Following Dennis' and Nightwolf's posts, I made a trip to tkfoto and got myself a Sirui R1204 Carbon fibre tripod with G20 ballhead.
Dennis Post | Nightwolf's quick review on N1204
I was using a manfrotto 190xb + 488RC0, and was happy with the performance in the tripod in terms of stability and features. But i was never a fan of the weight of that combination, 1.8KG + 0.83KG = 2.63KG (thats a LOAD to carry on top of your gears). As a result, the setup more of less stayed at home most of the time.
So i was looking for something light, a carbon fibre tripod. The 190CX series came into mind, but it still weighs 1.3KG, and together with the ballhead, it's still not very portable.
Next up was to consider the benro carbon fibre series, (cheaper than manfrotto), btu the build does not impress me after playing around it them at some shops.
Thats when i came across the posts by Dennis and Nightwolf, and went down to TKfoto to take a look at the Sirui tripods.
The difference between the R and N series is that, the R series is a normal tripod, where as the N series has the ability to fold the legs up to be more compact when bringing around, as well as it features a removable leg to be used as a monopod, for more details on that, can review to nightwolf's post.
Back to the R1204, it weighs 0.8kg and is able to take load of up to 10kg.
it feels good as compared to benro, and seems rather stable, don't let the thin legs fool you.
The legs extends with ease which no resistance when u turn the knobs.
As compared to the manfrotto 190xb, the R1204 is able to to reach higher, but when going on low angles, it does not go as low as the 190xb.
The G20 ballhead performs really well, no creeping even when mounted with a d700gripped with 70200 2.8.
Ballhead is really smooth, i prefer alot more as compared to the 488RC2 which creeps.
It features friction control as well, which is popular among all the newer ballheads, and is featured in manfrotto new line of ballheads as well.
On the Field
Brought the tripod together with the 70200 2.8 up to pinnacle at duxton 50 storey sky garden, the wind was really strong!, but the tripod stood strong against the wind with the 70200 mounted, this is done without using the camera bag to bring down the center of gravity of the setup.
A session out with the tripod on yesterday afternoon till evening, it serves me very well, and is a real joy to carry around.
Stable and light weight, nothing more i can ask for.
- There's a blue sleeve grip that is attached to one of the tripod leg, it feels quite nice and soft, but i feel that the grip that is attached (non-removable) to the tripod that is featured in manfrotto and benro tripods are much better
- The quick release plate of the ballhead could be improved, currently an allen-key is need to fully tighten the plate onto the body/tripod mount of the lens.
Given the price of the tripod, it really impresses me with the quality. if gitzo is way out of your budget, this is really an option to consider.
Photos to share
Comes with a tripod bag which fits the ballhead and tripod nicely