Streaming Media

Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn

Review: Vinten Vision blue Tripods--UPDATED with New Interview on Vinten blueBridge from NAB 2013

Infinite counterbalance control is what differentiates the Vinten Vision blue line of tripods from its competitors. Here's a look at the latest additions to the line, with tips on balancing, counterbalancing, and choosing the right-payload tripod for your camera and accessories.

Adjustable Counterbalance

Some tripods have adjustable levels of counterbalance that camera operators can dial-in. My brother owns a Manfrotto 504HD tripod and it has four levels of counterbalance. This sounds like a lot, but level 1 adds no counterbalance and the remaining three levels add a whopping 5.5lbs each, which still leaves the camera operator having to add dead-weight if the camera isn't exactly 5.5lbs. Fortunately, many camcorders are in that range but, that's before you add accessories.

The Sachtler SOOM that I reviewed back in 2008 for EventDV Magazine featured a FSB6 fluid head that has 10 levels of counterbalance. Each level adds about 1.2 lbs of counterbalance, so this is much more adjustable than the Manfrotto model but forgive me if I want infinite control that isn't restricted to pre-determined steps, and if "almost perfectly counterbalanced" isn't good enough for me.

Vinten Vision blue: Infinite Control

Infinite control is what differentiates the Vinten Vision blue line of tripods from its competitors, who restrict counterbalance adjustments to preset intervals. The difference is like comparing a photo lens with hard iris stops to the adjustable iris found on expensive cine-lenses. The problem is that once you get used to smooth controls, you never want to go back to hard clicks again.

Vinten Vision Blue Tripods
The Vinten Vision blue family of tripods

The third level of adjustments, after balance and counterbalance, is drag. You can control this independently on both the pan and tilt and the ability to make this adjustment is what differentiates a true fluid head tripod from friction models. Again, having infinite control over the precise amount of drag is important and whereas the Manfrotto 504HD, like the Vinten Vision blue tripod heads, allow for continuously variable amounts of drag, the Sachtler FSB6 offers only three levels.

Related Articles
The Vision blue system with mid level spreader, complete with Pozi-loc tripod and soft case, is designed for the lightest weight 1/4-inch camcorders and DSLRs