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Sachtler FSB 4 Fluid Head

BH #SAFSB4 • MFR #0307
Sachtler
Sachtler FSB 4 Fluid Head
Key Features
  • Capacity up to 8.8 lb
  • 75mm Bowl Mount
  • For Lightweight Camcorders & DSLRs
  • 5-Step Counterbalance
With its 8.8 lb capacity and compact size, the Sachtler FSB 4 Fluid Head is ideal for supporting small handheld camcorders and video-enabled DSLRs. As the only head in its class to feature Sachtler's Sideload mechanism, the FSB 4 boasts an exceptionally large sliding range of 4.7". Along with a 5-step counterbalance, this ensures extremely quick and precise balancing. At the same time, no-compromise vibration damping allows for extremely subtle and finely graded movement.
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Sachtler FSB Series Video Head Overview

With its 8.8 lb capacity and compact size, the Sachtler FSB 4 Fluid Head is ideal for supporting small handheld camcorders and video-enabled DSLRs. As the only head in its class to feature Sachtler's Sideload mechanism, the FSB 4 boasts an exceptionally large sliding range of 4.7". Along with a 5-step counterbalance, this ensures extremely quick and precise balancing. At the same time, no-compromise vibration damping allows for extremely subtle and finely graded movement.

Long sliding range of camera plate
Robust metal housing
Tested Speedbalance technology
Compatible with SOOM and the Sachtler FSB Cell

Sachtler FSB Series Video Head Specs

Camera Plate
Camera Plate FeaturesQuick Release, Sliding Balance Plate
Camera Plate TypeSideload Plate S
Head
Base Mount75 mm Half Ball
Counter BalanceIncremental 3-Step
Bubble Level1
Pan & Tilt
Drag ControlTilt: 3-Step
Vertical Tilt+90° to -70°
Panning Range360°
Independent Pan LockYes
Independent Tilt LockYes
General
Load Capacity8.8 lb / 4 kg
Operating Temperature-40 to 140°F / -40 to 60°C
Weight5.3 lb / 2.4 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight8 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)18.1 x 10 x 8.4"

Sachtler FSB Series Video Head Reviews

Overpriced

By Robert
Rated 2 out of 5
Date: 2021-01-22

I’ve been familiar with this head for about 5 years now. While it is reliable and smooth, I simply don’t understand the price point. Panning drifts about a quarter of an inch to the right when locking down, which is very troublesome for framing out precise compositions. That one quirk alone is enough for me to wonder why this thing is so expensive. Go for Manfrotto and skip this guy. Save yourself some money.

Reliable

By Vladimir
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-12-20

This head is logically simple and reliable in use. But to understand the quality of its work, and therefore, to decide whether to obtain this head for myself or not, I would need to answer two questions for myself: 1) Would you need to set up the head under your camera every time for different filming parameters? 2) Is it important for you to have clean camera movement and therefore in-shot composition? If not – then it is better to get a simpler and cheaper head, you would save a good deal of money. If yes – then Sachtler will serve you well. That is, the FSB 6 will satisfy many professional needs (of course, except large film projects, where there are other needs for other camera equipment). But in the case of production of many independent films – feature or documentary – with non-heavy cameras, the Sachtler FSB 6 head creates a firm sense of reassurance that the most difficult scene, panorama and mise-en-scène will be shot. In film production, just like in any craft, there needs to be a certain level of quality which would help complete a job with a good and stable result. Sachtler FSB 6 is in this very category of quality. I give 5 stars with one comment – I got the Sachtler FSB 6 for a tripod of another brand and the Tie-Down Bolt was shorter than needed. I suspect that I am not the only one to whom this problem extends to.

