A few weeks before the April NAB show in Las Vegas, the video team here at B&H (myself included) was invited by the Vitec Group to an exclusive sneak peek of new tripod legs from Sachtler. I must admit, I was rather skeptical about the prospect of new tripod legs piquing my interest. However, once the Sachtler Flowtech 75 Tripod was presented in prototype form, my skepticism was unfounded.
The Flowtech design is unlike any other tripod with which I’ve had experience. The unique feature that sets it apart from every other design on the market is its single-clamp design. Surrounding the 75mm bowl, three levers tighten and loosen the brakes, one lever per leg. Since the levers are atop the tripod, there’s no need to bend down to make height adjustments to different leg sections. With little practice, the tripod can be deployed and secured in only a few seconds, ready to accept a load. Despite the unconventional design, no compromises were made as far as traditional tripod uses. Without the mid-level spreader, the Flowtech 75 can reach as low as 10.2", and with the mid-level spreader, can be extended to heights of 61.8". Height adjustments are quick and easy, only requiring the flip of a single lever per leg.
Carbon-fiber construction makes for overall light weight. The wide shape of the legs themselves make them rather comfortable to carry over your shoulder. Regardless of their weight (or lack thereof), the design of the legs ensures torsional stability, a common issue with lightweight tripods. The overall design really lends itself to run-and-gun shooting, where minimal setup time is not uncommon. Payloads of up to 44 lb are supported, so small and medium-sized cameras and rigs will have no trouble being perched on a Flowtech tripod.
The 75mm bowl is compatible with many existing fluid heads, so you can buy the Flowtech 75 by itself in both Sachtler and Vinten variants (the only difference is the color of the accents—maroon for Sachtler, black for Vinten). Several system kits are also available for use out of the box, as well as a Flowtech tripod carrying strap. The Sachtler Flowtech 75 is available with the ACE XL, FSB 4, FSB 6, and FSB 8. The Vinten Flowtech 75, on the other hand, is available with the Vision Blue, Vision Blue3, and Vision Blue5.