The Flowtech tripod legs that were released a few years ago now, re-invented the tripod. With the Flowtech, gone are the days of leaning down to adjust your tripod whilst awkwardly supporting the weight of your camera and tripod, all thanks to the new handbrake leg lock design that was introduced. Well now, Sachtler has done it again, but this time their attention is focused on the tripod head.
The whole re-design of the tripod head with the Aktiv range, all centred around this large lever on the front of the tripod head, and detachable spigot inside the tripod bowl. The lever is how you level the tripod, meaning you no longer have to reach underneath the tripod to adjust the level of your tripod head, since there is no longer a handle/ screw. This has a few advantages, firstly it avoids the handle under the bowl from hitting the Flowtech legs at certain angles. Which did happen sometimes and you would find it difficult to re-level the bowl without adjusting the height to a point where there is no obstruction. The second advantage is that you can now get the Flowtech legs flat on the floor, with a head attached. Now, this won't replace a hi-hat as the legs will be sprawled across the floor, which won't be ideal in all situations, but is very handy, plus you're still able to level the tripod head.
The second improvement that Sachtler have made with these heads is that they can be attached/detached very quickly. This is all thanks to the new spigot design that sits inside of the tripod bowl. This allows you to very quickly throw a slider onto your tripod, without having to unscrew the head, screw in a half bowl, then screw in a slider, then a half bowl head into the slider - which is a right pain. Two new accessories have been released alongside the Aktiv range of heads to allow users to swap over to a slider easily, a low profile plate/head and an adaptor, which lets you attach an Aktiv head to a slider.
Detaching the head used the same lever that you use to level the head. Now you may think that it would be very easy to accidentally pull the lever too far and detach your tripod head when you don't want to. But this really isn't the case, to even level the bowl you have to intentionally pull the lever quite far, and there is a firm amount of resistance. Detaching it means you have to really pull the lever up high to get the head to detach. Sachtler is also confident that this new design is much stronger than the traditional screw & handle, which will result in less accidental slipping.
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