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Old May 6th, 2018, 10:15 AM   #1
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Used tripod/fluid head for A7iii in UK

This is my first post on the forum.

I'm in tripod hell at the moment, trying to figure out what to get to use with my new A7III. I've been doing low-budget music videos for a while with very basic stuff, and I'm trying to up my game.

Part of this is getting a new tripod with a fluid head, and (coming from the audio world) I'm very used to being patient and searching out used good stuff rather than buying new OK stuff. There are a lot of strong opinions out there (surprise, ha ha) about not wasting money on intermediate tripods and heads, so I'm trying that route, focusing on used Vinten and (maybe) Sachtler. But learning about all the different discontinued models and the weight ranges (particularly since older stuff came before DSLR's and really lightweight cameras) has my head spinning.

I've found a used Vinten Vision 3 for a pretty good price (170) here in the UK. It seems to be in the right weight range (up to 22 lbs, but functional for 3 to 4 lbs) for my camera and whatever lens I'll ever have, plus an external monitor if need be. (No camera mic, shoots would either be without audio or I'd have my own off-camera setup.) The tripod looks to be two-stage. The whole outfit is white.

I do expect that a lot of what I shoot won't necessarily need a lot of pans; a good portion will be handheld/on a gimbal, so it's quite possible that some of the "normal" requirements for video shooting might not really apply to me, and as a follow-on, some of the requirements for the quality of my support and head.

It might be that I should just get a 200 new Benro or something for right now and save for something really good in a year or so, so that's an option as well. Any thoughts specifically on the Vision 3, or on what I'm doing and how, would be really welcome.

Thanks,

Myles
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Old May 6th, 2018, 07:00 PM   #2
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Re: Used tripod/fluid head for A7iii in UK

Welcome to DVinfo, Myles.

Ah, the Vinten Vision 3, my first quality head, way back in the video stone age, say, about 12 years ago!

Upsides:

Exceedingly smooth pans/ tilts IF mounted on a suitably rigid support (this applies to every quality head out there, BTW).

Excellent step-less variable pan & tilt drag. Pan and tilt lock levers.

Downsides:

Like all Vinten heads it uses a double start thread, 3 lobed clamp knob with a very large clamp cup which doesn't play nice with some tripods - Manfrotto and Sachtler, to name but two. No other manufacturer to my knowledge uses double start threads.

It has no continuously variable counterbalance control, unlike all other Vinten heads, but relies on changing an internal spring to change the camara weight/ centre of gravity counterbalance level. This make CB a hit and miss factor of major proportions, usually the latter.

However, this latter downside CAN have an upside if the camera weight/ COG is sufficiently low to not require a spring at all - simply remove the spring and use the variable tilt drag to keep the camera/ head under control. This works with dinky cams like a Canon HV20.

Incidentally, it is impossible to determine just what spring is actually in a V3 without removing the plastic spring cavity cover on the front of the head and observing the springs colour. I've just gone dumpster diving into a goody bag in my support cupboard and found 5 springs for a V3. A white spring with a cavcov labelled #1, a bag with both a silver and a grey spring with a cavcov saying #2, a bag with a yellow spring and a cavcov saying #3 and the last with a brown spring whose cavcov says, yep, #3.

Having scruted the enclosed installation instructions the available springs should be:
1: Silver
2. Grey
3: Denies all knowledge of same
4: Ditto
5: Green
6: Nope
7:Nope
8: Red
9: Black
10: Yellow

To give some indication of the stone ageness of this system, the camera list includes Canon XL1 (#2), Hitachi Z-ONE (#9), JVC GYX3 (#8), Panasonic AJ-D200 (#9)/ AJ D610 (#10/ AG-EZ35 (#1), Philips(?) LDK - 700 (#9) & Sony DSR200 (#5).

There is NO MENTION of Brown springs, but looking closely, if the Yellow is a 10 the Brown must be at least a 15.

Just to finish with springs, a close scrute of the Vinten web site denies all knowledge of springs, so if you need a different rating spring you'll need to beg it off the Vinten Product Manager if you can find a link to him/ her/ it.

Lastly, check the sticks on offer with that head. Vinten did, way back, market a PRO range of supports and heads. From memory (getting pretty dodgy nowadays) both were re- badged Manfrotto's, the sticks either 520's or 525's which should be avoided at all costs if shooting HD, they barely sufficed for SD.

Good luck in your support search.

Regards,

CS
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Old May 7th, 2018, 02:22 AM   #3
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Re: Used tripod/fluid head for A7iii in UK

Hi Chris -

I was hoping you might chime in - thanks very much for your reply.

Here's the head and tripod:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vinten-Vi...l/302700382552

I had done a bunch of reading on the spring issue and it is a pain, particularly as replacements are expensive and I can't find out what's in them without the cooperation of the seller. I'll contact him and see if he'll take a look.

What's clear from reading the list of cameras the springs are matched against, so many older tripods were made for much larger and heavier cameras than what I'll be using, so maybe spring-less would be an option, although I'd be close to 2kg total weight unless I was using a minimal setup. For example, there's a Sachtler Video 10 head and tripod at 500 (about my maximum), but I believe the Video 10 head wouldn't work with something as light as the A7 iii.

It's also clear that this forum is focused on working professionals with experience and kit way above my pay grade, so I appreciate your indulgence! :^)

EDIT: Oops, a Vision Blue in nice shape at just above my price range just came up... a better match for my setup, no?

EDIT AGAIN: And there's a Sachtler DV6, which looks like the predecessor to the FB6 - would this be above my weight range?

Thanks again for any help you can throw my way.

Last edited by Myles Davis; May 7th, 2018 at 03:33 AM. Reason: more
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Old May 7th, 2018, 02:24 PM   #4
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Re: Used tripod/fluid head for A7iii in UK

Went for the Vision Blue. I'll sleep easier, although poorer.

Thanks for your help.

Myles
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Old May 7th, 2018, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: Used tripod/fluid head for A7iii in UK

Hard to go wrong with a VB. Great head, great sticks, whats not to like?

You may find the spring in the VB to be a tad grunty for your particular camera, if so, check out a UK source for one of these:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1024873-REG/vinten_v4106_1003_bluebridge_small_camera_adaptor.html/BI/2855/KBID/3801


Exceedingly useful little gizmo. If you fill a small ziplock bag with lead shot and duct tape it into the cavity you can actually "program" it to allow even the smallest dinky cams to work flawlessly with said VB.

A colleague here on DVinfo (Richard Davidson) and I designed the first prototype and at NAB some years ago challenged Vinten to do better. They did, then after some not so subtle nagging from moi made it even better by incorporating a quartet of screw parks in the base (the VB range doesn't have any).

Job done.

Enjoy your VB!


CS
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Old June 24th, 2018, 02:46 AM   #6
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Re: Used tripod/fluid head for A7iii in UK

Vinten Vision Blue is a great choice and one which I would have made for a light setup.
Having owned several heavy duty tripods I bought a used Vinten 10LF head for $60 on fleebay which is actuallty a lot smaller than what I'm use to in anticipation for field use when I go light with the new Pocket 4k.
Unlike cameras, age wear and tear on tripods matter less, the most important is that it works well.

Last edited by Simon Chan; June 24th, 2018 at 02:57 AM. Reason: additional note
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