Legs for Vinten 3AS and sony Z5u at DVinfo.net

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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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Legs for Vinten 3AS and sony Z5u

I'm looking to purchase the Vinten 3AS head for my Sony Z5u and would like a set of legs to accept the 75mm ball for this combo. I'm thinking of legs with a mid-level over the ground-level spreader system in the range of $1000 to $1500. Any suggestions for these legs and what would the benefit be to get the ground level system in the same price range?


Thanks in advance for you advice.

Melvin
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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Hi Melvin.................

Go for a set of Vinten sticks (a), preferably 2 stage (3 section) (b), CF (c) if you can find the ponies and a 100 mm bowl if possible (d). Oh, and a mid level spreader (e).

(a) the Vinten clamp knob is pretty chunky and can cause problems on some makes of non Vinten sticks. Unless you're hard into Russion Roulette with your wallet, stick to Vinten. Besides, they make pretty good sticks.

(b) 2 stage, three section gives a smaller knocked down size at the expense of a bit of extra weight and also allows the minimum set height to be lower.

(c) CF is more rigid than aluminium and is significantly better at soaking up vibration. Of course, it puts a bigger hole in said wallet.

(d) A 100 mm bowl tripod is inherantly stronger and thus more rigid than a 75 mm bowl unit. A simple Vinten 100 mm to 75 mm adapter is all that's required to use a V 3 AS on a 100 mm tripod.

In addition, whilst you can put a 75 mm head on a 100 mm tripod bowl, you can't put a 100 mm head on a 75................. (you never do know what's going to happen down the track!).

(e) A floor level spreader really only works on a floor, it's useless out in the wild, on grass or any other non flat surface.

A mid level spreader offers more support to the leg centre sections where most of the twist (non leg/ head interface twist, that is) comes from.

The Vinten "Spread Loc" mid level spreader that comes standard (in the kits, not with bare sticks) includes a set of rubber soled feet to stop those foot spikes damageing delicate flooring materials.

If you find you do need/ want a floor spreader down the track, buy a cheap Manfrotto unit, as they fit the Vinten spiked feet and will save you a bomb, else buy a dolly with lockable wheels, same thing just easier to move around.

All of B & H's Vinten kits here:

Tripod Systems

tho' if you want to go 100 mm bowl, you'll probably need to make your own kit.

100 mm bowl Vintens here:

Tripod Legs


CS

PS: Bear Trap Alert!

Make sure you are comparing apples with apples in your quest.

All of the kits come complete with some sort of spreader, and of course, the head and sometimes even a case, all factored into the cost.

The sticks alone DO NOT come standard with a spreader (even tho' the photo's usually show them with one) and those SpreadLoc spreaders are eye wateringly expensive. The floor spreaders ain't cheap either. Add the head and a bag and that initial moderate cost soon goes through the roof.

You have been warned.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; February 17th, 2010 at 11:04 PM. Reason: ++Update
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Old February 18th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #3
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Vinten tripod system

Chris,
Thank you for your very helpful response. You and others like you are the reason that the DVinfo Forum is the best place on the internet for amateurs to receive good sound advice to questions that will move them in the right direction in their Video pursuits.

I've decided, from your advice, on one of two systems, the Vinten V3as-ap2m 75mm aluminum system ($2632) or the Vinten 3772-3 100mm CF legs with the Mid-Spreader, 3AS head, bag and 100 to 75mm adapter ($3147). Since Vinten made the head I guess it would be to be wise to purchase their legs with little worry of product mismatch on the fit.

The V3AS-ap2m aluminum system is about $150 over what i was expecting to pay for both the legs and head. The 3772-3 CF system would be about $650 more than what I expecting to pay for both items. With that being said, for that extra amount would the CF system be $650 better than the aluminum one?

Or, I guess if looking at it another way, would the strength of the CF legs with the 100mm bowl for ($1220 w/adapter) be noticeably stronger and $370 more rigid than the aluminum legs ($850)?


Melvin
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Old February 19th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #4
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Hi.............

Ah, good questions.

I'm guessing (educated, however) that the 75 mm kit is using the 3774 - 3 sticks which weigh in at 7.1 pounds on their own.

