Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials! at DVinfo.net

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Old November 18th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #1
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Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

This information is very old news, however, I find myself repeating it again and again in individual threads here on DVinfo and figured it was about time to see if I can get it up there at the top of the Forum page as a "sticky" for the entire world to see.

Sachtler and Vinten are renowned for having some of the best customer service in the camera support industry.

Having been a Vinten customer for over 7 years, I can personally vouch for the tremendous job they do in looking after clients.

One of their lesser known services is their FREE HOME TRIALS of support equipment, no obligation, free to your door, free back to them after "play time".

As far as I am aware (and Barbara and Andrew, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) this service is available WORLD WIDE. You DO NOT need to be a member of DVinfo (though why you wouldn't be if you're reading this has me stumped).

All you need do to hook yourself up with a free trial is to drop a mail to either:

Barbara.Jaumann@VitecGroup.com for Sachtler gear

OR

Andrew.Butler@VitecGroup.com for Vinten

If using an unpimped rig, simply give them the make and model number of you camera. If it's at all pimped out, again, make & model but include the minimum rig weight, maximum rig weight in alternate configurations and have a stab at an approximate horizontal centre of gravity figure (they can give you pointers on the best way to work that out).

Ask nicely if they can send you whatever system they recommend for some hands on play time, and hey presto, it's done.

You will find that Barbara and Andrew, being the world Product Managers for their respective companies, have a wealth of info on the subject of camera support. If they can't answer your question straight off the top of their heads, they'll find someone who can.

Oh, and they WILL get back to you, no "black holes" at either Sachtler or Vinten.

Is there a down side to all this?

Actually, yes.

If your current support system is a 3 legged mobile chamber of horrors, a couple of hours play time with either a Sachtler or Vinten system, with your rig on top, in your own back yard will, unfortunately, induce what is commonly referred to as "new support acquisition syndrome", which is almost always fatal to your credit card.

Case Study:

One chap, who shall remain nameless (won't you, Richard) having sworn blind his el cheapo stills rig was good enough for him and he couldn't afford anything else anyway, was persuaded, against his better judgement, to try the Vinten challenge.

He promptly stumped up for not one, but TWO Vision Blue rigs.

You have been warned!

Disclaimer

The author is not an employee or agent of either Sachtler, Vinten or any other Vitec Group company and receives no financial reward from any support manufacturer whatsoever, nor from any other source related to any posts here on DVinfo.

This is not an advertisement, but a Pubic Service Announcement highlighting the existing publicized policies of Sachtler and Vinten.

Nothing in this post may be construed as a specific manufacturer or product recommendation or guarantee in any way, shape or form.

Good Night and Good Luck.


CS
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Old November 18th, 2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Chris, as you well know I have been around here some time (for better or for worse...) and I NEVER REALIZED THAT.

I'm going to be in the market imminently for either a Sachtler FSB-8 or a Vision Blue rig.

When I'm a wee tad closer, I'll make sure to make use of those contacts to make my final decision.

Many thanks!
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Old November 19th, 2013, 03:15 AM   #3
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

They know what they're doing, because as soon as you get your hands on your first properly engineered support system the difference is an eye opener, and sufficient to do the convincing. If you sent it back, from that moment you will be unhappy with your existing system, so you are on borrowed time before you get the money together, and get the proper one back. People like Vinten and Sachtler don't have to sell their products, because what make them special is so obvious.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Chris Soucy...thanks to you, I've also had the pleasure of working with the Vinten team during my search for a 'real' video tripod and Fluid-Head. Working with Peter was fun. He arranged several different Vinten products to be delivered for 'trial', all at no cost to me.

As luck would have it, I ended-up with a Sachtler product (thank you, Barbara!). It simply worked straight out of the box. Certainly no reflection on Vinten. Frankly, I can't say enough nice things about both organizations and their representatives.

