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Old 28th of June 2010 (Mon)   #1
tfd888
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Default Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

Hello all. I'm looking at picking up a Velbon VGB - 3 tripod as recommended by a friend and was wondering if anyone here had one and could share any info or their experiences about it.
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Old 28th of June 2010 (Mon)   #2
crn3371
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

What little info I can find on that particular model makes it look like a cheap $50 POS tripod that I wouldn't even think of putting your gear on. Why would you want to put several thousand dollars of camera gear on a Walmart tripod? Now, I'm not bashing Velbon. I have a set of their ElCarmagne carbon fiber legs with an Acratech ballhead and it's an excellent rig. But unless I'm looking at the wrong tripod, the Velbon you're referring to looks like their starter tripod.
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Old 29th of June 2010 (Tue)   #3
tfd888
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post
What little info I can find on that particular model makes it look like a cheap $50 POS tripod that I wouldn't even think of putting your gear on. Why would you want to put several thousand dollars of camera gear on a Walmart tripod? Now, I'm not bashing Velbon. I have a set of their ElCarmagne carbon fiber legs with an Acratech ballhead and it's an excellent rig. But unless I'm looking at the wrong tripod, the Velbon you're referring to looks like their starter tripod.
The info I have from my friend and what I found online (and it really is minimal) is that it was Velbon's flagship tripod that was made in the 70's and 80's, that they were used for heavy video and photo equipment, were indestructible heavy tanks (weighed 4.6lbs.), and are now hard to find.

The similar model to it that's easier but still hard to find is the Velbon VGB-37 which is capable of supporting 15lbs. but they aren't as highly regarded from what my friend told me.
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Old 1st of July 2010 (Thu)   #4
petert210
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

I have one that is at least 25 years old and is still working great. I had my D90 + telephoto lens and flash (~4lbs + 1.1 lbs of the pan head) on it and it is very solid. I can't tell you how it will perform under heavier loads because I haven't tried anything heavier than the above. I don't have the original instructions so I don't know how much load it is rated for. I would say almost 95% of the tripod is made of metal, aluminum. Some plastic are used in knobs, tabs and handles. Everything is hold together by screws, no glue or adhesive. The legs are lock into place, one fix angle only, with metal flip locks. The center column is geared and locks securely with my set up. The tension of the gear column could be adjusted by rotating a separate center tube which encases the column. It has rubber feet with spikes build-in. The following are the specs that I measured:
Sections : 3
Height: 45” column unextended, 60”with column extended,
Folded length: 22.5”
Weight: approx 4.6 lbs
Made in Japan
All specs included the PH-256 pan head.
The head is attached to legs via a 3/8” screw and could be exchanged.

Some caveats about the VGB-3:
1. It is about 45” unextended which could be a bit short.
2. The vibration dampening will not be as good as some of current tripods esp. the CF ones.
3. No low angle leg adjustment therefore difficult to get close to the ground.
I can’t verify if this is the flagship tripod that Velbon made at the time. However, I would say that the build quality is as good as any serious advance amateur tripods at its time. After 25+years, nothing is bend, all legs are smooth and lock securely, the gear column will lock and stay at whatever position with my gear. If this fits what you are looking for, it will be a good buy as you can find it quite inexpensive on the bay. Hope this helps.

Last edited by petert210 : 1st of July 2010 (Thu) at 18:35.
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Old 1st of July 2010 (Thu)   #5
tfd888
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

Quote:
Originally Posted by petert210 View Post
I have one that is at least 25 years old and is still working great. I had my D90 + telephoto lens and flash (~4lbs + 1.1 lbs of the pan head) on it and it is very solid. I can't tell you how it will perform under heavier loads because I haven't tried anything heavier than the above. I don't have the original instructions so I don't know how much load it is rated for. I would say almost 95% of the tripod is made of metal, aluminum. Some plastic are used in knobs, tabs and handles. Everything is hold together by screws, no glue or adhesive. The legs are lock into place, one fix angle only, with metal flip locks. The center column is geared and locks securely with my set up. The tension of the gear column could be adjusted by rotating a separate center tube which encases the column. It has rubber feet with spikes build-in. The following are the specs that I measured:
Sections : 3
Height: 45” column unextended, 60”with column extended,
Folded length: 22.5”
Weight: approx 4.6 lbs
Made in Japan
All specs included the PH-256 pan head.
The head is attached to legs via a 3/8” screw and could be exchanged.

Some caveats about the VGB-3:
1. It is about 45” unextended which could be a bit short.
2. The vibration dampening will not be as good as some of current tripods esp. the CF ones.
3. No low angle leg adjustment therefore difficult to get close to the ground.
I can’t verify if this is the flagship tripod that Velbon made at the time. However, I would say that the build quality is as good as any serious advance amateur tripods at its time. After 25+years, nothing is bend, all legs are smooth and lock securely, the gear column will lock and stay at whatever position with my gear. If this fits what you are looking for, it will be a good buy as you can find it quite inexpensive on the bay. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the info!

I just got one off of Ebay listed as being in excellent condition and it looks it from the few item photos for $9.99 US +$9.85 shipping = $19.84 total for it. I'll post back about it when I get it in the next few days.
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Old 8th of July 2010 (Thu)   #6
tfd888
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

Just received it and all I can say is wow! This thing is a tank and great! Nearly all metal construction (even the knobs and handles) and it is very sturdy fully extended at it's max height with my gripped 20D and 70-200 2.8 IS mounted. It came with a 3 way pan head (not sure on the model no.) which is very smooth in all directions. I am one happy camper

I'll probably make a small review thread with photos of it when I get a bit of time and once I get my other body back.


Edit: link to mini review with pics: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...2#post10731202
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Alexander R.O.
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(70-200mm L 2.8 IS) ~ (17-40mm L 4.0) (Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 EX DG Macro RIP) ~ (50mm 1.8 MKII) ~ (Alpex 35mm f/2.8 M42 mount) ~ (430EX II) ~ (Yongnuo YN-560 III)
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Last edited by tfd888 : 16th of August 2010 (Mon) at 13:56. Reason: Adding review link
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Old 5th of February 2013 (Tue)   #7
asasn
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

I actually am using this same tripod. It was originally bought and used by my father since the 80's. I think this thing still works great for being that old. No need to upgrade here.
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Old 5th of February 2013 (Tue)   #8
samsen
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

As long as you get it cheap, it should be fine.
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Old 27th of December 2013 (Fri)   #9
jaquinn
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Default Re: Velbon VGB - 3 Tripod

For sure a great tripod. I bought it in the early 1980s when I was a student but it is still going strong with no faults ever. A little heavy and mostly lives in my car.
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