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Sachtler’s one-two knockout!

Posted on Jul 4, 2023 by Samara Husbands

The combination of the flowtech 75 tripod and aktiv 8T head is the stuff of champions

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When it comes to tripods and heads, it’s rare for genuinely new and revolutionary tech to come along and disrupt the market. Yet that’s exactly what Sachtler has done, first with the flowtech® 75 carbon-fibre tripod, then again by teaming it up with aktiv™ 8T head. Many satisfied buyers agree the combo is the best system around, with the fastest set-up time.

The legs are held together by magnets, so you need a little bit of force to pull them out then splay them wide. Unclamp the leg locks that are placed at the very top, raise the tripod to the level you want then just snap the locks closed again. It’s incredibly easy and convenient.

Instead of large, single round legs or two smaller rounds legs like most tripods, the flowtech uses large, carbon-fibre profiles that are designed not only to twist less but also be far more comfortable for carrying on the shoulder. It’s details like this that make a real difference in everyday use.

There are rubber feet that fit over the spiked feet, and these are easily clipped off using a quick-release fastener. The removable, adjustable mid-level spreader is good for setting up on flat ground, while on rough ground, taking it off means the legs can be angled independently of each other. The spreader also affects the maximum and minimum heights you can raise the tripod to.

The legs only weigh 2.9kg/6.4lb, but can support a payload of up to 20kg/44lb. They’re bang on spec for filmmakers with a variety of camera systems.

Quick set-up is not just about the legs, but also preparing and installing the head – the aktiv 8T can be mounted to the tripod with SpeedSwap and levelled with SpeedLevel tech in record time.

The head mounts to the legs with a single lever lock, rather than screwing onto a large thread then locked down with a grub screw. It just drops onto the tripod and clicks into place on the quick-release adapter. Then, using the same lever lock, it’s free to move around and quickly levelled off; aktiv fluid heads feature the unique SpeedSwap system, allowing lightning-fast camera swaps from a tripod to a slider without missing a beat.

This unique set-up means you never have to reach under the bowl to fasten and unfasten a large tie down. The flowtech’s maximum leg height is 157cm/61.8in and, when combined with aktiv head, the legs can go flat to the ground. For the majority of cases, this means you don’t need baby legs to get those very low-angle shots.

The head has an illuminated prism bubble making it easy to level, day or night. Sachtler offers five versions of the head to take different payloads, and the aktiv 8T can handle up to 12kg/26.5lb. With 15 steps of counterbalance and seven steps of pan and tilt drag adjustment, it’s suitable for most cine cameras, even mounted with accessories. Sachtler is famous for smooth drag performance, so there is no compromise on smooth moves. 

You can vote for Sachtler in the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards by heading to the voting page!

Originally published in the July/August issue of Pro Moviemaker.

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