Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 3rd, 2012, 07:06 PM   #1
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Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Hi guys, long time lurker, first-time poster here. I've recently gotten more "seriously" into filmmaking in that I'm actually dedicating time to it and really delving into learning and practicing how to make movies. I also purchased some of my own kit for the first time, including my first proper video tripod, a Vinten Vision Blue.

I love the Vision Blue, probably at least partly because a real video tripod is such a revelation compared to cheapo photo tripods, but also because it seems to be a genuinely high-quality piece of kit. I have run into two problems, however, and I'm wondering if anyone can suggest whether it is my technique that is at fault or the equipment.

The first problem is that pans exhibit a small but noticeable bounce back when they end. I've seen this general problem mentioned a lot in various forums and people have made it sound like an issue with cheap heads, but I haven't seen any complaints about the Vision Blue head, so I'm not sure what's wrong.

The second problem is that while leveling the head using the bowl is miles better than the poor-man's "adjust the legs" method, the bowl/ball seems sticky. This makes it frustrating to get the head exactly level sometimes, as a slight movement will require extra force, which then makes the head move too far. I have found that steadying the head with the tripod handle helps, but does not obviate, the problem. Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Hi, Michael.............

The usual culprit with "bounce back" on a Blue or any other similar quality rig (assuming everything is mechanically as it should be) is leaving the OIS system switched on in the camera.

After that is shooting on carpet or any other "bounceable" floor covering and, believe it or not, grass with the boots fitted.

Even with the boots removed, it is usually necessary to put your full weight on the tripod to punch through to the soil beneath the grass layer.

As for the sticky leveling, remove the head from the tripod and check the half ball for contaminents, nicks or rough spots. It shouldn't have any sort of lubricant on it.

Then check the half bowl inside load surface for contaminants or damage. It should have a slightly rough feel which is to stop the half ball siezing to it.

Then, remove the spreader, turn the tripod upside down and splay the legs full out. Check out the reciever underside for contaminents or damage - I have found what appears to be label adhesive before now.

Whilst you're down there, make a note of the tripod serial number which can only be seen with the legs splayed full apart.

Then check the clamp knob assembly. The clamp cup grip face should have a very slight rough feel to it with no nicks or protrusions. Make sure the clamp cup can spin freely on the clamp knob handle.

If everything is in order, my only suggestion is backing the clamp knob off another quarter turn when leveling the head, not trying to level it with the camera on board (as if!) and holding the head with your fingers hanging over the front of the top plate and your thumb hanging over the rear, it gives much better control.

Then, if you haven't done so already, log onto the Vinten web site and register both your sticks and head, to get your free second year warranty.

Opening up an account gives you access to all their downloadable manuals and maintenance documentation.

Hope this does the business.


CS
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 09:27 PM   #3
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Hi Michael,

At one stage I checked out a Vision Blue to see whether it was suitable for long focal length lenses, specifically a 300 mm lens on an EX3. I rejected the set-up because of bounce back. I posted my comments under "Fifteen minutes with a Vision Blue" in this forum, they may be of interest.

Re Stickiness: - Do Vinten recommend any lubrication between levelling ball and cup?
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Old September 4th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #4
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Hi Michael. As for bounce back, do what Chris suggested first and turn off any image stabilisation and make certain that the tripod system is firmly seated i.e. not rocking and then re-assess. The rocking bit is quite difficult these days with ultra-light camera systems, so you could weigh the tripod down using the tie down hook on the underside of the tripod bowl or something heavy on the ground spreader, every little helps.

You don’t actually say what camera and lens you are using, this would be good to know. I’ve just come off the phone with a chap in the USA that is about to use a Canon Rebel t2i and 70-200 EF lens. Total weight is 1.23kg, way too low for the Vision blue, but it works for him.

NO, don’t add any lubricant to the tripod bowl or the head ball base. Simply clean it with some sort of de-greaser as a greasy ball base will attract dust and dirt, making the head sticky in the tripod.

Hope this helps, if not, contact me off line and we will do all we can to resolve any outstanding issues.
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Head of Global Product & Sales Training, Vitec Videocom Ltd.
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Old September 4th, 2012, 03:13 AM   #5
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Traill View Post
"suitable for long focal length lenses, specifically a 300 mm lens on an EX3.
Really, Alastair, the blue is the cheapest true amateur/ semi pro support "system" on the market.

It was never designed, marketed or sold as some Hollywood behemoth that could support lenses the size of canons, nor should anyone with any sense expect it to do so.