Sachtler Never Fails

By James
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-11-18

My first pro fluid head back in the day was a Manfrotto 501.  I suffered its crappiness for a couple of years, finally saying Enough is enough and investing in an FSB-4.  Eventually, my camera rigs outgrew its weight capacity.  In an attempt to save some money, I read some positive reviews of a more modern Manfrotto head and tried it.  Guess what?  It sucked almost as much as my old 501, and I returned it.  Bought this FSB-8 and of course, its amazing.

mostly OK, but not what I hoped for

By David
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2018-04-12

Although this head is a dramatic step up from my miserable Manfrotto 502 head, the FSB 6 disappoints in a number of areas. Build quality seems good, but both the tilt and band detent dials bind up on occasion. I fear the tilt dial will soon be stuck in one position, so I leave it on the highest drag setting and resist touching it.� The illuminated bubble is a cute feature, but good luck getting it to work. It can take a dozens presses before if finally comes on–I've tried everything from long to short presses, hard and soft presses; it just isn't reliable.� For some reason, setting the ball head into a level position is finicky. The paint on the ball may be causing friction or something, but it just doesn't move into position smoothly. The hit-or-miss illuminated bubble adds to the frustration when working on a dark set. Determining how well a video head can counter balance a load is hard to determine. I'm running a SONY FS5 and range of lenses and a Shogun Inferno. Setting the counter balance to be a touchy process, and I had to buy an extra long QR plate to get my Canon 70-200 lens to work with the system. Had I known I would have invested in a larger capacity head. Lesson learned: don't assume the payload capacity will guarantee the video head will counter balance properly. I recognize that this is a "budget" Sachtler head, but for the price I expect reliable performance. The binding pan and tilt wheels is really annoying. Once it is set up its fine, but getting there can be frustrating. It may be wrong for me to assume with a name like Sachtler this is German engineering, but I was a bit disappointed to find this product is manufactured in Costa Rica (no offense to Costa Ricans!).

Couldn't be happier

By Jaime
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-02-16

I've now used the Sachtler FSB-8 fluid head for a few months on a variety of event video shoots (concerts, cabarets, etc.) and corporate interviews. In a nutshell: it works perfectly. This thing is far, FAR better than a Manfrotto 504HD (my previous fluid head). Super-smooth pans and tilts, great counterbalance with my Canon C100 camera and 70-200mm lens. It's nice that the quick-release plate is compatible with Manfrotto plates, so I didn't have to spend any extra cash on additional plates. My only complaint is the pan handle. It's way too short, and not adjustable in length. You'd think a fluid head as expensive as this would have a decent pan handle. You can purchase another compatible handle that does extend, but it's very expensive. That said, I have zero regrets with this fluid head. Buttery smooth motion, easy to set up, doesn't weigh much, and it just plain works. Highly recommended.

Sachtler is very very good! Needs more drag to become great

By SHAWN
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2017-11-03

This is the most expensive head by far I've ever owned. I've been using it for 2 weeks now. In order for me to have given this a rating of 5 stars, Sachtler would need to have offered this head with more drag. In all honesty I was surprised to see the head did not offer more drag. Sachtler why ? Shouldn't that be an option & up to the camera operator ? The head has 5 steps of drag. I've used 5 on almost every shot. For this much money I should have the option of more drag, well that's how I feel. I am making it work & the head works really really good! But it could have worked really really great! by adding more drag. Other than that, the head works very well with my Red Epic Dragon & even with my little Canon 5D Markiii. I paired it up with a set of Manfrotto 536 legs. The 536 has a 100mm bowl with a 75mm attachment that does not work with the FSB8 head, because the FSB8 bolt is not long enough to penetrate through both the 75mm attachment then through the bottom of the 100mm bowl, another bummer for my very expensive purchase. Overall I can see why Sachtler is one of the best heads available for sure. Hey Sachtler, want to be the very best ? Add more drag please, then I would have given you 5 stars.

May be the best one for photography

By Malchon
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-08-05

Very easy to operate and more concentrate all the energy to photography as left hand can touch the lens. Highly recommended.

Timeless Companion

By Robert
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-07-17

I purchased this head nearly 10 years ago. It has survived trips all over the world and three cameras later, it is still the same as the day I purchased it. Smooth action with no perceivable backlash and flexible counterbalance system. It is now the heaviest item in my camera bag as I now use it with primarily a DSLR to shoot my video. Sadly hasn't been used much recently due to the state of travel with the coronavirus, but will hopefully be on the road again soon.

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