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Old October 23rd, 2010, 08:31 PM   #16
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Why, thank you Roger............

......for your confidence.

I'll certainly do my best.


CS
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Old October 26th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Couple of problems with your suggestion re larger systems.

The first minor one is that the Sachtler would mean they get two bites of the cherry, tho' the main problem is that the 18 S1 may be rated for 2 kg, but that's at a COG of 150 mm, whilst most rig in use here on DVinfo have a COG no higher than a gnats kneecap.

I know the Sachtler site says they tested it with a HD DSLR rig, but it doesn't say exactly just how pimped the rig was to do it, but I think it must have been extensive.

As for Oconnor, well, as you probably know, the smallest head they do has a minimum counterbalnce weight of 15 lbs at a staggering 14 inches COG. With the light, low COG rigs standard here it could be used as a more succesful space launch vehicle than a Saturn 5 rocket.
I didn`t catch the COG when i looked at the website...but still a 5d, lens, mattebox, rails and a small monitor usually weighs in at more than 2kg, more likely around 3kg. Probably what sachtler tested it with.
Forgot that oconnor`s "smaller" heads are quite heavy duty.

As for who`s getting a bite of the cherry, Vitecgroup will be getting a large bite of that cherry anyway with Vinten, Sachtler, gitzo and manfrotto under their belt.
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As for durability, well, I will, of course be reporting any "It just came away in my hand, Guv." moments, not that I'm expecting many.

Part of the problem is that durability is what it is till you break it, and I feel sure the respective companies concerned would take a pretty dim view of any destruction testing.
I know testing durability is a bit difficult, especially without actually breaking stuff. I feel though that a lot of users skimp on the tripod kit just because a cheaper kit feels almost as good as a miller/vinten/sachtler when completely new, and usually find the kit worn out after a year and still don`t get why the premium ones cost x amount more.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #18
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Chris, I am looking forward to your review of this equipment. I have reached the stage in my work where I need a quality head and tripod for my XHA1. Based on the outcome your writeups, I will make my purchase. Thanks for doing this.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #19
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Au contraire............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Magnussen View Post
I feel though that a lot of users skimp on the tripod kit just because a cheaper kit feels almost as good as a miller/vinten/sachtler when completely new, and usually find the kit worn out after a year and still don`t get why the premium ones cost x amount more.
I don't agree, to be honest.

I believe the real reason behind most cheap support purchases, apart from finance, is ignorance, pure and simple.

I don't have the numbers, but I believe that if you exclude those who simply cannot afford a better system even tho' they may know far better systems are available, 99% of cheap system buyers have never seen or used a pro level tripod and head, so are simply utterly ignorant of the different handling characteristics and build quality of a pro system.

Given the limited chances most, if not all, buyers have to get "hands on" experience before they lay out the readies, and the camera supports cinderella status, seen but not written about by practically anyone till the last couple of years, how is anyone supposed to get educated in the realities of this weird market?

When I say "weird" I mean it. Vinten or Sachtler release a brand new support system, how many reviews will you see (well, apart from mine if I can prise a unit off them)?

Pick a camera, any camera in the pro or semi market. How many reviews? Bods fall over themselves across the planet for every single release. Then look at the respective hit and post rate of new camera releases here on DVinfo and compare that to the same figures for my latest VB review.

So few of the people buying these semi pro or consumer cameras even bother to drop into the camera support forum here on DVinfo, it's something of a joke.

To be frank, unless every camera review on the planet was opened with the phrase: "Your camera is only as good as your camera support", I don't see things changing much.

BUT, at least the information IS starting to become more available, which is a major leap forward.

That old saying "You can lead a horse to water etc..........." holds here, but I'll keep on doing my tiny bit to keep the info flowing, just in case.

Of course, there is a historical background to all this.

Go back 20 years or so. Who, apart from the broadcasters and film makers on big ticket items would have need of such pro camera support? Practically no one.

Fast Forward to today. Joe Blow just about anywhere on the planet has access to camera technology undreamt of, even by the broadcasters of 20 years ago, at prices that are peanuts compared to their image quality.

What does Joe Blow know about film making and what it really takes to do it properly?

Zilch.

Which is where this "I just bought an xyz123 HD camera for $10k, what tripod can I get for $200 or less?" comes in, ignorance, pure and simple.

I'll keep chipping away, but I can't make that damn horse drink if it doesn't want to.


CS
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Old October 26th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #20
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Sorry, Ed.............

You obviously posted whilst I was penning that last opus, so I missed it till now.

The XH A1 market is pretty well where I want to concentrate for this, as that is far and away the biggest growth area in the semi pro realm.

The Vinten VB did a good job, but I, personaly, am really interested to see how the competition fares, it should be one heck of a shoot out if I can put all my ducks in a row with it.

Right now I'm still trying to catch the little quacking buggers, forget rows or even rowdy.

Never fear, I'm incredibly persistant (a little like Agent Orange with a keyboard) and don't know the meaning of "no".

