Velbon VGB-3 (anyone got one)

YellowBay

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I have just been given an old Velbon VGB-3 for nothing. It seems like a good sturdy tripod. Does anyone have any information regarding it? Ideally, I'd like to change the head on it but I'm not sure if this is possible. The Velbon site doesn't have any information, unsurprising since I think the tripod is easily over 10 years old.
 

heheharhar

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The Velbon VGB-3 tripod was make in the 70's. It is built like a rock. It can withstand heavy camera setup mounted on it and could handle the weight with ease. Also it is on the heavy side, it sure gave u stability and solid feel and won't let u down even on windy days as most light weight or light duty tripod will shake with the wind. Keep it and keep using it as it will last for decades or even centuries..... haha......
 

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I got one handed down to me in 1992. I have used it and abused it. Photos, videos, and I even adapted it to sight in my firearms. It will definitely outlive me. I love it. Ed v.
 

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I have one that I use to use with 4x5. Very sturdy to say the least.
 

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I have just been given an old Velbon VGB-3 for nothing. It seems like a good sturdy tripod. Does anyone have any information regarding it? Ideally, I'd like to change the head on it but I'm not sure if this is possible. The Velbon site doesn't have any information, unsurprising since I think the tripod is easily over 10 years old.
I think you can adapt a different head onto it. You might need a thread size adapter, depending on what head you're mounting.
 

tirediron

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If it's the one that I'm thinking of, the head is NOT removable, at least not such that it can easily be replaced with another, non-Velbon head.
 

Smitcarney

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If it's the one that I'm thinking of, the head is NOT removable, at least not such that it can easily be replaced with another, non-Velbon head.
I have owned a Velbon VGB-3 since the mid 1970s and yes you can definitely take the head off. In fact I had the head off today. There is a 1/4"-20 thread protruding from the top of the tripod column when the head is off. I just took the head off my Manfrotto monopod and I was able to install it on the Velbon...just to see if it fits. I will be putting the Velbon head back on my tripod. I have an Arca Swiss mounting plate on this tripod as I use L brackets on my camera. It is a very sturdy tripod that will last longer than I will. :)
 

onthuhlist

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Have a Velbon VG-3 I got from Goodwill for $8 a few months ago. Its head movement is practically as smooth as a fluid head, and you know how much fluid heads cost. Its frame has a heavy duty feel. I LOVE that it has quick-flip leg locks, as I very much dislike the twist-to-lock/unlock ones.

It has a nice geared crank for center column vertical extension. The center column has an adjustable friction lock to control the friction of the vertical extension. When fully loose, the column will lower itself under gravity when the lock nut is loosened. But when this friction is increased, you can get a nice tactile experience cranking the center column up and down, without it falling under its own weight, which means you can leave the lock nut loose and the center column will stay at the extension you set it.

It has larger than average solid metal lock nut for cinching up the equipment attachment screw; it's reassuring to use. And it has a very quick thumbscrew-adjust 90 degree swivel mount between portrait and landscape camera positions.

The tripod is heavier than today's average aluminum tripods. Which means I'm not afraid of its legs getting easily bent like I am with the minimalist tripods out there these days.

The feet are threaded so you can retract the rubber feet to yield metal spike feet for outdoor use.

So here's one use of it: I just received a $100 Celestron telescope for Christmas. The tripod that came with the telescope was the worst I've ever used in my life, both in design and construction. Thankfully the telescope's aluminum extruded mount has 1/4" threaded holes for attaching to a regular tripod. Put the telescope on the Velbon VG-3, and now I can do precise, smooth adjustments. A 1000% improvement over the tripod included with the telescope.
 

Smitcarney

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If it's the one that I'm thinking of, the head is NOT removable, at least not such that it can easily be replaced with another, non-Velbon head.
I have had a VGB-3 since around 1977 and you can definitely change the head. Loosen the locking clamp to the base plate and the Velbon head can be unthreaded from the 1/4"-20 stud sticking up from the base plate. I have a Manfrotto head on my monopod which bolts up to it nicely. The Manfrotto head can thread onto either 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-18 studs as the smaller threads will retract (spring loaded) for the larger stud. If you have a head that only fits onto a 3/8" stud, you may need an adapter.
 

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