review

Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR Twist Lock Monopod With Claw Feet

Monday, November 04, 2019

Monopods are a lot more compact than tripods but, they lack the free-standing capability of tripods; hence when it comes to traveling most people end up looking for the smallest tripod they can find. But, what if  you could make a monopod free-stand just like a tripod?
The Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR monopod does exactly just that, free-stand, thanks to a tri stand contraption made of three claw feet.
The VEO 2S retractable tri feet incorporate a nifty spring-loaded mechanism that enables you to securely deploy the three claw feet fairly quickly.
The integration of the three claw feet does technically make the VEO 2S monopod a tripod too, providing enough stability to keep the monopod upright, all by itself.
The claw feet measure 5 inches in length and while they create a 5-inch diameter that provides a decent amount of stability, without actual long legs, the claw feet aren't able to provide the VEO 2S monopod with the stability of a tripod like the VEO 235AB
While the VEO 2S monopod isn't as stable as a tripod, it does give you best of both worlds, allowing you to photograph fast moving and stationary subjects with a very portable solution that is lighter than the lightest tripod. 
When unfolding the claw feet down, you simply push down each claw feet at a time until you hear a click, which tells you that the claw feet is locked into place. The locking mechanism prevents the claw feet from accidentally folding back up, which is thoughtful. To fold the claw feet back up, you have to pull the claw feet towards you to unlock the spring-loaded tensioning mechanism. 
Being a 4-section monopod, the VEO 2S AM-264TR has a telescopic leg design that integrates three retractable leg sections that lock into place via three internal "twist lock" mechanisms. Each twist lock mechanism works independently and it's operated via grippy rubber rings that you simply rotate anticlockwise (to unlock) and clockwise to lock the leg extension into place.
The internal "twist lock" mechanism is versatile, allowing you to deploy and adjust the length of the leg extension much more conveniently and quicker than the clip locking mechanism in a tripod like the ALTA PRO 263AGH. The twist lock mechanism only requires a half turn twist in order to unlock the leg extensions.
When the leg extensions are unextended, the twist lock rubber rings line up on top of each other, just like the carvings of a totem pole. The twist lock rubber rings have interesting imprint that look like Maya Inca Aztec inscriptions.
The twist lock rubber rings collapse on each other towards the bottom section where the tri feet base is constructed. The actual frame of the claw feet and internal mechanism is made of metal so, the construction feels durable.
With that said, the retractable claw feet mechanism is liable to suffer from complications if the claw feet mechanism is not actuated correctly. The user guide does remind the user that the claw feet must be to pulled out first before unfolding the claw feet, and this is very important if you don't want to end up accidentally breaking the locking mechanism.
The very top leg section of the VEO 2S AM-264TR integrates VEO branding decal lettering, a grippy soft rubber handle and a 1/4 inch 20 male threaded camera screw for attaching a camera and/or the included smartphone plastic adjustable holder.
The 1/4 inch 20 male threaded screw head can be removed by undoing three allen key bolts so, you can attach a small 1/4 inch tripod head. The VEO 2S monopod maximum loading capacity is 6 kg.
The weight of the VEO 2S monopod itself is just 890 grams, which is very lightweight, thanks to its lightweight aluminum construction. The aluminium legs have a black anodized finish, which minimizes the marking of fingerprints. Each leg measure 26mm in diameter.
When the leg extensions are retracted, the height of the VEO 2S monopod is 55cm tall. When the three legs are fully extended, the monopod measures 163 cm tall, which is the height of a 5 feet 3 inches person
The 1/4 inch 20 male threaded screw is secretly hidden by a rubber cap attached to the handle where you also find a Vanguard-branded wrist strap and a metal carabiner to clip on the VEO 2S AM-264TR to a daisy chain webbing loop on a backpack.
The wrist strap seems to be made of woven nylon and integrates a thick rubber cinch to adjust down to size.

The very bottom section of the tripod, between the claw feet and the smallest rubber ring, also features a ball joint concealed by a metal ring. Unlocking this metal ring, enables freedom of movement of the ball joint, allowing you to maneuver the VEO 2S monopod for tilting and panning shots.
The included phone holder is adjustable, weighs 33 grams and features thick, grooved rubber that really grips the phone into place and prevents the phone from being scratched when clamped.
The phone holder clamp can fit smartphones up to 87mm wide so, it will comfortably accommodate an iPhone 11 Pro and Note 10 Plus phone.
The VEO 2S phone holder also integrates a nifty plastic kickstand that converts the phone holder into a very usable phone desktop stand. 
The phone holder kickstand can be rotated horizontally and vertically for portrait and landscape viewing angles.
Along with the VEO 2S AM-264TR monopod, there is also included a detailed user manual with illustration diagrams and a 3mm allen hex key, as well as a warranty card.
The standard warranty included is 2 years but it can be extended to 3+ years when registering the VEO 2S monopod warranty online.

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