Cartoni Focus vs Vinten Vision 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:24 PM   #1
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Cartoni Focus vs Vinten Vision 3

I have been doing allot of research on the best lower end/DV true fluid heads out there. Thus far my research has narrowed it down to the Cartoni Focus, Vinten Vision 3, and the Gitzo G-1380. Sachtler doesn't have anything in the sub $1k price range with the features needed for a really good tripod (aka more than 2 drag levels.)

On paper when you compare the three heads, they are almost the same. Will counterbalance the same range, multiple settings of drag, etc. I like that with the Cartoni and Gitzo, you already have everything to counterbalance the full range of cameras (whereas with the Vision 3 you have to buy more springs.)

The Cartoni is nice because it has a 100MM bowl instead of a 75MM one. However, if it's not as good as a head as the Vision, then that's pointless.

I guess what I'm trying to say is the Vinten a better head and why? I don't mind the extra money, but as always, if I don't have to shell it out, then all the better.

Let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Thanks,

Matthew Rogers
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:40 PM   #2
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I've had my Vinten 5 head for nearly 12 years and it works as well today as the day I got it.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
I've had my Vinten 5 head for nearly 12 years and it works as well today as the day I got it.
Is that what you use with the F350? Just curious cause I'm also looking.

-gb-
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 03:38 PM   #4
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I tried the Focus at NAB. I am a Vinten Vision 3 owner and supporter.
For the money the Focus seems like a very nice tripod, but since I
have not used it with my H1/EOS/100-400mm lens I could not
guarantee the Focus is as good as the Vinten, but I was impressed!
Like most things,
I am sure each has stengths and weaknesses. I know the way you
attach the tripod plate to the camera is a Vinten weakness.
I have owned my Vision 3 for over 5 years and althought it has
been through a lot of road gigs it still performs well.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 07:27 PM   #5
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They each have a different kind of feel. The Cartoni is real smooth with a lot of "wetness" as I call it. The Vinten feels a little more mechanical to me. Sort of like apples and oranges. I have a Focus for my MiniDV and freelance a couple of days a week with a Vinten Vision 10 (also used the 3; they are similar) and still prefer the Cartoni. I'm a better cameraman with the Cartoni than the Vinten. I think the Cartoni is more "liquid" than Vinten, especially in diagonals. The Cartoni is built like crap, though. Very cheap. Almost worse than some Bogen. The Vinten appears like it's built a lot better, but they they seem to fall apart "inside" more often than Cartoni. They are constantly out for repair for things like the drag control doesn't work at all. There's no excuse for that. The Vinten's are probably used more often, so it's hard to say. At the end of the day, I always choose the Focus over the Vinten. It feels better to ME. Be sure to try them out first to see what YOU like. Good luck.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 07:36 PM   #6
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I guess it doesn't really matter now...I got a steal of a deal on a Sachtler Video 18 head on ebay. Hopefully counterbalance will not be an issue. If it is, I will just sell it and then go back to buying a focus or vision.

Thanks,

Matthew
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 07:37 PM   #7
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That's a great head! They are really durable.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 03:52 AM   #8
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Yes Greg I use the Vinten Vision 5 with my F350. It's great for news and eng type work which is most of what I do. I have a set of Vinten Fibertec legs, which are just amazing, very ridged but ultra light. If I was doing features then a bigger head would be better.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #9
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haved used sachtler 18s and vintens for 17 odd years, and for the last two the vinten fibretec I can thoroughly recommend the Focus. For the money there is nothing that can touch it AND it will take small cameras like my Z1 and big cameras like a digibeta with just a few turns of the spring adjuster. VERY smooth head
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Old November 5th, 2006, 12:18 AM   #10
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I'd like to chime in with my recommendation of the Cartoni Focus head. As an F350 owner this head is the perfect companion for it. It has the "wetness" that the previous poster mentioned -- My last two jobs involved some pretty extreme focal lengths and the Focus handled the tiniest of my pan/tilt adjustments without sticking or binding, despite a fully-loaded F350+long lens+battery+lcd.

