Vinten 5AS (older head) vs newer blue5 model, any insight? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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Vinten 5AS (older head) vs newer blue5 model, any insight?

Looking to upgrade from my 504HD to a Vinten head/leg set.

My FS700 rig is currently about 13.5lbs and in the coming months, that will go up to about 18-19 with V-mount battery+plate and Odyssey 7Q. I've got it up on rails, so Vinten heads look to have great weight support at 100-125mm center of gravity.

I started by looking at the current Vinten blue5 model (12.1-26.5lb capacity at 100mm COG). but as I searched more, I found a decent deal for the outdated 5AS head (9.9-23.1lb at 125mm COG) and I'm interested in if it's worth getting the older model. The rating shift from 125mm COG to 100mm COG makes me wonder if these heads are actually rated almost the same since the weight capacity would drop as the COG goes higher.


Off the bat, one thing I like about the 5AS is that it has a side-load plate. They got rid of it on the blue5 (back to normal slide-in-from-the-back style). Both heads have infinitely adjustable drag and counterbalance, as well as 90 tilt.

What would be the advantages of the blue5 head over the 5AS? The 5AS appears to weigh slightly more, but the bundle I found is the head + carbon fiber sticks. I'm not super concerned about weight but the sticks would offset the increased weight of the 5AS. And I'd have the option to strip down to go lightweight with a DSLR and lighter head.

Anyway, just looking for tips or insight on these heads. Or if you have any other recommendations!
Josh Becker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2013, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: Vinten 5AS (older head) vs newer blue5 model, any insight?

Hi Josh.............

First off, the 5AS isn't "outdated" in any way.

The AS range was a brand new head design from the ground up, the primary difference between them and the Vb heads being that the top plate and support/ pivot arms were a two piece casting on the AS, three separate components on the Vb's.

The Vb, Vb 3 & Vb 5 used the "as was" Vision 6 head which had more than already paid for itself and was actually cheaper to produce, hence why the swing away from the AS.

Both systems share the same helical spring CB system and both systems can, in fact, be re sprung to alter their CB characteristics. This is worth bearing in mind because, being a helical spring, the higher you wind the CB knob, the shorter the spring gets, thus reducing the range of tilt before the spring closes all together.

Fitting a more powerful spring shifts the entire CB range upwards enabling increased tilt angles.

Not that any of the preceding is answering your question.

The killer difference between the two heads is, as you point out, the drop/ side load head, which is a major step forward in convenience and speed, especially with a large load on the QR plate.

Seeing to align the slot load head with a rail system and big rig on board is a right royal pain in the proverbial, with the added AS advantage that the QR plate lock knob and QR release lever are both on the left hand side.

As most people load their rigs with their right hand and are thus standing to the left of the head, this is a far more ergonomic proposition.

Another advantage is that the Vb QR lock knob, being on the right hand side where it's almost impossible to see, has an annoying habit of self locking during transport due to the absence of a "self lock prevent spring". This is another right royal pain if you've just managed to get the QR plate into the slot only to find it won't load because it's locked. Cue much hand shuffling and groping to find the knob and unlock it.

So, bottom line, if the 5 AS floats yer boat on the weight/ COG front, go for it. Great head, great ergonomics and it even has a built in screw park!

The only thing I can't tell you (though I'm sure someone can, won't you Andrew?) is whether the spring in the 5 AS is the most powerful in the series or not.


CS
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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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Re: Vinten 5AS (older head) vs newer blue5 model, any insight?

Awesome response, Chris. Thanks!

The 5AS certainly does float my boat. I really like the side-load and screw park. I think it will be the head I go with.

Is it common to change Vinten CB springs?
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 04:12 AM   #4
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Re: Vinten 5AS (older head) vs newer blue5 model, any insight?

Hi All,

As Chris has pointed out the Vision AS heads were a development of the original vision design upon which the Vision blue heads are based.

The vision 3AS and 5AS have been replaced by the Vision blue heads simply because the price point of this class of head has been driven down and we could not manufacture them for a low enough cost. (It mostly comes down to the side-load mechanism parts which are made by a process called MIM and are quite expensive.)

The 5AS and blue5 use the same spring and have very similar payload counterbalance capabilities. I certainly would not hesitate to buy or use a 5AS myself, particularly if you can find one new which will of course still be covered by our warranty.

Regards

Andrew Butler
Product Manager - Vinten
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