Vanguard ABEO 243AV Tripod Review

First off, I would like to say I have been trying to make a video about this tripod for a while now and it has always ended up being 30-45 minutes long. I think writing my thoughts on this tripod is a better way to condense the info you are looking for.

Vlogging and Blogging

First off, I would like to say thank you to Vanguard for sending the ABEO 234AV tripod to us. When I first started blogging and then vlogging, I was using a cheap cheap cheap tripod that I picked up online. It worked for what I needed it for and honestly I think anyone who is unsure about their future in vlogging and blogging should start with an inexpensive tripod. As you work your way up the ladder of Camera gear you should upgrade your tripod to match.

Gifts are Great!

For Christmas a few years back, I was gifted the Vanguard Espod CX 203AGH tripod. This is a great lighter weight tripod that I carry as my travel tripod.

Espod CX 203AGH Ball Head

Espod CX 203AGH Ball Head

Left-Right Vanguard ABEO 243AV - Espod CX 203AGH

Left-Right Vanguard ABEO 243AV – Espod CX 203AGH

While the Vanguard Espod CX 203AGH tripod is a great tripod, it didn’t always match the style of videos we were setting out to create. The head on this is a pistol grip making it easy to level the camera even if you are not on level ground, it is tall enough for most anyone to use for photos or for videos, but it was missing something. Enter the ABEO 243AV tripod from Vanguard.

Specs:

Abeo 243AV is a lightweight, aluminum video tripod, ideally suited to work in the field or in the studio with lighter weight equipment.

· 24mm 3 section aluminum alloy legs adjust to 25, 50, and 80-degree angles to enable extreme low angle photography

· Anti-spin central column stays in position

· Includes PH-113V two-way video pan head with lever locks for 360 degree rotation and frontal tilt movement

· Short column adaptor allows users to get close to the ground for low-angle videography

· Large bubble level on the magnesium die-cast canopy

· Thick foam on legs enable a comfortable, secure grip

· Quick release leg locks and rubber feet

Vanguard ABEO 243AV SHORT w/ Canon 80D

Vanguard ABEO 243AV SHORT w/ Canon 80D

Vanguard ABEO 243AV w/ Canon 80D

Vanguard ABEO 243AV w/ Canon 80D

A Working Tripod

This tripod is great for the work we do. I love to take it to conventions and have my camera man get great shots as he can easily pan and tilt the camera. It is lightweight enough that if you throw it in your bag you aren’t going to hate yourself for carrying it. If you are working in tight spaces it folds up and stores neatly.

Shoes not for walking

The shoe for the ABEO 243av works in the Espod CX 203AGH tripod making it easy to change camera locations if you have that shoe. HOWEVER the reverse is not compatible. You cannot use the Espod CX 203AGH shoe in the ABEO 243AV head. I wish it did, but the shoe isn’t so expensive that if you are running multiple tripods and moving the cameras from one to the other that you are going to be pissed off about the cost of another shoe.

Vanguard PH113V head mounted to the ABEO 243AV tripod

Vanguard PH113V head mounted to the ABEO 243AV tripod

Vanguard PH113V head mounted to the ABEO 243AV tripod (Lock side)

Vanguard PH113V head mounted to the ABEO 243AV tripod (Lock side)

Cost:

Vanguardworld.us is selling this for $169 which is what you are going to find for at Amazon. If this seems like an expensive tripod I implore you to look at the Espod CX 203AGH as it retails for $60 USD.

Vanguard vs. Other Brands

Every year I get to see Vanguard in person as they exhibit at one of the shows I attend. This year I had the opportunity to meet the owner of the company and tell her how much I love their full line of products. They make other items such as bags and scopes to name a few.

I can’t tell you if they are better than any other product on the market because honestly, they are my brand of choice when it comes to tripods. This is because the people I have talked to and worked with are some of the most helpful and easy to work with people. They honestly just want their product to take care of you for years to come. That means something to me.

Vanguard ABEO 243AV with the legs spread

Vanguard ABEO 243AV with the legs spread

Vanguard ABEO 243AV at its shortest

Vanguard ABEO 243AV at its shortest

Emirates Lounge Dubai Concourse A

I wish I had been awake enough to take more photos of the lounges but I was a little tired after my 16-hour flight from LAX to Dubai and I just missed the opportunities presented to me for a better review.

Emirates has a number of lounges in the different terminals and I was lucky enough to visit two of them. For the life of me, I do not remember the what the other one looked like so I will share a video of the one I do remember.

Overall, I do REMEMER that the Emirates Lounges have been a great place to catch my breath before jump on my next adventure.

The Emirates lounge in concourse A is massive, to say the least. The lounge spans the whole terminal making it perfect for business class and first class to be able to board the plane without having to rush downstairs and try to fight your way through the crowd to get to your gate in time.

We had an early flight, so we got through security as quickly as we could so we could get to the lounge and have a light meal before out flight. The lounge was packed but we had no trouble finding a place to rest our bones and get a few tasty pastries and pineapple juice before our flight. 

As I learned that day, if you have a ticket with the letters “SS” this means that when you are getting ready to board, they will pull you aside and test you for bomb residue. This was funny to me because I would have figured in a land where my skin was the same color as everyone else I wouldn’t get the “random screening”.

I am not sure, but it seemed as if this was not common practice for a business class passenger to be pulled aside for the extra screening.  They seemed to have forgotten about me for about 3 minutes while I was trying to figure out how to get back to the top jet bridge (the elevator is key card activated). 

