Calling all Vinten Vision "x" Series Owners at DVinfo.net

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Old March 5th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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Calling all Vinten Vision "x" Series Owners

and potential owners as well.

Here's a chance to have your say!

I'm currently engaged in what could most accurately be described as "a frank and open (but private) exchange of views" with the Product Manager at Vinten UK.

[I shan't print his name as it's entirely up to him to "out" himself if he so wishes - yep, he's a recent new member of DVinfo to boot, they DO keep an eye on what's being said here]

I hasten to add it's all extremely friendly and good natured (he's a charming chap and they're a great company) even if the subject is one he and I have almost diametrically opposing views on.

This partcular subject is one I've mentioned here a few times in the past, and concerns the compatibity of V V "x" series heads with non - Vinten tripods, or, more correctly, the non compatibility thereof.

This is brought about primarilly, but not wholly, due to the design of the bowl clamp (the thing that screws onto the bolt at the bottom of the head to hold it to the tripod).

The design is such that, on non - Vinten tripods, it severely limits the amount of head angle adjustment, has only 1/2 to 1 turn from full lock to falling off and the handle lobes impact the tripod legs when attempting to shut same.

My contention is that Vinten really should offer an adapter/ alternate bowl clamp that is, indeed, compatible with the other major players tripods.

This on the basis that anyone contemplating buying a V V "x" series head is basically faced with a "whole package" purchase of both head and sticks, a pretty steep financial deterrant to making such a move.

This assumes that potential purchasers actually know of this incompatibility, I know I didn't when I bought mine and a damn rude shock it was!

My argument is that if an alternate bowl clamp was available at a realistic price, then anyone wanting to make the move to a Vinten head does not have to worry about the incompatibilty problem.

Vintens argument, and a very valid one at that, is that they design their heads and sticks to offer the best engineering solution possible as a working pair, and any matching of a Vinten head with a non - Vinten tripod is an engineering "compromise" they're not prepared to sanction by offering an alternative bowl clamp.

[I have seriously paraphrased here so forgive me Vinten if I've got stuff out of context or put words in your mouth that you haven't actually said]

Anyway, here's my question:

Purely hypothetical mind.............

Vinten announce absolutely the best, all singing, all dancing tripod head ever.

Wipes the floor with the competition in it's price group, weight range, functions, engineering excellence and bells and whistles.

Absolutely creams 'em.

Makes the opposition look like toys.

It is the last and final word in tripod head engineering.

It is truly a thing of videographic beauty.

It's even perfectly priced.

You want one so bad it hurts.

BUT - you know that because of it's incompatibilty with your current sticks, it's a head and sticks package at double the price, or nothing.

You simply cannot afford the full deal.

Then Vinten announce an adapter/ alternate bowl clamp.

Would you rush out and buy that head and adapter?

Would you rush out and buy a current V V "x" head if there was such an adapter?

My argument is "Yes", Vintens is a pretty definate "No".

(Though they're prepared to be convinced otherwise.)

So, this is a poll, of sorts.

I'd like to hear from everyone, Vinten owners, would be owners - everyone.

I'd like to hear from all the non - member viewers (guests) as well, but can't figure a mechanism for doing so (if anyone does know a way, please tell. No, I ain't posting my e - mail address!)

What's your vote: "Yes" to an adapter, or "No".

Happy voting.

Footnote:

I realise this is a bit of an odd question, as current V V owners have either got around this problem by going Vinten completely (as I have) or have one of the few combinations that don't display the symptoms and thus have no need for such an adapter.

Similarly, if you aren't a Vinten owner, you can't possibly know how good they are, and are probably not looking to buy one anyway, so an adapter is a bit of a red herring.

Stll, it will be interesting to see what the response is.


CS
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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Actually, i could well be in that position right now, i'm not very impressed with my Manfrotto 503 hdv head, the 525 legs are ok though, so i'm thinking of buying a new head, just a head though because at the moment i can't afford the whole package (head and sticks).
I was thinking of either a Sachtler or a Vinten, both do heads with 75mm bowls, so i was presuming it was just a case of dropping the head on and doing up the levelling clamp, however after what i've just read maybe i'll reconsider, maybe it'll have to be the Sachtler.

Paul.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #3
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Hmmmm.

I faced the Vinten dilemma too. I wanted to save money, so I skipped the 1000 Vision 3 and went for a 1600 Sachtler! There must be logic... (Nice CF legs, no need to change springs manually, etc.).

I can't help but wonder if this is purely a "hobbyist" thing. Surely someone in the broadcast industry (thinking of BBC news type people here) wouldn't care about scrimping and saving on the tripod legs? Would you really want to put a Vinten head on Manfrotto legs if you were in the business? When you see press conferences or TV crews in action, it always seems to be Sachtler heads + legs or Vinten heads + legs, rarely is it a mix and match.

I would imagine the bulk of Vinten's work is with the pro people, who don't need to worry about being unable to afford a nice set of sticks.

