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Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with Pneumatic Centerpost with FM18 Fluid Head - Supports 12 lb (5.5 kg)

B&H # DAPVALFM18 Mfr # PROVISTAIR18
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $149.95

The Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift, combined with the FM18 Fluid Video Head, provides rigid support for those that need strength more than versatility in height options. The Airlift version features a pneumatic cylinder in the center post which provides smooth and easy floating action height adjustment for cameras weighing from 2 to 12 pounds.

It assembles to its working height very quickly, thanks to twist locks that only require 50% of a rotation. With double-strut top leg sections for extra stability, a center brace with lock, and non-skid rubber feet, this tripod is perfect for field, studio, educational or industrial applications.

Double strut top leg sections gives extra stability
Pivoting rubber/spike feet
Air cushioned center column gives precision control
Perfect studio tripod for applications of up to 12 lb
Bubble level
3.75 x 3.25" camera platform size
Dual adjustable pan handles give more control

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General
Load Capacity 12 lb (5.5 kg)
Maximum Height 72" (182.9 cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended 61" (154.9 cm)
Minimum Height 36" (91.5 cm)
Folded Length 37" (94.0 cm)
Leveling Bubble/Illuminated Yes/Non
Weight 10.3 lb (4.7 kg)
Warranty 10-Year Warranty
Head
Counter Balance System Not specified
Quick Release/Wedge Plate Yes
Balance Plate Sliding
Tilt Drag Adjustable
Tilt Range +90°/-90°
Tilt Lock Yes
Spring Loaded Counter Balance Adjustable
Pan Range 360°
Pan Lock Yes
Legs
Material Aluminum
Head Attachment Fitting 3/8"-16
Leg Stages/Sections 2/3
Leg Lock Type Wing nut
Independent Leg Spread No
Spiked/Retractable Feet No
Center Brace Yes
Center Column Type Pneumatic
Center Column Sections 1
Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with Pneumatic Centerpost with FM18 Fluid Head - Supports 12 lb (5.5 kg)
  • Padded Case
  • Quick Release Plate
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Davis & SanfordProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head
     
    4.3

    (based on 195 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (92)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (88)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (8)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (3)

    95%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (145)
    • Unfolds quickly (67)
    • Folds away (35)
    • Lightweight (28)
    • Durable (11)

    Cons

    • Heavy (73)
    • Cumbersome (18)
    • Poor quality (5)

    Best Uses

    • Video (126)
    • Weddings (84)
    • Landscape/scenery (57)
    • Sports/action (47)
    • Home (45)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Semi-pro photographer (74), Pro photographer (56), Photo enthusiast (15), Casual photographer (8), Semi-professional (5)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (112)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Good solid tripod for the price

    I shoot news at night for the local news as a stringer and use this tripod almost every day. I open and close this tripod several times per day, while in a rush,...Read complete review

    I shoot news at night for the local news as a stringer and use this tripod almost every day. I open and close this tripod several times per day, while in a rush, without any concern if I'm gentile with it -- all that matters is I get on the scene and get the shot asap (house fire, suspect being arrested, etc). The fluid head is great for smooth pans and tilts, which is a huge improvement over cheap tripods without a fluid head, and the bubble levels are a nice feature too although they can be hard to see at night. The tripod is very stable, although sometimes when you let go, it will move a millimeter or two left/right/up/down. Locking the brakes tightly and waiting a second or two for it to settle is all it takes. This may be related to the "loose head" problem explained below. I really like the airlift center column. When I first got the tripod about 2 months ago, the center post would go up perfectly (without any weight and w/ the lock off). However, over time the center post seems to get stuck and I have to help "pull" it up. It still assists with the weight of my 10 pound camera (Canon XL2), but for some reason it isn't as smooth as it once was. If you are buying this tripod for the airlift purpose primarily, I'd look elsewhere. It works great for when I need to raise my camera height quickly, but is by no means a replacement for a jib crane or higher-quality airlift. The leg latches tend to be kind of loose when you first get it, but I tightened them with the included wrench and it works fine. Before tightening the latches, I noticed that if I would set my tripod down with the legs folded in (not spread) somewhat quickly/abruptly, the legs would slide upwards slightly, thus lowering the height and requiring adjustments every time. So tighten the latches and you should be fine. All in all I love this tripod considering the price, but I knew before I even bought it that it would not last forever. It's still running strong so far, but if you can afford it, I would recommend going for a better tripod from a more reputable brand. If you're in a pinch and need to get by for a few months or don't use it every day, this tripod should work fine. The bag is padded to protect the head and has small zipper compartments to hold small flat items. I'm sure the bag will outlast the tripod, as it is made of durable materials. I also like that it comes with two tripod adapter plates, so if you have two cameras you use with this, you don't need to worry about buying a second adapter plate. I bought this with the dolly which seems to be really nice. I have yet to use it other than playing around at home with it, but I am confident it will work great and smoothly when the time comes. My one complaint would be that the head is coming loose. Now this is probably my own fault from user error. Often times I need to quickly tilt my camera up or down and do not have time to unlock the tilt brake (for example, a suspect at a scene makes a sudden move). This puts strain on the head. I think the head is coming loose from me doing this often. Always remember to loosen the tilt brake and you should not experience this problem (learned this in college). There is a very large bolt which I suspect could be tightened, but it is impossible to get a wrench in there without taking apart the head or a very flat skinny wrench, which I'm afraid to do.Again, please keep in mind I use this tripod almost every day and I really put a beating on my equipment. To the average wedding videographer or average joe, this tripod should meet or exceed your expectations and last a long time.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Solid tripod for the money

