In Review: Vinten Vision Blue Tripod
This system offers “perfect balance” and an all-important illuminated bubble level.
Tripods really have not evolved that much over the last ten years—they still have three legs, stabilize a camera, and allow steady pans and tilts. But the status quo may be changing thanks to Vinten’s Vision blue, which delivers the one feature I have been requesting on a tripod for the last 20 years: an illuminated bubble level.
There are those who believe that a tripod’s head is the critical part; I believe that the legs are just as important. My review tripod offered Pozi-Loc type 3776 two-stage carbon fiber legs, which extend to a height of 61.5”. The legs provided for review opened and closed smoothly and were more comfortable to handle in extreme weather than aluminum versions that have been provided in the past. Weighing less than 6 lb. and collapsing to 28”, they are not too heavy to carry around.
The spreader is a nice luxury that I decided to keep attached to the tripod all the time because it takes real strength to pull the rubber strap over each leg. However, once the spreader was attached to the legs, they never slipped. A black dial with a blue arrow illustrates the direction to expand the spreader from its smallest position so that it locks firmly into place. That also takes a bit of muscle to open or close.
Nonetheless, the Vision blue pan and tilt head is the tripod’s best characteristic. The model V4092 head supports cameras up to 11 lb., yet it weighs only 5 lb. The Vision blue head mounts to the legs with a standard 1/4-inch screw. Moving attention up from the mounting ball, users will find that the pan drag adjusting knob moves from 1 to 8, increasing in intensity. Once 8 is reached, the drag adjustment is difficult to move, but a sprocket in the knob makes it extremely easy to adjust.
Directly above the knob is the tripod’s best innovation. By pressing a tiny blue button, the bubble level to the immediate left is illuminated by a florescent blue LED, making the bubble easy to see in daylight, darkness or with bifocal-adjusted vision. Powered by a minuscule 23AE, 12V alkaline battery, the blue LED will remain glowing for 15 seconds, more than enough time to accomplish the task.
Vision blue’s head also has the expected pan and tilt brake levers, a tilt drag adjustment lever (identical to the pan drag adjustment, only vertically mounted), and a Perfect Balance adjustment knob that controls the camera’s weight better throughout the head’s range. The Perfect Balance prevents the camera from tipping over and is extremely useful for quickly balancing any size camera.
There is nothing not to like about this unit. Affordably priced at $1,140, users can get an amazing tripod and head for the money. No matter what the situation, anyone can perfectly balance the Vinten Vision blue because the bubble is easy to see.
Vinten Vision blue Tripod
Pros: Lightweight, affordable, features innovative illuminated bubble level.
Cons: Spreader is difficult to adjust.
Bottom Line: An amazing tripod and head for the money.