Vinten Vision 6 vs Vision 3... and counterbalance weight issue... at DVinfo.net

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Old January 18th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #1
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Vinten Vision 6 vs Vision 3... and counterbalance weight issue...

I'm curious if it'd be worth it to get a Vision 6 over a Vision 3 if it was roughly the same cost.

The only problem I'm running into is that my camera only weighs about 4.5 lbs and the tripod's counter balance is 10-22lbs

So would it be worth the hassle to add more weight to my setup (maybe use some old batterys and attach it somewhere I won't notice/won't get in the way?)

Any ideas would be nice, still debating this or buying a vision 3 with #2 spring
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Old January 18th, 2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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Hi Joe..............

Kinda sounds like a line from a 40's movie, don't it?

Not quite sure I understand why you'd want to step up to a V6 when you're camera only weighs 4.5 pounds?

You didn't mention the camera, so I'm running blind with the V3 and #2 spring, but, off the top of my head, the added weight of a V6 plus the weights you'd have to pile on board to get it to work with a 4.5 pound camera is gonna be a gut buster to lug around.

You have obviously sourced a good deal on a V6 else you wouldn't be asking the question.

I think, on balance, it would be one heck of a serious mistake.

The V3 spring thing is hit and miss, it's true, but better to have to pimp/ un - pimp you're existing rig to get it to work with a V3 than go to all the hassle of trying to get it working with a V6.

{At 4.5 pounds, depending on camera configuration, the #2 is probably going to be too strong and some serious "up top weight" may need to be applied to get the V3 working properly. A #1 will be way too weak.}

You could, of course, save yourself all the hassle completely and go for a Sachtler or any other make (Manfrotto 519?) that will handle continuously variable counterbalance for a camera of 4.5 pounds.


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Old January 19th, 2009, 12:52 AM   #3
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Well, it's more like 4.2lbs I think but It'll have a cover over the top that'll weigh about a pound or so. so a little over 5lbs

Oh it's an FX7 btw... sorry heh...

I'm just curious if the pros outweigh the cons... is the V6 a huge improvement over the V3 that it'd be worth the hassle of adding weight to compensate? Or is it better just to get a V3 and go that route till I upgrade the camera?

I was hoping to find a used V3 because I know people take good care of their gear and it shouldn't be too much different from buying new but save a few bucks.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 02:13 AM   #4
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Well........

Right back in your court - what are you using now?

Without knowing that, I cannot say what advantage you'd get from using either of the heads you mention.

Is the difference between a V3 and a V6 worth all the bullshit required to use the latter with a 5 lb camera?

I doubt it, but can't say conclusively, one way or the other, never played with a V6.

Just to add to your woes, what sticks is your current head sitting on?

Vinten?

If not, I really cannot recomend a move to a Vinten Vx series head.

Doesn't work, simple as that.

As for a used Vx, good luck, they tend to die (tho' not necessarily buried) with the owners.

My suggestion:

Tell us what you currently have sitting under that FX7, and ask the collective "us" for the best guess improvement, with the budget you have available.

Don't think I can say fairer than that.


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Old January 19th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #5
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I have 501HDV friction head... for the $400 I paid it's not THAT bad, I made it work... but still

YouTube - Epic Preview 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SV5Fz0e4cQ&fmt=22

Budget, hoping to keep it under $2000 for sticks/head/mid level spreader.

I'd prefer it be a bit cheaper than $2000 though... because I plan to get a hard-case for travel and don't want to pay extra for a case I won't use (I'll just resell if it comes with the package I guess) So was hoping around $1500-1600 (If I got a Vinten Vision 3 I would sell the case + ground spreader it comes with and purchase a mid-level / hard case.

I need it to be very durable as I'm filming paintball and it will get shot a lot, Although it's protected from paint getting inside of it the 3mm neoprene cover isn't going to do a whole lot for the actual impacts. I read about the Cartoni Focus being made out of plastics... which would definitely not do...

The legs I'm not worried about, aluminum is fine for that. Mid-level spreader because I'll be outdoors and a floor-spreader outdoors is kinda silly.

