Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB at DVinfo.net

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Old April 27th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #1
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Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Yeah I know, it has just been announced. It seems pretty solid deal, with that continuous counter balance, no matter how much the camera is tilted...

Currently I have the Sachtler FSB-8, that is 3 times more expensive than N8. I can never complain about quality - it is superb! But the stepped counter-balance is giving me a pain from time to time.

So I am in kind of a dilemma here... should I compromise a bit of quality, in order to have that ever-lasting continuous counter-balance, as advertised?
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Old April 27th, 2017, 07:18 PM   #2
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Would you trade your Porsche in for a Fiat?
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Old April 27th, 2017, 08:22 PM   #3
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Hi Emilian,

If you like experimenting there is something simple you could try with your stepped counterbalance. If, for example, you find that the camera even at the best counterbalance setting is returning to the horizontal rather than remaining at your chosen tilt it indicates that the spring setting is too high. One option is to use a different head but a simpler option is to raise the centre of gravity of the camera and/or its attachments relative to the tilt axis of the head. I have done this just with a microphone mounted on an arm above the camera, others have used a plate between camera and camera platform to raise the camera. Perhaps in the privacy of your own home you could try temporarily taping some weight(s) to the camera handle and note the effect. A suitable clip-on weight would provide intermediate counterbalance settings.
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Old April 28th, 2017, 12:10 AM   #4
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Emilian,
You may make something like "wrist weight" and attach it to camcorder handle to compensate counterbalance discrepancy.
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Old April 28th, 2017, 03:08 AM   #5
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Hey I never thought about using weights, that seems like a good idea! Sure, I know the Sachtler should be much more reliable in the long run.
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Old April 28th, 2017, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilian Dechev View Post
Hey I never thought about using weights, that seems like a good idea! Sure, I know the Sachtler should be much more reliable in the long run.
So far, I have only seen two video tests of footage shot with the new Manfrotto and it wasn't impressive. Actually all of my Bogen and Manfrotto tripod heads I have laying around are completely reliable, they just reliably give you crappy moves. They last forever. No complaints about reliability, just grumbling about effectiveness and ability of the gear. Show me footage of this new head doing slow, smooth and steady diagonal pans with a decent weight camera at 300mm or above and I would be sold. I truly don't think it is capable of doing do, it will show wobbles, backlash and not professional looking moves. I can make decent looking pans with my Mafrottos with a 28mm lens. But throw on the long glass and try some precise diagonal pans with smooth starts and stops, that's where the massive superiority of a Sachtler or Miller head will shine.

I own four Manfrottos, a Sachtler and a Miller head at the moment. In the past, I have owned a Sachtler Video 18 II. To me, Manfrottos are fine if you shoot lockoff interviews. But it you need silky smooth professional grade movement, no windup or backlash, no stiction, especially with the long focal length shots, you need a Miller, Sachtler or O'Connor head. $500.00 Manfrottos aren't going to get you there. Or you can take it up a few levels and get the $15k to $25k O'Connor or Ronford Baker heads, expensive but they last a full career so not really, if you can scrape together the money to buy one.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Just seeing this tripod today. Glad Manfrotto is still innovating.

https://www.manfrotto.us/nitrotech-n...ous-cbs-5b48d5

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Old June 1st, 2018, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

I'm a bit late to this party, but I want to point out some disappointment with my Sachtler FSB-6 video head. Both the pan drag and stepped tilt adjustment wheels bind. The tilt adjustment binds so bad that I currently can't set it to its heaviest setting. Its going back for repair after only 16 months of light use. Even within the 17.6lb payload range, I often have difficulty getting the counter balance to hold. I'm hoping the continuous range of the Nitrotech N8 will provide more consistent counter balance. The FSB-6 otherwise performs quite well, but the build quality is far less than I expected for the price.

This has me looking at the Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 head as an alternative and/or back up to my FSB-6. I often shoot with 2 cameras, so I need a good second head to replace my miserable Manfrotto 502 head (avoid that one!!!).

I'd like to know if anyone has had good/bad experience with the Nitrotech N8.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

I just purchased one and so far I am very impressed. It's significantly heavier than, say, the 502AH, but feels far more professional while being roughly the same size. Will probably be using it tomorrow.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 04:22 PM   #10
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Patterson View Post
I'm a bit late to this party, but I want to point out some disappointment with my Sachtler FSB-6 video head. Both the pan drag and stepped tilt adjustment wheels bind. The tilt adjustment binds so bad that I currently can't set it to its heaviest setting. Its going back for repair after only 16 months of light use. Even within the 17.6lb payload range, I often have difficulty getting the counter balance to hold. I'm hoping the continuous range of the Nitrotech N8 will provide more consistent counter balance. The FSB-6 otherwise performs quite well, but the build quality is far less than I expected for the price.

This has me looking at the Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 head as an alternative and/or back up to my FSB-6. I often shoot with 2 cameras, so I need a good second head to replace my miserable Manfrotto 502 head (avoid that one!!!).

I'd like to know if anyone has had good/bad experience with the Nitrotech N8.
I have a 6 year old FSB-6 in need of repair. Does not pan or tilt smoothly. I was quoted by a Sachtler authorized repair center $650USD for labor plus parts. Declined the repair. Not worth the cost. Does anyone know of someone who repairs Sachtler heads at a reasonable price?
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Old June 2nd, 2018, 09:35 AM   #11
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Re: Manfrotto N8 VS Sachtler FSB

$650 for a repair seems steep, but fortunately you got 6 years of use out of it. I don't think mine will last that long...LOL.
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