Today we continue our tripod and head review series here on LensVid with one of 3 different Sirui products and the first is going to be the T-2204X a high-quality carbon fiber travel tripod.
Sirui was kind enough to send us 3 different products for our review series – a tripod a ballhead and a fluid head and we shall look at all three of them in the next 3 reviews.
Sirui has been making tripods, heads, monopods and even sliders and Jibs for over 15 years and is probably one of the more well-known Chinese brands.
The T-2204X – 4 section carbon fibre travel tripod
A closer look
On this video and from now on we are going to do things a bit different – instead of longer more complex reviews, we are going to try a new shorter format which focuses mostly on the pros and cons of each product going over them point by point before giving you our final conclusion.
A view from above
- The T-2204X is one of the lightest travel tripods for its size weighing under 1.3kg (or below 2.8 pounds) with an official max load of 15kg (33lbs).
- The tripod is also quite compact when folded at 48cm (or about 19 inches) but can go up pretty high when fully open to 141cm (about 55 inches) without a head – it isn’t the best there is in this respect but it is pretty close.
- For its size, the leg thickness is quite respectable with about 28mm at the top section and close to 19mm at the thinnest, lowest section.
- The build quality of the tripod is very good, nothing feels lose and everything opens and closes very nicely.
- The tripod feels very sturdy with very minimum shake – possibly one of the best in the category.
- One feature that we really liked is the leg locks and how they operate. Right out of the box you just need to twist them a bit and the leg opens all the way down – no other tripod that we tested so far does that and that includes much more expensive Gitzo tripods – it really saves you time pulling the legs (and you do have 9 sections to pull each time although there is the way to speed things up a bit).
- The tripod has simple built-in spikes which you release by twisting the feet – the advantage is that you will never lose the cover since there is no cover. The disadvantage – the spikes are shorter than those of some other manufacturers like the Genesis C3 that we tested here recently.
- The feet of the tripod seems well designed and held nicely to the floor in our test.
- The leg angle mechanism is pretty good – definitely better than the Genesis but not as good as that of some of the premium tripods. You have 3 open angles options that you can choose by pulling the leg inwards and pushing the leg angle bottom.
- The most open-angle close to the ground – requires an additional part – we would prefer if Sirui would find a way around this that will not require this part which can easily get lost. On the upside, the tripod does sit very (very) close to the ground in this position and is very stable.
- At the bottom of the center column, you have a nice and relatively large removable hook with an internal spring – certainly one of the best implementations that we have seen. What you do not get in this model is a monopod option (which Sirui does offer on a few of its other tripods) and a horizontal center column option that Sirui only offers as a separate accessory.
- On a more positive note, the tripod does come with a nice foam cover on two of the legs which feel good (Sirui even has some models with foam cover on all 3 legs which are still a bit rare).
- Sirui also knows how to make a customer feel appreciated. With the tripod, we got one of the nicest carrying cases we have seen to date and we even got a very comfortable and padded strap if we wanted to carry the tripod in this way.
Great carrying bag
Even before we received the T-2204X we knew from reading reviews online, that Sirui has fantastic products. However online reviews can sometimes be over-enthusiastic with little base for comparison.
Having used a LOT of tripods over the past few months of working on the current tripods and heads review series from different manufacturers and price points, we can tell you unequivocally that the T-2204X is a superb product, not just for its price range but across the board.
All the components of the tripod
The tripod is very stable, lightweight and compact when folded. It can go down very low and up to a decent level fully open with a head and camera. It is the only tripod we tested where the legs just slide out on their own when you open the twist lock and you don’t need to pull them – a small thing but an actual time saver which in our view shows just how well made this tripod really is.
It has nice although somewhat short internal spikes and a very good hook. Sirui is also very generous with accessories – the tripod comes with a very high quality padded carrying case – one of the best from any manufacturer as well as a great padded strap if you just want to carry the tripod without the bag.
There are very few things which we didn’t like about this tripod. The leg angle mechanism might still be improved a little bit (at least compared to some of the offerings by high-end manufacturers such as Gitzo) and it would have been cool if one of the legs would be detachable as a monopod (as we noted Sirui does have a few tripods with this option).
The only real thing that bugged us a bit was that you need to take with you a small extra part if you want to get the tripod as low as it can go, but we can probably live with that and this drawback is honestly not unique to Sirui.
The only part which bugged us a bit
For a mid-range product the Sirui is competitively priced at under $345 (tripod only no head) and in terms of build quality, materials, stability and features it isn’t far overall from even some of the high-end offerings which can cost twice as much or more and can thus be considered a great value for money.
What we liked
- Very good build quality and very stable set of legs.
- Strong and lightweight with a good grip for the feet.
- Twist locks work very well and legs open extremely smoothly.
- Goes down low, has a hook and internal spikes.
- Two of the legs have foam cover.
- Comes with a great carrying case and a nice strap.
What can be improved
- Requires and additional (included) part to transition into low to the ground mode.
- Doesn’t have a monopod option (other Sirui tripods do offer this option).
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