*disclaimer - this is not an official CS review. i am also a regular customer like dennis at TK foto. but, just like everyone else, i've to pay for it. and no.... i am under no obligation from TK foto to write only the nice things. so, whatever views presented are solely mine.*
following up on Dennis' thread http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=588654
i seldom use my manfrotto 190 tripod because it are so darn heavy. i don't shoot macros/products, and the only time i ever have to use a tripod is because i've to shoot panos. always wanted to get a lighter tripod. but the current manfrotto or gitzo (even the relatively 'cheaper' benro) carbon-fibre tripods cost almost the same price as a good lens.
so, when dennis posted abt the sirui tripods, being the equipment junkie that i am, i had to go and take a look. i was recommended the N-1204 travel CF tripod that comes with the G-10 ballhead, and a short centre column. the entire package costs $450, which IIRC, is abt half the price of a similar-spec gitzo.
the entire package
as you can see from the pic, once you double-fold the tripod, the entire package is actually pretty compact. perfect for traveling. i must say, coming from an user of manfrotto 190 aluminium tripod, this N-1204 is light. i like the quick-twist release of the tripod legs. took me abt 30-sec to fully deploy the tripod legs. nice thing is that it takes rough a quarter-turn of my wrist to fully release the legs. the legs pop out smoothly, no hint of resistance.
in comparison with my manfrotto 190.
fully extended. the N-1204 is, at least, 30cm taller than my manfrotto.
despite it being a travel tripod, the leg constructions are in no less inferior to my manfrotto. it felt sturdy to me. of course, this is a travel tripod. hence, i also won't recommend that you leave it alone outfield especially if you mount a heavy camera on it. if you do, then there's a center-column hook to hang your bag off it to stablise the entire setup.