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04-28-2014, 07:54 AM - 1 Like   #1
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It's Heie's fault if I got a Sirui T-025X! (personal short review inside)

So I had been wanting a lighter and more compact tripod for a while, after using a cheap aluminum tripod with a high-quality Vanguard head for a long time.

I had read Heie's review of the Sirui T-025X and found the size and specs interesting. A trip to the US (where prices are better) got me thinking again, and I decided to do my own specs comparison. I narrowed the choices down to the Sirui carbon and alunimum versions and the Mephoto travel tripods. The Sirui again came on top, regarding weight, size and reported sturdiness.

Then my wife decided that the tripod would make a fantastic in-advance birthday gift and ordered it for me!

It has been in my hands for more than a week and I can only say, in all honesty, thank you Heie!

Here's what I think about the tripod...

Size is impressive when folded. It's so small, smaller in real life than what I actually expected. Weight is also impressive, my previous alu tripod weights about 3 pounds, so it was not a heavy beast by itself, but still the Sirui is visibly lighter. When extended, it's actually taller than what I expected. I never felt comfortable using my former tripod fully extended, with the Sirui I'll avoid it also but I feel that with a good weight on the hook it will be very stable.

The tripod is a joy to operate, it's smooth, well-made, everything clicks as it should, the rotating knobs for the legs are efficient, it's great. The feet don't have spikes but they are somewhat pointed and they hold their position well.

The legs themselves are very, very sturdy, even if though they are thin at the bottom. Carbon fiber really impresses me here. I applied torsion to the tripod and to my much bigger alu tripod and the Sirui was much, much sturdier, the alu (cheap) tripod twisted a lot more. The Sirui is impressively stable, seriously that's the biggest surprise. I did not expect it to perform so well given the size. You would have to get a much larger and heavier tripod to get a significant improvement in stability (especially if you weight it down when in use).

The head is also surprisingly good. It's quite small, but just as stable as my Vanguard head when locked. No sagging that I saw. I expected to replace the Sirui head with my Vanguard but the latter is much to large for the tripod, so I can't really do that. The only thing missing is a friction control, that's a sad omission. I can work around it by remembering that when the arrow picture on the knob is in a certain position, friction is acceptable for composition. Still, if I manage to find a head that has the specs of the Vanguard and the size of the Sirui, I might go for it. Any suggestions?

The acra-swiss place is so tiny I had doubts, but so far it held my K-3 without any problem whatsoever. In short the head and plate combo performs above expectations for such a small form factor.

The hook is not a hook per se but a carabiner. Nice surprise : it's rubber-coated to avoid damaging the finish of the tripod. A nice touch.

Removing the center column is easy, but fixing the head back on it took me a few minutes. There's a plastic spacer there that can mess things up if the two-sided screw is not properly positionned.

The carrying case is a bit of a letdown. First, it's more of a pouch, not padded at all. This could be a good idea to reduce weight, but on the other hand it's equipped with long, large and heavy ropes that are not as efficient as a simple zipper. I'd prefer a more regular padded case.

The tripod comes with two allen keys, not needed since it was perfectly adjusted for me.

Some of the competition allows the user to remove a leg to create a monopod, it would be nice to have that option but honestly I don't use my current monopod all that often, so it's not really needed for me. That and the addition of a friction control on the head would be the two main possible improvements I can see for the future, however.

All in all, an extremely positive experience!

04-28-2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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Congrads! That review got me thinking as well and I almost bit on the Sirui T-025X but instead went with a Promaster XC525C (carbon fiber). It's a little bit larger than the Sirui but one of the legs converts a monopod and I liked that. I must say that the Sirui is very tempting. So enjoy your new friend.
04-29-2014, 09:53 AM   #3
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The promaster looks fine, but it's a different type of tripod. Larger, heavier, not as compact. The monopod conversion would be nice indeed, but I already have a monopod (which is much longer than the Sirui tripod folded, but does extend higher).
05-03-2014, 03:45 AM   #4
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Glad to be of assistance - I love mine and take it EVERYWHERE. Try going on a photo walk/hike and having the carabineer hooked on your belt loop - it's how I carry it 99% of the time now except when it's in storage/flying.