They probably wouldn't even recoup their investment on the tooling for making a adapter.

I would add - more's the pity! It would be great for us hobby guys who wanted to save a few quid.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #4
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Just a little bit of history. It won't solve your problem but it may help you understand it. There is no international standard for how heads fit tripods. Even the description "100mm bowl" is a problem because the 100mm refers to the diameter of a ball. Depending on where you decide to slice the ball will determine the actual diameter of the bowl in the tripod top and the profile of the thin surface where the head ball meets the tripod bowl. It will also have an effect on how much space is available under the bowl for the clamp knob and have an influence on maximium tilt adjustment.

Once a manufacturer has decided "where to make the slice" he will want to continue with this to allow compatability with his own products.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:02 AM   #5
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Heads don't just have to fit tripods. We have a variety of kit that heads have to fit onto, dollies, cranes, jibs. We use industry standard Euro couplings and bowls. These are made by companies such as Grip Factory Munich (GFM). If Vinten are making heads that don't fit industry standard kit then they're simply not a serious player in the business. Excuses such as "we make systems" and such are just that, excuses for poor engineering.
To date we've not had a problem getting 100mm heads to fit 100mm bowls or 150mm heads to fit 150mm bowls regardless of the manufacturer. Same goes for head and tripod combinations.
Anyone thanks for the heads up, Vinten just got crossed of my list.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #6
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Thank you gentlemen.......

for your responses.

Paul:

You've hit the nail, my argument exactly.

Mike B:

Spot on.

Vinten sells almost exclusively to "the business". As does Sachtler. The "amateur" doesn't really get a look in.

The way the Vitec Group is structured and their individual business models have been laid out, both companies have more or less been told to leave the "amateur" to Manfrotto (I have my sources).

Which is a shame, as both Vinten and Sachtler have a great deal to offer to that market.

Mike H:

Spot on again.

As far as I am aware the ONLY THING that is a "Standard", and I mean, the ONLY THING, is the 4 bolt fixing on the bigger (150 mm) tripods/ heads, "Mitchel Mounts" springs to mind.

Nothing, and I do repeat, nothing else is "Standard".

Bob:

Hmm. Well, what can I say?

That the other manufacturers "non standard" stuff fits yet other manufacturers "non standard" stuff would in itself, given the details, be a miracle.

That you have never found a problem is nothing short of spending a week in Vegas and going home with millions (of dollars) you didn't go with.

I'm curious as to what standard you are referring when you talk of "Euro Couplings"?

Are these supposedly applied to "standard" 75mm/ 100mm tripod bowls and ball heads?

My understanding is that "standard" 75 mm / 100 mm ball heads/ bowl tripods follow NO standard whatsoever, certainly not anything resembling what you allude to.

For 150 mm equipment, as I have said, there is a "Standard" that all the manufacturers would appear to follow.

Below that it seems it is open slather to do "your own thing".

Concluson.

It appears pretty obvious there is no reason to push Vinten to "clean up their act" in this respect, so guess I'll just let it drop (well, as far as DVinfo goes).

Personaly, I'll never let go Vintens leg on this one (er, with my teeth, in case anyone gets a bit excited!) - it's cutting off your nose to spite your face (IMPO), considering the paltry costs involved.

Gentlemen, thanks again for your input, most appreciated.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; March 11th, 2009 at 01:33 AM. Reason: Clarification, Spelling, Houskeeping, etc, etc, etc....
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Old March 11th, 2009, 05:12 AM   #7
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Chris.


As you seem to be a man who seems to have a well developed sense of humour and not easily offended here goes with the tongue-in-cheek rejoinder.


The other manufacturers might see their way clear to adopt the Vinten standard.


The issue might be one of individual manufacturers avoiding infringement of competitors' registered designs and Vinten perhaps being a little more "individual" than the others.

A little negotiation between them all as to establishing a standard might not be out of order.

None of them may be making sufficient numbers of higher-end consumer-prosumer products to recover the investment in retooling.

When some little guys up in Dongguan get it right and start flogging wares that don't slip, break, are able to move controllably, please operators and don't dump expensive cameras into a shattered heap on the ground, I imagine a few of the current industry players may become but fond memories.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:46 PM   #8
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Oh, how true it is...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
When some little guys up in Dongguan get it right and start flogging wares that don't slip, break, are able to move controllably, please operators and don't dump expensive cameras into a shattered heap on the ground, I imagine a few of the current industry players may become but fond memories.
The only thing that suprises me on that topic is why it's taking them so long to get it right.


CS
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Old March 17th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #9
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it's a marketing decision on Vinten's part.

Do you get upset with Apple for not following the microsoft standard?
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #10
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I seem to vaguely recall from history back that Microsoft might have followed the "Apple" standard, things like a graphical interface and pointing devices called mouses.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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hmm - good point Bob, worth a try - but I doubt the other tripod manufacturers will go along.
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