Recently, I sent my FSB 8 Fluid Head to the Sachtler Customer Care Center for a 'Clean/Lube/Adjust', turn-around time was phenomenal and my FSB 8 works better now, than when it was new!

Next year I'm planning on purchasing an O'Conner 1030 D to use with my Sachtler CF 100 HD 2CF sticks. Hopefully, that will be the end of tripod and Fluid Head purchases for a few years. : ) My main goal is to purchase good equipment that will perform at a professional level.

Never in my life did I think purchasing a 'simple' video tripod and Fluid Head would be such a daunting task. In the end, I've learned a lot more about 'tripods and heads' than I ever thought possible (thanks, Chris!).

This has all resulted in me making smarter purchasing decisions. I hate to 'buy' twice!

Have fun and enjoy the hunt!

Best regards,

J.

Last edited by James Kuhn; November 19th, 2013 at 02:43 PM. Reason: removed a word.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated.

James, you touched on something that has been giving me a bit of strife since I decided to put up this thread, namely, O'Conner.

It seems pretty much a given that they, too, would have superb customer service, albeit for customers with significantly deeper pockets than the average DVinfoer.

That said, a number of bods here ARE using O'Conner systems (and obviously you intend to swell the ranks further) but I have never been able to get even a sniff of their Product Managers name or contact details nor exactly how they work with their clients in regard to equipment pre-sales testing.

It seems highly unlikely, though quite possible, that no one at O'Conner ever drop in here for a squizz, so it puzzles me that no one from the company has stuck their head over the parapet to say "hello, oh, and by the way.........".

The strife is because I just know they should be up there with Sachtler/ Vinten, and they aren't.

If/ when you have any dealings (with O'Conner), give them the message, will you?

Strange there's been no comment from either Barbara or Andrew, is there a trade show in Ulan Bator I don't know about?


CS
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

I had the pleasure of talking to Barbara Jaumann the other day. It is true. Sachtler will send you a head to try out for free. (You have to sign a loan agreement). New policy, however, says that return postage is on your dime. Fair enough.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Chris Soucy...great to hear from you! I hope you and your family are all happy and healthy.

I tell you what I'll do. If, I purchase a new O'connor 1030D, which I am considering doing after the first of the year, I will make it a priority to contact the 'O'connor Service Center and work my way up the 'chain' and see if I can get any 'Management interest' stirred-up to become more involved with DVI. Ask around, I can be quite annoyingly persistent, when I want. : )

I find it hard to believe, especially with all of the working professionals visiting and contributing to DVI, that O'connor doesn't have at least a fleeting knowledge of DVI.

I'm also considering purchasing a 'refurbished' O'connor Fluid Head and possibly saving myself a little money. I contacted a gentleman by the name of Larry Gebhardt, a well respected cinematographer, who also 'refurbishes and modifies' O'connor Fluid Heads. Unfortunately, he's out of the country, in Dubai, UAE, for an extended assignment and won't be back until next year. He was kind enough to respond to my email inquiry and suggested I contact him after the first of the year.

Take care,

J.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Chris,

I didn't know they had such things going on. Probably not here in tiny Singapore, aye?

Pity I read this kinda late though, 'cause in 12 hours after this post, my dad's gonna help me confirm a Vinten Vision Blue5 head from the local retailer to be shipped in, but I haven't even tried that yet! Not sure if I should stop him first... but then again, there aren't any Blue5 heads in Singapore that the local vitec offices know of.

Sucks to be in a small country and having to serve in the military for national service. Sigh, 3 more months to go.

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Old November 24th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Zexun..........

As far as I am aware (and after Steve's comment, above, I think we need to hear from both Barbara and Andrew for confirmation of exactly the details the two companies work to), the offer is good world wide, though I can imagine both might be a tad wary of somewhere like Helmand Province, Afghanistan and the like.

James...........

O'Conner may have a valid reason for keeping a zero profile here or maybe they just haven't got "a round toit". Happens to me all the time.

