The Ace L line of tripod heads has been popular in the digital cinema world since it came out 5 years ago. Offering Sachtler design and build quality at an affordable price, they were designed to offer a superior pan and tilt experience aimed at the indie and DSLR market. As that market has grown, the cameras that indie filmmakers can afford to own have grown as well.
The new Ace XL aims to service the market of indie filmmakers with slightly bigger cameras.
Whereas a filmmaker in 2012 would likely stick with a 5D Mark III, the filmmaker of 2017 with a similar budget might be able to swing an upgrade to the URSA Mini Pro, which, despite it's name, is a nearly broadcast sized camera. While broadcast sized tripods are still quite pricey, the new Ace XL aims to service the market of indie filmmakers with slightly bigger cameras.
The new version ups the payload from 13.2 lbs. to 17.6 lbs. (6 to 8 kgs.), which opens up new possibilities for the indie filmmaker. While that abovementioned URSA Mini Pro only weights around 5 lbs. for the body, accessories like wireless video, audio receivers, lenses, follow focuses and more add up quickly, pushing the limit of the smaller Ace L, which is more focused on DSLR and mirrorless style shooting. The XL should perform as well as the L, with the same long slide plate, smooth motion and larger number of adjustable tension steps. If you're stepping up to a larger camera body, it's definitely worth a look.
Credit: SachtlerThe new XL is available as a head only for $499 or combined with sticks for $1150 from B&H.
- 17.6 lb. Capacity Fluid Drag Head
- 4.1" Sliding Plate Range
- 8-Step Counterbalance
- 3-Step + 0 Pan/Tilt Drag
- 75mm Bowl Diameter
- +90° to -75° Tilt Range