Sachtler FSB-8T Fluid Head-has anybody use them for long telephoto

Dholai

EOS T7i
Feb 5, 2014
58
4
I am just curious.

My cousin in India vouches that this is the best God has ever made since Tripods to attach long teles for smoothest and best panning, tilting etc.

He wants me to buy one for him. I tried to argue that this one is for video making but he just doesn't listen!

Please help me to decide so that money is not wasted. I am a big fan of the Wimberley gimbal head. have one and enjoy it!

Thanks in advance

Dholai
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,798
937
I should work ok, but its best use is for video. If he plans to do both, then the expense may be warranted. Like you, I'd recommend a gimbal mount for birds. A fine tripod head like the Sachtler, is really not for wildlife.
 

weixing

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
612
14
Hi,
I had seem many birder in my country using a similar video head for bird photography... they all said that it's very good... better than most gimbal head.

Have a nice day.
 

dswtan

EOS T7i
Sep 15, 2012
77
1
500px.com
I have one, bought from serious birder that was getting out of the hobby. He used a 600 or 800 on it. Bought it as "the best for such lenses, money no object". I got a decent deal, but have never managed the stretch to get a 600 to put on it. It's a decent bit of kit, but I can't vouch for its field performance. My seller raved about it (but was selling it to me...). I would confirm that it seems to be a preferred item by many serious birders though.
 

Mario

EOS T7i
Dec 3, 2014
65
0
54
Belgium
severi.be
I have the FSB-8 (not the T version, different plate) and use it with a 600 II and 1DX (II since yesterday 8) ). Way smoother tracking of BIF and way more stable than a gimbal, not even close. But heavy ;).

Mario
 

HankMD

SLR newbie since July, 2012
Oct 14, 2013
111
5
Taiwan
Sachtler is standard gear for serious bird photographers in my country (Taiwan).

I have NEVER seen a gimbal in action in the two years I've been shooting birds, though I do have a Wimberley.
 

Attachments

daniela

EOS RP
Aug 19, 2012
249
2
Mario said:
I have the FSB-8 (not the T version, different plate) and use it with a 600 II and 1DX (II since yesterday 8) ). Way smoother tracking of BIF and way more stable than a gimbal, not even close. But heavy ;).

Mario
Hi Mario!

Which Sachtler head would be fine for Nikon 5D & 60mm Nikon lens (all about 6kg)? I´d like to buy one as an gift for my husband´s 40th birthday? I will fetch an Gitzo 5542 (recommended in some postings here) tripod and combine it. Do I need something else?

Thank you & G
Daniela
 

Mario

EOS T7i
Dec 3, 2014
65
0
54
Belgium
severi.be
daniela said:
Mario said:
I have the FSB-8 (not the T version, different plate) and use it with a 600 II and 1DX (II since yesterday 8) ). Way smoother tracking of BIF and way more stable than a gimbal, not even close. But heavy ;).

Mario
Hi Mario!

Which Sachtler head would be fine for Nikon 5D & 60mm Nikon lens (all about 6kg)? I´d like to buy one as an gift for my husband´s 40th birthday? I will fetch an Gitzo 5542 (recommended in some postings here) tripod and combine it. Do I need something else?

Thank you & G
Daniela
Hi Daniela,

you should get away with the FSB-6 as it can handle up to 8 kg, but I would recommend the FSB-8 which handles up to 10 kg and gives you some extra margin.

I did not take the T-version as it uses some kind of quick connector which seems less fexible in use to me. The non-T version uses a side loading mechanism and the plates are interchangeble with Manfrotto and Gitzo (they are all part of the Manfrotto group); it's easier to slide it back and forwards to find the ideal balance.

I have my FSB-8 also on a Gitzo 5542LS, you just need the 75 mm half bowl head adapter (Gitzo GS5321V75) and you're ready to go ;).
http://www.gitzo.com/systematic-75mm-half-bowl-video-head-adapter-series-5-gs5321v75

Mario
 

xps

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 19, 2011
919
50
Middle Europe
Is the FSB-8 from Sachtler better than the Wimberley Gimbal for an usage with an 600mm lens? Is there any benefit, that justifies the 900€ extra?
What is the advantage by using this head over the Wimberley?
 

