Article Overview

WIGE motors ahead with Vinten

On Location

Wige Media, based in Köln, Germany, understands that outside broadcast work places particular strains on camera support equipment. On the one hand they have to be light and manoeuvrable enough to be moved into position, which may be some way from vehicle access and possibly high up in a stand.
On the other hand they have to be particularly stable and rigid as they are often used with very long lenses. The slightest trace of instability in a camera mount when used at the extreme end of an 80x or 100x lens will look like a major disruption.

A precise counterbalance at any angle

Finally, outside broadcasts, and particularly sport coverage, offers no second chances: the shot has to be perfect first time, every time. The operator needs to know that the tripod or pedestal and head is going to behave precisely as expected, whatever the temperature and whatever the shot.

The Vinten Perfect Balance system is designed for just this eventuality. Through a careful analysis of the forces at work as a camera is tilted, Vinten has developed a sophisticated method of providing a precise counterbalance at any angle. This means that, once set up, the head can be moved to any angle of tilt and released, in the confidence that it will stay precisely in position.

Combine Perfect Balance with a fluid drag system that allows the operator to dial in the precise amount of resistance to movement to ensure perfect tracking of the action, and the scene is set for excellent, flowing coverage whatever the action.

The 24 hour race from the Nürburgring

In motor sport the additional challenge is that the action is very fast indeed, and camera operators have to capture cars as they flash past at 250 km an hour or more.

Since 1998, Wige Media has been providing coverage of the 24 hour race from the Nürburgring. Wige acts as host broadcaster, providing informative coverage for fans and journalists at the circuit as well as broadcast television.

James Martin is head of video for Wige Media, and an enthusiastic supporter of Vinten products. “When we built a new standard definition truck in 2001, I chose Vision 250 and Vector 700 heads, and they delivered just what we needed from them.

“When we came to build our new high definition truck, HD1, I was very happy indeed to choose Vinten again, this time the Vector heads alongside the Vision 250,” he added. “They perform very well, and they are extremely mechanically robust, which is very important to us. Weight is important, too, and the Vinten gear is not as heavy as some other manufacturers we have looked at, without compromising strength and stability.”


Perfect service makes life easier

With any equipment on the road, some knocks are inevitable, so the speed of service is an issue, and Vinten has an extensive support base. Again, James had taken into consideration the availability of support when considering other manufacturers, and felt that the Vinten offering was significantly better.

“Perfect service makes life easier for us,” he concluded. “These are great products with great support.”