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Old September 19th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #1
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Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

My Vinten Fibertec/SpreadLoc/Vision 3AS was stolen last week.

The Fibertec is no longer made. So what's the next best thing? I shoot outdoors, in the mountains, and now in the big dangerous city, mostly solo, and I need something solid for long focal length work; the camera rigs are usually 5-10 pounds.

Thanks.

Scott
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Old September 19th, 2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

Hey, Scott..................

Long time, no see.

Sorry to hear about the support system going walkies, that's really gotta have hurt.

The only Vinten system that really approaches the FiberTecs for weight carrying ability is the 3884 -3 CF sticks:

Vinten 38843 2-Stage Carbon Fiber Tripod with 100mm bowl 3884-3


Of course, whether they can match the Tec's rigidity, I can't say, though I must admit they look pretty damn solid. Maybe Peter can shed a bit more light on the subject.


CS
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Old September 19th, 2012, 11:03 PM   #3
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

Yeah, the amount of weight they would support was the amazing thing about the Fibertecs... but I was mainly interested in the stiffness. Those 38843's weigh in at 12 pounds, nearly twice the Fibertec's weight.

Guess I'll be doing some testing ;-)
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Old September 19th, 2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

Well, Peter could always send me a set and I'll put them up against my FiberTecs, and see what can do what.

Yep, I have the kit to evaluate stiffness/ rigidity, all I need is the sticks.

The next big Q for you is: What focal lengths are you shooting so I can get an idea of what might be required.

All the other Vinten sticks are only rated to 55lbs, doesn't mean squat in itself, but it's a guide. Their standard sticks are pretty damn good, but still not a patch on the Tec's.

(nudge: Best damn sticks ever made for solo operator long lens shooting, canning them was an act of total desecration, given the HD revolution, IMHO! Restart the production line, sell 'em as a kit with the lighter spreader, get the pricing right and they'll sell like hot cakes).

Er, where was I?

Oh, yeah, fire a mail to Peter ( peter.harman@vitecgroup.com) and see what he's got to say, hey, maybe he'll find a set of Tec's hidden away somewhere for you!

I'll stay tuned.


CS
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Old September 24th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

I shoot anywhere from 16-500mm, and a bit longer when factoring in the T3i's 3x mode.

Looks like the next best thing from Vinten is the 3776-3. Minimum height 16", maximum 61", folded length of 28", weighs around 8lb with spreader. The maximum height is the bummer.

The Manfrotto 536 goes lower and higher ( 10" and 79"), folds to 28" and weighs 7 pounds. I know the wind up on this style of tripod is more dramatic, but I wonder how large the difference is.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

Can't tell you any figures, as I haven't tested either of the sticks you mentioned, but think you may well be a bit dissapointed with those Manfrotto's.

Remember, you're going from a wide profile, nested "I" beam system with full overlap leg locking to either:

1. A circular cross section 2:2:1 tube configuration with single point leg locking (Vinten) or:

2. A circular cross section 1:1:1:1 tube configuration with single point leg locking (Manfrotto).

The weakest point of any system (all other things being equal) is the single tube stage, if it has one. The Manfrotto has no less than 4, the Vinten 1.

Next on the list is single point locking - the Manfrotto has 3 per leg, the Vinten 2.

The final culprit is height. The Manfrotto goes even higher than me, which is pretty high. I wouldn't expect that 500mm of yours to be any too flash at full height on the Manfrotto.

You can get around the single tube problem by going for something like this, though they ain't cheap:

Sachtler CF-100ENG HD 2CF Carbon Fiber HD Tripod Legs 5390 B&H


(Just in case it isn't obvious from the photos, they're 2:2:2 sticks, with twin in - line nested bottom section to boot, them's mean sticks!)


They are heavy and they don't go too high, but I reckon they're sure as heck rigid.

Quite how a shootout between the mentioned Vinten and the Sachtler would look is an interesting question.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; September 24th, 2012 at 11:32 PM. Reason: +Somebody want to send me a set of each and I'll do the business?
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Old September 29th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

I am comparing the FiberTec and the Blue tripods.

Anyone know the actual fully extended leg length for each?

I often used the FiberTecs in the partial spread mode to maximize the height. Although the Blue tripod is listed as having the same max height of 61.5", the legs look a bit shorter.

thanks,
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Old September 30th, 2012, 07:56 AM   #8
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Re: Vinten Fibertec- Next best thing?

Hi Scott, sorry to hear about your stolen tripod! The Fibertec tripod looks very interesting. Why did they stop making them?

The height of the Vision Blue is correct, 61.5" (head height not included). When you use the partial spread mode of the Blue tripod you can add about an extra 2.76" to the max height, if I'm not mistaken.
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