Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Davis and Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod Review

If you read my genus loupe review, you may have noticed that I like saving money. Well, I did the same with my new Davis & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod with Pneumatic Centerpost with FM18 Fluid Head.

It was a nice package deal. The tripod came with a case and a dolly. Setting up the tripod, it feels very sturdy and well built. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but manageable. Personally, I think that adds to that secure feeling I get when using it. At least I feel more secure about this tripod then my old one. I only use a canon 7d on this right now. But I’m sure a camera weighing up to 10-12lbs would work great on here.

The head is surprisingly smooth. Pan/Tilts are great. However, I didn’t feel like I could change the speed of the pan/tilt. It’s either locked or it’s not. There’s a pneumatic airlifting center column that raises the center post. Total height with the legs and center post, probably 7’ the biggest problem I’ve found is the plate lock sits in a bad spot. It’s really difficult to balance the 7d and tighten the plate because the camera body is in the way. I ended up pushing the camera forward but it made me a little nervous. It seems secure, but I’m not sure how it will work for larger cameras. Be careful.

The bag seems nice and durable. Should last a while. The dolly seems ok. I’ve used a model very similar to this one, and it was great as long as the floor was perfectly smooth. This dolly may have similar issues. But, being that it was free, I’m not terribly disappointed. It had a built in handle.

So far, I’m really happy with this purchase. And at $220 from B&H Photo, it’s hard to pass up. It’s not Manfrotto, but for something comparable at half the price, who cares? Definitely consider checking this one out.

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