Sachtler flowtech 75 MS

Editor's choice awardThe lightweight Sachtler flowtech 75 has an innovative design and a price tag that reflects its value. The flowtech 75 features a 75 millimeter bowl and two-stage, three-section carbon fiber legs adjustable from 10.2 inches to 61.8 inches, but it isn’t your typical tripod. All of the leg length adjustments are controlled with three levers positioned at the top of the tripod. It has a mid-level spreader that can be quickly attached or removed so that the tripod can almost pancake all the way down to the ground.

The big question is why it has taken so long to make a tripod that is controlled at the top of the legs. Who knows why, but we are glad someone finally made one; it makes the tripod much more usable.

When purchasing the flowtech 75, the legs alone costs around 1,300 dollars. For an additional 100 bucks, you can include the Sachtler Ace XL head. For this review, we used the FSB 6 head. With the FSB 6, the system costs a little more than two grand.
The flowtech 75 MS supports up to 44 pounds and comes with removable rubber feet to cover its dual spiked feet. It has independent leg movement and adjustment along with a magnetic transport lock.

In Use

When we first opened the flowtech 75 up, we didn’t know what we had. Sachtler just said they wanted to send us a tripod, and who are we to decline? Our initial reaction was, “This is so cool! Why doesn’t this already exist?” Seriously, how many times have you fought with a tripod for the right height? I know I owe the swear jar at least a few dollars for my interactions with various tripods over the years. Cooler yet, flowtech legs are super quick in addition to having convenient adjustment levers.

Convenient lock levers
Convenient lock levers

The legs are carbon fiber — the right material to live up to hard use and abuse. When deploying, the legs go out with a rattle, giving the impression that they won’t provide good support. However, once you engage the lock, they feel sturdy.

We used the flowtech with four different cameras: the Panasonic EVA1 and GH5s and the Canon C200 and 1DX Mark II. The heaviest camera setup we tested was the Canon C200 with an Atomos Shogun and a Canon 16-35 f2.8, weighing 8.2 pounds. The lightest setup was the GH5s with the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 at 2.62 pounds. Regardless of the weight of our setup, the tripod handled it well and made adjusting leg height fast. The mid-level spreader can be removed or replaced simply and easily, and each leg has a button that will allow the legs to spread farther out, giving it a much lower shooting level.

Regardless of the weight of our setup, the tripod handled it well and made adjusting leg height fast.

The tripod arrived in a nice bag for easy transport. It’s the same design as other Sachtler offerings. The mid-level spreader is nice, but not always necessary. Depending on what you’re shooting, its likely to be left off. The rubber feet are typical for Sachtler tripods. Keep track of where you put the rubber feet if you remove them— a new set of three will set you back 142 bucks.

Marketplace

Although the flowtech 75 legs are unique in design, their build materials and specs are very similar to other products already on the market. We are going to look at three options, starting with Miller. We’ll also look at options from Manfrotto and Secced. To be considered against the flowtech, the tripods must be carbon fiber, have a 75mm bowl and support at least 44 pounds.

First up is the Miller SOLO DV Carbon Fiber 2-Stage for 700 dollars. This is the most expensive option outside of the flowtech that we are going to look at. It has a 75mm bowl and a capacity of 44 pounds. Its maximum height is 63 inches and minimum height is 9 inches. It’s built of carbon fiber but has no mid-level spreader.

Next up is the Manfrotto 535 Carbon Fiber for 550 dollars. It has a 75mm bowl and supports up to 44 pounds. With three sections, it has a maximum height of 67 inches and minimum height of 11 inches.

Last up is the bargain, the Secced 2-Stage Carbon Fiber for 460 dollars. It has a 75mm bowl and supports up to 44 pounds. It can go as high as 58 inches and as low as 16 inches. It’s built out of carbon fiber and has a floor spreader.

Final Thoughts

The Sachtler flowtech 75 MS carbon fiber tripod legs are very nice. They are quick to set-up and easy to use. They are a bit pricey when compared to the marketplace, however they have a new and innovative design. Like with most Sachtler products, this tripod is high-quality with a high price tag. We really liked using the flowtech legs. They are a great pair of sticks.

Sachtler
www.Sachtler.com

STRENGTHS:

  • Easy to extend
  • All adjustment at top of tripod

WEAKNESSES:

Higher price tag

SUMMARY:

Sachtler came up with a new tripod design, and we like it. Simply and quickly deploy its legs and you’re ready to shoot.

RECOMMENDED USERS:

  • Indie & Enthusiast filmmakers
  • Documentarians & Event Videographers
  • Commercial  & Corporate filmmakers
  • Travel videographers & Journalists

TECH SPECS:

Leg Stages/Sections: 2-stage (3-section)
Height Range With Mid-Level Spreader: 24.8 – 61.81″ / 63 – 157 cm Without Mid-Level Spreader: 10.24 – 60.24″ / 26 – 153 cm
Collapsed Height: 26.8″ / 68 cm
Load Capacity: 44 lb / 20 kg
Head Attachment Fitting: 75 mm bowl
Legs: Carbon fiber
Head Attachment Fitting: Aluminum
Leg Lock Type: Lever clamp
Weight: 6.4 lb / 2.9 kg

Chris Monlux is tall. He is also Videomaker’s Multimedia Editor.

1 COMMENT

  1. Tripod problems.

    I have a tripod of a well known make.
    I have a problem which may be well known too but just in case you haven’t I think it is one you should look for.
    THE MISSING SCREW!
    I have two screws in my tripod/head system which have a tendency to fall out both of which can, if misssing can cause almost impossible situations where I just cannot work.

    Spare screws are a good idea but in this case cost me £46.

    I suspect that this can happen to any tripod system

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