Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Review

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod
In-Depth Review

"The world's fastest tripod." That's what Sachtler calls it, and that claim gets my attention because sometimes speed matters and it is always appreciated.

The story is always the same: a great video head requires a great support to operate at its full potential. Often, video heads are available in a kit with legs that are typically matched to its requirements. In this case, I purchased the Sachtler flowtech 100 MS Carbon Fiber Tripod in a kit with the aktiv10 Fluid Video Head.

While this tripod provides rock-solid, vibration-absent support for still photos, its bulk and weight push video recording as the optimal use for this model.

Sachtler aktiv10 Fluid Head with Lens

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Dimensions, Specs, and Weight

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Here is a look at the Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod's specs and measurements.

SpecificationsSachtler flowtech 100 Tripod
Load Capacity66 lbs(30 kg)
Max Height60.2"(153 cm)
Minimum Height10.2"(26 cm)
Folded Length26.8"(73.068 cm)
Weight9.0 lbs(4.1 kg)

Weight Bare5.77 lbs(2.59 kg)
Weight Per Foot0.16 lbs(0.072 kg)
Weight of Handle0.15 lbs(0.097 kg)
Weight of Mid Spreader1.45 lb(0.66 kg)
Weight w/ Feet8.0 lbs(3.57 kg)
Weight Complete9.55 lbs(4.33 kg)
Minimum Height w/o Spreader2.0"(5.1 cm)
Apex Max Width6.3"(16.0 cm)

Note that the measurements include the SpeedLevel base (it is light), the handle (optional, included in some kits) limits the minimum height when installed, and the referenced spreader is optional and included in some kits.

This tripod's load capacity exceeds most video rigs today, even with a full assortment of accessories mounted. Still, a load capacity that far exceeds the actual load means less vibration and flex.

The taller a tripod is, the more likely it will accommodate your eye-level height or even your eye-level height with one or more tripod legs positioned below you. Add the camera viewfinder height, and this tripod comfortably exceeds my 6' (1.8m) height operating on a flat surface, even with a short head. Of course, tripod head height is always an addition to the overall height, and video heads tend to be moderately high.

While high is good, so is low, and getting the camera down to the ground can be ideal for some compositions. While the flowtech 100 is rated down to 10.2" (26 cm), it goes down to an extremely low 2" (5.1cm) without a spreader attached. You can leave the high hat tripod at home.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Folded

A tripod's folded length is of primary concern for packing and transport. A 3-section tripod featuring a good maximum height will not be compact when retracted. This tripod is also relatively large in diameter. Figure a snug fit in a 7" (17.8 cm) internal diameter case.

The diameter and strength of this tripod's metal apex are significant, contributing to the overall solid design, it leaves a mark on the overall weight. While this 5.77 lbs (2.59 kg) tripod is on the heavy side, it is still very light relative to its strength and rigidity.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Apex

The Apex

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Video heads are usually two-way adjusting, requiring a level platform, and tripods at this performance level feature a bowl for a half ball to mount in. As just mentioned, this tripod's apex is significant in size and strength, as needed to accommodate the large 100mm bowl.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Apex Threads

Threaded inserts are provided on the three outermost points of the chassis, ready for attachment of an arm or other accessory. My kit came with a handle and a should strap ring utilizing these features.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Leg Angle Lock

Leg Angle Stops

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An independent leg spread, allowing the tripod legs to open at various angles, is a usually desired feature, enabling the tripod to accommodate any terrain, with all legs spread wide accommodating the lowest camera heights. This tripod has that feature.

Usually, tripod models featuring independent leg spread have angle stops that facilitate equal pivoting. The flowtech 100 checks that box, providing stops at three angles, including flat on the ground.

Unique are the leg angle lock releases. Pull the main release down to unlock the angle stops. Press the small button at the base of the angle lock release and the angle lock becomes spring-loaded, catching the next outward (higher) stop and clicking over narrower spread settings.

The double-spiked feet and spreader (discussed next) can also be counted on to prevent the legs from sliding outward. The tripod and mounted camera's combined weight is, in most cases, sufficient to prevent inward slippage.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Spreader


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Optional is the Sachtler Mid-Level or Ground Carbon Fiber Spreader. These accessories are not required, but they are useful — and expensive, especially if not acquired in a tripod kit.

I opted for the Mid-Level spreader. In place, the spreader prevents the legs from spreading farther apart or moving closer together, and this spreader is practically deserving of its own review.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Spreader Attachment

Sachtler's flowtech MS spreader attaches to dual holes provided at the base of each top leg section. Dual red push buttons at the end of each spreader section retract metal pins that lock into the holes when the buttons are released.

The next red button on each spreader section releases an extension, allowing each leg section to be independently lengthened. The selected length is locked when the red button is released.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Spreader Settings

A large, rubberized dial on the spreader apex has four stops, restricting the spreader legs to angles ranging between 180° and under 90°, as illustrated above.

It seems that adding head mounting threads and feet would make this a great compact tripod.

The Sachtler spreader system is easy to deploy, and it is effective at dampening vibrations.

