Ace M and Ace L in Kenya – Documentary for Charity


Werner Lebert traveled to Kenya several times to photograph the lives of homeless children for his photo book “Chokoras – the Street Children of Kitale”. Lebert flew to Kenya again last summer with a new idea – together with his Kenyan colleagues, he wanted to film a 30-minute documentary with the same title. To do this, Lebert visited Lodwar, Laokol and Kitale in northwest Kenya and put his equipment to the test. Filming in mostly semi-desert terrain, the climate is extremely dry and hot so he had to be able to easily transport, assemble, and disassemble his camera support. Taking this into account, Lebert opted for two tripod systems by Sachtler – the lightweight and durable Ace M MS and Ace L MS CF tripod systems.

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“For me, the documentary is a new way to draw attention to the injustice in Kenya.”

Werner Lebert

Easy operation

"For me, the documentary is a new way to draw attention to the injustice in Kenya," says the photographer and cinematographer. "With the two tripod systems, I was always well-equipped. In rain or heat and dust, they performed perfectly." Due to its 7-step counterbalance with a payload range of zero to six kilograms (13 lbs), Ace L manages well and therefore fitted perfectly to Lebert's Panasonic AG-AF101.

Lebert was able to quickly and easily balance his camera set-up and control it easily with the patented SA-drag™ damping system. "The pans with the Ace L tripod head were wonderfully smooth", says Lebert. "My Kenyan camera operators were also able to intuitively work with the equipment and absolutely thrilled by the quality of the German fluid head. The low weight enabled my team to quickly and easily transport the tripod from one location to the next."

All-round talent

Werner Lebert is an all-rounder. After his training as a toolmaker, he had his first experience with the film and photography industry in 1984 and photographed various sporting events for Competitor Magazine for several years. In recent years, however, he has changed his focus to socio-critical issues. The injustice faced by thousands of children in Africa drive his current work. The robust Ace M tripod system came in handy for Werner Lebert's photographs in Kenya. Using a DSLR-full-frame Nikon D3S with a weight of 1.4 kilograms (3 lbs), he was able to capture moving snapshots of the street children's lives. With the 5-step counterbalance, his set-up was always perfectly balanced and enabled professional working conditions. "With various competing products, I have often had my fingers caught when adjusting the height. With the Sachtler tripod systems, however, this is no problem at all," says Lebert describing his work with Ace L and Ace M. "They are simply top-quality products! With such equipment, work is even more rewarding."

Werner Lebert's documentary can be seen on his website next year and is to be used for public relations purposes for the aid organization Child Welfare Society of Kenya. Donations for the film will provide some children with an education and a normal life.