I heard a lot of good things about the Vision 3... so I dunno ?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:06 AM   #6
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Joe,

I went for a Sachtler DV6-SB for my Sony V1 (aka the FX7 in wolf's clothing). In hindsight, and if I could've waited for a few months, I could've went for the lighter FSB-6. The DV6-SB is rated up to 10 or 12kg. No counterbalance springs to worry about either.

Sure, I'd love the Vinten Fibertec tripod that Chris has, but it was just too crazy-expensive for me. Plus the interchangable springs issue on the V3 is just asking for trouble for someone as clumsy as me.

The FSB is more fine-tuneable (if there's such a word):

- DV6SB - 10 steps of counterbalance for 10kg rating
- FSB6 - 10 steps of counterbalance for a 6kg(?) rating. I think it's 6kg anyway. That means you will about twice the granularity of counterbalance adjusting than with the DV6SB,

The FSB-6 can be had with two-stage alloy legs with a mid spreader for around £1000 here, and I've seen it for around $1300-1400 at B&H I'm sure.

In your case, I don't think it's worth the extra for the Carbon Fibre legs. You're not going to be using a 500x lens to shoot wildlife, so the extra twist/windup resistance isn't worth it. The CF legs from Sachtler aren't really that much lighter than the alloys either, so there's little benefit in shelling out the extra $$$.

Don't get me wrong, I love the DV6-SB more than any other inanimate object, I love it more than I love potatoes or Guinness. It is a thing of true beauty. But if I were being sensible (and saving money!), the FSB-6 would be the way to go. You could get a shoulder strap for it and be pretty portable too.

Can you try tripods before you buy? Compare the FSB-6 to the V3 if possible.

The V6 really would be overkill. You don't want something with counterbalance that is overrated for the camera, it would be a pain in the bum before very long. I've been there (thankfully with something much cheaper than the Sachtler or Vinten!) and the only way to resolve it would be to stick 5kg of lead to the bottom of the camera!

Edit: you might even get away with the new FSB-4, rated up to 4kg, with 5 counterbalance steps.
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Last edited by Mike Beckett; January 19th, 2009 at 03:38 AM.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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Iíve not actually tried either stick combos but having used various sticks/head combos over the years my advice to you would be to try and match the balance for you set-up!

For example I own a Sony EX-3 which weighs approximately 3.6kgs with its standard lens and battery! With all my other extras such as microphones, external hard-drives and so forth pushes it up too around 8-10kgs. This suits my Manfrotto 542ART Road Runner Carbon Fibre Tripod with Mid-Leg Spreader teamed with a Manfrotto 526 Professional Fluid Head. However if I want to use the same set-up with my 35mm still lens such as my Nikon 600mm f/4 I find that the Miller HD 925 Legs with 990 Mid-Leg Spreader teamed with a Miller Arrow 55HD Fluid Head is better suited. The lighter set-up doesnít work all that well on this Miller which is rated for weights up to 25kgs while the heavy rig which can get up to 15-20kgs at times doesnít work on my Manfrotto set-up which is rated for up to 15kgs!

The Manfrotto is at times over kill when I use just the base camera and sometime pine for a lighter set-up!

I am a firm believer that a good tripod/head combo will improve your footage but flexibility and ease of use needs to be considered too! My Miller is considerable heavier than my Manfrotto set-up! (Guess which gets used more!).

Your set-up of 4.5lbs is light! Lighter set-ups are often more difficult to balance and control than heavier set-ups so if at all possible take your camera and try it on as many different sticks/head combo as you can and find what truly works for you! Youíll be surprised at what you though you liked and what you actually like if you get my drift!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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I agree that from the information you give, the best choice would be the Sachtler FSB-6:
Sachtler | 0443 FSB-6 Aluminum Tripod System | 0443 | B&H Photo

If you do want the Carbon Fiber legs, here is a link to that combination:
Sachtler | 0450 FSB-6 with 75CF and Mid-Level Spreader | 0450

The Carbon Fiber Tripod has one-touch operation that lets it open and setup instantly.

This head is excellent.