Mario

EOS T7i
Dec 3, 2014
65
0
54
Belgium
severi.be
xps said:
Is the FSB-8 from Sachtler better than the Wimberley Gimbal for an usage with an 600mm lens? Is there any benefit, that justifies the 900€ extra?
What is the advantage by using this head over the Wimberley?
I have a gimbal, and 2 fluid head (Gitzo 1380 and Sachtler FSB-8). Personally I prefer both fluid heads over the gimbal.
I never liked the fact that you have to overcome a tiny amount of resistance when you start moving your cam/lens on a gimbal. And I find it a PITA (another personal opinion ;)) to set the right amount of drag. So for me, a gimbal isn't just smooth enough in operation. In addition, you have to modify the settings of the gimbal when using another lens (smaller/bigger) to get everything in balance again.

The fluid heads don't have that tiny amount of resistance when you start moving your cam/lens. And you can dial in the drag easily.

With the Gitzo 1380, you have to change a spring when you use lenses of different weight so it's not that flexible when using different cam/lens combo's. But if you are only using it with one combo (e.g cam with a 600 mm), than it's great value for money.

The Sachtler FSB-8 is everything the Gitzo 1380 is, but better in every aspect: ease of use, build quality, flexibility. You can set you vertical and horizontal drag separately with a dial (1-5) going from no drag to very firm and everything in between. And there is a dial (1-10) to adjust for the weight of your combo, so changing from a 1DX and a 600 mm to a 5D3 with a 100-400 is just a matter of turning the dial.

The fluid head are also more stable. Since I started using them, my keepers of BIF went up significantly.

I use the Gitzo as a permanent fix in my garden hide, the Sachtler is on my Gitzo 5542LS, the gimbal is lying in the closet.

Is it worth the extra 900 € ? That's again a personal thing. It's a similar question whether the 200-400 is worth an extra 10k over the 100-400. For some it is, for some it ain't, and some have both ;).

Mario
 

xps

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 19, 2011
919
50
Middle Europe
Mario said:
xps said:
Is the FSB-8 from Sachtler better than the Wimberley Gimbal for an usage with an 600mm lens? Is there any benefit, that justifies the 900€ extra?
What is the advantage by using this head over the Wimberley?
I have a gimbal, and 2 fluid head (Gitzo 1380 and Sachtler FSB-8). Personally I prefer both fluid heads over the gimbal.
I never liked the fact that you have to overcome a tiny amount of resistance when you start moving your cam/lens on a gimbal. And I find it a PITA (another personal opinion ;)) to set the right amount of drag. So for me, a gimbal isn't just smooth enough in operation. In addition, you have to modify the settings of the gimbal when using another lens (smaller/bigger) to get everything in balance again.

The fluid heads don't have that tiny amount of resistance when you start moving your cam/lens. And you can dial in the drag easily.

With the Gitzo 1380, you have to change a spring when you use lenses of different weight so it's not that flexible when using different cam/lens combo's. But if you are only using it with one combo (e.g cam with a 600 mm), than it's great value for money.

The Sachtler FSB-8 is everything the Gitzo 1380 is, but better in every aspect: ease of use, build quality, flexibility. You can set you vertical and horizontal drag separately with a dial (1-5) going from no drag to very firm and everything in between. And there is a dial (1-10) to adjust for the weight of your combo, so changing from a 1DX and a 600 mm to a 5D3 with a 100-400 is just a matter of turning the dial.

The fluid head are also more stable. Since I started using them, my keepers of BIF went up significantly.

I use the Gitzo as a permanent fix in my garden hide, the Sachtler is on my Gitzo 5542LS, the gimbal is lying in the closet.

Is it worth the extra 900 € ? That's again a personal thing. It's a similar question whether the 200-400 is worth an extra 10k over the 100-400. For some it is, for some it ain't, and some have both ;).

Mario
Thanks. Does the FSB 8 have an adjustment to get the head horicontally "calibrated", if the terrain is not flat? I do have this problem with my Wimberley-Gitzo tripod. The Wimberley is fixed on the tripod with an screw on the underneath, so I have to balance the tripod legs exactly.
 

johnf3f

Canon 1Dx
Oct 25, 2012
931
19
Wales
xps said:
Is the FSB-8 from Sachtler better than the Wimberley Gimbal for an usage with an 600mm lens? Is there any benefit, that justifies the 900€ extra?
What is the advantage by using this head over the Wimberley?
I think that this is something that you need to try for yourself as opinions seem to vary.
I have not tried that particular fluid head though I have tried a couple of other fluid heads with long lenses (500 F4 +) for wildlife. As I said opinions differ - Mario seems to like them and if they work for him then that's great! For me a fluid head for wildlife use is simply hopeless - hand holding is a far better option! They simply have too much resistance and are impossible to balance the way I like it even after playing with the springs.

