FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100?? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 21st, 2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Looking for a tripod for the FDR-AX100. I have the FSB-6 fluid head but it is not working out too well for tilts since it has a load rating of 2.2-13.2 lbs. The camera with a large battery (NP-FV100) weighs about 2.1 lbs. The FSB-4 has a load rating of 0.0-8.8 lbs. Is anybody using this head with this camera, and how is it working out?

Looked at the Sachtler Ace M and it has the same weight rating as the FSB-4, is 0.5 lbs lighter and costs $240 less. Not sure if there's a performance difference between these two.
Any other models I should be looking at? Budget would be $3,000, but for that I'd really expect a boost in performance.

Mark
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Old September 21st, 2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Hi Mark.

You MAY be able to sort the problem or at least reduce it a lot cheaper than that $3000 you mentioned.

If you bought one of these:
Vinten blueBridge Small Camera Adapter for Vision V4106-1003 B&H

and attach it between the camera and your Sachtler QR plate you are raising the COG of the camera, making it behave as if it's a heavier unit that it actually is.

You'll need (slightly) extra length 1/4" or 3/8" flat head screws or one of each to attach it to the QR plate via the drilled and tapped screw park holes in the base of the SCA,

You can even put a plastic bag of lead shot in the hole made by the "bridge" and tape it in place to fine tune it to sit right dead centre of the minimum CB setting of the Sachtler head, any Sachtler head.

Note: you MUST make sure the unit you buy is the MK II version of the SCA. The MK 1 version DID NOT have screw parks in the base and can only be used with Vinten heads. The photos in the above B&H link are of a MK 1 SCA.


CS

PS: Had completely forgotten I wrote this, more than you probably ever wanted to know about the Vinten SCA

Review: Vinten Vision blue3 Camera Support System

I've even managed to find a piccie of a MK II SCA with screw parks.
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FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??-dsc_4566.jpg  

Last edited by Chris Soucy; September 21st, 2014 at 08:28 PM. Reason: +
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Old September 24th, 2014, 05:58 AM   #3
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Thanks for the reply Chris.

I've looked all over internet-land and can't find the MK II SCA. I might have found a partial solution. Just ran across a new tripod head I bought a couple months ago for use with a Cineslider. Turns out it adapts well to my Gitzo sticks and the AX100 feels a little more at home on it than the FSB-6. The spring is slightly strong, but rather easy to overcome in a steep tilt. The real test will be shooting 4K video while panning/tilting. Waiting for a day off to get to it.

The head is a Manfrotto MVH500AH. ($170) The camera, fluid head and sticks weigh in at 8.3lb.
Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base MVH500AH B&H

Mark
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Old September 24th, 2014, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

The reason you couldn't find a MK 2 SCA is that they were never officially designated as such, it was simply a manufacturing convenience when the decision was made to improve the SCA by incorporating screw parks in the base.

Having spoken to the relevant person at Vinten, it would appear that only about 100 SCA's were manufactured without screw parks and of those that didn't get shipped to retailers (a small but indeterminate number) all were subsequently re engineered to incorporate the new facility.

Of the original batch that DID make it to retailers, it is pretty certain (but not guaranteed) that all have already gone to users, as retailers do not like holding onto stock. Bottom line, if you buy a Vinten SCA now your chances of getting a MK 1 are pretty well zero, and, in the unlikely event you DID get a MK 1(quick, buy a lottery ticket NOW!) and required a MK 2, a word to the nice people at Vinten would probably get you sorted in very short order.

To be absolutely crystal clear about this, if you use a Vinten head the issue of MK1 / MK 2 SCA's is irrelevant unless you're gagging for some screw parks. It is only relevant if you use a non - Vinten head and wish to avail yourself of the COG lift of a SCA.

[Note: The Vinten web site incorrectly infers that the bB SCA is only relevant to the Vbx range of heads. Not so. The bB SCA will work, straight out of the box, no mods required with ANY Vinten Vx, Vbx or VxAS head with a standard pattern QR plate.]

I made note in my first post regarding screw lengths BTW. Further investigation has determined that this is an issue. The reason is that the bB SCA has a 3.5mm+/~ 0.3mm recess the length of the underside of the base. This recess has been used to house the heads of the screws in the parks, which are, coincidentally 3.5mm thick.

The QR plate camera retaining screw on Manfrotto, Sachtler & Vinten QR plates only protrude ~ 5 mm above the QR top surface, which means that if using the SCA with a non Vinten head, there will only be 1.5mm of screw thread in the screw park thread which is only aluminium alloy, not steel.

Sachtler screws are ~15.5mm long, Manfrotto either 15mm or 16mm. To ensure a safer "bite" in the SCA threads, both head makes should really use either 19mm+ or 19.5mm+ long screws (1/4" X 20, of course). In the event that such beasts cannot be sourced it may be safer to move to plan B and use any old 25mm - 30mm long flat head 1/4" X 20 (or similar) bolts through the 3/8" screw park holes and terminate with appropriate washers and nuts.

