Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6? - Page 5 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 26th, 2012, 04:14 AM   #61
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

"VB range is narrow...A problem I'm sure they're addressing."

Which is, to me, a bit of a worry should there be a better system coming out that might fit what I'm doing better.

I read somewhere on this site with a thread title "15 min with the VB" and there was someone who said he was using a 1/2" chip with a 300mm lens. I decided to test what was discussed, which was to put a laser pointer on the Vision 3 head and test at 0 drag, 4 drag and 8 drag. And to my astonishment, there was bounce-back. Not sure if it's the legs or the head, but my legs were in the "2:2" position i.e. the single section leg was not extended, the double-leg section was extended fully.

Since the VB is exactly the same as what I have now, but with perfect balance (which has no effect on TF drag), is this what I should expect from a VB?

Honestly, I would think that I might actually prefer a sachtler head on say a vinten tripod, but there might be compatibility issues, and seriously, which teenager can afford that on his own?

But you make a very good point about the VB set. It is by far the most economical route to go with if I understand and can accept exactly what I'm buying.

Why is buying a proper tripod so much more puzzling than buying a camcorder? Ugh.

EDIT: Wow, page 5 already? I'll stop soon...

Last edited by Zexun Tan; February 26th, 2012 at 05:17 AM.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #62
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Quote:
a bit of a worry should there be a better system coming out
But, there's ALWAYS a better system coming out, sometime. There simply is no choice, the industry keeps changing and the manufacturers have to keep chasing it. The support market is the same as any other, and the light/ medium end is changing the fastest of all.

Hence the new Sachtler ACE, for example.

Quote:
to my astonishment, there was bounce-back
Why astonishment? Even a high hat bolted to a 200lb concrete block will exhibit SOME bounce back, however minute, it's a question of (your) tolerance, the lens system in use and the sensor size.

Which leads us nicely to another facet of support problems entirely, but is also germain to my first paragraph.

Long lenses have been around a very long time indeed, been pretty common in 35mm stills for at least 50 years.

Made their way into the moving image with 35mm and larger film capture systems and into the video realm via top end broadcast cameras, usually for OB work.

The large film frames/ sensors meant that the long lenses were all HUGE, as were the cameras.

The support systems were equally humungous and some required relocation using fork lift trucks.

Cue the electronics video boom and rapidly shrinking sensor, camera and lens systems, all, at that time in steam SD, which was pretty forgiving with support foibles if you didn't look too close, greatly ammeliorated by expert camermen and women still working with pro gear.

Propper support systems were pretty well still a one person dedicated lift.

Cue second massive boom in video due to huge advances in electronics and drops in prices, then the jump to HD.

Now there's nowhere to run nor hide with dodgy support systems, BUT everybody now wants cheap supports that are light enough for one person to "do it all".

We now return to the long lens thing. Whack a 300mm or even a 600mm lens on a small sensor video camera and we have, what..........a 1000mm, effective, more, 1600mm?

On a camera support designed and purchased because it's cheap (-ish, in some cases) and light enough for one person to do it all.

However, you now have the equivalent of a lens system that would have needed a support rig weighing in at 450 lb back in the day, sitting on a rig that weighs just 10lbs.

Something has to give, law of physisc, simply can't out run 'em.

Now, to specifics, the VB sticks.

Not sure if the ones you have are the same ones I tested, so difficut to draw direct comparisons, and I used both a mid AND ground level spreader for my tests, but this is what I found.

The VB sticks were the second best sticks I've ever tested for wind up, followed a nose behind by the Manfrotto 546B, of all systems.

Trailing, by a country mile and a few furlongs, were the Libec followed a few lengths behind by the Sachtler 75 CF's.

Leading the entire pack was my Vinten FiberTec nested CF I - beam's, which outpaced the VB's by a good few of lengths.

However, put this in context.

FiberTec's - sticks, mid level spreader, case & boots = US$3,500 or thereabouts. Throw in a V 3 head for about another US$1000 say = US$ 4,500! (and boy, you know there's some weight there carrying it around!).

VB System, complete; sticks, mid level spreader, case, boots and head = US$1,150 say. (and it's like carrying a bit of a toy by comparison).

