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Photography | Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod

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Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod

 

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg Position 1

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg Position 1 (22°)

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg Position 2

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg Position 2 (51°)

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg Position 3

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg Position 3 (82°)

 

Supporting the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L

Supporting the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod with some extra stability

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod with some extra stability

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod with center column reversed

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod with center column reversed

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod long and short center columns

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod long and short center columns

 

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Quality Control

Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod Quality Control

 

Sirui C-10S Ballhead

Sirui C-10S Ballhead

 

Collapsed against the Gitzo GT2541EX for reference - the weight difference is significant

Collapsed against the Gitzo GT2541EX for reference - the weight difference is significant

 

Introduction

I have owned a Gitzo GT2541EX Explorer tripod for several years and it is a fantastic and incredibly versatile tripod. However, there's one problem. When used for travel purposes, it is too large and too heavy to be comfortably carried around all the time - especially if you are travelling with children.

It is for this reason that I haven't used it as much as I should have done. After my children arrived I moved to a Canon EOS M mirrorless system to reduce the bulk and weight of my camera equipment and in the same way that I left my DSLR kit behind I also started to leave my Gitzo tripod behind.

In October 2017 I arranged a trip to Hoi An in Vietnam and I knew that I would need a tripod to take long-exposure night shots of the thousands of pretty lanterns in Hoi An. This gave me a bit of a dilemma because the Gitzo was too large and heavy. I bought a Manfrotto Pixi Evo specifically for this trip, thinking that I would always be able to find a convenient wall on which to stand it.

In reality, this wasn't the case and my Manfrotto Pixi Evo hasn't proven to be the tripod saviour I thought it would be. I have hardly used it. Anticipating that this might be the case, I took with me the plastic tripod that arrived as a free gift when I ordered my Canon EF-M 55-200mm online. I ended up using this tripod quite a lot. It got the job done, but it was no pleasure to use.

You can't look a gift tripod in the mouth but, as you can imagine, anything that is made from cheap plastic and arrives as a free gift isn't going to be great quality. It is extremely flimsy and there is nothing precise about it at all. Its only redeeming features are that it is small and light.

When I returned home I started looking for a carbon fiber that would be about as small and light as the plastic one, but which would have some of the precision of the Gitzo. There are actually quite a few travel tripods that fit this description.

Two factors influenced my final decision. I didn't want to pay a lot because my financial situation is very different to when I bought my Gitzo. Wives and children aren't cheap to run. This ruled out another Gitzo.

I live in provincial Thailand and don't have the same choice as someone living in Europe or the States would have. I therefore needed something that was available to buy where I live. After quite a lot of research, the Sirui T-024X looked perfect for me.

The other possible choice was a Sirui T-025X, which I have seen referred to as the world's smallest and lightest tripod. If you are backpacking and need the smallest possible tripod to fit in a backpack this would be a good choice. To make the leg sections smaller there are five leg sections, compared to four for the T-024X.

However, The T-024X was small and light enough for my purposes without having to get anything smaller and because of its design it is sturdier than the T-025X. With every additional leg section a degree of rigidity is lost.

On this page I have used my Gitzo tripod as a source of reference, but this isn't a comparison. Just as DSLRs can't be compared to mirrorless, you can't compare a large sturdy tripod with a small light one designed for travelling. They are two different things for different purposes.

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Sirui T-024X Carbon Fiber Tripod

Sirui make a large range of tripods and camera support accessories. Smallest is the T-025X, which is carbon fiber and has five sections. Slightly larger (but still small and light) is the T-024X which is carbon fiber and has four sections. Its inherent design means that it is sturdier than the T-025X.

It comes as a kit and includes Sirui's C-10S ballhead as well as two center columns - a long one and a short one. A carrying case is provided for the tripod and there is also a small pouch for the short center column. Two sizes of hex key are included for maintenance.

The leg and center column lengths are adjusted using twist locks to release and secure them. This method is probably a bit slower than using levers, but I prefer the look of the twist locks.

The legs of my Gitzo tripod are infinitely variable between 0° and 90°. That isn't the case with the Sirui, which has three fixed leg angles of 22°, 51° and 82° from vertical. The 22° position is maybe a little narrow, especially with larger lenses. To increase stability there is a hook on the bottom of the center column on which you can hang a weight, such as a camera bag.

By unscrewing the hook you can also reverse the center column for macro shots or whenever you want to get your camera close to the ground. It is nowhere near as versatile as the Gitzo, but there is some versatility built in.

