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Old May 22nd, 2005, 01:12 PM   #1
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Vision 3 for cranes?

Would it be ok to use my Vinten Vision 3 head with those low-priced cranes/jibs out their that attach to the tripod, quick-release, mounting plate (i.e. the Studio One DV Jib Arm, the Kessler Crane, etc., etc.)?

On one hand the Vinten can be counterbalanced up to 22lbs., and it is sooo smooth. I feel like it'd definitely give me the best results of pretty much any other head in this class with these low-priced cranes. But at the same time, I don't want to mess with it, because well it's somewhat precious and expensive in and of itself.

I've been told that these cranes that attach to the quick release plates put a lot of stress on the head, and will wear them out prematurely.

Is this so? (I ask, because others seem to use these things just fine.) Should I just forget about using my Vinten for such work?

Thanks.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 09:15 AM   #2
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I never understood companies that designed cranes to rest on a fluid head. Even if it doesn't wear out your head, you can't set up another shot without taking down the crane. I like to have a tripod devoted to crane work and have my head and sticks on the ready for a 2nd camera or simply to save time, which is so fleeting on a set, to pick up non-crane shots. It's also very important to have the crane tripod level. What if your head isn't locked down properly, and the crane starts to drift? Things can get nasty in a hurry! Obviously, I'd never get a crane that attaches to a head, but I'm sure there are those that have had no problems at all.

Dan
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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #3
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Well i think the main nice thing about them is that by tilting the fluid head, you tilt the camera.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 01:14 AM   #4
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I have a Cobra Crane which I got years ago. It attaches to the tripod head via a quick release plate like the other cranes you mention. I have a Miller fluid head and would never consider putting it on there let alone a Vision 3. I use mine with a Manfrotto 501 head on a dedicated set of old heavy duty wooden legs.

There is a lot of stress put on the head. You can easily see this if you try to level the head when the fully assembled crane and camera are mounted. It actually takes two people to level the head this way, one to hold the crane and the other to manipulate the head.

As Dan says, you really want to keep your good tripod free. The only thing the head is used for is to tilt up and down and the 501 is fairly good at this. I don't think a Vision 3 will make that much of a difference in this regard but I've never used the crane for what I would call detailed moves. I also attach the camera to the crane with a quick release plate so that it comes off the crane and right onto my other tripod.

I only use my crane for stage performances or wide sweeping type shots so the benefit of a really smooth head isn't necessary for me. Still I would never risk a crane on an expensive tripod head.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Kelly
Well i think the main nice thing about them is that by tilting the fluid head, you tilt the camera.
Huh? You lost me. Aren't we talking about attaching the crane to the fluid head, and not attaching the fluid head to the crane? Which brings up another excellent point. If your fluid head is holding the crane, you can't use it on the camera end of the crane!

Dan
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Old May 25th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #6
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Right, i mean you could tilt the camera either way, but being able to tilt it from the fulcrum during a shot is what I think is cool. It's hard to put a camera in the air and control a fluid head that's also in the air.

But about using your fliud head at one end or the other, why's that an issue? Just get an extra head....you can get decent fluid heads for like $30 on ebay. Ones for smaller cameras aren't expensive at all.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Kelly
Right, i mean you could tilt the camera either way, but being able to tilt it from the fulcrum during a shot is what I think is cool. It's hard to put a camera in the air and control a fluid head that's also in the air.
Well, that's just dangerous! Not a good idea.

Dan
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Old May 25th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #8
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Dangerous? I mean it's not THAT heavy, and hopefully there are people spotting it. I've tilted a glidecam crane in the middle of a shot and it looked great. :P But that's much more heavy duty than these tiny quick release jibs. *shrug*
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Selakovich
Huh? You lost me. Aren't we talking about attaching the crane to the fluid head, and not attaching the fluid head to the crane? Which brings up another excellent point. If your fluid head is holding the crane, you can't use it on the camera end of the crane!

Dan
That's what I meant. I would never attach my crane to an expensive fluid head. I'd be worried that I'd damage it somehow by the extra stress that's placed on it. From what I can tell, most of the cranes that attach to a tripod head in this way, the weight is not centered over the head but it's hanging way off to the right so it kind of creates a torsion effect. That's why I use my 501 head. It's heavy duty enough to support the weight of my crane and smooth enough for tilts.

I have mounted a mini Manfrotto 128RC head on the camera end of the crane though. This gives a really smooth boom up and pan shot with the crane. This is not quite the same as swinging the crane to the left or right as that moves in kind of an arc.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #10
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Pretty much in agreement with what's been said here. I myself use an old Bogen 3036/3038 system with my crane. Would never even think about setting it up on my Vision 3.

The tripod and head are officially rated for 26lbs max load. I can assure you that with an XL2, the counter weights and the crane itself, it goes beyond that mark, probably more in the 30-35lbs range.

That's where Bogen's overengineering comes into play. This thing is built to last. I'm playing a bit with fire by putting that kind of load on this tripod, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you're doing, but I've done extensive testing before doing so with even much heavier loads. Of course, I can kiss the pan head's smoothness goodby after that, but I took that into consideration. This tripod is exclusively used with the crane.
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