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Tripods may not be the most exciting of gadgets in the photographer’s arsenal, but they are one of the more important. While the new Sirui T-004x tripod doesn’t exactly revolutionize the industry, if you are a travel or hiking enthusiast, you might want to give it a look.
The Sirui T-004x is one of the best light-weight aluminum tripods I’ve had the opportunity to test. When I first opened the package I questioned whether this little tripod would hold a point a shoot steady, let alone my Nikon D7000. But, after a couple solid days of testing, I can safely say that Sirui has a great combination of strength and portability in their T-004x offering.
In my testing the Sirui was able to hold the D7000, paired with either the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 or the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 wide angle lens without a problem. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything larger to try, but T-004x is rated at 13.2 lbs (5.9 kg) which should be enough for most midsize DSLRs and smaller.
The standout feature of the Sirui T-004x has got to be its weight and folded size – this thing is tiny! When fully folded it becomes super portable at 15.7 inches (39.9 cm) long and weighs in at just 2.0 lbs. (0.9 kg).
It comes with all the basics that you’d expect of today’s tripods. The four section legs can adjust to three different angles, independently of one another for photographing on tough terrain. The twist locks on each section are quick and easy to use – they also held tight throughout my testing. There’s a reversible center column so that you can set up for close macro photographs. Sirui also includes a shorter center column, which allows you to get even closer to the ground, should you want to take a super low camera angle perspective.
When reviewing this tripod within the mindset of what it is supposed to be (a light weight travel tripod) it’s hard to find a lot of bad.
I will say that I am not a huge fan of the ball head that came with the Sirui as the twist knobs are a bit slow compared to the flip lever action I’m used to on my Manfrotto. This was especially noticeable with the quick release plate where it requires a few good twists of the release knob to remove the camera from the tripod. Of course, these are minor inconveniences, and if it bothers you enough you could replace the head with something more suited to your liking.
Due to the compromises that had to be made in order to make this as light and as portable as possible, the overall ruggedness of the tripod is questionable. Now, I didn’t put it through anything too serious in my testing, but I’d imagine that a tumble down a rocky hill, or dropping it a off a ledge might result in some damage. Being as light as it is I’d also expect it to be quite susceptible to wind – though there is a bag hook on the center column that you could use for added weight if needed.
The ideal photographer for the Sirui T-004x would be someone who needs a lightweight travel tripod. Whether you’re a frequent flyer, or a frequent hiker, the Sirui would be a good option for you. If you’re looking for something to take a bit of abuse, or will be using it during weddings, portrait sessions, or other situations where a bit more stability and heft are required this probably isn’t want you’re looking for.
What tripod do you currently use? Leave a comment below!