Explore our range of video support tutorials on how to use a range of Sachtler products – including set-up guides, general maintenance overviews and tips & tricks on how to make the most out of your equipment.
Setting up your camera correctly on your fluid head is the foundation for any great piece of content.
One of the key steps of the setup process includes ensuring your fluid head is counterbalanced – allowing the camera to stay in place without falling forward or backwards.
To counterbalance your fluid head:
- Attach your camera plate to the camera and proceed to level your fluid head.
- Set your pan and tilt drag to zero and lock them off. You should also set the counterbalance to the lowest level.
- As you lift the camera onto the head get a rough idea of where the balance point is and place this inline with the center of the fluid head.
- Carefully undo the tilt lock and check if your camera balances in place. If not; slide the plate either backwards or forwards and try again until you have found the center point of the camera.
- Once the camera is pretty much balanced, adjust the counter balance so the camera will stay in place no matter how far you tilt. To do this start with the counterbalance knobs set to the mid-range setting.
- Tilt the head completely 30 degrees in both directions and release it – if it stays in place when released then it is correctly balanced. Otherwise if the camera moves upwards, the counterbalance is set too high and should be lowered. If the camera moves downwards, then the counterbalance is set too low and should be raised.
- If the camera stays in position in one direction, but there is a bit of movement in the other. This just means the camera may not be balanced centrally. This should be adjusted by sliding the camera plate backwards and forwards until the camera stays in position in both directions.
- Depending on your situation and needs the drag should be set accordingly. If you need to pan faster then set the drag to zero. If you need a slow or steady plan or tilt set the drag higher.
The flowtech tripod is extremely versatile and sturdy, allowing it to be used in sand, salt water and other harsh environments.
However, after it is used in these conditions – it is important to clean the system to ensure maximum life and to keep it in optimal working order. If you do not, this may stop the legs from moving freely.
To clean your flowtech tripod:
- Fill a bucket full of warm water about 30cm/12inch deep.
- Deploy one of the tripod legs and lock it.
- Place the leg into the water and release the brake.
- Keep extending and lowering the leg, repeating the process until you are happy the leg is moving freely and that you have removed as much debris as possible.
- Extend the leg to the full length and shake off any excess water, making sure to dry thoroughly with a clean towel or cloth.
- Repeat with the other legs as necessary.