    This is a solid tripod. Its sturdy and reasonably well built. Its heavy, and not terribly portable, but the included carrying case and wheels are a good value. I just traveled with...Read complete review

    This is a solid tripod. Its sturdy and reasonably well built. Its heavy, and not terribly portable, but the included carrying case and wheels are a good value. I just traveled with this tripod on a flight. I managed to squeeze a second smaller tripod and monopod into the bag with the the ProVista and checked it in as luggage. The tripod and bag are sturdy enough for travel of that nature.

    The "Airlift" part of the tripod is a bit jarring. I didn't know what it meant when I bought it, but I found out the first time I untightened the column lock knob. The column shoots up to maximum extension very rapidly. If you were standing over the tripod head it would give you a solid crack in the jaw. If you had a camera on the head and cables connected with little or no slack, the force would most certainly break an audio/video output on the camera. They call it "Airlift, but I think its just a big spring in the column. Its a theoretically cool concept, but it could be called clumsy for a device designed to hold very valuable video equipment.

    Now you may be wondering how the column is lowered after its been let loose. There's no mechanical way to lower the column, which leaves only the physics of brute force. The only way to lower the column is by pushing straight down with a force greater than that which the spring exerts upward. The tripod actually comes with two handles that screw into the base of the head. The purpose of these handles is a great mystery until you realize that you need a sturdy grip to push the column down. Only then will the column recede and be locked down, ready to spring into action at the next turn of the lock knob, intentional or otherwise.

    The airlift function is alarming at first, but becomes quite routine after a couple of minutes. Once situated, the tripod operates well. The pan and tilt are a bit tight, but very smooth and stable.

    The column issues aside, this tripod is a reasonable buy. its affordable and comes with a sturdy bag and a set of dolly wheels. That's a tough deal to beat.

    Reviewed by 195 customers

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    5.0

    It's Great.....!!!

    By Jmont.

    from Hempstead

    Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

    Es un Buen producto y por el precio aun mejor.

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Very Sturdy

    By jtmcf

    from Salem, OR

    About Me Business Owner

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Good Price

    Cons

    • Lacks Functionality

    Best Uses

    • Home Movies
    • In The Studio

    Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

    Very Sturdy tripod. I use it in the studio to hold a Canon XA10 with a fairly large iPad teleprompter.

    It's also a great price compared to other tripods in this height range.

    Probably isn't want you want if you're looking for a lot of adjust-ability. This is the only reason I gave 4 stars, but I have no complaints given the price.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Sturdy and Smooth!

