June 30, 2017

Sachtler Beefs Up Ace Line of Tripods

Sachtler expands its indie-friendly tripod line with the new Ace XL head for cameras up to 17 pounds.

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.

Credit: Sachtler

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: Sachtler
The new XL is available as a head only for $499 or combined with sticks for $1150 from B&H.

Tech Specs:

  • 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

Your Comment

1 Comment

Great addition. Loved my ACE for years and still do. Wished a couple of times it was able to carry more load, but even my regular ace, not the L, was able to carry 10kg (although not always elegantly :P)

June 30, 2017 at 7:55AM

Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking

I work in a company called Cine-Source in Toronto. We deal with equipment sales and repair. The Ace has been very popular tripod and Sachtler is top notch quality but the Ace has one typical problem that users overlook and we have had them in for repair countless times.

When using this tripod, you have to transport it with the wedge plate locked in place. In this situation without the wedge plate in place the locking screw gets bumped easily in the bag and causes its threaded grommet to be dislodged blocking the locking pawl from retracting and the user has to buy a new plate. To prevent this from happening the tripod must be transported with the wedge plate locked in place or the locking screw must be turned all the way in to prevent the threaded grommet from being dislodged.

June 30, 2017 at 9:36AM