looking at used equipment - Vinten Vision 12 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 26th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #1
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looking at used equipment - Vinten Vision 12

Can anyone tell me about the Vision 12?

I can't find anything on the Vinten site or on the web...

It looks like the Vision 100 took its place - i think.

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Old July 27th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #2
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Vinten Vision SD12

Hi Kevin

Vision SD12 and 22 were both replaced back in 1997/1998. Neither are supported any longer. Their replacements are the Vision 100 and the Vision 250. Details of both are on the Vinten web site.

Peter Harman
Product Manager, Vinten
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Old July 27th, 2009, 04:15 AM   #3
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It's a shame Vinten now don't offer support for their older products, as many of these are built to such high standards that they don't need repairing when they are 'young'. Somebody sold a Vision 12 on eBay (UK) recently and it needed some work on the drag mechanism. Oddly, Vinten do have some of their ancient kit with downloadable service manuals on their site, but not all of them - there seems a batch of 80's products missing? I've got 4 of their older head from the 70s and 80s that still perform as new - and if I break them, that will be the end - rather sad.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 05:35 AM   #4
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Er, Peter............

Interesting response, but not to the question asked.

The guy wants some info on the head in question.

I cannot believe Vinten have simply binned all their files on this stuff.

May I suggest that if Vinten still have files on their old gear, they post it on their web site (take your pick for names - "Golden Oldies" perhaps? No, maybe not).

It's no skin off Vintens nose whatsoever and would go a long way to keep some of this gear going far into the future.

What have you, er, Vinten, got to lose?

You have made it clear Vinten will no longer support this stuff, fair enough.

Equally, you stand by your gear through thick and thin, as I can bear witness to.

I just can't see why you have to "deny all knowledge" of perfectly good Pro gear that just happens to be past it's sell by date.

I think Vinten should re - think their strategy here, and post their complete backlog of info for collectors, avid followers, interested amateurs, broke pro's and yes, even the occasional complete total head job.

[Speaking of which, some guy posted on DVinfo today asking about a Vision 12 head. Do you know, despite an hours trawling the net, not so much as a sausage. Bugger!]

(BTW, I'm still working out which category Kevin is in, don't think it's any of the above, think he's actually a videographer with taste! Welcome to the club, Kevin. Oh, it's a very small club, we meet in a phone booth.).

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Old July 27th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #5
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I'd love to go buy a brand tripod system, but I have limited resources at this point - blew my money on an EX3. My old tripods I used with my standard def cameras just don't cut it with the new camera. So I was hoping to get a used set up for now. I have searched the web for info but in this forum I was hoping to get some impressions of this setup and if there is anything I should look out for, etc... I think this setup was around $4000 when it was new so I was thinking it should be pretty good by today's standards.

I would bet Vinten doesn't post info for this head because they don't have the documents in electronic form - that's pretty common for stuff from the 90's. There is a time when a company just can't afford the cost of making and stocking parts for old equipment and I don't have a problem with that either. That's one of the many reasons old equipment goes cheap.

It does amaze me how much old (and almost unused) equipment is laying around out there, stuff that was expensive in its day. I seen a guy a couple months ago selling "new-in-the-box" sony 3/4" u-matic machines and he had a number of them!
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Old July 27th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #6
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New-in-box old stock.

Sadly, more modern stuff may not enjoy the same legacy support in future as middle dealers and resellers choose not maintain stock levels or simply rely on JIT and act as a import agent. New-in-box is a sort of monument to past practices which came to be deemed inefficient.

Back on Vintens - the top deck on the Vinten 22 is a bit weak. The tongue which engages against the wedge plate tends to crack out upwards through the deck. I took one to an aviation welder however he found the cast aluminium was a bit porous and would not take a TIG weld.

It has been welded previously so somebody found a way to do it, but the weld had failed. I am in the throes of making an insert to replace the damaged tongue channel. This requires machine shop skills and an end-mill.

Some of the bits and pieces inside look like they have been hand-made, very tidily and precisely. The counter-balance springs look like automotive valves springs, Mini-Minor perhaps? I wonder if they were?

The end cover which supports the tilt lockoff is a different story. The casting is thinwalled and complex. It becomes fractured around the lockoff knob if it gets knocked and the material appears to be some sort of dark gray diecast alloy, unweldable.

A patch involving a thick washer and several small short screws would restore the lockoff function however the knob would have to be replaced with a shorter one. The travel limit function on the lockoff lever knob itself would be lost.

When dismantling the head, the little slidling tilt lock, shipping lock or whatever you want to call it, situated above the levelling bubble is vulnerable to damage unless you do it right.

All spring pressure should also be released on the adjustment and the side bar which links the two pivot bars unfastened. Otherwise when the case comes apart, the springs will force the assembly sideways and break the internal latchpin at one of the circlip grooves.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:33 AM   #7
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Vinten Vision SD12

Hi all

A lot of very good points raised here. However, the problem with making all the obsolete product maintenance manuals available on line is that there will be an expectation that the parts are still available from us and that we still offer a return to base mechanical service. The reality is that standard components do go obsolete and we can no longer purchase them, tooling wears and it becomes impossible (or imparactical) to repair and the older a product gets, the more expensive some of the manufactured parts become, and due to the reducing volumes, they become impractical to supply. Unfortunately, spares support for our products isnt like the spare support youd get for a motor car for example. Because the kit is so reliable, the repair volumes just arent there to make it a practical business solution for us or a subcontractor to offer open ended support. When we see this point coming, we make the decision and withdraw support.

My original point was that there are a lot of obsolete bits of kit floating around the world that are being offered as "nearly new" and many of them still perfectly useable and will go on being useable for many years to come. However, I dont want you to be ripped off and i want you to enjoy using your Vinten kit for as long as possible. Ive spoken to several people who have purchased this kit and have found it not to work as it should and we were unable to help them.

All im saying is, before you part with your hard earned cash, ask me and i will let you know how old it is or you could look in the download section of the Vinten web site Vinten | Downloads | www.vinten.com and if the maintenance manual for your kit isnt there, then its safe to say its oficially no longer supported.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:49 AM   #8
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Anytime a manufacturer participates in a public forum they get big points in my book. I was hoping to get a Vinten Vision system when I purchased something else. The Vinten equipment I wanted was not yet generally available when I did buy. I can say for sure that the next time I buy camera support equipment I will be looking to buy Vinten partly because of your participation here.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 03:42 AM   #9
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looking at used equipment - Vinten Vision 12

Internally the Vinten Vision 12 is a very complex piece of kit. Essential to try it before you buy one, and as you are discovering, if it is not working to your satisfaction it is perhaps best to look for something else rather than think it can be brought up to a suitable condition for you. It is, after all, a piece of mechanical kit - it wears - and is now rather old. Worked beautifully when brand new!
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Old July 28th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #10
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Thank to everyone for your help!

I'll test this thing out since I know where to look for cracks. If it works as good as it looks I'll go for it - if not I'm not going to attempt repairs.

Peter, I think that it is a great idea to have company representatives watching these forums and commenting on their products. Any company that isn't connecting with customers (or potential customers) in places like this is missing the best way to advertise and build brand loyalty. In a magazine I can flip past an ad, but here I'm going to read every post when it is in a thread I'm interested in. I think it also lets us know that the company cares about us and will be there to help. Thanks for your time.
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