Sachtler just released the FSB 10 tripod head, their most recent addition to the long-standing FSB tripod line. What’s special about this is the fact that it has a 100mm bowl as opposed to the 75mm bowl of its other FSB series siblings. This makes it considerably more useful for larger camera setups which require a higher payload than most 75mm tripods can support. One of the biggest problems in recent years when making a purchase decision for a tripod was the fact that while even bigger cameras like the Sony FS7 got cheaper and cheaper, the required tripods didn’t change much in price at all. Balancing an FS7 on a 75mm tripod can be a challenge, especially when it’s rigged up and uses the V-Lock extension. I think it’s a smart move by Sachtler to introduce an entry-level 100mm tripod that ties into their existing FSB line, with higher payloads of up to 12kg and the bigger bowl. Like most Sachtler tripods, it comes in two options, in a Sideload version (my preference because of the long sliding plate that gives you most versatility when balancing) and the Touch & Go version with the smaller plate and the moveable mounting base. Sachtler’s higher-end 100mm tripods like the Video 18 are really bedrocks of broadcast life around the world and you come across them consistently as a camera operator when working with any hire gear. At least in Europe, they are the de-facto standard. My first personal purchase of a “proper” tripod was an FSB 8 system over 10 years ago, which I ended up using heavily with my Sony EX3 at the time. It’s still really an everyday tripod for me and I use the FSB 8 head on my CineSlider constantly for example, mounted directly onto it. This tripod has been across the world with me several times on various assignments and it still holds up well. Can’t wait to try out the FSB 10 though, it looks like it can be a lighter travel buddy for smaller shoots when I don’t want to or can’t take my much heavier Sachtler Cine 7+7 tripod with me. We will add a B&H buy link once it is listed on their websites.Read more
Back in April I expressed my enthusiasm for the Sachtler Speedlevel, a fantastic time saving product designed for 100mm tripod heads. It’s one of those products that makes you wonder why it hasn’t been designed before; gone are the days of countlessly screwing around with your tripod leveller. If you haven’t seen one in action yet, check out this video by Matt Allard of News Shooter comparing it against a conventional tripod leveller. The one caveat perhaps for many of our readers is Sachtlers choice to select the 100mm bowl as the first Speedlevel size. It’s completely understandable; this size is where their core line and user base lies. But for many filmmakers coming from a DSLR background, a 100mm tripod head maybe completely foreign territory. Well good news, as I’ve been testing the current 100mm Speedlevel on a 75mm tripod the last week, and can confirm that it does indeed work. 75mm tripod heads are perhaps more familiar to our readers, the likes of the Sachtler FSB range, Miller Solo, Vinten Vision Blue and Manfrotto 502/504s all adopt this size. I’ve been testing out the Speedlevel on a (now discontinued) Sachtler Cine DSLR head, and popular Miller Solo carbon fibre legs. As you can see from this picture, the Speedlevel is considerably larger in diameter than my traditional head clamp. For reference, the Speedlevel has a diameter of 61mm, and my standard Sachtler Cine DSLR clamp is smaller at 52mm. You do lose angle of adjustment when using the Speedlevel on a 75mm setup, the amount you lose is down to the clearance that your legs offer. I can confirm that this will work comfortably with Miller Solo legs, and the level of adjustment you lose is not detrimental enough to cap the performance of your tripod setup. In the rare case where I was maxing out the adjustment of the Speedlevel with 75mm Miller Solos, I simply adjusted the height of the legs to counter. Sachtler has stated that they are considering a 75mm Speedlevel, so it may seem irrelevant information to some more patient shooters. However to users who want the Speedlevel now and/or are looking to future proof their gear, the 100mm Speedlevel maybe the one for you.Read more
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