Aluminum Tripod with Pistol Grip

The ABEO Pro 283AGH is a versatile aluminum tripod from VANGUARD that allows you to place your camera in just about any shooting position you can imagine. This particular model also includes VANGUARD's GH-300T grip head with a convenient built-in shutter release.

The GH-300T head includes two different ways to pan the camera. The first is directly under the camera and is for shooting panoramas with 72 subtle click points. The second axis is below the ballhead so you can pan with the grip. Both axes have a smooth and fluid motion.

Once you tighten the grip into place, squeeze the trigger to quickly reposition the camera. The grip was a little stiff  and it took a bit of force to move it around the ballhead, but this also prevents you from making too large of an adjustment. You can rotate the grip 360° in relation to the ballhead in 45° increments. This is useful when you need to tilt the camera into a vertical position.

The tripod itself has a multiangle central column, which can be adjusted from 0 to 180°. The legs can be set at any angle, but they include locks at 25, 50, and 80°. To move a leg past one of these increments, you need to push a button. In order to depress the button fully, however, I had to slightly close the leg first. There are three options for the feet: rubber, spikes, or snow/sand shoes. These options (all included) guarantee a steady tripod on just about any terrain.

The aluminum version isn't exactly light at more than 7 lbs (including the grip head) but between the foam grips at the top of the legs and the included carrying case, it wasn't too uncomfortable transporting the ABEO Pro 283AGH. Plus, it was worth it to keep me shooting steady as a rock. Of course, I'd love to try out the carbon fiber edition.

Price: $399.99
Rating: 4.5
Hot:  Versatility; built-in shutter release; panning
Not:  Stiff pistol grip; buttons on the legs