 

Business and First Class Lounge Series: Emirates LAX

First, I want to talk about why I am doing this new series. As you can see in past articles I traveled to India for a month with family and flew Emirates. It was my first time flying internationally in business class and lets just that that when you get a taste you never want to go back to economy class. I wasn’t set up to vlog at the time of my trip and wanted to focus on enjoying my trip as much as possible without needing to focus on cameras and editing 24/7. When I take my next long haul trip I do plan on bringing you along for the ride but until that day I would like to just share with you my thoughts on different lounges from around the world . Let’s get started shall we?

Business Class LAX

The lounge at LAX has a nice range of foods that range from hamburgers to more traditional Arabian and Emirati foods. The bar was quite packed with a wide selection of drinks to choose from. As you can see in the video the lounge is broken up into an “inside/outside” feel with the outside overlooking the international terminal (Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX) and the inside which is quieter and away from view of the gates. The lounge does have showers which I would have used had we had a few extra minutes to spare before boarding the incredible Airbus A380.  I enjoyed the quick snack we had before boarding the plane.  I was careful not to fill up in anticipation of  the tasty meals I heard were served by Emirates on the A380. We were fortunate enough to be there while it wasn’t crowded or noisy so I could give a quick tour with family on Facetime.

Overall, the service in the lounge was excellent. Next week I plan to talk about the lounge in Dubai as we had a chance to check out both of the lounges in the different terminals.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Video

marquee-787

Check out the video below!! The Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner is doing tests runs as they get ready for the 2016 Farnborough Airshow.

It fascinates me how far we have come from the Wright brothers laying on their stomachs to fly, to me being able to lay flat in my business class seat on the Airbus A380.

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Now Boarding: Pelican Carry-On Elite

Pelican Luggage First Look

 

After my recent month long trip, I knew I need to replace my cheap luggage. Pelican shipped out their 22” Elite Carry-on Luggage for me to review.

I will be publishing my review later on this year.  I want a chance to use it on a few of my upcoming trips to give you a good overall review. Stay tuned.

You can see the video here.

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Leatherman Tread: Now Boarding First Class and Business Class

Leatherman Tread: Now Boarding First Class and Business Class

As many of you know, I own two websites, a firearm review site GearsofGuns.com and “AtticusJames.com A guys Life In Review” site. I have written a few reviews about the Leatherman tools over the last few years. So when I heard about the Leatherman Tread, I jumped on getting one as quick as I could.

 

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Easy? Check

 

Complete? Not So Much

The Leatherman Tread is not the one and done tool you should carry. I doubt the designers had that in mind when they dreamt this tool up, I believe what they did want is a tool that was easy to travel with and that was something that went with any style. They came up with this:

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Around the World in 28 Days….Well the Miles Anyway

As you can read in my previous posts, I just spent a month in India. I just quickly did the numbers so you can see what the experience was.

· 3 Countries

· 9 Airport security check points

· 9 Flights

· 10 Security checks from hotels, tourist attractions, etc

· 10 Airports departing and arriving from

· 29,656 Miles Flown

· Circumference of the earth at the equator = 24,901 miles

Why do those numbers matter? Because that means that in all three countries and in all 10 security checks I went thru, never once was my Leatherman Tread questioned. It was never looked at as anything more than a bracelet. I never once had to check it in my bag. In fact, in two airports I didn’t even have to take it off my wrist.

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Looking at diamonds in Surat, India.

TSA Approved

The Leatherman Tread doesn’t have a knife on it, so it is TSA approved. Most people who see it look passed it, as it just looks like I am wearing an unusual watch band or a metal bracelet.

Crazy Person Here

I am right handed, but I normally wear my watches or bracelets on my right hand. Most people think that I am a crazy person doing that. Honestly I am not really sure why it matters. If I am right handed wearing my watch on my right hand, so what? I like it on my dominant hand.

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All The Tools

The Leatherman Tread has a bunch of tools on it. Hex keys, wrenches, screwdrivers and even a SIM pick. I found it to be really handy for me on the trip because I used a camera holster. It is a spider holster, which has a metal plate with an hex key to attach the plate to the camera.

The problem was, that is blocks the battery compartment. Every time I needed to change the battery, which was often, I had to loosen the plate to get to the battery. I didn’t carry the Hex key (Allen Key) with me since I had the hex key on the Leatherman Tread to change the batteries.

A Conversation Starter

This was fun for me. People would watch me take off what they thought was a watch, fold it and use it to remove a plate. It gave me something else to use to connect with complete strangers, other than just trying to start a conversation about nothing.

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The Price

The Leatherman Tread starts at $160 for the Stainless Steel model. It isn’t a cheap tool and to be honest it isn’t my go to tool in most cases. But it is a tool that has it place. It was perfect to travel with. It is great for those times when you don’t need a heavy duty Leatherman or a full tool bag. It comes in really handy. And let’s admit, it looks great.

The Weight

At first it felt heavy on my wrist. That is mainly because I hadn’t worn a watch in over 10 years. Now that I wear it whenever I leave the house, I don’t really notice it.

I have learned not to swim laps with it on because it feels like a weight dragging my arm down. If you wear a big watch or a smart watch, you probably won’t even notice the weight.

Final thoughts

I still carry my Leatherman MUT at the range and my wave when I know I’ll need a tool. For daily operations, The Tread does just what it is suppose to. Be an awesome bracelet and backup tool.

I really want the black Leatherman Tread too. I would like to see if I scratch up the bracelet as much as I have this one. The scratches really aren’t noticeable unless you are really playing with the bracelet. I believe that is just normal wear and tear that seems to happen on things I own. That’s just the kinda guy I am.

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