Steve.........

Thanks for the info, much appreciated. Hopefully we'll hear from both parties with all the details soon.


CS

PS: Toit's can have any 2 dimensional cross section you like, however, only the round ones actually get things done. Interestingly, they can exist in only 2 dimensions, thus being invisible if viewed side on. Long round (3 D) toit's gave rise to the saying "How long is a piece of string?"

Last edited by Chris Soucy; November 24th, 2013 at 03:43 PM. Reason: +
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Old November 25th, 2013, 04:21 AM   #10
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Hi All,

Sorry about taking so long to get in touch, as someone may have suggested I've been out of the country. Actually I've been carrying out some camera workshops at our newly expanded factory in Costa Rica. for anyone who is interested we will be posting up a video about the facility on our website soon... It's a pretty impressive place.

Huge thanks to Chris for starting off this thread, we (Vinten & Sachtler) do offer free home trials but it is hard to bang our own drum about these things sometimes. All we ask is that you sign a loan agreement and pay for the return shipping or drop the loan back at one of our offices.

For anyone interested in OConnor, they are part of the same group of companies as us but have had a different route to market historically so have not openly offered home trials. However I've had a chat with Steve their product manager and he would love to hear from anyone who would like to trial an OConnor. His email address is Steve.Turner@Vitecgroup.com.

Each brand has it's particular strengths, Vinten major on the quality of feel and ergonomics which can be obtained through perfect balance and infinitely variable controls, great for longer shoots and/or those requiring a high degree of finesse. Sachtler is more about portability, speed of deployment and smoothness. OConnors are very much cinematographers tools for shoots where you'll be changing lenses or even cameras frequently. Their major benefit is that they will all balance perfectly down to zero so you can use any combination of camera, lens, mattebox, filters, etc on the same head.

My recommendation, if you are in the market for a new tripod, would be to try the two brands which seem to align best to your needs and see which fits you best.

Regards

Andrew Butler
(Product Manager - Vinten)
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Old November 25th, 2013, 11:22 AM   #11
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Zexun..........

As far as I am aware (and after Steve's comment, above, I think we need to hear from both Barbara and Andrew for confirmation of exactly the details the two companies work to), the offer is good world wide, though I can imagine both might be a tad wary of somewhere like Helmand Province, Afghanistan and the like.
.....and I guess India.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 04:34 AM   #12
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Hi,

Steve Turner (OConnor Product Manager) here. Sorry for my absence.

Thanks for the kind words on OConnor.

Without seeking council with anyone within our business that may be inconvenienced by this, I am not against the idea of loaning systems on a trial basis. Obviously we would need some stock to do this which might be the hurdle to overcome as we have heavy orders to catch up with.

Please feel free to contact me any time if you have any questions. Mails to 'Ask OConnor' on our website come directly to me. But otherwise e-mail me or reply to this thread.

Regards,

Steve
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Old December 18th, 2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Chris,

Just came across this searching for a smaller tripod system for my Sony FS7. As you might remember some years ago you helped me dial in on the Vinten Vision 100 head with Vinten Fibertec sticks, when shooting with the Sony F800. I still own that tripod and love it. But with about 150 flights a year it is just too much to travel with for the smaller camera systems I use now. So the Blue 5 with carbon sticks is in my sights. And the home demo sounds great, I will give that a go.

Hope Taz is treating you well?
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Old December 18th, 2014, 05:13 PM   #14
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Just to bring this up to date, Vintens new product manager is Philip Dalgoutte Philip.Dalgoutte@VitecGroup.com , Andrew having moved on to "alternative employment" elsewhere within Vinten.

Paul: Great to hear you're still with the Fibertec's but, yep, they sure are heavy, not really perfect for air travel.


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Old December 19th, 2014, 07:23 AM   #15
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Re: Sachtler & Vinten - Free Home Trials!

Thanks Chris,

Sent Philip an email this morning.
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