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Building on the success of its lightweight Ace tripods, targeting the compact camcorder and DSLR market, Sachtler has announced a baseplate, follow focus, and matte box system to complement these tripods. Constructed primarily of lightweight glass fiber and reinforced composite materials, the products are suitable for use with a variety of cameras, including DSLR and small camcorders.
The Sachtler Ace Baseplate consists of a sliding camera plate and a 15mm LWS rod bridge that mounts on your tripod. The camera plate supports ¼"-20 and 3/8"-16 threaded mounting screws. You can attach an included anti-twist bracket for use with DSLRs, which lack a socket for a locating pin. The rod bridge incorporates clamps for 15mm rods and is height-adjustable. This allows you to use rod-mounted accessories with cameras that don’t conform to industry standard lens heights, such as the Canon 5D. It features Sachtler’s sideload mechanism, which allows you to attach the camera plate to the rod bridge from the top, without having to slide it in from the back, which is often a difficult task when you are supporting a camera and accessories.
The Ace Follow Focus is a flexible unit that is suitable for geared and non-geared lenses. It features anti-backlash gears for accurate focus marks and pulls, and clamps on 15mm rods. The follow focus adjusts for different diameter lenses, and includes both a standard geared and friction-drive gear, which is what makes it suitable for use with either geared or gearless lenses. The mechanism is reversible, which allows you to use the follow focus on either side of the lens, and there is a hard stop slider button for lenses without internal stops.
The Ace Matte Box is a lightweight image-control system that protects your lenses/filters from glare, flare, and light leak from behind the camera. The matte box supports filters up to 4 x 5.65" and includes top and side flags. It features a reversible 15mm LWS rod clamp that accommodates two different center lens heights. The matte box features one rotating and one non-rotating filter stage, and includes two 4 x 4", and two 4 x 5.65" filter trays. It incorporates two accessory mounting bars, one on each side of the matte box, and each with two 1/4"-20 threaded holes for mounting available accessories. Two neoprene rubber rings are included to prevent light from leaking around your lens and flaring filters.
Although you will need to source 15mm support rods to use either the follow focus or the matte box, Sachtler makes a kit that bundles the baseplate, follow focus, and matte box together, and includes a pair of 12-inch-long rods. So, if you already have equipment, and are looking to upgrade one component, or you want to upgrade to a complete system, the Sachtler ACE system may have what you need.