[1/4" bolts are an easy clear fit through a 3/8" hole]

For other head makes add 3.5mm to the existing QR camera retaining screw length.

Vous ne pouvez pas être sérieux!!! From a Sachtler FSB to a Manfrotto MVH! @ 4K. Gonna be tears before bed time, methinks.


CS
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 03:45 AM   #5
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Really looking for an excuse to get the FSB-4, but I've decided to give the SCA a try. I've placed my order with B&H just now, so Chris, if you get a commission check in a few days, it was me.

No tears on account of the Manfrotto's performance. I gave it a fair chance to step in as a replacement but alas, it wasn't meant to be... The price was a clue. The finish is nice, good-looking even. Doubt the frogs and the crabs were impressed though. Here's where it let me down... #1 The level is not anywhere near accurate. Adjust the ball to center the bubble, lock 'er down and go to shooting. As I'm making my pans, the shot dips into the ocean, go the other way, it heads for the mountain. After awhile of use I didn't even need to make a pan to see it was off. Totally blew what surely would have been some EPIC shots. #2 The little knob that locks it down in the rotational axis does double-duty as anti-tilt mechanism. You read that correctly. If the knob is loose, the whole works will wobble on the moving joint, so any slight breeze or just setting one's hand on the pan rod will cause a very noticeable jitter of the camera. More EPIC shots lost forever, no doubt. But for $179 I have a head that should still be okay for slider use.

I might try to come up with a fix for the level issue. (and I won't even mention that pressing on it doesn't make it light up). That SCA looks kind of simple for $90. Thought about carving something out of billet aluminum but found somebody changed the combo lock, thus ending my Sunday evenings access to the machine shop. If they send me a MK I version and won't take it back, then I might have to pack my Ninja suit and book a flight into the southern hemisphere.

Mark
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Old November 29th, 2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

They sent me the Mk1. FSB-4 on order.
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Old November 29th, 2014, 02:32 PM   #7
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

You should have bought that lottery ticket!

This is as good a time as any to introduce you to Vintens new (yes, another one!) Product Manager.

Fire a mail to Philip.Dalgoutte@VitecGroup.com (for he is the new Product Manager - good luck with this BTW, I fired off a "welcome to the club" mail over a month ago and have heard precisely squat in return) asking if he can source you a MK II SCA.

If you get the "no one here" blank reply, try Andrew.Butler@VitecGroup.com (the previous Product Manager, tho' he's still in the building).

If that turns up squat (why do I have a bad feeling about this?) the last line of attack is Peter.Harman@VitecGroup.com (the previous, previous Product Manager, though he still keeps an eye on the role, I believe).

It'll be interesting to hear how you get on with the FSB4.


CS
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Old November 29th, 2014, 03:10 PM   #8
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Thanks Chris. I'll drop them a line.
Lottery ticket? No way, got too many vices already, but I did play 6 games of BINGO. Lost my $10.


Mark
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Old December 1st, 2014, 02:09 PM   #9
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

It appears that the Vitec mail server(s) were down over the weekend, so if you mailed any of the contacts I gave you they may well have been bounced as undeliverable.

I have just now had a reply from Peter Harman, having resent my original message to all three this morning. He is going to ensure that both of the other parties are aware of this thread.


CS
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 03:08 AM   #10
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Hi Mark,

As Chris mentioned we had some mail server issues over the weekend. If you try again now you should get through.

Philip is the current product manager (Peter and I have moved to other roles in the business) his email address is Philip.dalgoutte@vitecgroup.com

He is in the office today and should be able to exchange your Mk1 blueBridge for a Mk2

Regards

Andrew
(Former Vinten Product Manager)
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 05:35 AM   #11
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

I have sent a request for assistance and will let you know how it goes.

Much thanks gents.


Mark
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Old December 11th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #12
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Re: FSB-4 Fluid Head for Sony FDR-AX100??

Update. I've been advised to purchase the SCA from a couple of pro video companies in Tokyo. Meanwhile, the FSB-4 has arrived. I've mounted up the AX100 and checked it for suitability. The balance is good and drag settings of 1 or 2 seems about right. Haven't tried it outdoors at long zoom, tracking a moving object in 4K mode yet. Maybe this weekend. I'll have to put off further pursuit of the SCA until after my vacation. If the shops don't have the MKII version in stock, for me to verify, than it will be a no-go. My experience in Japan with special ordering is that they have a much more restrictive return policy than other places and I may wind up with another MKI. Too bad there wasn't a model number change, as the design change is significant. Plan to visit the two shops Philip recommended, they look like they have lots of nice new and used gear. Oh, and the FSB-4 doesn't have an illuminated bubble either. I intend to shoot a lot of video on the AX100 with this new fluid head over the next three weeks. Should be able to give some better report afterwards.

Mark
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