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Old February 2nd, 2012, 09:08 PM   #31
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Whoops, I didn't answer this bit.............

Quote:
If I may ask, what makes a good tripod good?
Another good question.

A more complicated answer than you'd think.

At the end of the day, a compromise between two absolutes.

Rigidity, and it's pal, weight. Everyone is after the first but does NOT want the latter, which is a bit of a bugger as more weight usually (but not always) means better rigidity.

However, just to save on another "War and Peace" volume, it really comes down to the thickness of your wallet, how much weight you're prepared to hump around and how high or low your pain threshold is with wobbly HD images.

There are people here who swear by support gear I wouldn't even give house room to, quite frankly, 'cos I've tried it and think it total rubbish.

I have a pain threshold so low my support gear has cost me a fortune and weighs a ton, but heck, there's no wobbly HD images (unless you're stricken by the limitations below, that is).

Sooo, you'll know if it's a good tripod if you use it and don't wince at the result on that big screen.

But, you know something?

For a standard semi pro and even pro camcorder and support system, it doesn't matter how good the tripod and head are, you're still, God help us, limited by that poxy 1/4" X 20 screw (all 10 cents worth) which connects your X thousand buck support to your X thousand buck camcorder.

Disgracefull, no other word I can use.

Why on earth that hangover from the American Civil War is still the connector of choice for the latest camera supports and HD camcorders is a mystery I will probably never get to the bottom of.


CS
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 09:30 PM   #32
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Didn't understand the second part of that "tripod testing" post, but thanks for sharing your methodology anyway! Very true about a tripod being "good enough for the specific end user" thinking there.

You make a good point about the 1/4" and 3/8" threads, but since the entire industry of us mere mortals with average wallets seem to be doing fine with them, it probably means that there isn't much else to be changed I guess? It is after all the de-facto standard since forever.

-----

Regarding the Vinten VB, I just got a call from the local Vitec contact who checked it out with the store, and quite surprisingly he said he couldn't find anything wrong with it. He said he'll bring the tripod back to the head office and said he would invit me to retest it with his engineers around.

I'm actually quite disappointed with the response because it's not that hard to actually figure out that the bearings / smoothness of the VBs i tested weren't even close to that of my 501HDV due to the scraping sound / vibrations that I felt. Very peculiar indeed.

I will continually update this thread with regards to the retest, should I actually be requested back in a few hours.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 09:58 PM   #33
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Boy, do I want to hear how this goes, 'cos I'm just totally at a loss as to what is going on, and heard nothing from anywhere else on the subject.

Vitec have engineers in Singapore? Amazing. Wonder what they do.

I'll stay tuned for the next exciting episode.


CS
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:43 PM   #34
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Quote:
Didn't understand the second part of that "tripod testing" post.
Not suprised, it was exceedingly complicated.

The bottom line was that for the multi system review I was doing, "I think" wasn't going to cut it, real empirical figures for rotational rigidity had to be produced, and they had to be repeatable and reflect each systems actual ability to withstand windup.

[That there is no "standard" for this test (as far as I'm aware), meant "make it up as you go"]

The deflection of the laser spot, in centimetres, was deducted from 20 to give every system a score. The higher the score, the less they wound up.

All of that data, plus anything else relevant to the four systems (which was one heck of a lot) was compiled into one pretty large database, multi coloured graphs, detailed tables and all, and fired off to Chris Hurd for publication and..........dissapeared without trace.

I must chase him up on that, as it took two of us weeks to compile, and was one heck of a piece of work.

Bit depressing, actually.

I'm sure it will see the light of day sometime soon.


CS
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:12 AM   #35
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Okay I went to inspect the head again at the local Vitec HQ after they tinkered around with it. The technician opened it up and did acknowledge that there was an issue. There were two components that could affect it, and it was going to be either the drag or the bearings.

The technician did loosen the bearings which were deemed too tight, and then put it back together. I arrived soon after and tested it with a friend. The same problem was there, but with a little less noise. There was a grinding effect when panning. Dialling in more drag did nothing to the effect, for better or worse.

This time however, I wanted to also test the tripod legs, not that there was anything wrong with them. They're great. What I realised, though, was that with my left hand lightly touching the legs, I could feel the grinding was more intense than when just using the pan bar to explain.

