Today, Sachtler announced their latest innovation with the aktiv series of fluid heads. Made to replace the popular FSB models, these new products provide faster and more flexible operation.
The first introductions to Sachtler’s aktiv line include the aktiv6, aktiv8 (with options of a “side load” or “touch and go” plate), and aktiv10, all of which share the same design principles and generally differ in either payload capacity or bowl size. The aktiv6 has a payload range of 0 to 17.6 pounds (0-8 kilograms) whereas the aktiv8 and aktiv10 have capacities of 0 to 26.5 pounds (0-12 kilograms). The aktiv6 and aktiv8 have 75mm leveling bowls and the aktiv10 has a 100mm bowl. All aktiv fluid heads have 15 steps of counterbalance.
The aktiv6 weighs 5.7 pounds (2.6 kilograms) and has 3 drag settings. The aktiv8 weighs barely more at 5.9 pounds (2.7 kilograms), has that greatly increased load capacity, and has 7 drag settings. The aktiv8T, which is the “touch and go” version, weighs 6.2 pounds (2.8 kilograms). The aktiv10 weighs 6.4 pounds (2.9 kilograms) and also has 7 drag settings.
One of the inventive ways that the Sachtler aktiv series differs is with its SpeedLock technology which replaces the need for manipulating the traditional bowl clamp under the tripod head and instead places the release near the other controls on the tripod head itself. By lifting the lever on the front, the user can release the bowl lock, level the head, then push the lever back down to lock it in, all while keeping their hand in range of everything else for increased speed.
Another interesting development is the SpeedSwap feature. The aktiv fluid heads can be removed quickly as there is not a bowl leveling clamp underneath that needs to be undone first. The example Sachtler uses is being able to take the aktiv head off, add a slider onto the tripod, then add the fluid head onto the slider all very effortlessly. For this fast swapping to be possible, additional products like this 75mm bowl adapter, this adapter for the slider attachment, and this adapter for the head attachment to the slider are necessary.
The fluid heads also feature an illuminated PrismBubble which can be viewed from all angles including the top, side, and below and in any lighting condition with a press to enable the LED. Also helpful is that the LED will illuminate the tension settings for pan and tilt.
Sachtler aktiv fluid heads are available for purchase alone or as kits with their flowtech line of tripods. Paired with flowtech tripod legs, the combination is able to be lowered straight to ground level shooting as the legs can go flat and the aktiv heads have no release clamp on the underside to block it from doing so. Purchasing alone, the Sachtler aktiv6 will cost $1,448.75, both versions of the aktiv8 are $1,866.75, and the aktiv10 is $2,422.50.