with the added feet help with stability but does make packing it away a little more challenging. Giving the user more balance allowing for longer shutter speeds, sharper images, helping with video stabilisation or just giving your arms a break from heavy kit. This monopod is a great addition to anyone’s photography arsenal and at £70 its not outlandish or expensive. Personally I use monopods when I want to keep light and trekking long distances. This gives me the extra few stops of light and stabilisation I need when shooting at sunrise or sunset on expedition.

When it comes to wildlife and macro as with my expeditions, gives me flexibility and speed which is needed when it comes to these areas of photography. A tripod would simply be to slow and potentially miss the shot.

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The feet are easy to use, simply pulling the feet down into place and when putting the feet away. Pull the feet towards you and slide up and have plenty of give so are unlikely to go loose at any point with the springs loaded action. All the feet have rubber underneath to help with extra grip.

All of Vanguards monopods come with the wrist strap and carabineer which are handy, certainly on the lighter monopods to just clip onto your rucksack and let it hang. This heavier near 1kg monopod wasn’t ideal in this situation but the carabineer was helpful to clip it onto something, knowing it wouldn’t fall out or be lost.

With the feet fixed at the bottom this monopod wouldn’t be suitable for us as a walking pole so it is only really good for photographic and video work. Unlike the smaller AM-204 pole which doubles up as a walking pole.

Vanguard have announced the new Veo2 collection so I would love to see the Veo2 monopods advancing to. Coming in an array of colours as the new Veo2 tripod but what could really define Vanguards monopods against others is if the feet could be detachable.

Pick your body – 20mm, 23mm or heavier 26mm.
Rubber foot, optional spike larger pad or to have the tri feet screw on option. I’m not a product designer but this could really open up options for the industry and users giving the user the option to have the larger 26mm body, function as a walking pole and when needed fixing on the tri feet for added support when on location.

Although the 264-tr was limited in its outdoor uses, I found it very helpful when wanting to pack light and would certainly recommend the Vanguard range to anyone, not just the monopods or rucksacks.

Interested in buying one? Click here.

Transparency Notice: Please note that I am a Vanguard Advocate and receive the products for free to review from Vanguard Photo UK and are return 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.