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Old September 27th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #16
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Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures.

I am wondering why you have two different weights? I have a friend that is real good with metal and we could probably whip something together in no time.

I also wonder if a set up like this would work with the Vision Blue.

Thanks for your addition.

Jonathan Levin
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Old September 28th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #17
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Good evening,

I use it with a vintin vision 6, it certainly would work with the blue.

I found my tripod head was smoothest with a slightly heavier load and was less effected by winds. I shoot wildlife a lot and the wind here is always an issue.

I have several different video cameras and I also use the weights on my steady cam as the arm is pretty strong and extra weight smooths it out as well!!

sometimes I just take the one tripod and if i switch from my canon set up which is 22 pounds to my sony set up I just slide the weight under it and I do not have to make new adjustments on the vintin vision 6!!

With my gitzo 1380 tripod you have to change springs, so I keep the heavier spring in and then just add the weight. makes things quick and easy.

Hope that helps
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 07:53 PM   #18
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For anyone perusing the B&H web site, I can assure you that the Vision Blue entries are incorrect.

You not only get the spreader but the head, sticks and case too. They're also missing any product description whatsoever.

I don't know why B&H seem to be having so much trouble with these entries (yes, I have informed them of the error).

I'm also puzzled as to why they aren't actually keeping them in stock, that seems bizarre.

Anybody visited the store and tried one out? Do they even have a display unit?


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Old January 17th, 2011, 03:05 AM   #19
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Works a dream with HMC40/41

I know I'm digging up a thread from the past, but I just want to contradict my earlier post.

My Vision Blue (with mid-spreader) arrived on Friday, and it works like an absolute DREAM under my HMC41. I normally use the camera with XLR unit, mic and battery, which takes it to just about 2kg or so (I haven't weighed it exactly).

The perfect balance works, well, perfectly. If you've never used a tripod with this feature, you're missing out.

The fluid head is the most fluidy head in fluid land. (Technical, eh?) Smooth a a baby's bottom, smooth as butter, whatever your analogy is. Can't fault it at all.

Drift back at full telephoto (approx 500mm) seems to be negligible. I haven't carried out detailed tests, so can't comment fully yet. It looks to be zero on the camera's LCD panel, I need to try it on a big screen to be sure. I have been through Manfrotto, Libec and Sachtler tripods and none of them were this good. Even the Sachtler DV6-SB on CF legs had noticeable drift-back.

Whip pan is an incredible feature. Even at a very high drag setting, you can just pan/tilt a bit harder - really good if you are tracking something that moves unexpectedly, like a bird that suddenly moves quickly. No need to fumble around trying to reduce the drag mid-shot, or stand on the legs to stop them from toppling when you pan too hard.

The legs aren't surprising, they are Vinten Poziloc 2-stage legs, which are rock solid. I have a mid-level spreader and the little rubber boots on the tripod. I find the mid-spreader much more robust than that on my Sachtler CF 75 legs.

I hope to carry out some more thorough tests soon, post some pictures and maybe a sample video or two if the weather cheers up here a bit.

If anyone has a smaller camera - and not just tiny cams like the HMC41, this should be fine for cameras like the NX5/Z5, XF300 etc. - and is in the market for a really, really good tripod, this is the one. Seriously, I spent 1500 on my Sachtler DV6-SB in 2008 (in those days, we didn't have the choice for smaller cams). This cost me 750 including VAT and postage from ProAV. Incredible.

Only downside compared to the Sachtler is it's a wee bit heavier, at just under 8kg for the system. I think the Sachtler was around 6.5 kg. The extra weight is in the legs, and it is well worth it for the stablity.

Peter Harman - take a bow. How did you make this tripod and make it affordable!

Last edited by Mike Beckett; January 17th, 2011 at 04:26 AM. Reason: Layout, prose etc.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #20
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Since this thread has been 'resurected', I might as well add my contribution to it, since I require some advice with regards to my Vision 3AS and counter balancing it.
I also asked the same question to Peter Harman, but he seems to be out of office today (there's a video show in London), so if any of you has a solution, I'd be glad to hear it!
In a nutshell, has any solution be found in order to balance lighter cams on Vinten tripods that require more weight or higher COG?
I mistakenly though my 2.5 kilos system would work on a 3AS, but only too late did I realize that the low COG of my system would play against my calculations...
ie: minimum weight on a 3AS with a system with a 50mm COG is Around 4kg...ish...
SO what about the 'elegant solution' imagined by Chris? HAs that project been dropped?
Do we have any other option?

