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Old February 6th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #46
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

When you said......

Quote:
"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"
did you mean your Dad made it?

If that photo with the plate of (powder coated?) steel Swiss cheese under the cam is any indication, he's gotta be a bit of a whizz kid in the workshop.

H'mm, wonder if he wants a job?

Don't worry, just thinking aloud, but if he actually made that, I'm really impressed, because it looks like a real Pro piece of kit.

Keep us posted.


CS
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Old February 7th, 2012, 05:57 AM   #47
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Chris,

I have had replies to my question, both from Barbara and Peter. Like you said, they are very dedicated and willing to help.

Let me start with a remark Peter made:

I have to disagree with what your dealer has told you, implying that because of the temperature, that Vinten products “require more servicing”, this simply isn’t true. Yes, the Sachtler product has a wider temperature range than the Vision blue all the way up to Vision 10AS, all of which use the LF drag system, but that’s where it stops. Both brands have pros and cons including the drag system performance.

I think that based on all your recommendations (Barbara, Peter and yourself) I will have to contact the local dealer and arrange testing two tripod systems that I (of course with your help) found at B&H:

Vinten V5AS-CP2M Vision Pozi-Loc Carbon Fiber Tripod V5AS-CP2M

Sachtler 0450 FSB-6T Head with 75CF Tripod and Mid-Level 0450

Both reflect the suggestions Barbara and Peter gave and that would be OK for my rig. But also they have pro's and con's as I understand it. Just giving my initial perception of one versus the other option:

Sachtler pro's: Hugely more attractive price, better temperature range, easy setup with one lever per leg.
Sachtler con's: 2:1:1 legs and stepped drag system.

Vinten pro's: 2:2:1 legs and continuous drag system and a larger payload.
Vinten con's: Very expensive and lesser temperature range.

Now if I plan to film two events, just as an example to help me decide the relevancy of the temperature range versus the drag system, but also indicative of the wide range of situations:

1. St. Maarten the Heineken Regatta on the beach in 30 degree C temperatures in sunny weather (making the effective temps much higher) with very zoomed in shots of the racing boats, and

2. Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen around the Canadian Corner on the ski slope in -15 degree C temperatures with fast pans to follow the racers.

Based on the above and taking into consideration where I'm coming from and that I'm not a professional, but a mere hobbyist, my initial feeling is that Sachtler is the more attractive deal. Of course you get what you pay for, but the price difference is huge. Hard to tell without testing them both, but what is your gut feeling in this situation?

Last edited by Harm Millaard; February 7th, 2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #48
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

@ Chris: No, those cheeseplates were unscrewed from a Gini rig off ebay. They're a two-piece though, so it's not exactly very friendly to the plates if I want them to be anti-twist. Probably will get my dad to just do a simple stainless steel piece.


Anyway guys, big update in terms of experiences.

Tried the Sachtler FSB-6 and FSB-8 tripods on 75mm 2-stage sticks. Fiddly. Not stable enough for me i'm afraid! Heads were great, but like expected, I prefer perfect balance.

I went back to Vitec SG today and they loaned me a Vinten Vision 3as with #1 and #2 screws and a grey pozi-loc tripod with (ugh) ground spreader. I'll be using the #2 screw (2kg @ 125mm COG) for the setup I've attached below.

On testing the head in my quiet bedroom, I could definitely hear the bearings, but the jerkiness wasn't there at all, much different than the Vision Blue heads in question. I'll definitely have a good shoot tomorrow!


@ Harm: Seems like you'll be traveling a lot. Perhaps the Sachtler might indeed be a better idea, even though the legs aren't what I want them to be. Like I said, I tried the FSB-6T head today and it was good but.. the aluminum legs don't instill confidence.

Cheers,
Zexun
Attached Thumbnails
Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?-fb2.jpg  

Last edited by Zexun Tan; February 7th, 2012 at 09:30 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #49
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Harm, you first.

OK, lets tackle this temperature thing head on (sorry!).

I simply can't find the operating temperature range for Vinten LF drag systems anywhere, so I will have to base my answer (loosely) on the TF range of -40C to +60C, let's say the LF is only -25C to +50C, total guess, OK?

Sachtler has a wider range than Vinten (admitted by Peter), so can handle even more extremes.

Now, first and formost, does anybody know a camera manufacturer who will warrant their cameras to such extremes? Nope, didn't think we'd have too many takers on that one.

Second, real world scanario: You're out in -25C, standing behind a tripod, panning and tilting.

I'm pretty sure you're going to pack up before either head does. Whils the head is actually being used, you could probably exceed the max and min temps by another 20C and still have them function fine, you won't.

You want to have a problem with either head?

Take them off the sticks, wind up the drag to max, open the window and throw 'em out into the snow at -30C and leave them there overnight.

Now you have a problem with the heads. Same goes for high temps, you'll melt before the heads will.

Take it off the table as a bargaining chip, it's like comparing the relative merits of the ash trays in a Bently and a Rolls Royce.

OK, the two proposed systems, and you're in trouble already.

Those Sachtler 2:1:1 sticks will drive you NUTS!

