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Sirui T-025x Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10 Ball Head
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|Sold By||bakya's||Calumet||Outdoor Photo Gear||Calumet||bakya's||Eagle Camera|
|Item Dimensions||—||3.94 x 3.94 x 13.39 in||3.94 x 3.94 x 13.39 in||4 x 16 x 4 in||1 x 1 x 1 in||5 x 15.75 x 5 in|
|Item Weight||1.54 lbs||1.94 lbs||2.65 lbs||1.76 lbs||1.76 lbs||2.43 lbs|
The T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10S Ball Head from Sirui is a compact, ultra-lightweight, and stylish tripod with an included head. With upward-folding legs, it collapses to just 12.2", with the head attached, and weighs just 2 lb. Supporting loads up to 13.2 lb, this tripod is capable of holding DSLR cameras with lightweight lenses and is ideal for compact and mirrorless cameras and camcorders. The T-025X features twist locks for easy setup and each leg has and automatic leg-angle lock mechanism for speed and convenience. A removable center column allows for table-top and low angle shooting as low as 4.1", with the ball head. When fully extended, the tripod reaches a maximum height of 58" with the head attached. The C-10S is an extremely capable ball head. Its separate knobs for pan and tilt adjustments enable the user to perform tasks such as panoramic photography while keeping the tilt locked. An Arca-type compatible quick release plate is included, as is a soft carrying case and a tool set.
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Its fit and finish are superb, everything operates smoothly, the carbon fiber legs are finished in a smooth satin and the machined aluminum parts are all very well finished. It includes two allen wrenches for adjusting the leg hinge preload and two of the three legs have a foam protector for holding the tripod with bare hands in cold weather. The twist section locks make deployment super easy. Just untwist all of them a quarter turn with one hand and pull out all the sections to length and then lock each one with another quarter turn back.
When used with the Canon 6D and 24mm f/1.4, the ballhead locks it in place very well and I feel that it could easily support a 70-200mm. It's also super smooth in all its movements and Arca Swiss compatible to boot.
At 52", it's not as tall as many other tripods, but brings the camera to a comfortable working height. Keep in mind that at this height, with the center column fully extended, and such a light tripod, you are compromising stability. It's stable enough in this situation for most shooting as long as you're using the necessary precautions. (e.g. self-timer or cable release remote, etc.) Using these precautions, I use this tripod for making 30 second long exposure astrophotographs all the time.
For the most stability, I much prefer removing the center column entirely and leaving it at home. In this configuration, with the ball head directly mounted to the legs, the tripod is rock solid. The center column removed also brings the weight down a little bit which is welcome for backpackers. Without the center column installed, it sits about 40" tall which is about belly button height on me. (I'm 5'7") While lower, this height is still ample for nearly any type of shot and I much prefer even lower deployments anyway in order to get the best perspectives. Also considering bringing along a small empty draw string bag that you can fill with sand or rocks to hang from the included center lug carabiner for some mass dampening stability.
The only thing I think is worse than expected is the case. it's just a cheap fabric sleeve with a thick nylon rope cinch that broke on my first use. I usually just put the tripod directly in my camera bag or strap to my backpack for easy access anyways so I don't regard it as a real negative, just don't buy it expecting a premium carrying case.
User Triplock mentioned that when he uses the tripod in portrait orientation that he can't get a level shot without shortening a leg. I have not found this to be the case and if I place the ballhead in portrait configuration, it bottoms out a slightly past level, allowing you to easily move it back to achieve proper leveling without needing to adjust the legs.
If you learn how to best use this tripod with its limits, it will be as effective or more effective than a heavier, bulkier Manfrotto or Gitzo. The space and weight saving can mean being able to bring an extra lens or extra batteries that you otherwise wouldn't have. It's holds a heavy DLSR with ease and when used right can be stable enough for even super long exposures. Highly recommended for the outdoor backpacking photographer.
If you can't afford the $100 price bump for the carbon fiber version and can don't mind one that's a bit heavier, consider the Aluminum Sirui T-005X which is $100 cheaper and only 0.4 lb heavier.
I primarily use it backpacking or hiking. If I'm going add the weight of a DSLR camera and batteries to my pack, then I need to save weight everywhere else I can. This tripod allowed me to do that.
Without the carry bag this tripod weighs in at 1lb 14oz. I already have an aluminum tripod that is full height that weighed in at 3lbs 4oz and that was just too heavy to add to my pack. All the other tripods I've tried have specs that say they only weight close to 2.5lbs but when put on the scale they are always closer to 3lbs or more.
I love that I didn't have to compromise quality or functionality to get the weight down. The head was stellar and allowed me to shoot any direction i wanted with minimal adjustment as I'd hoped. Also, the twist release mechanism for the legs works great. Some users will argue that the snap release works better, but i really like that with one hand and one fluid motion i can release/extend/lock all the twist clamps on one leg. Then likewise to put it away and stow it.
I have a Nikon D7100 with the Tonkina 11mm-16mm wide angle lens and a Peak Design carry strap. This weighs in at 3lbs 8oz with a battery and the tripod held up just fine.I did add a small Sea to Summit dry bag full of rocks to the carabiner on the bottom of the center pole and with that there was very little movement in the tripod for long exposure shots.
I spent nights cruising the internet for the right tripod and wrestled with the decision to spend so much money for just a few pounds, but now that it's done, I'm happy i did it.
The Good: Very light and portable (1.5 lbs, 12" folded); Inexpensive; Excellent customer service.
The Bad: Center column poorly engineered; So-so ball head.
My major issue with the T-025X is the attachment of the center column to the base. Sirui engineers chose to thread directly into the carbon fiber rather than a metal sleeve. Carbon fiber is very strong but also brittle. It is not meant to be machined in this way. The result is that the threads inevitably weaken over time. Mine has weakened to an unacceptable point after three years. Not a bad run, really, but avoidable IMHO.
Another issue affecting stability is that while the center column is removable, the head mounting plate does not screw into the main base, it simply rests in the cavity left by the removed center column with nothing securing it. Not ideal.
I contacted Sirui through their website and sent photos of the damaged center column. They responded right away, shipping me a new center column the same day they responded with a polite email. No argument, no fuss. Very impressive customer service. Because Sirui is standing behind their products, I have purchased the T-1205X, which has a telescoping center column design at the cost of a few more ounces and length (1.7 lb, 13.3").
Conclusion: The T-025X is functional but delicate. It is feather-light and compact. The center column flaw is a deal-breaker for me so I cannot recommend this particular model. However, I can heartily endorse their commitment to customer service. A 6-year warranty that they actually honor. I'm definitely a Sirui fan.