Michael Carver Puts ABEO PRO 283CGH To The Test

Michael Carver Puts ABEO PRO 283CGH To The Test

February 01, 2016 , Vanguard World

VANGUARD Pro Michael Carver is a professional photographer living and working in the Scottish Highlands.


This weekend I took the Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH out into the heart of the Scottish Highlands to put it through its paces and see how it stood up to the beautifully rugged environment of Torridon.


The ABEO Pro 283CGH is a serious piece of kit, loaded with features and adaptability. The carbon fiber legs are chunky in diameter but lightweight and provide excellent support with minimal flex. This kit is designed to hold a maximum weight of 8Kg meaning you can use it with the heaviest of camera / lens combinations and its robustness means it will stand up to lateral forces from wind making it ideal for long exposure work where a rock solid base is essential.


The kit consists of Vanguard’s ABEO Pro 383CT legs coupled with a unique GH-3000T pistol grip that has a built-in shutter release button – something I haven’t seen on any other tripods. The tripod is loaded with features the most obvious being its articulating centre column that pivots out to provide more reach and infinite versatility when trying to get your camera into awkward positions, it can be locked from anywhere between 0 and 180 degrees. I found this feature particularly useful for getting close to my foreground without having to worry about getting my tripod legs in shot whilst shooting wide angle. With the centre column extended out the tripod can also get a lot lower to the ground making it ideal for macro work. Understandably the tripod loses a little stability with the column extended but the robustness of this kit means that this feature only really becomes an issue in strong wind.


The carbon fibre legs are extendable and lock with push down clips. I prefer these clips to the twisting locks. I’ve had experience before with not screwing the locks down 100% and walking away from my tripod only to find one of the legs slipping. There are no worries with these locks, once they are clipped in they are locked. The legs can be adjusted to 25, 50 and 80 degrees to help you get into the best position and the carbon fiber helps to stop the legs getting cold like aluminum. Vanguard have also added comfortable foam grips for easier handling. There is a hook at the base of the centre column to allow you to hang a bag to add to stability.


Another cool feature with this tripod is the interchangeable 3-in-1 feet. The feet come with rubber overshoes that spread the weight and are ideal for soft surfaces like sand or snow. They pivot so can also be locked up hard against horizontal surfaces too. The wide overshoes clip off to reveal rubber gripped feet and those also slip off back to aluminum spikes that can are great for locking into soft grass to avoid slipping. These interchangeable feet mean you can have maximum grip on all surface.


The pistol grip head can be loosened using the trigger switch as well as a thumb turn on the back of the grip. The ball head feels solid with its friction control system and most importantly there is no creep after you have composed the image. I tried the head out with a D800 and heavy 70-200mm lens and it was rock solid. The grip tilts 90 degrees, both to the side and forward. The tilting grip coupled with the 360 degree panning top plate means that you can have your camera at any angle. The built in shutter release means you can capture fast moving action – I think this would be ideal for sports photography where you are panning to capture the action.


The top plate comes with a locking bolt that requires a coin or the supplied hexi- tool to tighten it onto your camera. Whilst this works well I would prefer to have a fold out thumb turn to allow a quicker change or the ability to tighten when out in the field. Once tight though there is no sign of loosening which can be a common trait with most tripods.

Everything packs up nicely into a smart shoulder bag making it easier to take out whilst on the move.


All in all I’m really impressed with this tripod. It looks great, its sturdy, relatively light and packed with features. It will stand up to the toughest of conditions and provides unlimited versatility to get you into the perfect spot. It is the best tripod I’ve used and is now my go to kit when I’m out and about capturing landscapes. Folding down to 76cm its not the most compact tripod on the market but its one of the sturdiest and will ensure I have the best chance of capturing sharp shots and most importantly, I have confidence leaving it set up with my kit mounted on top whilst unattended in harsh weather.


Check it out for yourself at Vanguard World.

Michael Carver | VANGUARD Pro Michael Carver is a professional photographer living and working in the Scottish Highlands.


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