Sirui also makes an aluminium tripod to exactly the same design, the T-004. It is available in three colours - blue, red, black - with a C-10S ballhead in a matching colour. The specifications are the same, but it is slightly heavier weighing 0.9 kg / 2 lbs. The aluminium models are also cheaper.

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Quality

I am old enough to remember when electronic goods from Japan were regarded as something of a joke, but that changed a long time ago. Most people reading this will have Japanese made cameras, as I do.

Later on, China started developing the same reputation. Some years ago I remember watching a video on-line in which someone had torn down a Chinese made ballhead to show how poorly constructed it was. Things are now different. Not only does the quality of my Sirui tripod feel good, but I also have a six year warranty. This tells me that the manufacturer doesn't anticipate there being many problems, if any.

If problems develop over time I will update this page, but first impressions are very good.

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Stability

There is never a 'one size fits all' solution for anything. Mirrorless camera systems and even smartphones can now deliver excellent image quality in small packages, but professional photographers at sporting events still use their large DSLRs and big lenses and they will continue to do so.

You can't disregard the laws of physics and what you gain (actually lose) in terms of size and weight in a tripod will affect the stability. It's just really a case of using some common sense.

As I mentioned above, the first leg angle position (22°) is quite narrow and not really suitable for any lens larger than a native mirrorless lens. For larger lenses it make sense to use the second leg angle position.

Be careful if there is a strong wind and, if you think you need it, hang your camera bag or another heavy object on the hook at the bottom of the center column.

Considering how small and light this tripod is, I can't really see how stability could be improved.

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Construction and Maintenance

As I said in 'Quality' above, it all looks fine and there is no need for any regular maintenance. If you use the tripod in a harsh environment, for example, where there is a lot of sand and grit you may wish to periodically disassemble the legs to clean the pivot points. Sirui advises against the tripod coming into contact with salt water.

Sirui also advises against lubricating the product. This shouldn't be necessary and using a lubricant can actually gum up the moving parts and cause problems. The recommendation is just to clean the tripod using a soft towel with warm water and mild soap.

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C-10S Ballhead

The T-024X comes in a kit with Sirui's C-10S ballhead. This is small and light, yet it is well made, precise and perfectly adequate for reasonably light loads. Using my native EF-M lenses there is no problem at all.

When I tried my Canon FD 300mm f/4 and FD 1.4x teleconverter there was quite a lot of creep and the lens would drop slightly after positioning it and securing the ballhead. I had to set the position higher than I wanted to allow for this creep. However, the ballhead isn't really designed for this size of lens.

It uses an Arca Swiss compatible plate and this is secured to the camera with a screw that can be rotated with a coin. I always have coins in my pocket, but I always forget to take hex keys, so I like this design.

The T-024X carbon fiber tripod comes with a black ballhead. If you buy a blue or red aluminium T-004 tripod, the ballhead colour will match.

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Conclusion

Since buying a Manfrotto Pixi Evo I have hardly used it because of its height limitations and the problems of finding suitable places to rest it on. I love my Gitzo tripod, but use it rarely because of its size and weight.

Conversely, since purchasing my Sirui T-024X I have been using it all the time. Despite being small, light and portable, it also feels sturdy, well-constructed and a pleasure to use.

Travel is the obvious activity for wanting a small light tripod, but since acquiring a Canon EOS M6 I am also keen to try my hand at time-lapse movies and some video making. Both these things need a tripod and the Sirui will fit the bill perfectly.

I won't get rid of my Manfrotto Pixi Evo or Gitzo GT2541EX because there will be times when they will be perfect for the task at hand. As I said above, there will never be one tripod that is suitable for everything.

I now feel quite content with my camera support options, whereas that wasn't the case before I bought the Sirui. There was a big gap that has now been filled. I think that it's a super little tripod and feel quite happy to recommend it for travel and general purposes when using a mirrorless or small DSLR system.

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Specifications

Maximum Height: 139.0 cm / 54.7 in
Maximum Height (with center column down): 116.0 cm / 45.7 in
Folded Length: 40 cm / 15.7 in
Leg Sections: 4
Weight: 0.7 kg / 1.5 lbs
Load Capacity: 6.0 kg / 13.2 lbs
Leg Lock: Twist
Date Purchased: December 2017
Supplier: Zoom Camera, Thailand
Price: 5,400 Thai Baht

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Visit Thailand

Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.

One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.

Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.

If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand