The new Sachtler Flowtech tripod system is designed to be agile, lightweight and fast to operate. I’ve been using this new release that we have covered in an exclusive video from the launch already for the last couple of months to see how well it holds up. Read on for my short Sachtler Flowtech Review.
Sachtler Flowtech Review
Tripod legs – not quite as sexy as a new camera release. But the new Flowtech system from Sachtler is more than just an obligatory update to an existing line. The Flowtech system takes the agility of the telescopic TT 75CF legs and the speed of the Speedlock legs to make a very intriguing all-enclosed, carbon fibre design.
The New Single Clasp
With conventional two-stage tripods, you are used to a clasp per stage per leg, meaning dramatic height adjustments of your tripod would involve six separate clasps.
The Flowtech system has just one clasp per leg, making height adjustments very quick. Placing the clasps near the top of the legs means you don’t have to bend down to adjust the height. Also, the clasps are large and easy to disengage and, when fully open, gravity kicks in causing the leg to smoothly drop to the floor.
Up High, Down Low
Some of you may look at the new clasps and say “Sachtler Speedlocks have been doing this for years”. Whilst I feel that my last point regarding gravity helping you deploy the tripod quicker is an appropriate counter to that comment (the Flowtech drops when you undo it, Speedlocks usually need a bit of persuasion), there is more.
Taking inspiration from Sachtler’s TT 75/2 CF legs, the Flowtech legs have a wide height range. Minimum and maximum heights are 10” (26cm) and 60” (153cm) respectively.
The flexibility is due to the spreader-less locking design. Like the TT 75/2 CFs, there is a 3-stage lock system at the top of each leg; standard width for standard heights, wide for low shots, super wide for super low shots.
Spreader-less locks are nothing new, as all telescopic legs work in a similar vein. However, we were yet to see a Speedlock clasp and telescopic combination, making the Flowtech unique in speed of operation and flexibility in height.
The all-enclosed legs of the Flowtech system have a unique aesthetic, much wider than your standard telescopic legs. This presumably helps accommodate the new clasps, but there is another reason to this new-look design.
Sachtler acknowledged that many operators carry their tripods over their shoulder. Therefore, the smooth large carbon fibre sides offer a more comfortable surface for doing this.
Having used the legs on and off for the last couple of months, I can say I’m completely sold on the design. Speed-locking legs really are the way forward in tripod technology, and the fact that they are available in a design that offers great height flexibility is a huge plus.
My only disappointment with the Flowtech system is the lack of compatibility with the Sachtler Speedlevel. The compact closure of the Flowtech legs leaves no room for the wider-than-the-average Speedlevel clamp.
I’m currently having to remove the Speedlevel completely before putting the tripod away (yes the hassle is worth it that much). Maybe if Sachtler ever release a dedicated 75mm Speedlevel, that would work?
Hopefully this Sachtler Flowtech Review has helped you if you were on the fence about jumping onto the Flowtech bandwagon. What do you think about this new tripod design? Let us know in the comments below!