The T1204X is the tripod for photographers who don’t like to carry a tripod.
I’ve had an on again off again relationship with tripods for my entire career as a photographer. There have been periods when I would carry one everywhere, followed by periods of abstinence, regret and then a return to my old ways. No one wants to carry yet another piece of equipment, and yet the payoff in unique images is tantalizing.
Even the best camera or lens stabilization must give way to a tripod for long exposures. Those special moments in limited light that demand a lengthy exposure or small f-stop can only be done with a tripod.
Add to this mixed pain and pleasure my role as a travel photographer looking for the smallest and lightest of everything, and the conflict within me never ends. Ultimately, my conclusion is that my particular approach to photography often requires a tripod. Period. That’s it.
But I may have found a long-term relationship to sooth my conflicting desires. This parable of infatuation began at last year’s PHOTOKINA in Cologne, Germany, largest imaging trade fair on the planet. The recession brought a noticeable vendor shrinkage from previous years, but there were still more than enough delectable new equipment models on display.
The ideal tripod is similar to the ideal camera: a lightweight, compact, solid instrument with the right balance and proportions that will do everything. Did I also mention at a good price? Checking over the merchandise in multiple areas, I found the near partner of my dreams in a mid row PHOTOKINA tripod booth named SIRUI.
SIRUI is an English acronym for two Chinese characters which are pronounced roughly as sur’way, with the approximate translation of sharp contemplation, which is both the process and result when using a tripod.
At show’s end I even tried to buy my #2 model choice for quick cash (my #1 choice was gone), but I didn’t have enough euros. Ah, the pain and disappointment of it all. Out into the streets again as I forgot my sorrows in a driving tour of central Europe. Then back to Canada where by chance I caught sight of my ‘baby’ in a downtown Toronto camera store.
SIRUI T1204X 4 section tripod Price: $300 Cdn
- Max Load Capacity: 22lb (10 Kg), Weight: 1.76 lb (.798 kg), Folded Height: 16 inch (40.64 cm)
- Max leg Dimension: 0.96 inch / 2.44 cm, Center Column: Rapid
- Max Height (23Ã‚Â° Leg Angle): w/Column Extended: 56 inch (142 cm), w/ Column Retracted: 45 inch (114 cm)
- Min Height (80Ã‚Â° Leg Angle): 13.2 inch (33.5 cm)
- Independently locked into place at two different angles
- Manufactured in Guangdong, China (adjacent to Hong Kong)
Please note: All story material and photos are copyright © Gary Crallé. No reproduction in any form for commercial purposes without written consent.
This is the lightest full-height tripod with professional features, build quality and stability that I have seen at this price ($300 Cdn). The T1204X is the tripod for photographers who don’t like to carry a tripod. I think the folks at SIRUI have done their research and put together a neat package.
- Robust enough to hold up to 22 lb.(10 Kg)
- Quick and easy angle control for legs
- All leg connections and centre post are rubberized twist collars to create smooth contours, keep mechanicals simple, reduce potential problems, standardize operations, and allow quick setup with one hand loosening all 3 collars at once as leg extensions drop down
- 4 leg sections are a good number to minimize fiddling with extensions and to provide stability
Sturdy non-slip rubber feet do not scratch delicate surfaces, do not corrode after immersion in salt water, can be placed in sand and grit, wash off easily
- Centre column extends to my perfect eyesight height of 5’6” (167.6 cm)without bending
- Centre column can be used either upward or downward for either stand up or low level shooting. A mini centre post is included (in its own drawstring bag) for ultra low level work.
- Connection screw of centre column is reversible to fit both narrow and wide camera tripod sockets
- A small hook at the bottom of the centre column allows a camera bag, purse or other weight to be suspended for additional stability
- Black colour reduces reflections when shooting in front of windows or mirrors
- Anodized carbon fibre material is strong, light, operable in temperature extremes
- Legs fold backward for compact 16” (40.6 cm) transport length
- Absence of a (usually bulky) camera platform allows a choice of camera connections. Sirui has just introduced a small and a large ballhead, but for the time being, I use either my Novoflex ballhead or old Leitz tabletop head. One caveat: always test any camera or ballhead for a secure fit with a tripod, as male and female screw connections can vary.
- Nifty blue-stripe zippered 7 ½” (19 cm) padded black handle grip on upper portion of one leg keeps hands warm for cold weather carrying. Fits any leg plus centre column.
- Two L-shaped hex screwdrivers included to loosen or tighten articulated leg joints
- A handsome padded nylon case with carry handle and shoulder strap is provided. There’s even a small zipper pocket for keys, business cards etc.
- Build quality is excellent. Machining is precise. Design is well thought out.
- An unheard of 6-year warranty!
- User manual and instructions included. When was the last time that happened with something you bought?
- Pricing is competitive and reasonable.
- The carry case might be considered as being a bit bulky for truly compact travel. An alternative is just to use the tripod’s heavy duty plastic packing bag.
- Achieving the desirable tension for the legs to swing inward and out from the centre post may require some adjustments using the included hex wrenches.
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Gary Crallé is a seriously sociable travel photographer who appreciates wherever he is. With almost 70 countries under his travel belt it’s surprising he hasn’t put on weight. He likes to concentrate on what is good for the body and soul (history & culture, gastronomy, health & leisure) and the spirit within us (geography, self-discovery/adventure). Image-based stories are his passion.
Located: Georgetown Canada
Likes: photography, adventure, gastronomy, history, events, health & leisure