The Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 264AT is a solidly built aluminium tripod that features a clever multi-angle centre column (or ‘MACC’ as Vanguard officially calls it) that can be fully lifted out of the tripod and positioned at just about any angle you care to think of. This greatly extends its versatility, making it just as much at home when shooting macro subjects directly overhead as expansive landscapes with the centre column in its conventional position.

Each leg is comprised of four sections, with short-throw twist locks making light work of extending or retracting each section to your desired length. The legs are securely attached to a crown at the top of the tripod, and can be set to one of four clearly marked leg-angle positions (20°, 40°, 60° and 80°) using easy-to-grip sliding locks. The crown further benefits from a ⅜-inch screw socket that enables accessories such as video lights or reflectors to be attached directly to the tripod.

The Alta Pro 2+ 264AT is designed to hold up to 7kg in weight securely, which should be more than adequate for most photographers. The tripod weighs 1.9kg, and folds down to a relatively compact 50.5cm for transporting. Maximum height with the centre column fully extended is 150cm, although at this height we didn’t find it to be quite as stable as it is at 120cm.

Build quality is excellent with the Alta Pro 2+ 264AT primarily constructed from aircraft-grade aluminium that has been treated to a matt gunmetal finish, giving it a very understated yet stylish look. Two of the legs have a grippy foam finish, which makes carrying and operating the tripod a bit more comfortable – especially in cold weather. The base of each leg is capped off with a solid rubber grip, with screw-in spikes offered as an optional extra.

Price: £189