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HomeCraftsCameraJody Eldred Chooses Lightweight Vision blue3 and blueBridge

Jody Eldred Chooses Lightweight Vision blue3 and blueBridge


Jody Eldred
Jody Eldred
Emmy-winning DP Jody Eldred does not only specialize in shooting assignments including network news, documentaries, episodic TV and unscripted programs worldwide, but he is also respected enough by manufacturers to review their production equipment. Eldred was recently able to try the lightweight Vinten Vision blue3 tripod system and the blueBridge accessory. “I generally don’t recommend that people use really lightweight heads for lightweight cameras,” Eldred said. “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,” he said. 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 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.”

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