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BFV's Big Interview: Sachtler

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For almost 60 years, the Sachtler brand has been synonymous with robust German engineering and versatile, long-lasting equipment that shines in even the most extreme environments...

The brand has built a name as the go-to camera support for camera operators all around the world from National Geographic's wildlife filmmakers to TV news journalists.

And like fine wine, Sachtler seems to be getting better with age. We caught up with Sachtler's Global Brand Director Tobias Keuthen to find out what's next for the brand.

Tell us a little bit about Sachtler. What comes to mind when your engineers are developing new products?

As cameras become lighter and more powerful there is a greater need to invest in premium camera supports that offer fluid, consistent movement because the camera will pick up every shake and jerk. Customers pay a premium price for a camera that will last only three years and are becoming increasingly aware of the value of a Sachtler camera support which can last a lifetime. Our fluid heads have a wide payload range so the same fluid head can be used with a small camera and lens set-up or a big one and offer the same smooth performance.

At Sachtler, our mission is to enable our users with the right equipment so they can get the shot they need no matter the terrain or conditions. We've been offering robust solutions to on-the-go camera operators from all types of backgrounds – news, documentaries, wildlife, corporate, and more. Our customers rely on us to provide a fast system that's easy to use an also robust enough to handle extreme environments. Our mission is to develop products that offer faster deployment so that our users always get the shot. That's what we think about as we're improving and adding to our family of tripods and monopods.

You've been releasing great products throughout the year, including the new FSB 10. What's so great about this new system?

We see our camera supports as an investment. As technology changes or as your needs change, you may upgrade out your camera every three to five years. But when you purchase a tripod system, people want one that can last a long time and perform consistently, no matter the camera you're using.

The FSB 10 is our new, entry level 100 mm tripod system that gives our users affordable entry into the professional 100 mm class. It's everything our customers have come to expect from the Sachtler brand including rugged durability, a camera support that will last over a decade with buttery smooth panning and tilting movements for consistently high-quality content. The FSB 10 has a higher payload than the FSB 8, handling up to 12kg and allows users to employ a wider range of system configurations.

The FSB 10 is the perfect accessory for today's modern camera operator on the go. It was designed with today's digital cinema-style cameras in mind, including the Sony FS7 and Canon C300.

You have a few products that are cult favourites such as your Hot Pod and SOOM. Can you tell me about them?

Both the Hot Pod and the SOOM are extremely versatile with multifunctional capabilities – the biggest being that both systems allow you to take your camera to extreme heights very easily. The Hot Pod is the fastest and tallest news tripod in the world. By using its central locking system, users can clamp or automatically release the central riser to a height of your choice – up to 2 meters. This is perfect for someone who needs to get set up in a hurry and can't fuss with setting up three legs or leveling.

Our SOOM tripod is very popular because it's a tool with exceptional possibilities: lightweight, modular, versatile, and multifunctional. It's a 4-in-1 powerhouse product that gives you the option to use it as a tripod or extend the middle column to get a very high perspective up to 2.5 meters. The middle column detaches so that it can be used as a monopod and the mid-level spreader detaches to become a set of baby legs for those low angle shots.

Both of these products are great when you arrive late to a press conference or have to get high to shoot above a crowd and still get quality shots. But that being said, you can see from the Soom that it offers many other advantages as well.

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 5.

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