The 3772 - 3 CF 100 mm set weighs in at 5.7 pounds.

Given the difference in strength between Alu and CF, I'd say they'd be about even on leg warp.

Where the 100 mm CF set has the advantage is:

1. The 100 mm bowl is decidedly more rigid, no matter what material it's made of.

2. The 100 mm CF set is actually 1.4 pounds lighter than the 75 mm Alu set, every bit helps.

3. You can, down the track, use the CF set for a 100 mm head if required, saves you an upgrade, and that ain't cheap.

At this point I lob the ball straight back over the net and put the same questions to you, do the above advantages make $650 look like a good deal to you?

My answer would be an emphatic yes, but I ain't you, and I'm ever mindfull that starting out in this business is a VERY expensive process and there are probably a lot of other things on your "aquire" list that could use that $650.

If money is of no concern, go for it. If you've got a wireless set/ mic's/ lights etc etc etc on your "to do" list, maybe not.

Whatever you do, you have a first class support system, tick that off your list.


CS
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Old February 19th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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525s work

I've got a 3as head on some Manfrotto 525 legs(had them already). The knob dosen't get in the way when I close the sticks unless the knob was way tightened (I just loosen it a 1/10 turn and they close fine. The price is great on the 525s since it comes with a ground spreader for around $450 US. Paul Kellet has the same set up and I think he said there was some flex in the 75mm Vinten sticks and not the 525s. I did notice some flex in my legs but it doesn't affect anything. That said, Vinten makes exceptional stuff and if the legs are as good as my 3as head you can't go wrong. I've got a Z5 on the tripod too and if you use it stripped to minimal weight you should lossen the stock (green) spring some. Actully contact Vinten and they'll send you the orange #4 spring to change out though this is how Vinten is sending all new heads now so you may already have the orange spring in there
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Old February 20th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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And the winner is.....

Chris and Rich

I ordered the Vinten 3772-3 Cf system in hopes that it will be a stronger, more rigid and lighter than the Aluminum system as well as if upgrading in the future I will have the 100mm bowl legs (like having 2 legs in one). Being a newbie as I am, cost is a factor but value for the dollar is more important. Where should I start looking for a wireless mic system (UWPV6/4244 suggested by Sony at $700)

Thanks for all of your advice.

Rich, I do not know about the Vinten heads or for that matter any heads, so when you say that the green spring should be swapped out for the orange #4 one because of what I'm thinking that you mean that it might be too stiff. Then, are their additional cost involved and is this a easy swap?

Thanks,

Melvin
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Old February 20th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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Spring saga.............

I got one of the pre - production V 3 AS heads about this time last year, in order to do the review you'll find in the "Articles" section.

One of the things that became obvious was that the spring then fitted as standard (and used on the earlier production models) was too strong for the lower COG camcorders like the Cannon XH A1/ G1 and even the Sony EX1.

This was something of a shock for Vinten, who collectively realised that they had inadvertantly cut a huge chunk of the camcorder market out of possible contention with even their lowest priced head.

Peter Harman, the Product Manager at Vinten UK (and a DVinfo member - hi Peter!) instituted a rapid revision and the production spring was changed for a lower strength one.

I can't tell you how much it changed as he hasn't sent me one yet (tut, tut), but as soon as he gets around to it (hint, hint!) I'll let everyone know.

I'm under the impression that should you (somehow) get one of the intitial run of heads, Vinten will supply you with a replacement spring gratis and instructions on how to change them over, apparently a very simple procedure.


CS
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Old February 20th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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Anxiously waiting

I'll let you know in about 7 to 14 days when all my pieces arrive from B&H if I have the correct spring installed.

Hopefully I will not have to wait another year to receive a spring so that I can use the V 3AS head that I am anxiously waiting for today!!

Maybe you can contact Mr. Harman, if the springs are not correct for the lower COG cameras, and he could post a statement as to what Vinten is planning to do for future V 3AS customers as I see them being quite upset after paying that type of money for their V 3AS Head.


Melvin
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Old February 20th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #9
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He already has...............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvin Baggs View Post
he could post a statement as to what Vinten is planning to do
On a couple of occasions.