    By DIRECTORGUYNEZ

    from Philadelphia, PA

    About Me Film Student

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Highly Compatible
    • Improves Performance
    • Professional Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Complex Projects
      • Independent Films
      • In The Studio

      Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

      I use this tripod in productions with my DSLR and it has been great! The pan and tilt on the head is super smooth and always gives me quality and professional shots. The tripod is extremely strong and durable, and I don't anticipate it breaking or falling apart in the near future or anytime for that matter. The only thing I have to say about this tripod is that it is large and heavy. It is a little much for my little DSLR, and I should have read the description of this tripod more in depth to be honest before I purchased it, because it isn't the easiest thing to lug around when you're a small time filmmaker like me. Asides from that, this tripod is a great bang for your buck and extremely professional! I'm glad I purchased it!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Smooth Pans

      By Harry Harris

      from South East Texas

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Stability

      Cons

      • Cumbersome
      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

      I use this for weddings, Graduations, and Recitals and it works great for a tripod in this price range. I couldn't find anything within a 50 bucks that was as appealing as this. I have 3 of these in use weekly. I have one set up with an Panasonic HMC-150 and the other two with Canon 70Ds. So far So good. It is heavy but thats ok and the pnuematic lift is nice except when u have to push it back down. It got stuck when i was unboxing it for the first time and it almost knocked me out when it hit me in the face due do finally coming free lol. I ended up buying two more so i like it.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Great legs, cluttered head

      By Ryan

      from Athens, TN

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Stability
      • Smooth panning
      • Tall

      Cons

      • Cluttered Head

      Best Uses

      • Video

      Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

      I got this tripod to add to my gear arsenal for the video company I'm starting. First, the legs are great. The flip-locks are kind of hard to release and lock because it's so resistant, but are solid once done. The center column is nice and high (a big reason I got this particular tripod), and is also kind of hard to push back down after it's been extended all the way. Once set-up it's very solid. The head however is goofy. Like other video heads I've used, many of the tighteners hit each other as they get rotated, requiring some components to be taken completely off to tighten a given section if you don't want to remove the camera (in my case a Canon DSLR). I never understood this very unintelligent design that seems to plague video heads, but some of it can be gotten used to with enough practice. The panning is nice and smooth, though, so once the camera is situated it's a nice piece of equipment to use. It's no lightweight, but that should come as no surprise after looking at the product specs. Overall it's good for the price, especially the legs.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Great Tripod

      By Mikey G

      from Provo, UT

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Stability
      • Tall

      Cons

      • Heavy
      • Large

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Night Shots
      • Portraits
      • Sports/Action
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

      I really liked this tripod. I use it for video. I am 6'6" so I like how it can get up to my eye level. I can film standing interviews with just about anyone with this. The only feature I wish it had was a way to level it without adjusting the leg height but that's kind of impossible with this kind of design because the center post is in the way. Also, because it is so tall, it is best to use a sandbag to weigh it down to get better panning motions.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      A solid tripod for the money

      By Joe

      from Philadelphia, PA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fluid Head Movements
      • Good Stability
      • Sturdy

      Cons

      • Heavy
      • Poor Construction

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

      After reading a lot of reviews I was a little worried about buying this tripod. But my fears have subdued. Don't get me wrong, the issues with the airlift column and leg extension flaps are real, but I find them manageable.

      You can read tons of reviews about the leg flap locks being hard to use. I find them pretty easy to open, but they're real tough to close. It's best to close them with your palms rather than fingers because you could probably injure your fingers doing so.

      The air lift is OK. I just let it shoot up and fully extend. It would be a real pain to try and get it somewhere in the middle, so I don't bother. Getting the center shaft back down requires brute force to push it back down. If you have weak arms this is not your tripod. The first time I did it, it was tough. But the second time was easier because I knew how much force I had to exert and it wasn't as much of a surprise.

      This could've been a great tripod if they used a regular center shaft crank and more fluid leg snaps. But with that, I'm pretty satisfied with this tripod. The head is fluid and easily adjustable. I will be shooting weddings, communions, sporting events, and just about everything with this tripod.

      Bottom Line: This tripod is not meant for the weak. If you can get past the leg locks and the air lift it's a good tripod for the price.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Solid, sturdy with nice features

      By tigerose

      from Bradenton, FL

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Good Stability
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Video

        Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

        This stand is easy to set up and has nice fluid motion for video. The mounting bracket also allows you to remove the camcorder quickly and slide it back on for handheld use.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Davis & Sanford tripod

        By New cam guy

        from Texas

        Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

        This is the best tripod I have seen for the price!!!! I have a friend the had a manfrotto and he likes this one better. It is very sturdy!!!!

