Vitec Attempts to Reinvent the Tripod with the Sachtler and Vinten Flowtech 75
Even the classic tripod has room for improvement.
As James Guest of Cinema5D explains in this video, Vitec wanted to build upon its long history of creating broadcast and ENG equipment to improve upon the current design of today's tripod—a tough feat to accomplish with such a ubiquitous piece of gear. To do so, the company paired up two of the brands under its umbrella, Sachtler and Vinten, to create the Flowtech 35. As Guest explains, they focused on three key areas:
- Speed of deployment
Ergonmics & Deployment Speed
One of the key features of the Flowtech 75 is the addition of three paddle levers at the top of the tripod that control the extension of the tripod legs and thus the height of the tripod. This positioning helps to aid deployment speed because they are all close together, which means you can adjust them all simultaneously. The levers are located near the tripod head and the camera, so they are convenient to get to since your hands are in that region of the tripod already.
The Flowtech 75 also takes advantage of a unique in-house manufacturing process to create ergonomically shaped carbon fiber legs that not only make the tripod very light and strong but make it easy to tote around either on your shoulder or held in one hand. As Guest explains, these features take poor weather into account as well; the legs have been designed to allow for maximum grip which makes moving the Flowtech 75 from location to location faster, easier, and safer. One last feature that raises the convenience factor is a magnetic lock that allows the legs to stay together during transport without the need for latches and locks. Simply folding the legs in together will allow them to magnetize and stay locked together until you get to your next shoot location.
This tripod has a very versatile height range as well. Ranging from 26cm (10 inches) on the low end to a maximum height of 157cm (60 inches), this new tripod has a lot of range. As shown in the video, the Flowtech 75 incorporates a hinge lock spreader which serves the purpose of allowing the tripod legs to spread very wide and allow you to use the camera at very low angles quite easily. It also allows you to attach a floor level or mid-level spreader which secure the legs in place at more narrow spread distances.
It's hard to imagine seeing any real innovation in such a classic tool, but the Sachtler and Vinten seem to have developed some great innovative features in the Flowtech 75 that will make life easier and production faster for many of us—especially doc shooters and others in run-and-gun situations. Lighter, more versatile gear that's easy to deploy is always welcome.
The basic version of the tripod is available now for $997.50 and there are several new tripod systems using the Flowtech 75 legs available for pre-order:
- FSB 4 Fluid Head with Sideload Plate
- Vinten System Vision Blue
- Vinten System Vision Blue 3
- Sachtler System FSB 6 Fluid Head with Sideload Plate
- Sachtler Ace XL
- Sachtler System FSB 8
- Vinten System Vision Blue 5
- Supports up to 44 Pounds and Tripod Heads with a 75mm Ball
- Weight: 2.9kg
- Payload: 0-20 kg
- Material: Carbon Fiber
- Height Range: 26 - 153cm
- Head Fitting: 75mm
- Transport Length: 68 cm