DON'T take my word for it, try them and give them a hammering, shoot the video and watch it, if you're happy with it fine, but .........that's the whole point of test drives.

Bump the Sachtler offering up to a decent 2:2:1 set and the price differential won't look like quite such a huge chasm and you're now comparing apples with apples.

However, let's learn to crawl before we attemp the marathon, try both the proposed systems and tell us what YOU think of their relative merits, at the end of the day this system is being tailored for you, and you only.

Whatever you end up with has to tick as many (of your) boxes as possible and certainly more than the opposition.

How's that for a gut feeling?


CS
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Old February 7th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #50
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

I'm hoping that Sachtler will soon offer their Ace head separately from the sticks. The head looks like a winner. Yes, it lacks side mounting and continuous controls like the Vinten 3AS that we have here at work, but for the money, it could be very nice for lightweight cameras. That said, I have no interest in 2-1-1 sticks. I've got a 2-2 battleship with a 100mm cup that I'd be happy to re-use (even if I'm not so happy when I lug it around.)

Personally, I've test driven enough tripods in general to know that 2-1-1 is off the table. I can't wait until NAB to do more test drives. :)
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Old February 8th, 2012, 03:06 AM   #51
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Hi Zexun, Iím glad that out team in Singapore were able to loan you some kit. What you have there is the original Vision 3 that had a range of replaceable springs to suit a variety of camera combinations all the way up to 10kg. The head is now obsolete so itís no longer available from any of your dealers.

As for the bearing rumble, it will always be just noticeable on a solid mounting such as the tripod you are showing in the photo. The whole tripod amplifies it. Itíll be much less noticeable out in the field or with a heavier camera. As long as it isnít being shown up in the picture and you canít feel it, the bearing system is performing correctly. The larger Vinten heads that use the TF drag use a much more expensive angular contact bearing and these are imperceptible.

Good luck with the shoot and let us all know how you get on.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #52
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

My two shoots went great! Wouldn't have gotten the same results from the old 501HDV I had. No way!

The Pozi-loc tripod was a breeze to use and went high enough and yet was stable.

The bearings in the Vision Vision 3 were, like I mentioned in my previous response, a bit rougher than the Sachtlers I tested, but if a proper Vision Blue head is any better than the Vision 3, I'm sure I'll be able to use it well for my needs.

I loaded it up with all sorts of camera setups for my shoot, from lightweight 1kg setups all the way to a Panasonic AC160, and while I did fight the counterbalance a lot with the 1kg rig, dialing in drag and having a forward/backward plate bias depending on my framing did work. What a relief!

Here's a shot of a Vision 3 holding up the Panasonic AC160 without any attachments. Spring in the head is a silver #2 which should be a 2kg @ 125mm spring. Balances the pana perfectly.
Attached Thumbnails
Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?-fb-2557.jpg   Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?-fb-2560.jpg  

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Old February 11th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #53
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Harman View Post
Vision 3................ The head is now obsolete
Gone, but not forgotten though, mine still does a sterling job holding up my Canon HV 20, no spring though.

Quote:
the bearing rumble............ will always be just noticeable The whole tripod amplifies it. .
Second that, though in all the hundreds of hours of video I've shot, never any artifacts from it visible, even on the big screen.

Interestingly, the Manfrotto 504HD I reviewed last year, which had, without question, the noisiest bearings I've ever heard (and felt) didn't show any bearing artifacts on the big screen either.

Artifacts from just about everything else, mind, just not the bearings.

Really good to hear that the shoot went well, Zexun. I was wondering how those springs were going to treat you, sounds like pretty good.

The Pozi - Loc's are a great piece of kit, aren't they? How'd that floor spreader pan (er, sorry) out?


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Old February 12th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #54
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Initially I was kind of worried that a ground spreader would get in my way, but it turns out that my shoot was just a corporate production and a wedding mostly indoors, so the spreader was alright. In fact, I realised that if I wanted to transport the camera/tripod out, I just had to lift the setup, kick up the ground spreader and collapse the legs in - very handy. Not sure if a mid spreader will be able to do that easily.

Good info on the bearings too.

Zexun
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Old February 16th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #55
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Just got word that a local rental house (Camera Rental Centre, Singapore), one that I patronise often, bought over two Vinten Vision Blue tripod setups. I hope they didn't get the copies that I tested with tight bearings.

Chance of that happening is pretty high though, seeing how there weren't too many VBs around (all stores except for the one I tried it in didn't have ready stock) and a demo factory unit from Vinten hasn't arrived at Vitec SG yet.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 02:28 AM   #56
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Hi Zexun, I’m certain everything is now resolved in Singapore. We have a good team there that genuinely care. I can also tell you that the Vision blue from the UK hasn’t ben dispatched yet as we have a million and one road shows going on right now. Ive been involved with one here in the UK all this week and with NAB just around the corner, demo kit is pretty rare.
If you look closely at the Vision 3 you were loaned, youll notice a similarity between it and the Vision blue. They are in fact identical, using identical components. The ONLY physical difference is that Vision blue has perfect counterbalance adjustment. Good to hear your shoot went well. I will be in Singapore 5th to 7th March, so if youd like to meet up, give me a call.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #57
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Hi Peter, yes I hope the bearings were adjusted for the VBs that I tested. I completely understand about the demo unit though. I hope you had a good time at BVexpo, and wish you all the best for NAB'12!

