Davis & Sanford FM18 Fluid Head

Davis & Sanford FM18 Fluid Head

Davis & Sanford FM18 Fluid Head

B&H # DAFM18 MFR # FM18
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  • 18 lb Payload

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Davis & Sanford FM18 overview

  • 1Description

The Davis and Sanford FM18 is a compact fluid head with an 18 lb payload. This head offers an economical choice for videographers using a full size camcorder.

Independent pan and tilt drag and locks offer effortless control over tripod capabilities.
Quick Release
A sliding quick release that locks offers balancing capabilities for a variety of camcorder sizes from small to full size.
UPC: 049383235968
In the Box
Davis & Sanford FM18 Fluid Head
  • Pan Bar
  • Fluid Head
  • Quick Release Plate
  • 1/4" Camera Mounting Screw
  • 3/8" Camera Mounting Screw
  • Limited 10 Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Davis & Sanford FM18 specs

    Camera Plate
    Camera Plate Features Sliding Balance Plate, Quick Release
    Camera Mounting Screw 1 x Reversible 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16
    Tripod Platform
    Base Mount 3/8"-16 Thread
    Pan & Tilt
    Drag Control Tilt: Continuous
    Vertical Tilt +90 to -90
    Panning Range 360
    Independent Pan Lock Yes
    Independent Tilt Lock Yes
    Load Capacity 18 lb / 8.2 kg
    Counter Balance Fixed
    Bubble Level 1
    Weight 4 lb / 1.8 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 4.67 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 28.0 x 8.0 x 7.0"

    Davis & Sanford FM18 reviews

    FM18 Fluid Head is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 44.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid Head For Cheap! I bought one of these to replace a Smith Victor Pro-5 Head that developed a serious wobble. The two heads, FM18 and Pro-5, both appear to be cast from the same molds. The FM18 claims to be a fluid head, whereas the Pro-5 is a fluid effect head. By comparison, I like the FM18 better, as the pan arms are longer, one-piece constructed, and it seems sleeker. My long-time fave, Manfrotto 3063, may have to step aside. The FM18's pan and tilt actions are smooth and solid, and suits my style well. I disagree with other posts on the net I've read that complain about this head. The FM18 is well suited for my AG-DVC30, and smaller video cams.
    Date published: 2010-01-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rock Solid, Super Price Point The FM18 was mated with a Giotto tripod and a Meade 80mm refractor to create a travel telescope kit. My viewing interest, which include terrestrial and sky objects, pulled me towards a fluid head instead of an AZ mount. The FM18 has no problem carrying the 7 lb scope along with a heavy 2 diagonal and 2 eyepiece. Movement is smooth enough to allow the small nudges needed when following a celestial object. The head is not lightweight, but mass is an asset for stable viewing/photography. Other reviews mention the interference between locking levers. While true, the ratchet feature provides a workaround. I'm very pleased with the product.
    Date published: 2011-07-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from solid fluid head A really impressive piece of equipment for the price, of solid construction. It's heavy, but that's what I wanted as my dslr, cage rig and monitor weigh about 11lbs all together and the FM18 can support an 18lb load while most of the cheaper heads available here in Europe are not up to the job or are not real fluid heads. The quick release plate functions well and includes a safety catch and a ratchet-style mechanism for locking the plate in place. A replacement top plate is also included. The FM18 has a 3/8 screw so I had to purchase a 1/4 adaptor to attach it to the tripod, but it wasn't expensive and works fine. The head itself has good fluidity.
    Date published: 2012-11-08
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Head! I bought one of these heads to beta-test it against a Bogen 3063, and wound up fitting all three of my 3035 tripods with FM18's! This head has good balance, actions are smooth, and the quick release plate is a good size for any of my cameras. I use this head in the field, on live shoots outside, in a studio, on a jib-crane, and sometimes on a dolly. Occassionally I forget that the QR plate tightening screw lever is spring loaded, so other than that, a great overall head for the price! On my three heads, there is only one plastic part: the pan lever. Every other knob is metal! Great build.
    Date published: 2011-06-27
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Does the job Needed this to replace a head that couldn't handle the weight of the XL1S with all the peripherals that we use during shoots (had trouble with drift). The specs said this one is rated for up to 18 lbs. and it appears that this is the case. It handles smoothly enough and drift has disappeared. I have read reviews that complained this head contained cheap plastic parts that broke easily. I do not see these on this head. It appears to be quite substantial. For the price I have no complaints. It isn't top of the line but it does the job.
    Date published: 2008-06-17
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Solid, but inconvenient fluid head Normally I rent high end tripods for bigger shoots, but I wanted to get a low end setup for day shoots, and the reviews about pan and tilt performance tempted me into purchasing this model. This unit is well designed for shoots where performance is needed over adjustability, and provides solid performance at an unbeatable price but it not as well suited for situations where quick 'adjustability' is vital. Great pan and tilt performance - on par with $1000 units, but pan and tilt fluid friction are not matched, so it requires a very steady single hand or the use of both hands operating both panhandles for a clean pro diagonal move. Two full length tripod plates is a very generous touch - most heads at this price offer one short plate and make you pay an additional $20-40 for a longer one. The down side of this head is ergonomics, or complete lack of... The QR lock runs into the bottom of any wider camera bodies, and often requires a full turn as the QR plate is not a uniform width all the way across, so pull the spring loaded twist handle then reset,then lock tripod plate and slowly ratchet the QR down making it a 'slow' release. This QR handle also runs into the right panhandle, sometimes requiring pulling the panhandle completely off to get the QR plate locked - which takes forever - a Gitzo style round twist nob instead of a protruding twist handle would solve this. Panhandles are very stable and don't slip if loose, like on many panhandles with shallower adjustment teeth. The down side of the deep teeth in the panhandle mount, adjusting a panhandle requires more than 10 full turns of the adjustment nob to loosen, and another 10 or so turns to re-tighten. By this time, actors are asleep, and crew is ready for a bathroom break So, for film/video/still shoots where a single configuration works, this is a great tripod head, but once adjustments need to be made, time is lost, and frustrations can rise. This product could be modified, or redesigned into a super head at a super deal, but for now, I am hoping to find something with more thought put into ergonomics... hopefully something out there that matches the solid performance for 5X the price.
    Date published: 2010-10-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I now own two of these heads I have one FM18 fluid head on my tripod and this one goes on the camera slider I built. The advantage is in using the same quick connect plate which come with the FM18. It makes my reconfigurations a snap...pun intended! This head is a great price and is smooth, sturdy,easily adjustable and looks professional. I recommend it to anyone who is a professional or serious amatuer videographer.
    Date published: 2010-09-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Good deal better. I use the FM18 with a Panasonic AG-DVC30, and a PV-GS150. I like this so much, I've ordered a second one. It is similar in use to my old Bogen 3063, and includes two pan handles. The head has a nice heft to it, all actions are smooth, and the quick release plate is a good size. I use this primarily in the field, on live shoots, not so much in a studio, sometimes on a dolly, and have it mounted atop a set of Bogen 3046 legs. My only probelm with this head is the odd shaped QR plate tightening knob. I'd prefer a round knob to a tear drop shape.
    Date published: 2010-01-31
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