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REVIEW:  Vinten Vision Blue5 Fluid Head and Tripod Legs

A Nice Set Of Legs For A Reasonable Price

By Bruce A Johnson | November 20, 2012

Tripods tend to fall into that broad category of items that we never notice when they work, yet can't live without when they don't. And there aren't too many things that can ruin a great shoot faster than a tripod that slips, catches, or doesn't stay put when you want it to. I've used or tested a lot of tripods in my career, and in my opinion Vinten tripods have always risen to the top of the pile, both in initial quality and longevity. The Vision Blue5 is a fairly new addition to the family, and it brings a lot of good features to the party.

I was sent a Vision Blue5 head mounted on a 3744-3 aluminum 2-stage tripod, which was fitted with a mid-level spreader.

The tripod legs and head together allow for a maximum height of about 5 ½ feet, and a minimum altitude (with spreader) around 20 inches. If I am likely to complain about any one element of the package, it would be the mid-level spreader.

It has a knob in the middle that regulates whether the spreader legs can open fully, a gimmick I can't fathom.


The mid-spreader also necessitates the use of three individual rubber feet on the tripod legs; lose even one and the tripod system is seriously impaired. All of this can be easily fixed with the use of a floor spreader with built-in feet, which is the other option available, and by far the better choice. But that's the end of the bad news - the Vision Blue5 head is an impressive piece of work.

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IEBA: | November, 21, 2012

I hate floor spreaders. They get dirty from being used on location (sand, dirt, oil, food, grime, etc) To adjust the deployment angle you have to get down on your knees. To fold it up you have to bend all the way down and pick up the ring, or let it flop below the feet.

I love mid-level spreaders. I can pop it up with my knee and fold the legs up to move locations in a second. It stays clean. I can adjust leg angle without kneeling on the floor. It’s a shelf for headphones, folded reflector, camera accessories. It ads a point of stability and torsion resistance in the middle of a deployed tripod. It has zero effect on whether you are using spikes or pads. On and on.

While you may like a floor spreader over a mid-level spreader, note it as a preference, not a “far better choice” because for me, its not. smile

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