The Miller Solo ENG is my tripod of choice. I'm a fan of its large diameter CF legs and positive locking rings. It didn't budge one bit despite me constantly leaning/shifting my weight on it to handle the F350. It's light and compact.

best,
_Greg
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Old November 12th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #11
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I really like the cartoni focus but not the tripod. Im thinking of getting the gitzo G1325V sticks with a 100mm bowl for the focus head. That would make a really nice and light tripod system. Any thoughts?
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #12
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Personally, in this size range I think the Vintens and Millers are a cut above. While the Vinten doesn't rebalance as easily and quickly as the Focus, once the correct spring is installed, I think it's about as good as the higher-end millers (which are fantastic), for a lot less cash. And how often do you not have the 5 minutes to rebalance for a new camera? Not exactly an every shot sort of operation.

Someone mentioned how the vision feels "mechanical," which I agree with...in a way. It is mechanical in how predictable it is. Very repeatable, very smooth. If I were blindfolded and only allowed to hold the pan handles (and watch a monitor) of the focus, vision 3, and Ds-20, I think I would still pick out the Vision 3 as the most stable and best behaving. My 2c
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Old November 19th, 2006, 04:00 PM   #13
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I was at DV Expo a few days ago and one of my goals was to finally test a Vinten Vision 3. Lo and behold, at the Sacthler booth there was a single Vision 3 sitting among a sea of Sachtler heads. I bugged the Sachtler rep to let me borrow a live camera from the Anton Bauer guy to mount to the Vision so I could test it for a few minutes. I ended up spending half an hour doing various movements. Sorry about that Anton Bauer guy.

I was pretty impressed by the Vision 3. It was mounted to a 2-stage 75mm aluminum Vinten tripod with a ground spreader. This head/legs combo didn't show any noticeable whiplash at the end of a move on heavy drag at max telephoto. Diagonal movements and pan, then tilt movements were pretty seemless. The maximum drag levels are average, about the same as most heads at this price. My OConnor DV head has a lot more drag though. The pan bar seems well constructed and pretty rigid--much better than the Cartoni Focus pan bar. The head itself is a very stout aluminum casting that seems very rigid. But the plastic knobs on the pan/tilt locks and platform lock were somewhat disappointing. They felt like they were made from very cheap plastic--like the plastic in report covers. Maybe this is not really an issue though.

I've heard that some people like Vintens and others just don't. It does occassionally have that peculiar mechanical feel to it, especially in pan. You can sort of feel the plates moving inside (and even hear it slightly!) but the strange thing is this does not show up on camera. The footage still looks smooth.

In terms of rigidity and built quality, my opinion is the Vision 3 exceeds the Focus and the Sachtler DV series. In terms of feel, I'd also say the Vision has a slight edge. The Focus and Satchler DV series seem to be bit flexy so you wind up with a little whiplash. I might just be picky though. You might not even notice the differences that I did.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #14
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Tim, well stated. O'connors are amazing beasts, as are the higher-end millers. I have an old O'connor 35, beautiful (and HEAVY) beast, but they were and are still built like tanks.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #15
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Cartoni Focus & Gitzo Sticks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Mark
I really like the cartoni focus but not the tripod. Im thinking of getting the gitzo G1325V sticks with a 100mm bowl for the focus head. That would make a really nice and light tripod system. Any thoughts?
I plan to build a Gitzo + Cartoni Focus combo, too. Please note that G1325V comes with a 75mm bowl while Focus is a 100mm head. I suggest G1325 instead and add a Gitzo 100mm bowl to it.
I have asked my local Cartoni dealer about this combo and they say it is possible.

Anyone has similar experience? It would be better to know before I buy...

Some say Cartoni Focus is heavy...is it so much heavier than the rest?
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