It was too bad that they didn't have any spare blue demo units around. They did have a vision 3 non a s around and I tested it- none of such issues. Tried the pro touch 6, a rehoused Manfrotto. No issues.

This definitely shows that the heads I tested weren't of the same QC as the others in the Vinten line. For the engineer to actually say that the bearings were a little tight right out of the box clearly shows that there might've been an oversight or carelessness in calibration of the assembly of the blue heads for the batch I'm testing. These things do happen and I'm aware of it - we are all human.

What I have to do is give credit where credit is due. Peter Harman and Derrick Ng of Vitec group were exceptionally helpful in trying to get to the bottom of the issue. Their customer service is top notch and the follow up given was extraordinary. I am very impressed by this, and should I get a cine dslr from sachtler or vinten vision blue once this spectacle is over, I have no doubts that Vitec is a professional company. And if you're buying anything from Singapore, the service from Expandore by Winston was great as well - He actually bought a Sachtler Cine DSLR tripod setup with no obligations of purchase for my testing.


Back to the subject of the thread, this is my second time using Perfect Counterbalance and I'm really liking it. It clearly is more precise than stepped Sachtlers. Whether or not this is the tripod head for me still depends on how I think I'll use the tripod, especially in the next few months. I have yet to actually test a Sachtler head and legs, but my impressions of the quality of engineering (assuming this is a one-batch-off case) for Vintens are high.

Zexun
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 10:27 PM   #36
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Thanks, Zexun.

Exceedingly informative post, glad to have heard "the next exciting episode".

None of which solves your short term problem, I'm aware.

I think I'm going to have to await whatever news might be coming from Peter Harman about just what happens from here with the VB's.

Questions like what, exactly, is the problem, how extensive is it and why didn't QC pick it up, are all going through my head, and no doubt quite a few heads at Vinten as well.

Doesn't look like the dearth of VB's out there is going to be solved any time soon, that's for sure, and is probably going to get worse, if this has affected an entire production run or significant part thereof.

Curious though:

Quote:
I arrived soon after and tested it with a friend.
Did you think to test it with your camera too? (Sorry, it's just that the mental picture conjoured up by that sentence is utterly hilarious, sick sense of humour).

I'm assuming yes, as you had good things to say about the CVCB, though it could have been an exceedingly small friend.

Keep smiling Zexun, we'll get you through this.

Thanks again for the very informative and positive (in most respects) update.

Regards,


CS
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Old February 4th, 2012, 01:01 AM   #37
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Haha, your humour is intriguing. My friend isn't a 3kg midget!

Yeap, I tested it the second time with many different set ups. I also realised that my current rails rig (which I don't use a lot, but might in the future) elevates the camera up too much such that the COG isn't anywhere near 55mm (probably near 100mm) in which case a 3AS would be better. But seeing how rigs can be configured for much less than actually upgrading a VB to a 3AS, I think I'll go that route should I get a Vinten.

I've yet to see if the Cine DSLR or FSB-6 will give me much of a difference in terms of counter balance limits.

It was also quite an eye opener to see their repair and testing facility, with all manner of heads and pedestals there. I saw an O'conner head which, mechanically, looked like an intricate piece of art!

As for the QC or potential issues with other VBs, no one would know. I'm sure even Peter Harman himself can't really have omniscience as far as human error is concerned.

By the way Chris, I was given the Sachtler and Vinten catalogue and the first name I seemed to spot on the VB page was you!

Cheers,
Zexun
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Old February 4th, 2012, 02:30 AM   #38
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Hmm, yeah, that was a blooper I really could have done without, though it happened innocently enough.

I had had "some input" (let's leave it at that) on the VB, no secrets there, pretty well known.

However, things got a bit rushed due to publication/ show dates and Vinten were scrambling for quotes, heck, they would have asked Punxsutawney Phil, if he'd been available (by the time they'd finished shooting "Groundhog Day", he was a one rodent masterclass in camera support).

He wasn't taking calls, it being mid winter, and I just happened to be the muggins at the wrong end of the mail system.

C'est la vie.

You definately need to try the Sachtlers, no two ways about it.

Remind me, where are you with them, is Barbara Jaumann on the case or not?

