Sachtler FSB-6 MD Mini User review at DVinfo.net

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Old April 17th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #1
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Sachtler FSB-6 MD Mini User review

Part I

The moment I opened the box, I knew I made a good purchase at $1,300 with shipping. It was well packed and ready to go. Setup is very intuitive and the manual is easy to read and understand.

The illuminated bubble with a touch switch is an excellent feature.

The Touch and Go camera plate is well named and includes a numbered scale for easy repositioning. Getting the camera in the plate and balancing took under 3-minutes. Turn the dampers off, then slide and clamp until you're balanced.

The head is well built and feels solid; there's nothing rinky-dink about it.

10-steps for the counter balance is plenty. Infinitely variable would be nice, but then I didn't pay for that. With the vertical damper set to 0, the camera will drift at more than a 25 degree tilt. There is no drift with the damper on.

Three horizontal and vertical damper settings are plenty for me. Again, infinitely variable would be nice but again, I didn't pay for that.

The horizontal and vertical movements are sweet. No stiction, bounce back or drift. With the dampers off, the head glides, which I need to follow dancers.

One minor negative. When changing damper settings, there is a gear shift like effect on the first move. If you need to shift while filming, this can be overcome by using a little more control on the first move.

The DA 75 L Tripod is well built and rigid enough. Single stage is fine for my studio shooting and my preference. The mid-level spreader could open more and it would be nice to have a quick release for easy removal, which I think I can do with some snap pins.

The rubber feet are not the type that fall of until they're so loose that you throw them away. They slide into a cam and have a thick, heavy rubber loop that locks into place.

Everything is well built. The amount of plastic is minimal, just the knobs, and they appear to be very solid. Even the padded case is well made and fits properly.

I will be shooting allot this next month and then filming our dance production May 17th & 18th and will write a follow-up.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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That's very nice to hear.

How do you compare this head with way cheaper Manfrotto heads?
Because I bought a 501HDV and I'm VERY disappointed.

No backlashes on pans? The camera glides at damper set to 0?
Oh my, this system must be really sweet.

Any pics?
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Old April 29th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #3
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I've used a 501 head in the past, together with at libev dv950.

Now I'm using the DV6SB, a bit pricier than 501/950 and the FSB sacthler.
That said, I understood what all the fuzz was about. If you don't take the price point into account the 501 are completely blitzed by the Sacthler, its in a different league. A more economical choice is the cartoni heads.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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I rented what was supposed to be a Manfrotto fluid head, but not sure of the model. It was not what I was looking for and the Sachtler is a completely different experience. Late May i will add some pictures and a report of my experience while filming our dance production.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 07:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Magnussen View Post
I've used a 501 head in the past, together with at libev dv950.

Now I'm using the DV6SB, a bit pricier than 501/950 and the FSB sacthler.
That said, I understood what all the fuzz was about. If you don't take the price point into account the 501 are completely blitzed by the Sacthler, its in a different league. A more economical choice is the cartoni heads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary S. Hart View Post
I rented what was supposed to be a Manfrotto fluid head, but not sure of the model. It was not what I was looking for and the Sachtler is a completely different experience. Late May i will add some pictures and a report of my experience while filming our dance production.
Nice feedback guys, that confirms my suspicions (along with this thread: http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=70707).

It's a shame that I've learned the hard way. Anyway, I'll sell my Manfrotto system and get a FSB-6 system in the future.

I'll check back in late may for the pics, thanks.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #6
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I wanna share that I got to use a FSB-6 briefly last week.

I wasn't with any camera, but I tried different drag levels and It was pretty nice.

At drag 5, I would try to turn the head and the legs would turn, maybe the legs are too light, I don't know.

The legs in question were a Sachtler ones with ground-level spreader that bundles with this head, for this to work some sand bags would be needed.

Considering that a Sachtler bundle costs less than a Viten Vision 3 bundle, and it's pretty damn fluid, I'd definitely go for a Sachtler system.

So If I'd buy a new Sachtler system I'd go for a bundle that comes with legs like these:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/l...ges/498221.jpg

Looks sturdier.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #7
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This is the best tripod kit on the market for a number of reasons.
Price
Payload versatility
smoothness

Manfrotto 501 is an entry level head!
For professional usage I would never recommend anything below the 503 head for hi def.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #8
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I bought the Sachtler DV6SB and have to say that it does a very nice job holding my Canon XL2. It's a light tripod. VERY light with the CF legs. I almost felt ripped off when i pulled it out of the bag, and felt like returning it because I equated the weight with flimsiness. I'm used to using much larger, and more expensive tripods like O'conor and larger Sachtlers back in my News Photographer days. But then I remembered that i'd leave the camera in the bag every time because I didn't want to lug that beast around.

So having a lightweight versitile tripod is not a bad thing when you think about it.
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