BUT, put a small sensor video camera with a 600mm lens on my FiberTec's and it would STILL show anomalies, because it simply was not designed for that type of lens load, and I wouldn't want to have to carry a support system that was designed for such use.

Quote:
Why is buying a proper tripod so much more puzzling than buying a camcorder?
You know, the strange thing is, the more I learn about this subject, the more I realise just how much I still don't know, scary!


CS
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Old February 26th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #63
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Without reading through this entire thread, I'm left with the impression that it isn't the equipment that is the problem its the OP expectations and misuse of said equipment. A light camera with a telephoto lens is basically a recipe for "panning issues". I think Chris is saying you can't rewrite the rules of physics no matter how expensive of tripod head you get. Don't take it as an attack its just an observation that I and most other people on this forum at one time or another have blamed the equipment when in reality it was operator error. A common mistake is to buy one piece of equipment and try to force it to do every type of work with it. Most important thing you can have is experience that is knowing what equipment to use in a given situation or changing one's approach to match what equipment you have.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 01:49 AM   #64
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Thanks Chris S and Pete Cofrancesco, very informative and insightful replies. And no offense taken Pete, like you said, I'm just trying to find the limits of the loaner gear and make a decision based on that :) I'm not trying to bang down every single tripod manufacturer or model out there. But as I am a so called "tech geek" as far as photography stills equipment go (and a reviewer of accessories), as well as a DIY guy at heart, it makes sense to know the logic / physics behind everything I use.

Anyway, I think no matter what else I get for the travel or higher-weight-limit setups, I would be foolish to give up such an economical package as the VB set... although my back/shoulder will probably curse me one day.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 10:19 PM   #65
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

The issue we face today is that cameras are getting lighter and their picture quality capability is improving. Now that 16 x 9 is the standard, the quality of a tripod system is even more important as any errors in the picture will be more noticeable as the horizontal is more pronounced than it used to be.

Pan ant tilt movement quality relies as much on the drag and counterbalance as it does on momentum and as the cameras are so light, the momentum has to come from the weight of the head. A lightweight camera mounted on a lightweight pan and tilt head will offer less momentum than a heavier combination and therefore will be more difficult to control, especially for long lens work. Some people using a small camera on a small pan and tilt head without perfect balance will wind up the drag to give them the feel and control that they need, but this will simply make things more difficult for the user as itíll wind up the tripod, create spring-back and in some cases, the tripod will lift off the floor when framing. A lightweight camera on a heavier lightweight pan and tilt head will be far more controllable and offer more predictable/reliable shots. So, itís my recommendation that you stick to a heavier LW system for your Lightweight camera, ideally one with perfect balance. However, if its under-loaded i.e. the camera weight and/or the height of the CofG is too low, the downside may be that it wonít balance which could be a distraction if you want to tilt fully or that the bearing components arenít loaded enough, which may give rise to concern that the product is faulty (I liken this to driving a car at 20kmph in top gear, you can do it, but you have to accept that the engine wonít like it and itíll feel rough).

Vision blue has a very long history. It was the original Vision 6 before it was replaced by the Vision 5AS a few years ago. Itís a precision piece of kit and uses the same performance critical counterbalance, drag and bearing components that are used with the AS heads. So itís not a performance compromised cut price, cost reduced product. Itís a pucker Vision head offering the same quality of performance as the Vision AS range but at the lower camera weight end of the market. However, like all products, it has a defined range of performance and as long as your camera combination falls within that range, the performance is guaranteed. Outside that range and you have to accept that it will be good, but not as good as it could be and this goes not only for the Vision blue, but any pan and tilt head out in the market today.

The performance specification of the Vision range is a function of camera combination weight (camera plus all operational accessories) AND the vertical height of the camera combinations centre of gravity (CofG) because they offer perfect balance. For heads that do not offer perfect balance, this is less critical as the head wont balance anyway regardless of either characteristic. For perfect balance to work correctly, the balance mechanism has to generate the exact torque (which is a function of force x distance or in this case its mass x CofG height above the camera platform) for a given angle of tilt. The end product is that the effort needed to tilt the head remains constant throughout the range and therefore, it doesnít distract you at all and you can concentrate on the viewfinder and framing the shot (camera appears weightless at any level of drag). For Vision blue specifically, the range is 2.1kg to 5kg at 55mm CofG. Thatís why itís critical for the camera combinations characteristics to be known and to realise that accessorising your camera will have an impact of the heads ability to balance correctly. If the CofG is dropped too low, then the head could spring back (i.e. the head is generating too much torque) and likewise, if the CofG height is raised too high, then the head could fall away (i.e. the head is generating insufficient torque).

