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Sirui VH-10x or VH-10? Utility of variable pan settings in general? (1 Viewer)

Hi,

Just purchased an Induro CLT203 tripod and Sirui VH-10x head for a Harpia 85. I had been using my old Manfrotto 190x Pro4 and Manfrotto 128rc and found they were not up to the task of handling the Harpia. I am blown away by what a difference a proper setup makes. Totally different viewing experience.

I am wondering if the VH-10x is slightly more than I need. The 4-position drag dial is cool, but I'm finding myself locking off the pan regardless of the drag setting when it comes time to zoom in. I'm considering returning it and getting the VH-10 instead. The VH-10 looks exactly the same with the exception of the pan system. It has a fixed drag speed, and adjustments are made by changing the amount of friction applied by the locking lever. I can't decide if the 270 gram difference in weight or the more sophisticated pan system has more value for me.

Does anyone that uses the VH-10 (or something similar like a Manfrotto 500 AH or Benro S4) ever wish they had a smoother pan system?

Sirui also makes the VA-5, which is half the weight of the 10-x. The hunting community speaks highly of it. Seeing it hold a BTX is pretty neat, but it also looks like the balance plate would need constant adjustments, at least from the photos and videos I've seen. Anyone have experience with this head?

Of course I should probably just pony up and get a Gitzo GHF2w and stop overthinking it |=)|
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Hi,

Just purchased an Induro CLT203 tripod and Sirui VH-10x head for a Harpia 85. I had been using my old Manfrotto 190x Pro4 and Manfrotto 128rc and found they were not up to the task of handling the Harpia. I am blown away by what a difference a proper setup makes. Totally different viewing experience.

I am wondering if the VH-10x is slightly more than I need. The 4-position drag dial is cool, but I'm finding myself locking off the pan regardless of the drag setting when it comes time to zoom in. I'm considering returning it and getting the VH-10 instead. The VH-10 looks exactly the same with the exception of the pan system. It has a fixed drag speed, and adjustments are made by changing the amount of friction applied by the locking lever. I can't decide if the 270 gram difference in weight or the more sophisticated pan system has more value for me.

Does anyone that uses the VH-10 (or something similar like a Manfrotto 500 AH or Benro S4) ever wish they had a smoother pan system?

Sirui also makes the VA-5, which is half the weight of the 10-x. The hunting community speaks highly of it. Seeing it hold a BTX is pretty neat, but it also looks like the balance plate would need constant adjustments, at least from the photos and videos I've seen. Anyone have experience with this head?

Of course I should probably just pony up and get a Gitzo GHF2w and stop overthinking it |=)|

I have the VH-10X which I use on a rig that is meant to be solid and smooth without concern for weight. It works wonderfully and I prefer its handling to its Manfrotto competition (e.g. MVH502AH). The smooth panning is helpful for lining up the scope when digiscoping at very high magnification (96x plus heavy cropping), but otherwise seems expendable for my purposes, so the VH-10 might be nice if you are trying to save weight (For doing that, I use Gitzo GH1720QR). I'm not sure the GHF2w performance would be better than the VH-10.

--AP
 
I have the VH-10X which I use on a rig that is meant to be solid and smooth without concern for weight. It works wonderfully and I prefer its handling to its Manfrotto competition (e.g. MVH502AH). The smooth panning is helpful for lining up the scope when digiscoping at very high magnification (96x plus heavy cropping), but otherwise seems expendable for my purposes, so the VH-10 might be nice if you are trying to save weight (For doing that, I use Gitzo GH1720QR). I'm not sure the GHF2w performance would be better than the VH-10.

--AP

Thank you for the feedback. Exactly the answer I was looking for. I think stability is more important to me than weight. I'm usually within a mile or two of the car when using a scope, and I spend enough time on windy tidal flats that I want a stable setup. 1/2 pound for a feature I might not use often is still an unnecessary 1/2 pound though. I'll have to take a look at the VH-10. I too am finding I prefer Sirui to the Manfrotto offerings.

Also interesting to hear about the GHF2w. I've never used one, but my gut has been telling me that you're right and that there must be some tradeoff in stability with the reduction in size. Multiple people on BF seem happy using it with their big scopes though. I suppose everyone has different tolerances and needs.
 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
I've had two VH-10s which were to be used with a ATX95. Loved the relatively compact size of it, but didn't like the panning, which seemed jerky and the lock knob was in a location I didn't care for. The first VH-10 I purchased had a tiny screw fall out of it which rendered it unusable. Migrated to a Manfrotto 500AH which performed a little better, but was a bit bulkier and still had jerky panning. Then migrated again, this time to the Gitzo GHF2W which I really like for the ATX95.

I've since downsized to the Meopta S2 on a 128RC which I'm very content with. Much easier to handle and carry, yet, depending on light conditions, still provides equal performance to the ATX95.
 

Saxatilis

Well-known member
Thank you for the feedback. Exactly the answer I was looking for. I think stability is more important to me than weight. I'm usually within a mile or two of the car when using a scope, and I spend enough time on windy tidal flats that I want a stable setup. 1/2 pound for a feature I might not use often is still an unnecessary 1/2 pound though. I'll have to take a look at the VH-10. I too am finding I prefer Sirui to the Manfrotto offerings.

Also interesting to hear about the GHF2w. I've never used one, but my gut has been telling me that you're right and that there must be some tradeoff in stability with the reduction in size. Multiple people on BF seem happy using it with their big scopes though. I suppose everyone has different tolerances and needs.

Hi,
I have recently purchased a Sirui VH-10 to replace a lighter Gitzo GHF2W because I needed to support heavier binoculars (a 20x70 45° astro type, 4.2 kgs).
The Gitzo GHF2W is-was great when I was using lighter binoculars (the Vortex Kaibab 15x56, 1.2 kgs) but is definitely too flimsy now that I use big binos.
The Sirui VH-10 should support up to 6 kgs and and actually holds well optics like mine. It is also very finely built, I only had to change the quick release plate with a bit longer one to better balance the heavy 20x70s.
I just successfully used the Sirui VH-10 head in a 12-day raptor count the Sirui and am satisfied with it.
I also had the tiny Gitzo GH1720QR, then changed it for a newer and better GHF2W: but now neither of the two heads could support such heavy instruments with which I observe, so this is why I shifted to the more suitable Sirui VH-10
 
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