Anyone ever used or own a Velben CF Tripod?

Discussion in 'Tripods, Ball Heads, and Gimbals' started by thrdprophet, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. thrdprophet

    thrdprophet

    684
    May 13, 2007
    Modesto, CA
    I just put in an order for a Velbon Carbon Fiber Tripod. The legs and head total was selling for a fairly reasonable price.

    the Model for it was the Carbon Fiber 540 version. If anyone has a Velbon CF tripod please let me know what you think of it (or if you have ever used one).

    thanks,
     
  2. I have the 640. I'm quite happy with it, but didn't had a chance to compare it to those praised Gitzo's. I'm curious if they are more stable with heavy lenses on it than mine.
    All I can say is that sometimes I need to raise the center column to get the desired height and that doesn't help for stability.
    Apart from that, I'd say it's easy to handle and well built.
     
  3. thrdprophet

    thrdprophet

    684
    May 13, 2007
    Modesto, CA
    Thanks for the input. I just received my CF tripod just a few minutes ago and just had a few minutes to try it out. It looks well built and comes with a lot of little acessories that the other brands does not include. I don't mind the height be a little low... since I'm short haha. But I guess a lot complain about it, I guess it would matter if your tall. Right now I am it standing at the maximum height attached w/my D200 just w/the 50mm 1.8. But I also have my Burton Camera bag hanging from it and it feels as sturdy as any tripod I've ever used.
     
  4. Tosh has had one for a couple of years I believe. I think he's pretty happy with it. Drop him a pm and he'll give you the details.
     
  5. I've had the Velbon 540 for over a year now. I knew nothing about the 540 before I got it; it came to me as a throw-in when I purchased a camera body. I find the Velbon 540 far better (much more stable) than the Feisol CF tripod that I had been using. I love that it is so lightweight and compact when folded, but I do wish it was another 8-10 inches taller when fully extended. I'm about 5'10" and find myself bending over a bit more than I'd prefer, but I don't use a tripod all that much. Still, I guess I'd get the taller 640 model next time. I find the 540 very stable, but the heaviest combo I've ever placed on it was the D2HS/200vr/TC20e. I had no stability issues with that amount of weight. I've never used a true high end tripod, so I can't say how it stacks up against the very best.
     
  6. thrdprophet

    thrdprophet

    684
    May 13, 2007
    Modesto, CA
    thanks for al the input. I will find out how the 540 rates in real world tests shortly when I take it trekking. Glad to hear that there aren't stability issues. I don't have a D2X or H so I should fair better with weight.
     
  7. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I have the Velbon El Carmagne 630, it was my first "serious" tripod and I still use it for hiking. It's not quite as tall as I'd like with center column the all the way in the down position, but it's a nice tripod. I like the fact that it has lever locks instead of those stupid twist-locks so many of the tripods use, much faster to set up. But I'm not sure if Velbon still uses the lever locks on their currently shipping models.

    Although I have a taller/heavier tripod I mostly use now, I still take the Velbon when hiking because of the weight advantage it offers.
     
  8. Be careful when buying the Velbon tripods. It appears that, due to a mistake in translation, some vendors were showing the El Carmagne 530, 540, 630 and 640 all as having a maximum load capacity of 25 pounds. It appears that the actual load capacity is 8.8 pounds for the 530 and 540, 13.2 and 13 pounds for the 630 and 640, respectively. I have never used a Velbon; so, I cannot comment on their quality. I just wanted to be sure that anyone considering a Velbon was not relying on a site that might have the mistaken specs.
     
  9. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    The load capacity of the Velbon 630 legs is more than 13lbs, I've had no problem whatsoever using those legs with D2x, 200-400vr + TC-14, and the older, heavier RRS Flash Bracket and a SB-800. Add in the weight of a Markins M10 head and Wimberley Sidekick and that's adds up to more than 13lbs I'm sure. IMHO the 630 is every bit as sturdy and capable as the Gitzo 12xx series.

    It may be that the 3-way pan/tilt head that comes with the Velbon tripods is only rated for 13lbs, but I can't really comment on that because I immediately replaced it with a Markin ballhead.
     
  10. thrdprophet

    thrdprophet

    684
    May 13, 2007
    Modesto, CA
    Yea I found that issue out before buying the tripod, but I never consider putting something close to 25lbs in something rather small to begin with. B&H showed the load capacity was 25lbs and other sites 8.8 lbs when I got the manual it said 25lbs.

    I also think that the 25lb load capacity refers to the legs of the tripod and not the panhead and center column. The leg support is made of carbon fiber and built very well so 25lbs is the least it probably can hold, carbon fiber is lighter and stronger than aliminum. I was in one of them science olympics in high school and we had a tower building contest made of wood. The one that builds the tower that weighed the least wins. Well the winner had a tower that weighed about 1/4 of lb of balsa wood and it held well over 30lbs. So 2.9 lbs of carbon fiber... and 25lbs is probably nothing.
     
  11. It does, indeed, look like Velbon has some problems with their literature. I just downloaded their latest catalogue, from their website. It shows the 500 series carbon fiber tripod legs, both twist lock and clip lock models, as having a maximum load capacity 4kg (8.8 lb); the twist lock 600 series as 6kg (13.2 lb); and, the clip lock 600 series as 5 kg (11 lb). Those specs were for the legs only.

    Their 2007 catalogue is at http://www.velbon-tripod.com/velbon_2007.pdf

    Also, B&H has changed their website to reflect the lower numbers, as indicated in the catalogue.

    It would seem to make little sense that a tripod with 25mm diameter legs (500 series) would have the same weight capacity as the same design with 28mm legs (600 series). So, there has to be something strange in the sites that showed both 500 and 600 series as having a capacity of 25lb.
     
  12. thrdprophet

    thrdprophet

    684
    May 13, 2007
    Modesto, CA
    Someone's fired.
     
  13. I love my velbon 630a!

    It still comes with flip locks, and the markins m10 look gorgeous on sitting on top of it. I just with I could find a plate or something that would eliminate the center column.
     
  14. thrdprophet,
    I see you followed my suggestion. I just wanted to say that photo makes an awesome avatar.
     
  15. thrdprophet

    thrdprophet

    684
    May 13, 2007
    Modesto, CA
    Thanks a lot for the suggestion! It does make a great avatar. For that, you will get blessed somehow.:smile:
     
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