Thanx for any input
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #21
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Hi, Mikael.............

Let me start at the end of your post and work backwards.

Options at the moment are slim indeed.

If you can't "pimp" the camera with high up mic mounts/ wireless receiver units on the cold shoe, you're left with a bit of DIY, if you're into it.

One way would be to start with one of these adapters:

shoe adapter 1 4-20 items - Get great deals on Cameras Photo items on!

designed to allow a unit with a 1/4" mounting hole to be fitted to a cold shoe.

Then you'll need something like this:

BOSS Enclosures | Heavy Duty Diecast Enclosures, IP65 Aluminium Boxes

tho' probably not quite so heavy duty, you're local electronics/ hobby store may have what you want.

Then you need to get that box drilled and tapped to accept that 1/4" srew on the adapter. I'd put one in the centre of the base and another on one long side (there is method in this, I assure you).

Then a visit to your local friendly gun store is on the cards, where you need to procure about 250 grams of BB lead shot (the amount is entirely random as I cannot quantify anything without access to the camera, adapter and box).

Lastly, you need to aquire a single 1/4" bolt, threaded to fit that 1/4" hole.

With that done, attach adapter to box using the base hole, remove lid from box, attach box to camera hot/ cold shoe, attach camera to tripod head and proceed to add lead shot to box until the camera wants to drop from level.

Replace lid on box, remove from cold shoe, remove adapter from box base hole, fit instead 1/4" bolt to prevent box contents emptying, attach adapter to 1/4" hole on box long edge.

Remount on camera and see if the counterbalance has kicked in properly.

Fiddle until it works.

See, easy.

Moving swiftly on, my "elegant solution" has gone exactly nowhere, which I do not find particularly suprising, for a number of reasons.

One is that the deafening roar of interest I was expecting (perhaps unfairly) simply didn't happen, another is that the people who should be thinking about this subject simply can't see it, yet.

That too is unsuprising as they still can't get that the time for that poxy single 1/4" screw fixing, currently to be found on every HD camcorder on the planet, is long past it's "put to the sword" point, despite the fact that I've been banging on about it for years and that the bloody thing dates back to somewhere around the American Civil War!!!

Dragging the Vitec Group into the 21st century is like turning the USS Nimitz:

using a row boat.

This seems to be the "Season of the Trade Show", so Peter (Vinten) and Barbara (Sachtler) are in "one armed paper hanger" mode, more or less constantly.

Not sure if any of the above has actually helped solve your little predicament, but do keep us updated if you try my box solution.

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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:17 AM   #22
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I'm not sure I would be too hard on the Vitec group - the The Vinten Blue is the answer to a lot of these problems and would probably work for Mikael.

I wonder if it is an option to exchange the head for a VB? I'm sure the 3AS's legs are fine.

Stupid thought of the day... what about buying a number of Manfrotto 357-type adapter plates and mounting them one on top of the other to really raise the COG? (Actually I think I really am crazy for saying that...)
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:18 AM   #23
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Thanx Chris and Mike for your comments and suggestions.

You said: 'I wonder if it is an option to exchange the head for a VB?'

I've actually just done the opposite! I initially ordered a Vision Blue, but I exchanged for a 3AS. I won't go into the details, but I thought it was a better solution for us.
Also, we use a few systems, and will probably upgrade them all soon to heavier, higher COG ones (AF101 based systems) So the 3AS seems perfect for that task.
Only right now, it doesn't work with the cameras we're using. (DMC151 or VDSLR and various accessories). They're all low COG and weight within the 3Kg range. (the 3AS minimum weight requirement is 4 kg for low COG systems).

You said: 'what about buying a number of Manfrotto 357-type adapter...'

Not such a stupid thought actually. In fact, I was about to start experimenting with that...
The idea was to use a 357 and mount it on top of the Vinten 3AS plate. The 357 plate would of course be mounted to the camera. The COG would then be higher by about 2 cms, which would not be enough. BUT, and that's where it gets interesting, I could use the side holes in the 357 (normally used to keep your extra plate screws) to hold a number of things (second SMall HD monitor, extra mic for backup, a Sound Devices MM1 or plenty other stuff...preferably heavy!)
This should take me to the required weight (hopefully!)
One definite drawback of using the 357 adapter is that one would loose the benefits of side loading that's so convenient on the 3AS.

