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-   -   Upgrading head for rigged FS700 (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/tripod-sticks-heads/515645-upgrading-head-rigged-fs700.html)

Zexun Tan April 6th, 2013 11:21 PM

Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Sup gang, probably the most annoying and critical kid on the tripod forum here again!

First off I'd like to thank the guys over at my old thread (especially Chris and Peter) for their help in upgrading me from the 501HDV into the whole new realm of fluid heads with the Vinten Vision Blue. I got a pretty good second hand deal about a year ago on that guy and it's been serving me really well.

Now the time has come for me to move on to bigger fish. Half a year ago, I got myself the Sony FS700 with metabones adapter to use with my canon glass. Great camera, love it. Without any rigs or additional quick release systems, it balances my heaviest lens + camera only set up at the max CB, but that's been enough for me so far.

Until I had to upgrade my 15mm rods rig. Now for most of my shooting with the rig, it's about 5 to 7kg at 100mm to 150mm, depending on how I position my accessories. The old VB's giving up the ghost that -- obviously not meant for such applications.

So the dilemma I have now is quite a bit confusing... you see, I've been looking at heads that can support my rig and I've come to the conclusion that I'd want something with at least a 9 or 10kg at the max. It should also fit on a 75mm bowl tripod because that's what I have.

So I've researched a little and come up with the following options to put on my Vinten pozi-loc sticks:

Vinten Vision Blue5 (and have to keep the Vision Blue head)
Sachtler FSB-8 (and sell Vision Blue head)
Miller Compass 15 (and sell Vision Blue head)
Some stuff from Secced

Obviously the first choice will be the Vision Blue5 -but- the issue I can think of is that it obviously will not balance my stripped down FS700, even with a quick release. 5.5 to 12kg, which means it's the one with the highest payload. It's also the most expensive head to boot -- especially if I'm to keep the original Vision Blue I have.

Second choice, the FSB-8 head. Haven't worked with this before, but I worked with an FSB-6 and quite liked it. Loathed the sticks though, same as what Chris told me in my previous thread. Seems like it'll go low enough to balance my stripped down FS700 or even a DSLR with EVF, but also high enough to balance a rigged FS700. Second most expensive option.

Third choice, Miller Compass 15. Same as the FSB-8, except with only 4 counter balance options. Coming from a "perfect balance" set up, it might not be ideal for me, but it is $200 USD less expensive than the FSB-8 so...

Fourth choice, a Secced, clone of the Sachtlers. Not sure if it's taboo to talk about this brand here, but maybe it's worth a shot? Perhaps their Secced DV-10, half the price of the FSB-8T and most probably a clone of that guy.

Been trying to find a Vinten VB5 to test locally here in Singapore, but no luck. Just blasted an email off to Derrick @ Vitec SG to see if he can help, but he's busy this week anyway. Oh well.

Any thoughts?


Allan Black April 7th, 2013 01:34 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Well we've got the Miller Compass 15 on their Solo carbon fibre sticks and find that combo, ideal.

The 15 actually has 5 selectable fluid drag positions +0 and has a payload capacity of 2-9Kg.

We bought ours before this turned up, a more economical rig, their Compass 12, just as good with 3 selectable positions,
which I now think, once you've set your rig up .. that's all you need.

Check their Solo CF sticks specs, height + low level is a speciality.

Camera bodies come and go, but a great tripod will last a lifetime.


Zexun Tan April 7th, 2013 02:11 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Thanks for the reply, Allan! I definitely am intrigued by the concept of "solo" legs, but for what it's worth, I already have a rock solid Vinten Pozi-loc 75mm bowl legs. If I were to get a set of travel legs for future use, it'll be the Manfrotto 535 legs.

Also, it says on their website that the Compass 15 has 4 steps of counter balance in the head, and 5 steps for the drag controls.

Chris Soucy April 9th, 2013 01:13 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Hi, Zexun...........

Long time, no speak.

If anyone's wondering at my tardy response, I've:

a) Been up in Wanaka on both a stills and video shoots, just home and knackered, &

b) Been giving your dillema a lot of thought, as it's not quite as easy a dillema to resolve as it might seem at first sight.

First off, a suggestion or two:

Contact Andrew.Butler@VitecGroup.com and ask him to organise a test of both the Vb3 and Vb5 to see how they work out, throw the new blueBridge small camera adapter into the mix whilst you're at it, may prove usefull, depends.