        Share this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Can't recommend this one

        By ChrisFromVision

        from Sydney, Australia

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Good Stability

        Cons

        • Cumbersome
        • Heavy

        Best Uses

          Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

          This is a solidly built tripod, that pans like a dream but I simply can't recommend this product at all. As mentioned by plenty of people here, the Airlift option is a bit of a joke, and no matter how tightly you lock it will sporadically pop up at the worst of times, which is far, far from ideal. The clips on the legs are also incredibly hard to lock, and is a running joke with my assistant and I as to who will have the unenviable task of having to close them at the end of a job, and as a result hurt their hands doing so. There are much better options out there at B & H, I wouldn't be going for this one.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          So far, So Good!!!

          By jake

          from long Island, NY

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Folds Small
          • Good Stability
          • Lightweight
          • Unfolds Quickly

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

              Made better than the old version

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great looking and strong enough

              By OmarRuben

              from East Rutherford, NJ

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Folds Small
              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight
              • Unfolds Quickly

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Portraits
                • Sports/Action
                • Video

                Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                I used for video with a panasonic pro camera and gives me the confidence i need on the field. Very sturdy and people always gives me a nice look , makes me look more pro...

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Great Product

                By MR.Willis

                from Ferndale,Wa

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                Awesome tripod.

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Wow

                By elements01

                from Montreal

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Stability
                • Lightweight
                • Unfolds Quickly

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Portraits
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Travel
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                  smooth, stable, very good

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Not a good workhorse tripod

                  By Mike

                  from Medford, NJ

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Pros

                  • Folds Small

                  Cons

                  • Cumbersome
                  • Heavy
                  • Weak Construction

                  Best Uses

                  • Video

                  Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                  I am a wedding and architectural photographer and videographer, and admittedly, I beat my equipment up a bit. While this tripod was very nice for the first few outings, little things started to become an issue. Within a year, it started folding in on itself with just a small amount of weight applied. Legs wouldn't keep themselves closed when clamped down, and suddenly one leg would sag when any pressure was applied. This is a real problem, because I would have to repeatedly press the airlifted head back down because no matter how tightly I tried to hold it in place, it would lift on its own. I'm 6'7" and pretty strong, so I am confident there wasn't a shortcoming on my part in tightening it down. This problem has gotten so bad that I just keep it airlifted up all the time, because it is impossible to keep it down.

                  This tripod is quite heavy, which is fine for me, but I imagine many people would struggle to carry it around. Adding the wheels is fine and all, assuming you have a flat surface from location to location, and no steps. Not a safe assumption.

                  I will say that once this tripod is in place and you are careful with it, you do get very smooth pans for video. It's nice and tall, which is great for my architectural shoots. Unfortunately, the product just doesn't stand up to heavy use over time, and I am now having to replace it.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Very Solid Tripod

                  By RWMorey

                  from East Hampton, NY

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Stability

                  Cons

                  • No Documentation

                  Best Uses

                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                  This product is fantastic. I purchased it to shoot video with my DSLR. The unit is very sturdy and rugged. It comes with two heads and a carrying case. Over all I have been very pleased. The only down side is there are no instructions and it took me a while to figure out how to get the center pole up and down.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  great stand

                  By Tony G.

                  from downey, ca

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                  This is my second davis & stanford stand and I couldn't be happier.

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Professional Quality without the Cost

                  By Zac the Video Screen Guy

                  from Lehigh Valley, PA

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Stability
                  • Lightweight
                  • Unfolds Quickly

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Portraits
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                    High quality, great stability and fits almost any camera. For the price, it was well worth it and compared to other more expensive tripods, it does the same job. Great for live video production with the fluid moving head.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    4.0

                    Pleasantly Pleased

                    By Fletch

                    from WInston Salem, NC

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Stability
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                    For the price, this tripod works very well. My only complaint is that I was wanting to remove the fluid head and use it on a separate tripod, however it will not screw off.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Solid tripod

                    By jerry

                    from Macon, GA

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Stability
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with FM18 Fluid Head:

                      Used throughout the week. Solid tripod. Well built. Smooth head. Like left and right handles when tracking live events. Very stable.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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