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Old August 8th, 2002, 10:15 PM   #1
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Varizoom VZ-Pro LX Lens Control

I need some input on these new lens controllers. I have the older version with the rocker which is a bit stiff. Are these new zoom buttons very sensitive or still firm to the touch?
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Old August 9th, 2002, 08:19 AM   #2
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Varizoom Buttons Stick

Hi James,

I've been using the VZ-Pro LX for several months and continue to have problems getting consistent control of the zoom function. I tape auto races and use the zoom while recording all the time. The buttons are not stiff, but don't seem to activate until fully depressed. This is not a problem, but often the buttons are intermittent, more so with one than the other. Also, if side pressure is exerted on the button while fully depressed, the function will start or stop unexpectedly. A very annoying feature.

I have contacted VZ regarding this problem and the controller has been replaced once already, but the replacement has the same problem.

If used with the XL1S, these units will not allow the camera to go into Stand-By mode. I reported this problem to VZ late last year, but as far as I know, it has not been resolved to date. If anyone has an update on that, I'd like to hear about it.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 09:43 AM   #3
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I have the same unit with XL1S I have exactly the same problem, very inacurate zoom control never reacts the same way,
depending on how you push those 2 buttons, very dissapointed in that respect, it just doesnt respond smoothly.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 02:38 PM   #4
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I have the VZ Pro L controller and have been reasonably happy with it for the past year.

But these are expensive gizmos, guys. Some folks don't even spend that much for their cameras. (Your Pro LX is even pricier than mine.) Clearly you're having troubles with them. It's not my business, but I'd encourage you to call Varizoom to complain...persistently. Perhaps they have a fix for the units. (Ed doesn't seem to have had much luck on this front so far.) Perhaps they'll even take them back. But wheels that don't squeak don't get oiled.

Good luck to you.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 07:54 PM   #5
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You are correct Ken, they don't know the problem exists unless we tell them. I haven't complained yet because I thought that with use, the buttons might start working and also since the second unit seemed to behave the same way, maybe there was a problem with the camera. The post by George is the first I've heard of someone else having the same problem, so maybe it's time to give them a call. Thanks.
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Old August 10th, 2002, 12:47 AM   #6
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VariZoom fixes available

VariZoom does have some solutions and explanations for some of the topics mentioned.

James Emory

1. Older Pro-L with stiff rocker: VariZoom developed a soft rocker for the Pro-L about 2 years ago. You can call and the service center will ship you a new soft rocker free of charge. You can change it yourself or we can do it for you.

Please call the VariZoom office toll free at 888-826-3399 and ask for Tom.

george goltz, Ed Frazier

2. VZ-ProLX buttons
The VZProLX buttons do require more pressure then the soft rocker on the ProL. We have many customers that wouldn't trade the VZProLX for anything else and have no trouble with the buttons. We have had some complaints about the buttons from others and those customers would usually opt for the VZProL. I myself prefer the ProL over the ProLX for just this same reason but not everyone feels the same way.

Please call the VariZoom office toll free at 888-826-3399 and ask for Tom.


3. VZ-ProLX with XL1S
Although the control was designed for the XL1 it was not designed for the XL1s. The XL1'S came out after the control and it was reported by some users that the standby feature did not work properly when used together.

VariZoom quickly addressed the problem and soon after the new products were fully compatible. We can update your controls.

Please call the VariZoom office toll free at 888-826-3399 and ask for Tom.

VariZoom has a toll free number not just for orders but also for customer service. We appreciate all customer concerns and feedback. Let us know about it and we will take care of it.

Tom
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Old August 10th, 2002, 01:46 AM   #7
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Now -that's- what I call customer service! Spoken directly from the source, no less! I'm impressed.
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Old August 10th, 2002, 07:29 AM   #8
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Thanks Tom for the prompt response. Customer support at Varizoom is as good as it gets and I blame no one but myself for not getting these problems resolved sooner. I'll be giving you a call real soon.
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Old August 11th, 2002, 08:50 PM   #9
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VZ-Pro LX with soft rocker?

Howdy Tom. I had spoken with you a while back about the VZ-Pro LX getting a rocker instead of the buttons. Is this still a possibility? It sure would be nice to a soft rocker, data switch and the +/- all on one unit. Also, have you considered an optional version of the VZ-Pro LX adapting the orientation of the grip handle, at least for jib operation, so that it's 90 degrees to the weight bar rather than parallel? That would be oh, so nice!
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Old August 13th, 2002, 05:27 PM   #10
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I'm looking to get one of these controllers, and if someone could clearly lay out the differences (price as well as features) between the available ones (for the XL1s) that would be a big help.
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Old August 13th, 2002, 11:11 PM   #11
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Here's your short two-minute pocket guide to downtown VariZoom.

All LANC controllers (Stealth, Pro-L, Pro-LX, PG-L) have remote variable-speed zoom, focus, record start/pause, wakeup from standby, clamp for tripod pan-handle.

Stealth: about $230: most compact, least expensive. Zoom speed cannot be locked in. About three speeds in both directions, actived by pressure-sensitive throttle-style toggle.

Pro-L: about $370: basic controller, heavy-duty tripod pan-handle clamp, focus buttons on bottom. Speed control dial accesses all camcorder zoom speeds and lets you "set and forget" the zoom speed, or change speed while you zoom. Rocker activates zoom but is not pressure sensitive (in other words, doesn't matter how hard you mash down on the rocker).

Pro-LX: about $420: like Pro-L but with separate buttons for wide and tele, instead of a rocker. Speed control dial, like Pro-L. Not pressure sensitive, like Pro-L. Adds some extra buttons for toggling camcorder data display on/off to an external monitor, and rec search forward/backward to cue a tape.

PG-L: about $400: like Pro-L but smaller, rocker for zoom, like Pro-L, speed control dial, like Pro-L. Not pressure sensitive, like Pro-L. Tripod pan-handle clamp elevates controller off pan handle. Option for repositioning the clamping angle. Focus control buttons on the top side with the zoom rocker. This one is my favorite!

For more info, browse the DV camcorder controller pages at the VariZoom website at http://www.varizoom.com/pages/lanc.htm

Hope this helps,
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Old August 14th, 2002, 04:09 AM   #12
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Yes, thanks. Given that I can't control focus on the manual lens with any of these anyway, the PGL or ProL sounds like the way to go. Now what's this razzmatazz about these devices not working correctly? Is this with older models of the controllers only? If I order one today will I be smashing it against the wall in a few hours?
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Old August 15th, 2002, 04:40 PM   #13
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Well, I can only speak for myself, but I've had one (PG-L) for about two weeks, and I now can't figure out how I lived without one. I'm using an XL-1, and zooms use to be a real struggle. I'd routinely need 5 or 6 takes to get a clean zoom with the pressure sensative zoom controls on the XL-1, especially if I wanted a slow zoom. Now it takes a couple of seconds to set the control and the zoom is like glass every time.

It sounds like they've made adjustments for the XL-1s, so I'd expect you to be good to go with one for that camera as well.
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Old August 15th, 2002, 07:27 PM   #14
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I've been using my Pro-LX with my XL-1 for over a year now...no complaints. I also can't imagine shooting without it.
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 08:58 PM   #15
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Does Varizoom still make the VZ Pro-LX?

Apologies if this has been answered before. I did a search and couldn't seem to find it. I can't find any mention of the VZ Pro-LX at the Varizoom Web site. Has it been replaced by the VZ-PG-L? Which one is better?
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