I would, however, be a little more sanguin if I could establish just where, exactly, my UK fixer in all this has dissapeared to, a bit of a worry and no mistake.

I'm working on it.

If the need for a new support means decisions being taken before this bears fruit, don't hesitate to ask.


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Old October 27th, 2010, 01:46 AM   #21
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Chris, do you have an rough ETA on the shootout, given some assumption for getting your hands on the various contestants?

I've been watching B&H on the Vision Blue. They now have pricing but no details or believable delivery time frame. It's stuck on "Usually takes 2 - 4 weeks". It's unusual for B&H to not be really clear, but they only show a small portion of the tripod with a title like "Vision Blue Mid Level Spreader" which isn't even clear whether the item includes the bag or head, but the item number indicates the complete kit.

Did Vinten give you a physical release date for production hardware to outlets?
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Old October 27th, 2010, 02:10 AM   #22
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Heya Chris,

If you can make it up to Chch, I can put a miller ds-10 and a vinten vision 8 under your camera. And a 501 as a "base model". I have some other mates with stuff like the ds-20 that I could probably talk into a loan.

Another option is to put you on the end of my crane and I'll do the figure 8 with you AND the heads while you try to keep the subject centered in frame. Instead of how well you can trace a line, the videos would show the subject staying in the same place as the perspective changed, so it would be pretty easy to see when a tripod stuck or jerked.

Just a thought.

cheers,
-a
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Old October 27th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I don't agree, to be honest.
I believe the real reason behind most cheap support purchases, apart from finance, is ignorance, pure and simple.

I don't have the numbers, but I believe that if you exclude those who simply cannot afford a better system even tho' they may know far better systems are available, 99% of cheap system buyers have never seen or used a pro level tripod and head, so are simply utterly ignorant of the different handling characteristics and build quality of a pro system.
I think it's ignorance, but also blind optimism. Every tripod purchase I made, in hindsight, was 90% optimism. "It costs 200 more than the last one, this is the ultimate". I knew that the Sachtlers, Vinten Visions etc. were the best, but I didn't think I had to spend that sort of cash to get good performance.

I had this debate with some "dabblers" at work when I was getting my Sachtler packed up for sale. They couldn't believe how much the tripod cost, and why on earth anyone would need that. Some of them were half-convinced when they felt the quality of the action, but still couldn't believe it. They probably think that the image stabilisation in their tiny camcorder is enough.

Another thing is the procession of tripods that appear in Asda, Argos and Jessops with "Pro" in their name that somehow makes people think they are professional level. A well-meaning friend, knowing that I'm a video hobbyist, told me excitedly about the really great "pro" tripod in Asda... a Hama model for 20!

It's been said before, electronics get cheaper and better all the time, but it's impossible to miniaturise and cheapen high quality physical engineering like a tripod.

I'm now back on a 501HDV which is... er, interesting. A smaller Sachtler FSB or second-hand Vinten Vision is on the cards after Christmas, I can't stand the pain...
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Old October 27th, 2010, 04:00 AM   #24
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Hi, Roger...............

I've already posted here on DVinfo that the B&H web site has made a dogs dinner of the VB release, why, I simply don't know.

Having pointed this out to B&H, the answer was the much expected, well, here it is in person:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Chris, my name is Dennis L:

Thank you for contacting the E-Mail Sales Department at B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio.

At this time we don't sell the complete Vision Blue line. I do not have information as to when we will be carrying them. Please check back soon.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can assist you with.

Thank you, we appreciate your business.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About as much use as a bucket on the Titantic.

More than that I cannot say, as I simply don't know.

I can't even get in touch with Peter Harman at Vinten to find out what he knows, as he's dissapered without trace.

As for the shootout, heck, who the hell knows?

I've somehow got to get Vinten, Sachtler, Libec, Miller and Manfrotto to even agree to the whole idea first, and that's possibly why Peter has suddenly done a runner, gone missing or been done away with, as the others were after his whatsits for suggesting it in the first place.

The last information I had was that VB would be available by the end of September, and a fat lot of good that info was.

I'm getting more than a tad cross, as this is now starting to reflect badly on me, which I take great exception to.

B&H should get their act together and sort it, pronto. Their sites presentation of VB is a disgrace, they've been told, you've read the response, utter bollocks.

Sorry B&H, you've got my mail and phone number, if you need my help to get your web site updated, get in touch, but for now, it does you no service whatsoever.

Don't know where you are just now Henry (Possner - from B&H) but I'd make a well overdue visit here and start kicking some serious butt back at home base, as this rediculous example of auto response to a mail enquiry is what makes serial killers out of "just plain folks" (tho' as I'm not "just plain folks" and am on the other side of the planet, I don't think anyone has too much to worry about on my account).

Roger, I appologise that VB isn't available, and heck, all I did was review it!

However, I feel let down all the same, as this should have gone off with the usual Vitec "smooth in motion" sale intro, and somewhere, it's simply fallen off the truck.