Another good option is the Gitzo 1380 head. It uses the same springs as the Vinten 3, and I think there might be even more similarities. (The Vinten site lists the Sony HVR-V1 to use the Vision 3 and a #2 Spring.) The Gitzo comes with all 6 springs, not just one spring like the Vinten. I use the Gitzo with a #2 spring with a Canon XH-A1. Here is a link to the 1380 head:
Gitzo | G1380 Video Fluid Head (75mm Ball Base) | G1380 | B&H

Here are the typical Gitzo legs used with the 1380 (though any 75mm bowl can be used):
Gitzo | GT3531LSV Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT3531LSV
The Gitzo legs can be changed to a 100mm bowl or a flat top with adapters that are available separately. This is the tripod for ultra light weight.

In any case, as Mike suggests, I hightly recommend you look at the Sachtler FSB-6. It is very good.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 02:44 AM   #9
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Jack - you're right, that's one thnig I forgot.

The one-touch legs are fantastic. There's a single lever at the top of the tripod legs that releases the two stages of the legs. You then just lift the tripod to the desired height, let the legs level extend themselves, and then lock the three levers down.

Fast set-up, and no crawling round the ground trying to fiddle with the locks for the bottom stages of the legs like you do on the alloy version.

It's not an essential feature, but it is just that little bit nicer and faster.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #10
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Sachtler | 0450 FSB-6 with 75CF and Mid-Level Spreader | 0450

I think I may go with that one...

Sachtler | 0442 FSB-6 with ENG75-2D and Mid-Level Spreader

Or that... which is basically the same thing, just the aluminum version...

Hmmm... you guys are making this difficult :P
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Old January 20th, 2009, 03:43 AM   #11
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Joe,

If you can get one with this head: Sachtler | 0407 FSB-6 Fluid Head | 0407 | B&H Photo Video

... I would recommend you think about it. It gives you a better forward/backwards balance range. The other head type you liinked to has a small, neater plate for the bottom of the camera, but the sliding plate doesn't give as much adjustment.

It's a trade off between more adjustment (with the longer plate) and being nicer when you go hand held (with the smaller plate).

It is pretty much personal preference though. I like the small plate (as shown on the models you linked to) because it doesn't stick into my flesh when I go handheld.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #12
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Someone I know bought the Carbon Fiber one, and he likes it very, very much. He did like the one-touch setup.

In my opinion the $200 difference is well worth it. Considering how much the head costs alone, you are still getting a very good deal on the tripod.

In my opinion, the CF tripod is better and worth buying.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #13
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Well I never go hand-held, but I can't seem to find a "kit" with that style of plate.

the problem buying seperate is that the head by itself seems to be $1250, or I can buy a kit with a tripod and bag for a few hundred more... when the legs themselves sell separately for a lot too...

So I dunno... heh...
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Old January 20th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #14
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Hi........

I've been watching this thread unfold with interest.

You've had some great advice, and I definately think you're on the right track.

The "kit" or "seperates" question is a hard one.

The problem with a "kit" is that it's almost always a compromise based on price (not exactly rocket science).

Now, this is easy for me to say as it's not my dime, but the question you need to ask is:

"Am I prepared to make that compromise for a piece of kit that will probably outlast my next 5 cameras and that I will rely on day in and day out for the next 10 to 15 years?"

One thing is certain in this business.

The camera and output resolutions will continue to rise, the lenses will get longer and better and the quality of the support system under both camera and lens will need to be of the highest standard to ensure quality video.

My advice?

Break open the emergency piggy bank and go for the best you can afford.

Nobody has ever regretted buying the best, plenty have regretted not doing so.

Thus endeth the sermon.


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Old January 20th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #15
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Hehe, problem is I do this for fun and it's not a business yet...

I'm 19 with a low-paying job... I could buy something for about 5 grand, but then I'd be broke :)

I wish companies would allow more "customization" with their kits... not always easy to find the legs and head you want, along with spreader and case...

But what can you do? It doesn't make sense to buy them seperate as you end up spending hundreds more than what the kit costs.

Sachtler | 4588 Speed Lock 75 CF Tripod w/ 75 mm Bowl | 4588

+

Sachtler | 0407 FSB-6 Fluid Head | 0407 | B&H Photo Video

=

Sachtler | 0450 FSB-6 with 75CF and Mid-Level Spreader | 0450

Yet you pay a lot more...

Also a good question is, anyone ever use the FSB Cell? Is it any good? Any idea on how much more battery life I'd get?
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