Review: Vinten FiberTec Tripod (5 of 5)

7. Conclusion

So, for the moment, you’re left with my subjective evaluation.

In use, the FiberTec’s are rock solid. I can detect no wind up of any kind no matter how badly the sticks are provoked. I have, on a couple of occasions, locked both pan and tilt locks on the head and inadvertently clouted the pan arm whilst the camera was running at full telephoto… barely a flicker of movement. I quite often put a hand on the receiver whilst filming (if the wind is gusty) and press down, hard, to steady the rig due to its high sail area and low weight. There is never anything in the resultant video to show I have done so. I have even managed to knee one of the legs dead centre whilst changing position and even that didn’t show in the footage.

My initial reservations with regard to the Spread – Loc spreader have been allayed. I still haven’t managed to figure out the engineering concepts behind their working, but work they do. Whether I’ll ever figure what gives with that lock mechanism I don’t know, but have long ceased worrying about it.

The complete Vinten FiberTec at minimum height.

The complete Vinten FiberTec at minimum height.

Want to press that “Push AF” button on the side of the camera? Fiddle with the focus ring? Focus Zoom Position Preset? Audio controls, ND filter? You can push, pull, fiddle, tweak and slide and it will not move the camera.

In short, they are utterly bomb proof. Put a decent head on the Fibertecs and you are in a completely different league. Ah, but the price? Worth every penny!

I will never have to buy another tripod. No matter what size zooms the next few generations of HD cameras come out with, no matter what resolutions the sensors have, no matter what size camera I want to stick on them, the FiberTecs will take it… with ease, and grace.

8. Pricing and Availability

At the time of writing, the FiberTec system components are priced as below at B&H. (Prices in US Dollars).

  • FiberTec Tripod — $ 2099.95
  • Spread–Loc Spreader — $ 674.95
  • Soft Case — $ 401.95
  • 75mm–100mm bowl adapter — $ 54.95

Current US pricing and availability can be obtained here:

www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/276287-REG/Vinten_34983_3498_3_ENG_EFP_2_Stage_Fibertec.html

Protel International Technologies Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand, supplied my System. They were very helpful and very competitive in their pricing.

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About The Author

Chris Soucy

Born in London, Ontario, Canada but transplanted to Tasmania, Australia at a tender age, where I spent most of my formative years. Decamped at 19 to “see the world,” and proceeded to hitch hike from Madras (India) to London (UK). Somehow surviving (despite many “life enriching experiences”), I spent most of the 70’s and 80’s in the UK computer industry, using my spare time to polish up my still photography skills. Quit the rat race for the first time in 1990 and spent 18 months travelling through China, Pakistan and India hauling round a monstrous bag of camera gear, somehow ending up back in Australia more or less by accident. Realized I’d taken a wrong turn 5 years later and headed back to Blighty for another decade. Finally fled the “big smoke” and headed to NZ with my Kiwi partner. Got into video with an XL1s but always knew HD would be the way to go, trading up to a Canon XH A1 (and a Nikon D80) December ’06. Have been throwing shed-loads of money at it ever since. Still coming to terms with this whole “moving image” thing. Despite my constant declarations of retirement, my shooting time is continually intruded upon by that 4 letter w**k word. A confessed perfectionist, I built a conservatory onto our London home with a micrometer being the main measuring instrument (true!). Despite my long computer association, have done more different jobs than I’ve had hot dinners, none of them as much fun as playing with cameras.

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