The following post originally appeared on my photography-centered blog a while ago (April 2012) but the information is still valid. Both Pam and I are still using the Sirui tripods we purchased back in 2012 and they are still performing great. If you are looking for a quality tripod at a good price, Sirui is definitely worth your consideration:
After I got back into photography in 2011 I began to consider what kind of quality tripod I would get to mount my cameras on. When it comes to tripods there are a lot of options out there across the price spectrum. I wanted a good, solid tripod but didn't have the budget for a Really Right Stuff setup (though they are fantastic products!). I did a lot of research on the various products that would fit my budget and came across a company called Sirui and after quite a bit of back and forth as well as reading user reviews I decided to go “all-in” with Sirui, a relatively new brand here in the US but popular in Asia and Europe for a while, and get tripods and ball heads for both Pam and I. For me, I ordered theirN-2204 carbon fiber tripod along with the K-20x Ball Head. I also purchased an aluminum legged tripod, theN-1004 4 section Aluminum Tripod with a K-10x ball head for Pam, who will be using a tripod much less than I will. If she really enjoys photography we can always upgrade to a carbon fiber tripod at a later date.
I received the tripods in late January and have had a chance to use them in a few different situations. I think I'm now familiar enough with them to give a fairly solid review. So, without further ado, here is my text review. Be sure to watch my video review at the bottom of this post for more specific information on how the tripods and ballheads work in real life.
What Is Included:
- A short center column
- Custom carrying case
- Padded shoulder strap
- Wrist strap (for use with the mono-pod feature)
The ballheads come with a carrying case.
- Tripod converts to monopod; center column can be attached for even more height
- Legs fold up 180° for extra compactness
- The center column can be inverted for unusual low angle shots
- For speed and convenience, each leg has an automatic leg angle lock mechanism
- Short center column is supplied for low angle or macro shooting.
- 3 position leg angle for uneven terrain
- N2 (Carbon Fiber) Series has retractable spiked feet for outdoor photography
The ballheads come with separate control knobs for panning and locking. There is a friction knob that allows you to pre-set the tension of the ballhead, allowing you to easily adjust the camera.
This is ultimately the most important part. If the tripod and ballhead are difficult to operate or poorly designed, it doesn't matter at all what features it has. Fortunately, the Sirui tripods and ballheads have lived up to my expectations.
In the several situations that I have used the tripod and ball head they have performed as asked. The quick release legs on both the carbon and aluminum tripods are easy to operate and sure in their locking and unlocking. The diameter of the legs is reassuring (and larger in diameter than many budget brands) and the stability of the tripod is more than adequate. When the legs are adjusted and the ball head is locked in position, I don't fear that the camera is going to fall over at the lightest gust.
The construction of both the tripod and ball heads is very good. Tolerances are tight and everything moves with a purpose. The ball heads are smooth in their operation and are easy to adjust. The quality of construction is apparent and in the approximately 10 hours or so of actual use that both of us have put into these tripods & ball heads, we have found no defects or anything that needs adjusting.
In short, if you are looking for your first quality tripod and/or ball head, you should consider Sirui. They offer a well-made product with a high level of fit, finish and functionality at a competitive price. Both of us are looking forward to using these for a long time to come.
If you're interested in purchasing either of these tripods (or any other equipment) check out these links. You don't pay anymore to buy this way but you will help me offset the cost of maintaining this blog.