I hope this helps clear up any confusion, or maybe Iíve just made it worse. I do hope not.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 01:30 PM   #66
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Hi Peter, thank you for a very detailed answer on that one. It helped a lot, especially since I'm a physics guy.

I have with me right now the Sachtler ACE, and I'll be returning it once the Vitec offices are open early next week. Definitely won't be getting this guy - the entire tripod lifted when I tried to pan, like what you mentioned. I'd much prefer a solid Vinten. Maybe I'll bump into you at the Vitec office? Will have to contact Mr Derrick Ng about that if we're going to arrange anything!

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Old March 3rd, 2012, 01:45 PM   #67
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Excellent information, Peter, thank you for the detailed post.

You're dead right about the need for weight in the tripod head. I tell myself that when I'm hoiking around a VB tripod that weighs 4 times more than my camera - the results are really worth it.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 06:00 PM   #68
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Of course, one can hook a small rope from the underside of a tripod to a weight or gallon water bottle. When I do that, I let an edge of the weight touch the ground so that it won't swing but it still applies force. It's not the same as a heavy camera/head, but it helps keep the sticks stable.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 08:51 PM   #69
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Absolutely Jon. Youll find a stainless steel hook under every Vinten tripod just for that reason. Zexun, i plan to be in the Singapore office around 10am on Monday 5th if you would like to meet up.

Cheers
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 11:15 PM   #70
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

I have the 3AS with 2 stage aluminum legs. And yes, the hook is there and I've gladly made use of it.

I don't have any recommendations for improvement. It's a hook. It works. It's strong enough for its purpose. It's not too big or heavy. Nicely done.

There. I have reviewed the hook. :)
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Old March 4th, 2012, 07:36 AM   #71
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Harman View Post
Absolutely Jon. Youll find a stainless steel hook under every Vinten tripod just for that reason. Zexun, i plan to be in the Singapore office around 10am on Monday 5th if you would like to meet up.

Cheers
That'll be great! I'll see you then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I have the 3AS with 2 stage aluminum legs. And yes, the hook is there and I've gladly made use of it.

I don't have any recommendations for improvement. It's a hook. It works. It's strong enough for its purpose. It's not too big or heavy. Nicely done.

There. I have reviewed the hook. :)
Haha what an objective review. Bravo!
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Old March 6th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #72
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Good meeting up with you yesterday Zexun. Hope the discussions were helpful and that everything goes well from now on.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 08:09 AM   #73
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

My "best of all worlds" is the Sachtler Cine DSLR fluid head (but with a plain side load QR plate rather than the supplied plate) and the Gitzo CF 3 section legs with a 75 mm bowl.

Absolutely rock solid legs, and a smooth fluid head that can handle loads as small as my Canon xf100 on up to a DSLR rig.

With no spreader, the cameras can be positioned quite low to the ground.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #74
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Perhaps the ultimate light but rock solid legs would be the Really Right Stuff Versa Series 3 with a 75 mm bowl. I do not own these legs, but I do have a lot of their other gear. Absolutely first rate stuff. Red Rock Micro now makes an adapter to mate with RRS quick release plates for DSLR's.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #75
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Re: Upgrading from 501HDV: Vinten VB or Sachtler DSLR/FSB-6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard D. George View Post
My "best of all worlds" is the Sachtler Cine DSLR fluid head (but with a plain side load QR plate rather than the supplied plate) and the Gitzo CF 3 section legs with a 75 mm bowl.

Absolutely rock solid legs, and a smooth fluid head that can handle loads as small as my Canon xf100 on up to a DSLR rig.

With no spreader, the cameras can be positioned quite low to the ground.
Do you get any wind up with the Gitzo legs? I'l looking at getting either this setup or these lets with a FSB6 head.
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