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Back in January of 2009, I was asked by Vinten if I would test out a new prototype head that they were planning on releasing to the public at NAB 2009. I gladly accepted and ran the pan head through a bunch of tests. Some involved camera control and movement while others involved temperature variations and the general wear and tear of field use.
At time of testing, I did not know what the pan head would be called, it did not even have a Vinten logo on it. I had two sizes, one small (like a Vision 3) and one large (like a Vision 10). I used both 75mm and 100mm sticks for each of the heads respectively.
I was very pleased with the results and I found these heads to have the perfect balance, control and “buttery feel” of a other Vinten pan heads. Temperature dd not affect them and they were built to last.
Best of all, Vinten added a few improvements to the new line of Vision heads. They added a screw storage compartment to the top of the head and also a quick release side entry plate mount. This new snap in design will be a welcome addition for many people who do not use a VCT-14U camera quick release plate for fast camera dismount.
I will be posting another video with Peter Harman (Product Manager at Vinten UK) from NAB 2009 as he goes through the bells and whistles on the new Vinten Vision AS Range.
Official Press Release -
NAB 2009, Las Vegas, 20 - 23 April 2009: Vinten®, a Vitec Group brand, has chosen NAB for the launch of a completely new range of Vision AS lightweight pan and tilt heads.
The brand new designs are the latest in the highly acclaimed Vision range of pan and tilt heads used by professionals around the world, including the award-winning Vision 100 and Vision 250.
With an all-new look for the 21st century, the four heads cater to a broad range of professional DV camcorders from 4.4 lbs to 32.0 lbs (2.0 kg up to 14.5 kg).
Several styling details, such as the distinctive new ‘V’ motifs and tough non-reflective black coating for discrete use on location, are immediately obvious. However, closer inspection reveals a wealth of ergonomic improvements, all made in direct response to customer feedback.
For example Vinten’s legendary multi-turn Perfect Balance counterbalance adjuster – which is unique among lighter payloads and unmatched in performance across the range – has been moved from the rear to the side, unfettered by camera overhang.
The levelling bubble has been repositioned just where camera operators said they wanted it and it stands out with a new bold blue switched LED for quick, accurate and convenient set up in low light situations.
The re-styled pan and tilt brake knobs have a robust and user-friendly design to take the rigours of everyday use head on, day after day. Similarly the multi-turn infinite drag adjusters are easier to use, with a wide range to suit even the most demanding user.
Vinten’s unique Perfect Balance technology allows the camera to be moved in any direction under fingertip control without the constant re-adjustment necessary with inferior systems, while the Vinten sideload camera plate feature now allows operators to mount and dismount the camera in seconds, reducing set-up time and improving operational flexibility.
“This competitive sector is dominated by freelancers spending their own money who demand high quality, reliability and low cost of ownership, especially under today’s demanding market conditions,” says Peter Harman, Vinten Product Manager. “They also need products that both perform well and look good, as their reputation depends on it. We believe that the hundreds of man-hours invested in what amounts to a re-invention of the Vision range reflects both our willingness and capability to turn operators’ wish lists into reality.”
The complete Vision AS range and corresponding camera payload (at 125mm center of gravity) is as follows: Vision 3 AS (4.4 to 11 lbs or 2 to 5 kg), Vision 5 AS (9.9-23.1 lbs / 4.5-10.5 kg), Vision 8 AS (12.1-27.6 lbs / 5.5-12.5 kg), and Vision 10 AS (14.3-32.0 lbs / 6.5-14.5kg).
All Vision AS pan and tilt heads are sold as standalone items or combined into systems featuring a range of 75mm and 100mm Pozi-Loc tripods supporting a payload of up to 25 kg (55 lbs), a choice of floor or Spread-Loc mid-level spreader, and an ergonomically designed Petrol™ carrying case.