You want to run an equivalent 35mm lens of 500mm, you don't stick it on a $1100 buck support system, period. Try somewhere in the $5000+ range.

Quote:
Re Stickiness: - Do Vinten recommend any lubrication between levelling ball and cup?
From their Manuals, nope. No mention of lubricants in that area.

CS
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Old September 4th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

I am rather shocked by Chris Soucy’s attack on my contribution to this thread. I thought the whole idea of the DVInfonet Forum was to enable users to share their experiences.

Michael was commenting on “bounce back” but was rather light on details. As I had experienced bounce back in a brief test of of a Vision Blue I described the conditions under which the problem had occurred and referred him to a post that contained further information. All very reasonable I would have thought.

The thread referred to is called “Fifteen Minutes with a Vision Blue” and was replied to by a Chris Soucy, This Chris Soucy said “Your comments regarding wind up on the VB sticks are particularly intruiging, as none of my tests took lens focal length into account, so I cannot draw any real empirical conclusions from your brief play”. This Soucy post ended with a “Very interesting post, thank you” a comment that I appreciated.

I continued the thread with a discussion on the problems facing tripod manufacturers concluding that a tripod is “quite an engineering feat”. This Chris Soucy replied with a “You've said it, in spades”.

In conclusion we seem to have a tripod review writer who never considered focal length in his assessment but is quite content to belittle someone who has. I find this disturbing, perhaps there is more than one Chris Soucy.
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Old September 4th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Wow, thanks for the responses everyone. Chris, thank you especially for your fantastically thorough reply.

I tried turning off the image stabilization (on a Canon XF100) as suggested, but unfortunately that didn't have any effect. There is still a small but perceptible bounce back. Even if I don't execute a pan, but instead just give the handle a small, gentle push, the head moves a tiny bit from the push and then bounces back when I let go. I am on a flat, hard surface, so that is not the issue. The legs are not moving at all, just the head.

I know my camera is a little on the light side for the Vision Blue, but I thought that was more an issue with the counterbalance rather than pan/tilt movement. As I said, there's no leg movement whatsoever, it really just seems to be the head. I'm happy to provide more details, though -- just let me know if there's anything I've missed.

Quote:
not trying to level it with the camera on board (as if!)
Well that makes me feel a bit silly, heh. Not knowing any better, I thought leveling with the camera attached would be fine, but I can see how the added weight makes it more unwieldy. I've tried it without, and it is certainly easier to level. The "stickiness" that I described is still there but, without the camera weight, I don't have to apply as much force to level the head, so the jerky movements are much smaller and more manageable.

This tripod is only a few months old and hasn't been in any extreme environments, so should be very clean, but I've checked the ball, bowl, and clamp cup, and they appear as new (to my untrained eye). I level with the clamp completely loose, so that's not the issue either. I will try the "hold the head" technique to see if that works any better, but the control seems pretty good without the camera, now that its weight doesn't magnify the jerkiness as much. Still, it seems odd that it sticks like it does.

I will follow up with Peter's kind offer of support and post any results here. In the meantime, if there are any further suggestions do keep them coming!

Thanks again.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 02:55 AM   #8
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Re: Pan bounce back and bowl leveling stickiness on Vinten Vision Blue?

Ah, Alastair............

My humble appologies if I have offended you, that was not my intent.

Your contributions to this forum are always highly appreciated and well advised.

My basic premise was that the Vb was, and is, a base level system, as an introduction to the world of HD video camera support.

It cannot, nor was it designed to be, a replacement for more competent equipment if using anything other than amateur/ semi pro instruments, as history has already shown.

Without the neccesary data from the poster, such "use beyond design" could not be ruled out, as was your test with a 300mm lens (sensor size lost in the mists of time, so effective length?)

Whatever, I have no way to test tripod wind up or anything else with regard to lens focal length, as it it utterly irrelevant, the tripod/ head will wind up x mm with y grams added to the stress bar at z metres from the laser, simple as that.

You stick a 1200mm lens on it and watch it go haywire!

The blue is the best I've tested, apart from my FiberTec's, the Manfrotto 486B (is that right?) isn't far behind the blue..

I can only test what I have with what I have, and that's just what I do.

If, of course, you now have a personal problem with me, guess one of us will have to go - want to take over the permanent support position, Alastair?

Yours if you want it, go man, I'll find somewhere else to give what little advice I can.


CS
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