If not, fire a mail to Barbara.Jaumann@VitecGroup.com and get her on it, she's as hot a Peter Harman with this stuff.

I'll tell you one thing, Zexun (which I think you've already figured out for yourself), there ain't too many companies on the planet that can and will dish up this sort of customer support.

I personally had NEVER seen anything like it till I "met" Peter and Barbara, they are a whole diferent planet away from every other company I've ever dealt with.

You landed on your feet with this one, friend.

Regards,

Punxsutawney Phils Stand In

AKA CS
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Old February 4th, 2012, 03:18 AM   #39
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

I haven't actually contacted Barbara yet because I've been told by the local camera store and local vinten hq that they don't even have any sachtlers available. I've got a contact at a camera rental store and I can probably test a Sachtler FSB-6 2MD next week. Same legs, similarly specced head to the Cine DSLR 2MD with a bit more counterbalancing "strength".

Just that I'm pretty sure I'm stuck with a screwed up 501HDV with a pan bar that's coming loose for my two shoots next week, unless Peter Harman or Derrick from the local Vitec group can arrange something...

I also really appreciate the fact that this was one of the first companies that didn't treat me like a kid even though I'm just 19. Seems like so many people in the industry think that being young means being either cheapskate or unknowledgeable. Not them though.

Zexun

Last edited by Zexun Tan; February 4th, 2012 at 03:57 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #40
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoran Vincic View Post
Mike, that's not true.

I use manfrotto 501pl plates with my Sachtler FSB6 head without any adapter.
Same here with the FSB4.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #41
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Vinten is bringing in a demo unit for the Vinten Vision Blue to compare with the local affected heads.

Also, anyone know the height/cog/weight specs of a Vinten Vision 3 (non AS) with number 4kg brown spring?
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Old February 5th, 2012, 11:55 PM   #42
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

MY answer is no, what little specs there ever were, dissapeared when the V3 was discontinued, and even then, they were pretty flimsy, because of the COG thing (camera's hadn't really started their startling descent in the weight/ COG stakes at that point).

Try it, Zexun and see how you go, best I can suggest, but that's one heck of a spring, think I have one, and it launches anything I'm using (or WAS, they've got lighter since then) into low earth orbit.

If the worst comes to the worst, use a lower rated spring than required for your kit, and use tilt drag to keep it under control.

Hopefully they'll get the testers in time and you can use that.

Should have given Barbara a call, you would have had a Sachtler there by now, I'm not joking, just like Peter, she doesn't muck about.

Although, re - reading your post, at that point in time, all the COG heights were 125mm, you can see where the problems start with todays long, low camera systems?

Keep us posted.


CS
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Old February 6th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #43
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Ah. So the traditional "weight limits" are all referring to 125mm and up?

Like what I messaged you (while you were replying this thread, i'm sorry), I can have a spring number 2 attached. It says there it'll be a 2kg for 125mm COG. Roughly translated to DSLR terms, probably means it'll be about 2.5kg with my low COG setup - which is exactly what my 501HDV is doing at the moment.

Worth a shot, maybe? The VB won't come in on time for my two assignments this week.

Yeah I probably should've contacted Barbara about it. Still haven't tested the FSB-6 from the local rental house yet though, I haven't had the time!

Zexun
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Old February 6th, 2012, 01:44 AM   #44
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Got your mail (hey, even I have to eat sometime!), if they offer you a V 3, grab every spring they have and go for it, see how you get on.

With the low COG gear you have, who knows what's going to work, if anything. It's going to be a complete punt.

A #1 springs (er, sorry!) to mind, if they have one, else simply leave the spring out entirely, make sure it's balanced, set the tilt drag to hold it, and you still have Vinten LF drag in your favour.

Else load it with anything you can think of to give it some more weight up top, anything, heck, fill your sock with gravel and drape it over the camera, if you have to.

I'm not joking BTW, just in case anyone was thinking of having a laugh.

Good luck.


CS
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Old February 6th, 2012, 04:00 AM   #45
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

No worries mate, you aren't obligated to reply fast at all!

I've gotten my dad to try to get a proper cheeseplate done up with 1/4" thread holes so I can mount my quick releases and what naught onto it. Helps increase the weight and raise the CG.

Currently it's pretty balanced on my 501HDV so here's hoping a Vision 3 will work just like that.
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