Sirui Tripod And Ball Head Reviews

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A couple of months ago I went through the process of researching and purchasing a tripod. You can read about my initial research here and learn about why I made a switch in my thinking here. As I said in that post, I decided to go “all-in” with Sirui 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:

Both tripods, the N-1004 aluminum and N-2204 carbon fiber tripod come with:

  • A short center column
  • Custom carrying case
  • Padded shoulder strap
  • Wrist strap (for use with the mono-pod feature)
  • Tools
The ballheads come with a carrying case.

Features:

  • 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.
For more specifications, dimensions and other information on the tripods, check out these PDF’s: (Tripods) & (Ballheads)

In Use:

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.

Sirui N2204 Carbon Fiber Tripod at Amazon

The Sirui product page at Adorama

Sirui Products at Amazon

Sirui N1004 Aluminum Tripod w/K-10x Ball Head at Adorama

Sirui N2204 Carbon Fiber Tripod w/K-20x Ball Head at Adorama

The Video Review:

 

 

New Sirui Tripod

I recently upgraded my tripod to something more substantial:

New Sirui Carbon Fiber Tripod

The tripod is made by Sirui. It’s their N-2204 model which is a carbon fiber compact travel tripod. It has a Sirui K-20x Ball Head. I spoke a little about this in a post last month. Based on all the research I did the Sirui tripod seemed like the best fit for me. I haven’t had a chance to use the tripod much yet but I have really enjoyed using it the little that I have. I plan on doing a more in-depth review after I’ve had a bit more time to use it so stay tuned for that.

Tripod And Ball Head Search Update

Last week I posted about my search for a new tripod and ball head. In the post I said that I decided to go with the Feisol tripod and that I would be researching ball heads to go with it. Well, in that research, I came across another option that I wasn’t aware of.

As I was looking for a ball head to go with the tripod I came across a new brand that I wasn’t aware of, Sirui. They are a Chinese manufacturer that has developed a good reputation in Asia, and just recently entered the US market. Their ball heads have received very favorable reviews across Asia and Europe. The German photography site Traumflieger (Google can translate it to english) reviewed several of the Sirui ball heads and gave them high marks.  As I researched the ball heads it appeared that their tripods were worth considering and seem to have a strong following as well. While Feisol is certainly a strong brand and has a solid reputation, based on the research I did, I decided to go with Sirui. This was primarily due to the positive information I found online but also because of the relative lack of information I found online. That was intriguing to me since it seems that Sirui is a well-made product but because it is so new to the US market, few people in the United States have purchased one for their own use. Most of the reviews I found were from users in Erope or Asia, where Sirui has been for a while. Being a bit of a “calculated risk taker” I decided that Sirui was for real and deserved a try.

Cost-wise Sirui is at the higher end of what I would call the “mid-price” tripod market. They are higher than the typical Benro or other off/store branded tripods but lower priced than the Gitzo’s of the world. Compared to Feisol, the Sirui carbon fiber models are very close in price and offer some of the same features (larger diameter legs, forged metal instead of cast, etc) that Feisol uses to distinguish themselves from other brands. The things that persuaded me to go with Sirui over Feisol was the longer (six year) warranty that is supported by an established US distributer, Argraph Corp, which is in New Jersey and has been in business since 1953. Also, the Sirui tripods come with a short center column, carrying case and shoulder strap. The model we ordered also has the capability of converting into a monopod by removing one of the legs. While I don’t expect to use that feature very much, I imagine I will find it useful from time to time so it’s nice to have as an option. Sirui tripods and ball heads are available on eBay from several Asian sellers but I ended up ordering from Adorama Camera here in the US in order to make sure I received the 6 year warranty that is available, as well as the excellent customer service that Adorama is known for.

I decided to go “all-in” with Sirui and get tripods and ball heads for both Pam and I. For me, I ordered their N-2204 carbon fiber tripod along with the K-20x Ball Head. I also purchased an aluminum legged tripod, the N-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 should receive the tripods/heads from Adorama this week and I will post a review of them once I’ve had some time to use them.