All you need do is e - mail him at:

Peter.Harman@ VitecGroup.com

and ask for the new spring, he'll arrange for one to be forwarded from the nearest Vinten office to you.

This is just a guess but I'm pretty sure that getting a V 3 AS with the old spring from somewhere like B&H would be exceedingly unlikely this far down the track.

It would be usefull however if he could post how, exactly, one goes about checking the spring colour, as even I haven't figured out how to get that spring shroud off and I'm not resorting to brute force as I know for absolute certain I have the old spring.

(Not for long tho', hey, Peter?)


CS
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Old February 21st, 2010, 04:14 AM   #10
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Tilt the tripod head back, see the round plastic disc underneath, pop that off with a thin bladed knife, there's the spring. You know see a washer with an allen bolt in the middle, undo allen bolt, remove washer, lift spring, that's it done, to fit spring do the reverse, however
FIRST OF ALL
before removing allen bolt and washer, tighten allen bolt and count the number of turns to full tighten, this is how the spring is factory adjusted, coming out a few turns will also soften the spring slightly, so this may fix the hard spring problem for some users but not enough for EX1 users.
When my new softer spring went in, if i remember correctly it was tighten all the way then back off 1 and a half turns.

I'm the person who had a home visit from Peter Harman so i saw how to do the change.
Vinten's customer service is very commendable with this issue and i found Peter very easy to deal with.

Paul.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvin Baggs View Post
Chris and Rich


Rich, I do not know about the Vinten heads or for that matter any heads, so when you say that the green spring should be swapped out for the orange #4 one because of what I'm thinking that you mean that it might be too stiff. Then, are their additional cost involved and is this a easy swap?

Thanks,

Melvin
Vinten sent me the spring for free. It was real easy. If you get a new production run (not sure if thats happened yet) the head may already have the orange spring. I was able to get OK balance with the green spring but I get pretty much full perfect balance at all angles with the lighter spring. When my Z5 is stipped down its about 5.6 lbs I sometimes load it up to 6 1/2-7 lbs and it balances good at that weight with the green spring. The lighter orange one give me good balance across my entire camera weight range.
BTW the Vinten instructions to me was back the orange spring off 1 turn. I also got pretty good balnce when I backed the green one out 2 1/4 turns while I was waiting for the orange to arrive
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 07:49 PM   #12
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What do you think about that CC!!

Chris,

Before I could get my hands on my new V 3AS, or even email Peter with my potential concerns, he made contact with me and stated that he would be mailing out the updated spring. Now thats what I'm talking about Customer Care driven by Customer Concern.

Paul,

I say Ditto's to your view about Vinten's "customer service being very commendable" and that was a nice wedding link.

Rich and Chris,

How in the devil do you get the quotes in the box before the written message?


Melvin
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Old February 24th, 2010, 01:47 AM   #13
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Er, like this?.....................

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvin Baggs View Post
How in the devil do you get the quotes in the box before the written message?Melvin
Hit the "Quote" button then the "reply" button. It will load you into the "reply to thread" box and simply delete what's not required, er, not the stuff in square brackets, needed for er, stuff.

Place the cursor where you want and go for it.

As for Peter (Batman on Steroids) Harman, I thought he might be tracking this thread, tho' I'm never sure if he's in the office or off in some far flung corner of the planet flogging Vinten stuff to deserving (and gratefull) bods.

I keep saying Vinten have the best CC I've ever known, no one seems to believe me........... guess they've just forgotten what true CC is actually about.

Glad you shared that titbit.


CS
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Old February 24th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #14
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Note that the "quote" button is not on the last post in the thread, as we're not supposed to quote the message immediately preceding ours -- it's understood that that's what we're replying to.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 08:31 PM   #15
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Here Goes...my first attemp at Quotes

[QUOTE=Chris Soucy;1490198]Hit the "Quote" button then the "reply" button. It will load you into the "reply to thread" box and simply delete what's not required, er, not the stuff in square brackets, needed for er, stuff.

Place the cursor where you want and go for it.

Hope this works.

Melvin
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