Vinten V3/ V6 incompatabilty problem. at

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Old June 28th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #1
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Vinten V3/ V6 incompatabilty problem.

Only a day after posting on this thread:

about how well the V3 works with a 100 mm bowl Manfrotto tripod, I discovered this rather sad problem when using the V3 with a 75 mm Manfrotto tripod (mine, anyway).

Further analysis has shown this could well be a problem with any 75 mm half bowl tripod, not of Vinten manufacture, depending on the design of the half bowl receiver and corresponding "head levelling" adjust handle. The V6 is in here because, as far as I can ascertain, it uses exactly the same adjust handle as the V3 and it is a 75 mm ball base as well.

The problem is this:

The Manfrotto 501/ 503, and as far as I'm aware, all other Manfrotto heads, use a long, circular cross section adjust handle. It's diameter is relatively small, just enough to encompass the brass tube to house the "thread", with a rubber outer covering.

As such, when the tripod to which it is attached is folded for stowage, it does not in any way (unless parked at any of the extremes of adjustment) impinge on any part of the legs or hinges for same.

The Vinten 3/6 adjust handle is quite different. It is short, and to enable a better grip, it has been manufactured with a 3 lobed flat - ish handle, meaning that it's actual diameter is huge by comparison with the Manfrotto.

Why does this matter?

Well, tripod = 3 legs. 3 lobed star = same angle between each lobe as legs.

If, when the time comes to fold the tripod away, the angle of the adjust handle lobes does not almost exactly align with the gap BETWEEN the tripod legs, the tripod will not close completely.

The scale varies from "dead centre" of leg hinge, when the legs will only close about 70%, to "just hitting the edge" when the legs will only close about 94% - ish.

Now, obviously Vinten have designed (I guess) their 75 mm (3") tripods with a larger receiver and better spacing to allow for this, so, no problem.

Manfrotto, with their different handle design, haven't (I can only say that with certainty for my 520's - if you have a 75mm Manfrotto tripod, beware).

The reason it is of such concern is that:

a)It's a complete pain in the &^%$# to keep having to hoik the tripod out and re - align the knob in order to get the legs to close

b) It wouldn't take much pressure on the leg ends to do some pretty serious damage to the leg hinge assembly, the leg heads or the receiver (or all three) , given that on my sticks these lobes contact the leg heads about 1/2 inch below the hinge plane itself. The loads are colossal.

I do stress that this is NOT an issue when using this head (Vinten V3/6) with a 100 mm (4") half bowl tripod and suitable reducer. I cannot say for certain it applies to all Manfrotto 75 mm half bowl tripods. What other makes of 75 mm half bowl tripods it may affect is a complete mystery unless you guys pipe up and say it is/ isn't.

It's just a "heads up" in case you are considering an upgrade to a Vinten V3/6 (it's georgeous BTW) and have a 75 mm half bowl 'pod.

Why was I using a set of Manfrotto 520's under a V3, do I hear you ask?

Well, my 100 mm (4") Manfrotto 528's (the gutbusters) are firmly parked and bolted under my B. Hague jib during wiring loom construction, and ain't going anywhere any time soon. It stopped snowing, out came the blue skies and it was time to go do some shooting - no choice (and I still haven't chosen the 520's replacement - I know, I'm slack).


Last edited by Chris Soucy; June 28th, 2007 at 03:54 AM.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #2
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It has been awhile sense you posted this.

typical for me to notice important information like this after i took a plunge.

I bought a set of bogen 525mvb legs ontop of which I put a my miller f fluid head. They work great together. I purchased the 75 mm half ball to go under the head and it works grand.

My problem was that I bought these in anticipation of buying just the vision 6 head to go on them at a later time!!!

Curiously, could you put the half ball from manfrotto under the vision head!!!

am I just plum out of luck??
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old July 9th, 2007, 11:52 PM   #3
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Hi Dale............

Your right, I did post this a while ago, not really expecting any feedback, just to give a "heads up" so to speak.

I can't really give you any hard data with the regard to the V3/ V6 and the 525's as I haven't seen a set, nor know anyone who has one. If Manfrotto haven't made the 525's reciever wider from leg hinge to leg hinge than on mine then I strongly suggest you don't put any money down on the new head till you've had a chance to try them.

The 75 mm half ball on the Vinten V3/ V6 heads is an integral part of the head assembly casting and I can see no way to detach it.

You may well come out of this a winner yet however - you could always sell your 525's with the Miller head and buy the V6 with a better set of sticks - everybody wins!

Always look on the bright side of life!

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