Extreme Sports with the Sachtler Ace M

Ryszard Syryczyński

When once a year riders face off in Tallinn, Estonia BMX riders and sports enthusiasts come together for one of the biggest and most famous BMX competitions, Simple Session. Spectators bear witness to unbelievable and sometimes risky tricks, such as the barspin, cash roll, backflip, or icepick. Ryszard Syryczyński, who, along with his production company RyyS, was contracted to shoot the festival, is among the fans. True to his motto “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life,“ at Simple Session, the videographer can combine his passion for extreme sports and BMX with his job. Throughout, the Sachtler Ace M fluid head and the Ace 75/2 D tripod are always at Syryczyński’s side. Sachtler is part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.


“The Ace M was in use the whole day,” says the videographer. “I used the tripod system for overview images, close-ups, and interviews.” During various tasks, the Ace M helps Syryczyński with precise pan and tilt movements; the patented SA-drag™ damping system featuring three vertical and three horizontal grades of drag (+0) offers ideal control for smooth pans. The tilt range of the beginners’ fluid head is +90° to -75° and enables Syryczyński to capture a variety of images of the competition and its participants: “The racers simply jumped over me or rode by so closely that it was almost scary,” reports Syryczyński. “With the Ace M, I was able to capture every exciting image over, under, or next to me. The 75-mm tripod system with mid-level spreader prevented shaky images on uneven ground, as the rubber feet with retractable spikes provided a firm stand.”


Even when Syryczyński had to shift his location quickly as a BMX rider changed course, he was able to count on his Ace tripod system; the low weight guarantees maximum flexibility. With a weight of 4.3 kg (9.4 lbs), the system featuring the fluid head, made of stable fiberglass composite material, and the Ace 75/2 D tripod, made of aluminum, is one of the lightest Sachtler tripod systems. “The Ace M system is compact and lightweight! I was able to quickly pack my equipment by myself and set it up at another location. I didn’t need anybody to help me carry anything,” explains the filmmaker.


“Together with my Panasonic AG-HMC 151, the Ace M and I were an unbeatable team,” reports Syryczyński. “Likewise, we delivered optimal performance with the Canon EOS 7D.” The Ace M won Syryczyński over with a payload range of 0 to 4 kilograms (8.8 lbs) and the five-step counterbalance. The counterbalancing of the camera set-up can be done quickly and perfectly using the familiar Sachtler step system. “Everything has to be ready for shooting in the blink of an eye, especially when getting a close-up of a trick. During the Simple Session, I simply had to be able to completely depend on my equipment,” says Syryczyński.