Contact Barbara.Jaumann@VitecGroup.com and ask for a tester for the FSB 8, no point parting with the ponies if it doesn't do the job, and you have to see how it's going to behave with the Vinten sticks, may, may not, but there are work arounds for what I see as the most likely compatibility problems.

I'd really try to avoid 3 or 4 step CB solutions as not even beginning to address the problem of CB, and they'll drive you nuts coming from the Vb, once bitten by continuous, you're stuck with it.

I haven't had a chance to really play with my Vb3, even though it was the head of choice for this last shoot, strictly locked off interview, so not a lot of dynamic head movement involved, I'll have a play now I'm back and see just how far it can be pushed with my CB100 and the blueBridge, still don't think it's going to work for your particular situation though.

I'll try to get some figures for the Vb5 head, which is currently upended on my desk here, though given the "7kg at 100mm to 150mm COG" I'm sure that a practical "hands on" with a live Vb5, with your system in both minimalist and maxed out mode will tell you everything you need to know.

I'll be interested in how you fare with the Sachtler head, after the Vinten it will be quite a parallel universe.

I can't comment on either the Miller or Secced, never seen 'em in the flesh and certainly never played with either.

Keep us posted.


Zexun Tan April 9th, 2013 09:27 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Hope your shoot went well!

The thing I'm not too keen on about the bridge plate is that it's one more thing to worry about and buy. Getting a "do it all" for me would probably be a head meant for 3 to 9kg, and like you said perhaps the 4-step CB isn't such a good idea after all. Miller's out for now I guess!

I tried the FSB-6 with my DSLR rig back then -- the only thing I hated was the sticks. The head was surprisingly quite usable and friendly on my CB-ing. There was the odd kick-back or slump forward but nothing a little shifting of the plate couldn't do. I'd imagine the FSB-8 to just be a stronger and more precise head than that guy because of the 5 step drag controls.

And... don't laugh at me, but prior to putting up this thread, I almost had the thought of getting a Sachtler ACE for my walkarounds and get a full heavy-duty setup like the Sachtler DV10SB for my paid stuff... hmm. Maybe I compromise too much for my own good.

I would think that the VB3 won't be that well suited for a rigged FS700 like mine... A VB5 + bridge could work to balance my lighter stuff. Hmmmm....

Zexun Tan April 11th, 2013 01:52 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
This is my basic rig for the FS700 so far. Still have another monitor and maybe a recorder to go at the back from time to time.


Derran Rootring April 12th, 2013 06:00 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Hi Zexun,
I've looked up the specs for the blueBridge and if you team it up with a Vinten Vision blue5 head, it will have a capacity range of 4.2 to 12kg (9.2 - 26lbs). Would that be sufficient for all your different setups? In that case you could sell your Vision blue head and keep your "rock solid Vinten Pozi-loc 75mm bowl legs". :) I haven't seen any prices for a blueBridge yet, but I think this could be an interesting option for you.

Zexun Tan April 12th, 2013 10:24 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
It might be an option that I could consider, like what Chris told me above. 4kg is still quite a bit if I ever want to put a DSLR with EVF on there. Will have to play by ear.

Seems like it's between the FSB-8 and a Vinten VB5, and selling the Vinten VB. Anyone want a good condition VB head? Haha.


Chris Soucy April 12th, 2013 06:08 PM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Hi again............

There is another option to the blueBridge, which has some significant extra benefits.

It's the CBTechniques CB100 system that Richard Davidson and I co designed last year, which, strangely enough, the blueBridge was sort of designed to emulate.

The main difference between the two is versatility.

The blueBridge gives you a fixed COG lift of 2" (5.3 cm) and practically no weight increase, it being made of aluminium alloy.

The CB100 was designed to have: 3" wide risers of 1", 2" and 3" high, made of steel, then weight plates of 1/4" thick steel which weigh in at 1 lb (just under 500 grams) each, plus a top plate 3" wide by 5" long of 1/4" steel, slotted to take something like a Manfrotto 577 adapter.

Everything is drilled and tapped to take multiple 1/4" screws, 4 countersunk clearance holes and 6 drilled and tapped for 1/4" X 20 screws.

There are bigger photo's of my full set here: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/tripod-s...blue5-nab.html

The beauty of the system is that you can configure a COG riser/ weight combo to make pretty well anything CB on pretty well any more powerful CB head, from memory I even got my Canon HV 20 dinky cam to CB on the Vb5 and it weighs in at just under 1 lb!