You really should try one for yourself as what will work for you is a personal decision, so our opinions don't really matter. Mario likes them, I find them pretty much unusable? Only you can decide what is best for your needs.
 

Mario

EOS T7i
Dec 3, 2014
65
0
54
Belgium
severi.be
xps said:
Thanks. Does the FSB 8 have an adjustment to get the head horicontally "calibrated", if the terrain is not flat? I do have this problem with my Wimberley-Gitzo tripod. The Wimberley is fixed on the tripod with an screw on the underneath, so I have to balance the tripod legs exactly.
Yes, the FSB 8 (and the Gitzo 1380) have a half bowl base, so leveling the head only takes a few second, and is a lot easier than fiddling with the tripod legs and being hesitant to move the tripod to avoid fiddling with the legs again ;). Of course you need the half bowl adapter for that (replaces the center of your tripod).

http://www.gitzo.com/systematic-75mm-half-bowl-video-head-adapter-series-5-gs5321v75

But you can have this feature also with you Wimberley or any head. Again you need to replace the center of your tripod with the half bowl and than get a bowl adapter like the one below:

https://www.manfrotto.com/520ballsh-75mm-short-half-bowl

No more fiddling with the legs 8).

Mario
 

Mario

EOS T7i
Dec 3, 2014
65
0
54
Belgium
severi.be
johnf3f said:
I think that this is something that you need to try for yourself as opinions seem to vary.
I have not tried that particular fluid head though I have tried a couple of other fluid heads with long lenses (500 F4 +) for wildlife. As I said opinions differ - Mario seems to like them and if they work for him then that's great! For me a fluid head for wildlife use is simply hopeless - hand holding is a far better option! They simply have too much resistance and are impossible to balance the way I like it even after playing with the springs.

You really should try one for yourself as what will work for you is a personal decision, so our opinions don't really matter. Mario likes them, I find them pretty much unusable? Only you can decide what is best for your needs.
As with most things, it indeed comes down to personal taste/preference, John :).

Personally I like a substantial amount of drag/resistence, I noticed it increases my keeper rate.

The drag of the FSB can also be set to zero, no noticeable drag at all if that's your preference. It's demonstrated in the youtube clip below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXo5X0zNbP0

Balancing is also easy, it's a turn of a dial as demonstrated somewhat further in the same clip.

Mario
 

Busted Knuckles

Enjoy this breath and the next
Oct 2, 2013
213
1
I think the most pertinent post was the one comparing the 100-400 vs 200-400.

For some it is the only solution for others, not so much
 

johnf3f

Canon 1Dx
Oct 25, 2012
931
19
Wales
Mario said:
johnf3f said:
I think that this is something that you need to try for yourself as opinions seem to vary.
I have not tried that particular fluid head though I have tried a couple of other fluid heads with long lenses (500 F4 +) for wildlife. As I said opinions differ - Mario seems to like them and if they work for him then that's great! For me a fluid head for wildlife use is simply hopeless - hand holding is a far better option! They simply have too much resistance and are impossible to balance the way I like it even after playing with the springs.

You really should try one for yourself as what will work for you is a personal decision, so our opinions don't really matter. Mario likes them, I find them pretty much unusable? Only you can decide what is best for your needs.
As with most things, it indeed comes down to personal taste/preference, John :).

Personally I like a substantial amount of drag/resistence, I noticed it increases my keeper rate.

The drag of the FSB can also be set to zero, no noticeable drag at all if that's your preference. It's demonstrated in the youtube clip below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXo5X0zNbP0

Balancing is also easy, it's a turn of a dial as demonstrated somewhat further in the same clip.

Mario
We both have completely opposite opinions on this point - but we both are happy with our setups! It just proves that it is very important to try before you buy! There is no right or wrong answer it is just what works for you or me. Or, more importantly the OP!