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Old March 20th, 2002, 12:11 AM   #1
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Vinten Vision 3 Tripod

Have any of you been able to actually get your hands on a Vinten Vision 3 tripod and check it out? There's a photo of it on pg. 56 in the April issue of DV Magazine and it looks pretty interesting (interchangeable counter-balance springs). Adam Wilt seems to think it's pretty good, too. Check out his review at http://www.dv.com/magazine/2001/1101/wilt1101.html

Unfortunately, stores here don't carry it, so I can't get my hands on it to see how it feels.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 12:36 AM   #2
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I did get such a chance several months ago while shopping for a new tripod. As you might imagine, given the price and the brand's reputation, it's very well made and moves smoother than a sled over new-fallen snow. The "springs" that allow you to adjust the drag for different loads seemed like a unique solution, although somewhat gimmicky. (I didn't get a chance to change the springs...the owner didn't know where he put the others <g>)

My choice came down to a Sachtler DV, a Vinten Vision and a Miller DS-10. I chose the Miller. Very smooth head with pretty good drag control, good leg design (I chose the above-ground spreader with aluminum legs), designed specifically for the XL1/XL1s, less $ than the Sachtler, nice soft case included, shoulder-strap mounted on the legs and the case.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 09:06 PM   #3
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I have owned one for over a year---wonderful tripod---very smooth, very reliable----it was worth every penny.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 10:00 PM   #4
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I've since bought one, too. Ditto David's remarks.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #5
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I have a Vinten Vision 3. It rocks. I've used it with palm corders
and shoulder mounted AJ-D400 and DSR-500WS, VX2K and XL1.
(Springs for different weight cameras are like $40 each).

Worth the big dollars imo.

J.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 02:46 AM   #6
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I'm looking for a tripod, and having read many posts here have almost decided on the Vinten Vision 3. Do you order them with a specified spring, or do they come with one particular spring as standard?

Pat
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Old May 26th, 2004, 07:47 AM   #7
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It has been a few years, but I think you order the spring you want.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 11:10 AM   #8
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Yes, you select a spring for the camera load. I bought two springs for different loads.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 01:03 PM   #9
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Yeah, I think the springs are $35 each. We have a #2, #3 and #9.
The cool thing is this tripod will work with everything from a palm corder
to a DSR500.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 02:00 PM   #10
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I see, thanks. Although I'm almost decided on the Vision 3 I'm still wondering how the Miller DS-5 or DS-10 would compare (and I can't easily try them out to see for myself). Both seem well recommended here, but is there any material difference between the two or does it just come down to personal preference?

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Old May 26th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #11
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I went and tried every tripod at NAB two years ago. Sure, Sachtler
and Miller work well, but IMO I found the Vinten to be the smoothest of them all.
That plus the fact that you can use anything from a tiny peewee cam to
a full blown Beta made the decision even easier. I don't think
the miller or sachtler offer that feature.

As always YMMV.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 03:02 PM   #12
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Pat,
I have a Sachtler DV-6, a Miller DS-10 and a Vinten Vision 3 (with single-stage cf legs). (Don't ask.) The Vinten is by far the best and most versatile of the group, as Jacques indicated. Its engineering is simply superb. One attribute of the head that's rarely mentioned is its easy facilitation of motion curves (I'm sure there's a more precise term for it). By this I mean that the head's pan and tilt design basically prevents jarring starts and stops (unless you release all drag for whips). The motion starts with a touch of extra drag for a second and then lets you ease to a soft stop.

But, of course, the Vinten is the most expensive of the group.

The Miller DS-10, while not in the same class as the Vinten, is my next favorite for small cameras. It sets up very quickly, is also very well engineered and manufactured, is easy to adjust for loads and is relatively light-weight. Although it's not as load-flexible as the Vinten its tilt drag and sliding plate offer very good adaptability. As I've noted elsewhere, although I do not need the DS-10 any longer I am still adverse to the prospect of selling it. It's just that kind of equipment.

The best selection for you will really depend on your camera, the amount of precision you need, and of course your budget. But as you're considering your purchase I'll recommend that you be just a bit liberal with your budget on this purchase. As I remind people so often, a good tripod and head will likely long outlive your current camera and probably its next two of three successors.

Good luck and have fun shopping!
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Old May 26th, 2004, 05:45 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback - it seems that the Vinten is the one to go for then. Having bought a range of still camera tripods over the years (starting with cheap and ending up with a rather expensive CF model with a similarly priced head) I do appreciate the value of investing adequately in this area, and the flexibility for future, larger cameras is also a strong point.

I guess I would go for the 2 stage legs, but I'm not sure about whether to get CF or not, considering the price difference. I doubt that the reduced weight is that much of a benefit once the head is fitted. I assume that the CF models would be black, but this isn't clear from the Vinten site or online catalogue.

The illuminated bubble level thingy sounds useful too, although I imagine the spare bubbles are expensive <g>
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Old May 26th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #14
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The cf legs are, indeed, black. One notable attribute of cf legs -vs- aluminum (particularly for video) is that they're more rigid than aluminum legs.

I should also have noted that the Vinten's legs feature a ground-spreader as standard. The Miller's feature a mid-level spreader. You can get a mid-level spreader for any of the Vinten "Pozi-Lock" legs but it will set you back over $600.

Whichever rig you select I recommend that you also get a second camera mount plate for the head. They're ridiculously priced ($60-$75) but if you lose your only plate your tripod is out of business.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 03:10 AM   #15
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I think I'll probably go for aluminium actually - that way I'll only have to sell one kidney to pay for it <g>

The mounting plates and mid-level spreaders are ridiculously expensive, aren't they? Quite a healthy margin on those I would think.

I need to get a zoom controller at the same time, and I'll probably go for the Varizoom VZ Rock that was rated well here. This site is very useful for making informed choices.
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