If the extra weight is not an issue, I recommend getting the spreader to minimally have that option available.


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Like the apex, the legs are a critical part of a tripod, and the Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod features carbon fiber leg tubes.

When panning under a fluid load, torsional stability is critical for a video tripod. It is essential that the tripod head does not twist or flex, which causes a slight control issue upon applying pressure and push back upon pressure release.

Video tripod designs typically address this issue with dual-tube leg sections providing lateral rigidity. Sachtler takes another direction with the flowtech tripods, utilizing structurally shaped carbon fiber tubes that show no sign of twisting even under a heavy load. This tripod is impressively rigid.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Lever

Leg Extension Locks

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Most tripods have multiple leg sections, allowing them to be set to various heights or retracted compactly.

This feature means that leg section locks are needed, and leg locks are a big differentiator between tripods, including the setup and adjustment time they require. Extending and locking the leg sections of a heavy tripod load can also be physically taxing when bending over is required.

Sachtler's flowtech tripods are all about speed. Lifting a strong red plastic lock lever at the top of each leg releases the brakes, and the lower two leg sections become immediately adjustable, sliding until reaching the ground or the brake lever is lowered.

The second leg section fully deploys first, maximizing the larger tubes, and the third section then automatically deploys, with gravity and ground pressure adjusting the bottom section length. Close the lever to lock the selected leg section positions.

This design makes setup easy and fast — considerably faster than setting up a typical photo tripod. Being able to dial in the ideal tripod leg extension positions while under a load — without bending over — is a great feature.

When folded inward, the legs automatically connect to each other via magnets. This feature keeps the legs perfectly folded, including when carried by a leg section, until deployment.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod Feet

Tripod Feet

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Each tripod leg features twin-spiked feet with hooking rubber tripod feet that ride on a small ball between the spikes and attach via levers over strong rubber pull tabs.

Gear Capacity Recommendations

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This tripod's rated and tested load capacities far exceed what most photographers will need to support.

This Sachtler tripod handled the gripped Canon EOS R5 and RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens with ease. Strong vibrations applied to this combo mounted on a Sachtler aktiv10 Fluid Head Video Head settled out in about 2 seconds — an impressive performance.

In an extreme test, fully extended, the tripod's leg locks did not slip (or break) under my weight (165 lbs / 75 KG). Disclaimer: I don't advise trying this test on your tripod.

Build Quality

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This is a very high-grade tripod, featuring excellent construction quality, with careful attention paid to design details.

"Performance tested for extremes: Tested in the most punishing environments, flowtech excels in sludge, sand and extreme temperatures. Tried in over 30,000 lab-testing cycles – in which the tripod is repeatedly deployed – and 1.5 million clamp operations on the test endurance rig, flowtech surpasses Sachtler’s stringent performance targets." [Sachtler]

I don't expect to ever wear this tripod out.

Subdued with excellent functionality seems to describe this tripod, with a touch of red adding a touch of class.

Tripod Case

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Finding the case that ideally fits a tripod and head is often challenging, and the thick-padded (and expensive if purchased individually) soft bag included in this tripod's with-head kits is an ideal option.

This case has a near-full-length zipper that meets a dual zipper on a strap, opening the head end of the case wider. The thick webbing hand straps have a plastic connector to hold them together (though their use is not straightforward), a flap covers the closed zipper pulls, and a pair of straps clip over the zipper

A sewn-in adjustable shoulder strap with a thick pad provides that carry option, and a flexible handle is provided on the end of the case.

A pair of zippered storage pockets are available inside of the case, and one exterior zippered pocket is provided.

Plastic rails on the bottom of the case add rigidity and keep the case slightly raised above a wet or dirty surface.

The Sachtler aktiv10 Fluid Head and flowtech 100 tripod kit fits ideally in this case.

Price and Value

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The Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod is very expensive, and the optional accessories take the price considerably higher. Head and leg combinations are available in significantly discounted kits.

This tripod features a limited 1-year warranty, extendable to 2 years with registration.

The reviewed Sachtler aktiv10 Fluid Head Video Head was purchased online/retail along with a Sachtler aktiv10 Fluid Head. Read the Sachtler aktiv10 Fluid Head review to learn more.

Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod


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Is it the "The world's fastest tripod"? The leg lock release feature combined with the head's SpeedLevel and SpeedSwap features make this support system extremely fast and easy to set up, seemingly qualifying for that description.

The fast deployment capability can distinguish between getting the perfect shot or footage and wishing you had purchased a tripod with this capability. Everyone's time is valuable, but for commercial use, the timesaving side of this feature directly translates to increased revenue.

Functionality was not compromised to meet the speed goal. Standing out among the many positive features of this tripod is its significant strength and rigidity, including against torsional force. The aesthetics and build quality are great.

Overall, the Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod is a fast-deployed, rock-solid base that is ready to do its part in creating professional-quality video (or stills) capture.

Bringing you this site is my full-time job (typically 60-80 hours per week). Thus, I depend solely on the commissions received from you using the links on this site to make any purchase. I am grateful for your support! - Bryan

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Sachtler flowtech 100 Tripod
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