If I can ever get anyone at Vitec to respond to mails, maybe I'll know more, but for the moment, I'm blind on this.


CS
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Old October 27th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #25
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Chris,

I don't think anyone is associating your brand with the Vision Blue release hiccups. You test drove a cool pre-production model. Now it's their responsibility to manufacture and coordinate with their outlets to deliver.

As I look at the landscape of cameras and tripods, I'm seeing a different playing field for tight budget decisions. I was a long time XHA1 user and tried various "mid-line" tripods like the 503HDV and Marshall M25. Strangely the lowly Velbon 607 out performed them consistently with smooth pans and tilts and costs only $70. It and the others were unreliable for smooth continuous footage where you have to actually show the start and stop of pans and tilts. So let's say for the time I had a good prosumer camera and smooth-when-moving tripod for $3,000. A camera with good controls and good image were important.

With a similar budget and today's options better outcomes are possible; we're being drawn into a 2 camera world. A small sensor camera to faithfully capture broad shots and uncontrolled action with forgiving focus, and a large sensor camera for art and emotion. So with a small budget, for artistic purposes one might choose a great tripod and a t2i and some good glass, or for continuous footage using a great tripod and a Panasonic TM700 camera. Or..... get both cameras, one great tripod like the Vision Blue, a monopod like the Bogen 561 for highly mobile highlight footage, and a cheap tripod like the 607 for unmanned or low-manned wide cover shots when using both cameras simultaneously. That goes a little over $3,000, but not by much.

In brief, removing the jitters, shakes, spring-back, and providing smooth pans and tilts is the next step for me to improve my footage. Even with more money it seems smarter than than upgrading from a 7D to a AF100 or replacing my now sold XHA1 with a XF300 or EX3R and using a cheap support.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #26
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I am not a pro, but here is what works for me and my teen-aged son:

HDV

Sachtler FSB-6 on Sacther CF legs (with mid-spreader) for XH-A1s
Sactler FSB-2 on Gitzo CF legs for HV 40 (tripod costs more than camcorder, but results speak volumes. The Gitzo leg set w/ 75 mm bowl has no spreader, but is rock-solid, light, and can "go low" )

DSLR

The Sactler FSB-6 for Canon 7D's
The Sachtler FSB-2 for my son to use with his T2i (without too much additional adds - The eventual Marshall montitor will somehow be mounted on the tripod leg and not on the T2i)

The new Sachtler DSLR release plate will be available separately in November, and is supposed to also fit the side-release FSB heads, so I have one on order from Film Tools.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #27
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Availability of Vision blue

All i can tell you right now is that the we (I) inderestimated the initial demand. I know for certain that the USA & our distribution centre in Germany took delivery of a bunch of Vision blue systems only yesterday and there are more on the way.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 01:59 AM   #28
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News....................

I have had it confirmed, a couple of days ago, that Sachtler will be contributing to this shootout.

They have suggested the FSB 6, I've countered with the FSB6 AND the CINE DSLR.

However, as Barbara in Germany has buggered off on what is probably a well earned holiday, negotiations have gone somewhat quiet.

I'm curently writing to the distributors for Libec, Miller and Manfrotto to see what I can prise out of them.

On another subject, spent a very enjoyable day at the Wingatui Races today

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/80...gatui-race-day

and SKY Sports was all over the place like a rash.

Took it on myself to do a trawl of the many camera locations set up (tho' unattended every time I visited, trusting buggers) and discovered they were using Grass Valley HD camera's with Canon lenses on Miller sticks and heads, linked back to the OB van on HD SDI links.

First time I've ever seen a Miller, and there was a forest of the things.

Was pretty pissed I couldn't find a cameraman anywhere, as I really wanted to have a play with what was obviously the most recent purchase in the head department, nope, didn't get an ID of what it was.

Just goes to show tho', even the pro's can really screw up.

That latest head was sitting on a pretty decent set of sticks, with (gasp) a ground level spreader, on grass!

I gave it a bit of a push, and sure enough, rock and roll or what!

Amazing, this stuff is being beamed across the planet and they have a GLS on grass.

It did cross my mind (very briefly, mind) to borrow the entire setup for this review, but figured SKY might get just a tad pissed with losing 50 grands worth of camera and support.

But hey, I've actualy got to see a Miller in the flesh!

More news as it comes in.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; November 2nd, 2010 at 09:59 PM.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 02:39 PM   #29
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Out of selfish reasons, I'd like to see a Miller Arrow 25 with the Carbon Fiber Solo VJ legs included in the shootout if possible...

Cheers,
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Old November 4th, 2010, 12:10 AM   #30
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Ducks starting to line up.............

Just had word Miller is on board, system as yet undecided (shall keep your request in mind Leo, but I'll go with Millers choice for the category we're aiming at, tho' once this massive opus is done and dusted, I'm sure there will be other kit to review).

Contact with Manfrotto has been had, they're thinking about it.

More as it happens.

Keep your collective fingers crossed, I might just pull this off.


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