Durability as Top Priority

Filmaker and Photographer

As a 22-year-old filmmaker and photographer, Bertie Gregory had a lot to offer when the renowned National Geographic Society recruited him the day after graduating from the University of Bristol.

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"The SpeedLock legs are wonderful because with wildlife photography it’s all about that one moment."

Bertie Gregory


Speed Lock CF HD

After assisting veteran photojournalist Steve Winter for six months in South Africa and Sri Lanka, Bertie received his first solo assignment this summer involving a 3-month expedition on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. Initially, he was nervous about his gear because of the coast’s harsh terrain and weather.

“I was going to be camping on the beach most of the time so not only is there salt water and sand everywhere, there’s also a bunch of wind and rain. Pretty much, if you wanted to destroy and ruin your camera equipment you’d go on this trip,” mentioned Bertie.

To prevent that from happening, he ultimately decided to use the Sachtler SpeedLock CF tripod paired with their Video 18 S1 fluid head. Since Bertie’s production schedule kept him active and nomadic, the tripod’s 3 kg weight didn’t slow him down while he was on the go. But besides the equipment being lightweight, he also realized that durability was a top priority.

“With other tripods and fluid heads, it’s usually game over when you expose it to sand because it gets defective and has this horrible grinding noise every time you pan,” commented Bertie. “But that never happened with Sachtler, even if salt water and sand got all over it. I mean, I would be out in a torrential downpour and I didn’t even have to think about if the gear was going to be okay. It just was.”

Traveling mostly by boat, Bertie also needed to be able to assemble his gear as fast as possible to catch that perfect yet fleeting shot. To avoid missing any vital footage for National Geographic, Bertie utilized the tripod’s quick SpeedLock clamping system, which allowed him to conveniently telescope all three parts with only one release.

“The SpeedLock legs are wonderful because with wildlife photography it’s all about that one moment. It’s so much easier and the fact that Sachtler has something like that is a game changer; it’s the difference between capturing a moment and missing it.”