Timeless on the Mediterranean with Hans Leysieffer and the Video 15

Hans Leysieffer


When time begins to pass more slowly and the viewer is immersed in the sounds of the sea and the visually overwhelming images of the endless ocean, filmmaker Hans Leysieffer translates his motto into action: The world slows down, and it is time to watch. Slow motion and time lapse are his preferred stylistic devices to capture the fascination of the Mediterranean. In the nature documentary Mediterranean Magical Moments, it’s not just about the beauty of the image for Leysieffer: To meet his expectations of visualizing the eternity of the ocean, he relies on the extremely robust and durable Video 15 fluid head by Sachtler.

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“We exclusively filmed outdoors: At temperatures of 40 °C (104 ºF) and with high salinity in the air and high humidity.”

Hans Leysieffer

Following the light of the sun

The sun shines, the Mediterranean reflects the waves and scatters rays of light in every direction. Capturing this is cinematographer Hans Leysieffer's goal when he is documenting the beauty of nature for Mediterranean Magical Moments. During his shoots, he never uses any kind of artificial lighting. For this reason, his fluid head has to be able to smoothly follow the reflection of natural light. Hans Leysieffer has chosen the robust 100mm Video 15 fluid head, which gives him complete freedom for his set-up that weights 1 to 16 kg (2 to 35 lbs) – and at the same time provides him with absolute control over camera movement. With a 12-step counterbalance and innovative Speedbalance technology, the Sachtler fluid head enables precise and quick counterbalancing of camera configurations. This way, he can follow the sun rays with any of his numerous lenses by ARRI, Fujinon, or Zeiss at a tilt range of +90° to -75°.

Quickly set up for timeless moment

"On every terrain, whether sand or stone, I can quickly adjust my tripod system, which includes the Video 15 and the Speed Lock CF tripod – this is a real advantage with Sachtler," says Leysieffer. With seven horizontal and seven vertical grades of drag and a "zero" setting, the fluid head can be exactly adjusted to the requirements of the set-up. This enables especially smooth and controlled panning and tilting. The Speed Lock CF tripod made from lightweight carbon fiber is immediately ready for filming with only three turns of the hand thanks to its patented fast-action clamping. Featuring a two-stage extension and weighing 3 kg (6.6 lbs), the tripod has a height range of 46 to 155 cm (18.1 to 61 in). This allows Hans Leysieffer to easily transport his system from the shore to the cliffs.

Unfazed by sand and saltwater

"For quite some time now, I have been filming with different professional camera systems in the Mediterranean region including an ARRI Alexa, Sony PMW-F3, and a Sony PDW-700. The conditions by the sea put great demands on the equipment: The salinity in the air is very high and the humidity is about 98 percent – and this at temperatures of up to 40 °C (104 ºF)," says Leysieffer when describing the challenges of his project. The salt in the water and the air and its residue chip away at the material. With moist sand, clogged spaces and joints can cause shaky pans and unsteady camera operation. When the sand is dry, it has the effect of sandpaper. The smoothness of tilt and pan movements is particularly decisive when filming in slow motion. That's why Leysieffer relies on the robust Video 15 by Sachtler. Extremely high-quality materials and genuine German engineering make the fluid head especially durable and resistant. "The tripods and fluid heads by Sachtler hardly corrode. I have great respect for this quality. As an experienced engineer, I know what I'm talking about!" says Hans Leysieffer. And if there is a problem, you can contact the After Sales Service Team: All tripods and heads can be professionally cleaned if required.