Your DIY system would be perfect, only it's abit tricky to actually build here, in Europe.
Trust me, I've been trying to get my hands on the required bits to drill and tap using 1/4 and 3/8 standards, but I cannot get it here. We only find thess bits in metric values, and they don't match.
I can, if I pay a lot of money, get a few nuts and bolts (I actually have to order to an Army air base specialized in US aircrafts maintenance!) but they don't have the equipment required to drill and tap.
By the way, if anyone has a solution, that'd make my day!

Another potential solution would be to use the head handles tapped holes on both sides of the 3AS head and somehow attach a 'frame' that would hold some weight (weight here could be anything: monitors, mixer...). The design of the said fixture should obviously allow for attachment of the handle(s).

As I mentionned in my previous post, I also submitted my problem to Peter HArman who suggested something like this:
XLR Adapter XLR2-DV XLR Pro Audio Adapter The XLR2-DV XLR Audio Adapters For Camcorders XLR Adapter
It's almost exactly what you (Chris) suggested, and is already made for you. I'm not sure it'd weight enough (13oz only) to solve my problem though...

So I'll experiment a bit in the next few days and report back here, in case other users are having the same problem.

In the meantime, I'd like to say Peter HArman and his colleagues at Vinten have been very helpful, responsive and dedicated to their customer's satisfaction every time I've had to contact them.
While I agree with Chris that companies should always be kept informed of what their customers expect (keep shouting Chris!) and pushed in the right direction, I really must say that you don't often meet such excellent customer service as Vinten's one.
I'm glad I bought from them and I definitely will soon again!

Thanx all, I'll report back with a solution!
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #24
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Got it working now.
Here's what I did:
I used a Velbon micro adjustment head I had lying around coupled with a Manfrotto 357. The 3AS plate attaches to the bottom of the Velbon. The 357 plate attaches to the camera.
See the picture for more info.
The good thing is this gives me a lot of freedom for adujting the balance of the whole system (micro adjustable!), so adding or removing an accessory is really easy. Also, it gives me rails onto which I can attach various things (here with a SD MM1).
Also, since I'm nowhere near the maximum weight limit for the 3AS, I get the whole 90 range for tilts (which I could never do with the Vision Blue, which would be approaching its far limit with a MM1 attached)
The only annoyance with this workaround is that I no longer have the benefits of the Vinten side loading system for the camera alone.
Hope this helps.

Thanx and good day to all...
Attached Thumbnails
Vinten Vision Blue-3as_357_mm1.jpg  
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Old February 17th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #25
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You really had me going there for a while........

with the lack of appropriate tools to pull off my trick with the box.

So much so that I took a trip into town to see how I'd fare following my own advice, bear in mind this is Dunedin, a thriving metropolis, NOT!

First hardware "super store", bingo, an Imperial tap and die set with that all important 1/4" - 20 tap and die, not bad for a country that's been metric for over 40 years!

Then "the" camera store in town, bingo again, cold/ hot shoe to 1/4" adapter, plastic, not aluminium but one can't have everything.

Decided to do a virtual tour of Montpellier tool suppliers but Google Translate just wasn't up to the task, so settled for the UK.

Sure there's plenty of others but hit the jackpot here:

Clarke CHT302 24-Pce Tap & Die Set - Machine Mart

[very suprised I couldn't get a hit at Buck & Ryan, as they're all over and good too, but hey]

So, this stuff may be sorta rare but it's not yet in the "hens teeth" category.

Glad to see you solved the problem, and exceedingly ingenious it is too!

Yeah, gotta take my hat off to Peter and the crew at Vinten, Peter especially as he's got me whingeing in his "shell like" on a pretty constant basis, has the patience of Job, does Peter.

Keep well guys.



Subsequent trawling of the web site for the UK hit really brought back some memories, this store only about 5 minutes (NOT rush hour!) drive North from where I lived in London for a decade, vaguely remember seeing it, never needed it's services:

What a small world we live in.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; February 17th, 2011 at 11:40 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #26
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:-) MAchine MArt! Of course!

Thanx Chris for your investigations...
Funny, I also lived 30 seconds walk away from a MachineMart in London, the one in the Limehouse area...(actually, I think everyone in London lives close to a MAchineMart!)
I never realized they had an online shop too...
I'll send them a mail to check if they'll ship to France.

As for the solution I found for the 3AS, it's OK, but not perfect yet (stable enough for field use?). Being a self confessed perfectionist and a decent DIYer (can we say that?), I'll keep refining the concept.
Of course, I'll report back here.
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