Sachtler aktiv Tripod Heads Announced – Replacing FSB Series

October 13th, 2020

Sachtler aktiv are a new line of fluid video heads. All four new models – aktiv6, aktiv8, aktiv8T, and aktiv10 – feature SpeedLevel and SpeedSwap technology to enable much faster adjustments. Supported payload is between 0 and 12kg (8kg for the aktiv6) and the price starts at $1,525.

The German company Sachtler, part of Vitec Group, is known mostly for tripods and tripod heads. In recent years, the company introduced innovative Flowtech 75 and 100 tripods with a unique locking mechanism allowing for fast adjustments.

Now, Sachtler launches a new line of fluid video heads with the emphasis on speedy adjustments – Sachtler aktiv. Let’s take a short look at their features and specs.

Sachtler Aktiv Fluid Video Heads – 4 Models

Sachtler’s new video heads are available in four models:

  • Sachtler aktiv6 – 75mm bowl, 0-8kg payload
  • Sachtler aktiv8 “side load” – 75mm bowl, 0-12kg payload
  • Sachtler aktiv8 “touch and go” – 75mm bowl, 0-12kg payload
  • Sachtler aktiv10 – 100mm bowl, 0-12kg payload

The heads feature 15 levels of counterbalance and 7 levels of drag settings (aktiv6 only 3 levels). The new aktiv heads are designed as successor models to the FSB line, so the older FSB6, FSB8, and FSB10 heads will be discontinued. Only the smaller FSB4 will stay in the range.

The heads were created to match the quick workflow with Sachtler’s Flowtech tripods. They feature so-called SpeedLevel and SpeedSwap technology that allows camera operators to quickly mount, level, and lock the head and to switch quickly from a tripod, slider, or hand-held shots.

SpeedLevel

SpeedLevel technology replaces time-consuming bowl clamps. It allows operators to release, level, and lock the head tightly into the desired position by simply lifting a lever. Additionally, with no bowl clamp required, aktiv heads can get lower to the ground (up to 23cm/9″, when paired with Flowtech tripods) to get a better low-angle shot.

Sachtler aktiv heads – SpeedLevel. Source: Vitec Group

There is an illuminated PrismBubble visible both from above and the side, making leveling easier even when the camera is positioned above the operator.

SpeedSwap

The SpeedSwap feature enables users to quickly switch the camera between a tripod or a slider to save time when working under time-pressure. It will be available for all aktiv heads. There are two accessories that enable the SpeedSwap feature.

Sachtler aktiv heads – SpeedSwap. Source: Vitec Group

The head/slider aktiv adaptor can mount aktiv 75mm fluid heads with SpeedSwap base on a slider with 3/8” mounting stud or any other product with 3/8” attachment.

The slider/tripod aktiv adaptor can quickly mount a slider on a 75 mm tripod with SpeedSwap. It also includes a sideload plate.

Price and Availability

The Sachtler aktiv fluid head range can now be pre-ordered now. The shipping should start in November 2020.

The Sachtler aktiv6 head will cost $1,525 (around €1,290), both aktiv8 and aktiv8T will retail for $1,965 (around €1,680), and finally the largest aktiv10 head will cost $2,550 (around €2,200). They will, of course, also be available in a set with Sachtler Flowtech tripods.

When it comes to price of the SpeedSwap accessories, the head/slider adaptor will cost $60 (€55) and the slider/tripod adaptor will sell for $450 (€400).

What do you think about the Sachtler aktiv line of fluid heads? Do you use Flowtech tripods for your work? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

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Andreas Urra
Andreas Urra
Member
12 days ago

I am suprised, that the aktiv10 is only announced as a sideload and not as a touch&go as well. Any information on that?

Walter Vargas
Walter Vargas
Guest
12 days ago

So is the ball still compatible with other products, like high-hats, that have screw-in clamps?

The “quick transfer” idea is essential; I’m baffled that people don’t demand this as a standard feature. If you’re moving your camera from a tripod to a Steadicam sled, for example, why should you have to break the whole mounting assembly down?

Caine Mitchell
Caine Mitchell
Member
13 days ago

Just to confirm… How do you level the slider? Do you have to level it with the legs or is there another mechanism to level the slider in the extra “bridging plate” you get for underneath?

Jamie
Jamie
Guest
14 days ago

This looks great! Having owned a FSB8 for years, this is a welcome upgrade. How would this new head mount to legacy 75mm receivers, like a Dana Dolly mentioned in your interview video? So, does the head’s SpeedSwap knob give you a way to secure into a Dana Dolly 75mm receiver? Sorry if it’s covered – skimmed the interview video.

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