I've fired a mail to Richard in Texas to see if he's got a system lying around, it was an idea a bit before its time, so we put everything on ice till there was some interest.

Ah, a response already, he's trying to find a full system, he's moved house since last year so things have got a bit disorganized.

If you're interested, I'm sure he'll do you a really good deal.


Zexun Tan April 13th, 2013 06:14 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Hmm I see something that interests me quite a bit in those images. Lemme deviate a bit from all this tripod talk.


See that piece connected to the quick release, bottom left? I wonder how much would it cost to just get that piece (perhaps a little thicker?). Reason being that I need a cheeseplate riser solution for my rig to raise the quick release platform just a bit from the actual baseplate for me to access the lever (it's a Kessler Kwik Release). Right now I'm using 2 small cheeseplate squares that give me the height but because of user error in rigging up, won't be 100% straight.

Pics coming soon in another post, but it'd be great if you knew an estimate price!

Chris Soucy April 13th, 2013 06:01 PM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
The plate attached to the QR adapter is called a top plate and is 3" wide X 5" long (75 mm X 125 mm). It must be used attached to one of the weight plates shown in the photo, as the mounting holes in the top plate are further apart at 4 9/16" (115 mm) than the slots in the majority of QR plates it needs to be attached to will allow.

The weight plates however have 4 drilled and tapped 1/4" X 20 holes on 1" (25 mm) centres for mounting to pretty well any QR plate ever made using 2 X 1/4" X 20 screws - 2 because there is no VHS pin involved.

The combined two plates weigh 2.15 pounds (1 kilo) and are 1/2" (12.5mm) thick in total. Add in the COG lift and weight of the adapter itself and you've given that dinky cam a good chance of CB'ing with that too powerful head.

I checked out the Kessler and it looks pretty wide, so the standard plates may just do the job.

Other sizes are possible, though one offs are always expensive.

You give me the details I'll see what Richard can do, though he's probably reading this as I type.


Zexun Tan April 13th, 2013 11:57 PM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Hey Chris, I sent you an email with a schematic and a brochure. Help me forward it, if you will? Thanks mate!

Chris Soucy April 14th, 2013 04:33 PM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Forwarded last night when I failed to make any sense of them (it was very late).

Got back a "You what?" this AM, and checked the two items again - the drawing that's supposed to be to scale specifically gives no scale and specifically says "Do not scale", so is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

I'm unsure what the brochure photo is for (I know what it's of, but why have you sent it?).

Can you do me a favour, as I suspect you want both of the sent items to connect to the same riser - can you take a photo of the underside of both with a ruler edge placed on the centre line front to back so I can figure out the hole spacing and dimensions of both units, better still, you measure the dimensions and let me have them, makes life real easy.

I still need the 1/4" X 20 hole spacings though - tapped, not pass through. Centre line only unless you want connections elsewhere.

From what I can see the top and a weight plate of the CB100 will work with the Kessler, the other unit is a mystery, but I assume it must have both 1/4" & 3/8" tapped holes on the centre line as well, else I can't see how you'd attach it to a normal QR plate.

I'll await further info.


Zexun Tan April 15th, 2013 07:37 AM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
Tried the FSB-8 in a store today with the speedlock CF legs. Bloody hell I didn't like those legs at all. The head was... fine. Pretty nice to use actually, but not as precise as the VB I have.

I'll see what photos I can get asap. And yes, the intention is to have the kwik release clamp and the genus plate (with freely positionable screws-- which was the point of the brochure) to mate together with a riser that isn't more than 60mm wide (to fit between rods).

Sorry for all the misinformation (or lack of)!


Chris Soucy April 15th, 2013 05:00 PM

Re: Upgrading head for rigged FS700
1 Attachment(s)

"a riser that isn't more than 60mm wide (to fit between rods)."

Um, I'm getting more confused by the moment. Surely the GMB - CCP and, more specifically, it's rods, will be substantially above any riser/ plate, owing to the depth of the adapter itself and the fact that the bars are nested in the top half of said adapter?

Thus any riser cannot possibly end up between the rods, at least if we're both talking about the same thing, maybe we're not.

I only ask as I'm trying to save you a fortune on getting a riser made specially if the standard 75 mm CB100 plates will actually do the job straight off the shelf.

If anyone can see where the confusion is creeping in here, feel free to jump in, BTW.


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