Emmy-winning DP and DGA-nominated director Jody Eldred not only specializes in shooting assignments including network news, documentaries, episodic TV, and unscripted programs world-wide, he is also well-respected by top manufacturers to review their production equipment. With that background, Eldred was happy to try out the lightweight Vinten Vision blue3 tripod system and the versatile blueBridge accessory. “I generally don’t recommend that people use really lightweight heads for lightweight cameras,” said Eldred. “A lightweight camera and tripod system feels like you’re moving a feather, so everything—even your heartbeat—is transmitted to that tripod and to the camera. It makes it difficult to do a very smooth pan or tilt, or even hold steady.”
However, on a recent assignment in Seattle, Eldred paired the Vinten camera support equipment with a small Sony EX1 camera and was able to smoothly pan and tilt while zoomed to nearly full telephoto—with excellent results. He credits the blueBridge with making the pan and tilt head feel as smooth as if it was carrying a much heavier camera payload.
“It still allows the tripod to be lightweight, yet at the same time it can handle a very light camera and have it feel like you’re working with a heavier mass.” The blueBridge accomplishes this by raising the camera’s center of gravity so that the payload feels more massive on the pan and tilt head. Vinten’s Perfect Balance counterbalance system and infinitely adjustable pan and tilt drag allow him to dial in just the feel he needs for each setup.
Eldred uses a wide range of cameras to accommodate his varied assignments. “We don’t want to have to carry around three different tripods for three different camera weights. Using one tripod system for a range of cameras not only saves the cost of the additional tripods, but it reduces baggage fees when traveling.” The Vision blue3 pan and tilt head alone has payload range of from 6.6 to 14.6 lbs (3 to 6.6kg). The blueBridge accessory expands that range to a minimum of 4.4 lbs. (2kg).
With the entire Vision blue3 weighing in at just 15 lbs., Eldred can pack the tripod along with other production equipment and still stay within commercial airlines checked baggage weight limits. And by giving him camera support that he can easily carry and set up, the blue3 saves him valuable time. “My big mantra is that speed equals creativity. The faster you can work, the more time you’ll have to be more creative in that work.” Saving 10 or 15 minutes loading in and setting up his gear gives him 10 or 15 minutes extra to tweak the lighting or N.D. a bothersome window.
Vinten® is a global market leader in camera support technology for broadcast professionals and videographers The company’s wide range of equipment enables camera operators to work the way they choose without compromise and includes pan and tilt heads, tripods and pedestals suitable for ENG, EFP, OB and studio environments.
Vinten provides the most innovative, intuitive camera support products available by working closely with today’s professionals and understanding their changing needs.
Along with other leading brands in the broadcast and videographer industry, Vinten is part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.
About Vitec Videocom
Vitec Videocom brings together some of the most respected, most innovative and most sought-after brands in the industry: Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Litepanels, OConnor, Petrol Bags, Sachtler, Vinten and Vinten Radamec. It acts as an endorsing brand for these market-leading broadcast, film and pro video products, encouraging multi-brand system sales and simplifying the way that customers worldwide do business.
Vitec Videocom is an operating division within the Vitec Group, an international business serving customers in the broadcast, photographic and military aerospace and government markets. Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands on which its customers rely on worldwide.