Indeed there seems to be few differences between the VB and the Vision 3, like you said, perfect balance (drawback of restricted angles) vs exchanging out springs (drawback of, well, wasting time and high chance of losing spare springs).

So you mean to say that the drag technology and bearings are the same?

I would love to meet up with you when you visit Singapore if you don't mind, of course! Just for a quick chat I guess, to understand more about Vinten from an end consumer pov. I'm heading into National Service (a nicer phrasing for "compulsory army") on the 8th so your visiting dates are perfect!

Zexun
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Old February 25th, 2012, 04:52 AM   #58
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Back again... Sachtler vs Vinten?

Just paid the Vitec Asia headquarters another visit a few days back because they had the Sachtler Ace tripod in as a demo unit. I'm surprised how nice the head felt in use, where "0" drag literally means "almost frictionless". Might be handy for a pseudo handheld look? Not sure.

I did mention that I'll be upgrading my rig and the engineers (who were more knowledgeable about Vinten products) gave me their suggestions.

You see, currently my normal day-to-day shooting involves a lot of walking around, with a simple DSLR rig and Zacuto EVF. The max for that is roughly about 2.4kg at 50mm COG plus Zacuto EVF Pro on the hotshoe. I have no doubt that the Vinten Vision Blue can handle that, seeing how it's balanced well on the old Vision 3 with a #2 and #3 spring depending on my lens choice.

Now the problem is when I have a lightweight cage rig setup with follow focus, top handle, shotgun microphone etc. Currently without a recorder on it, the rig is balanced with a #4 spring on the Vision 3. With any change of the COG (i.e. bringing the viewfinder higher up, or adding a separate monitor or audio recorder) the spring can't handle the weight any more. For expandability sake, the guys at Vinten said I should be looking at a head that can do 4-8kg @ 125mm, just in case.

That's all fine and good, except that I don't have the money to get a Vision 5AS now.

This is the Sachtler Cine DSLR's counterbalance graph:
http://www.sachtler-images.de/WebFot...sx/dslr_cb.jpg

If the graph doesn't lie, isn't it true that for the purpose of supporting a multitude of cameras, the Cine DSLR head should do a better job than the Vision Blue?

Of course, then comes the conundrum of "settling for the sachtler legs" if I go with what seems like a more versatile head to me. But hey, how would I know? I only ever tested the Ace and the FSB-6, not the Cine DSLR.

One thing I've heard that got my attention is that the Vision series from Vinten isn't a true fluid head... more like a hybrid head with fluid components but incorporating a friction based system, like the old manfrotto?

But from an economical standpoint, does this make sense?

Normal - Vinten Vision Blue set
Heavy - Buy Vision 5AS head
Travel - Buy Manfrotto 535 legs // Buy Sachtler Ace (Almost same price)

Last edited by Zexun Tan; February 25th, 2012 at 06:31 AM.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #59
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

I only read the first page, but my 2 cents is I have a Sachtler FSB-4 head and couldn't be happier. This is coming from Manfrotto. I don't think you can go wrong with Sachtler.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #60
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Whew, where to start?

I'm pretty certain that all of the Sachtler heads have wider CB ranges than the Vintens, almost exclusively due to the different CB engineering systems employed by both companies.

The Vinten system hasn't "downscaled" all that elegantly towards the lighter/ lower COG end of the market, which is why the VB's range is so narrow, a problem I'm sure they are addressing.

Looking at Sachtler, the range goes thus:

Ace
FSB4
Cine DSLR
FSB6
FSB8

Not exactly sure where the VB sits if mapped to that lot, at a guess I'd say sort of Ace top end/ FSB4 bottom/ middle end, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Not that any of the above really helps with the massively differnt weight/ COG systems you're contemplating, neither manufacturers has a product that can do it all.

You could, if you really want to bust the bank, go for an OConnor 1030D head, hold (and, more importantly, CB perfectly) anything you want to throw at it from a dinky cam to a small truck, but at $5500 bucks possibly off the table.

Just going back to your tests of the Ace and FSB 6 for a moment, I think it pertinent to point out that both systems were using probably the worst sticks Sachtler make (and I don't think anyone at Sachtler would disagree with that statement). They do make far, far better, but far, far more expensive sticks, and that cost would need to be factored into a Sachtler solution.

Vinten pulled a blinder with the VB by packaging a top line set of sticks with it, making the head practically free, so if you look at it that way, the cost of an additional V 5 AS isn't so daunting, and in your situation almost an imperative.

Can't comment on the internal workings of the Vinten heads, though I think Peter may have something to say about that "like the old Manfrotto" bit.

Do a search here for travel kit, there's a couple of threads on just that subject, with some very good suggestions.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; February 25th, 2012 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Housework
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