Anything from the review you feel was inaccurate/incorrect?

-Heie

05-05-2014, 06:00 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
I love mine and take it EVERYWHERE
So far that's accurate for me too!

QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
Try going on a photo walk/hike and having the carabineer hooked on your belt loop - it's how I carry it 99% of the time now except when it's in storage/flying.
I'll try that on longer hikes. So far I've either strapped it to the side of my backpack or underneath my Timbuk2 messenger bag (there are straps for a tripod). The only problem with this is that the tripod is too short for those straps, I have to extend the vertical column...

QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
Anything from the review you feel was inaccurate/incorrect?
No, actually, I think your review is spot on. Thanks!
05-13-2014, 10:17 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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Yeah, it's Heie's fault I have the tripod. It's Heie's fault I have a K5 as well. What should I buy next, Heie ?
05-20-2014, 06:32 AM   #7
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I did some macro work over the week-end, and the T-025X impressed me there also. Removing the center column allowed me to get very low, which is desirable of course. What I was eager to test however was the sag of the head.

Conclusion : it's a bit worse than my Vanguard head but still perfectly usable. It's really minimal and easy to take into account while composing. And once the head sets, it doesn't move a milimeter.

So, still another reason to love that tripod! At the very worse I'll put on my Vanguard head when shooting macros.

05-19-2015, 10:54 PM   #8
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Thanks Heie and thanks bdrey, I just received my tripod.
For sometime I was longing to have a lighter tripod, but then I saw and read this thread, and read Heie's review. and here I am, with my new tripod. haven't use it yet. but looking forward to use it soon.
The most interesting feature for me so far is the way Heie mentioned he carries his tripod. "Hooking the carabineer on belt loop".

05-21-2015, 05:18 AM   #9
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Glad to be of help. I hope you enjoy the tripod as much as I enjoy mine!

I'm still looking for a replacement head. Not that there's anything WRONG with the C10X, but it lacks friction control, and it might sag just a bit when doing macro.
05-21-2015, 08:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I've had mine for a year or so now......I'm not a big user of tripods.....but have found this one small enough to have with me when I think I might get some use out of it......quite satisfied......even use it in the surf from time to time:


Another Goolwa Beach surgy sunset.jpg
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr
05-21-2015, 10:24 PM   #11
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Is the ballhead replaceable like the original t-025?
05-22-2015, 12:04 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I'm still looking for a replacement head. Not that there's anything WRONG with the C10X, but it lacks friction control, and it might sag just a bit when doing macro.
The only bad thing I can say about the tripod so far is that attaching/detaching the pad to camera is hard (the screw underneath it is so tiny)
BUT fortunately I found that the pad of my Peak Design Capture Clip is totally compatible with the arca swiss housing, so I can use that pad and in fact I prefer to use that, then I can put the camera on tripod right after detaching it from my Capture clip!
So once more I'm happy. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to use the tripod in the field.

QuoteOriginally posted by AtitG Quote
Is the ballhead replaceable like the original t-025?
I think so.
05-22-2015, 03:57 AM   #13
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The ball head IS replaceable, and I am thinking of getting a slightly larger sirui replacement, as the one the comes with the TC-025X struggles a bit with my Tamron 70-200 f2.8. Understandable really, that lens is a monster!


Also, iirc, once you remove the ball head you can screw what is left into the camera, it means horizon adjustments have to be made with the legs, but it makes the whole thing even lighter - remove both centre columns and the ball head and it's almost weightless, but very low.
05-22-2015, 04:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtux Quote
The only bad thing I can say about the tripod so far is that attaching/detaching the pad to camera is hard (the screw underneath it is so tiny)
I really like the plate. It's extremely small, and very thin. It's about half the thickness of my Vanguard plate, but still fits the Arca-Swiss standard.

QuoteOriginally posted by mtux Quote
I can put the camera on tripod right after detaching it from my Capture clip! So once more I'm happy.
That's why I went with the Op-tech system. I dislike anything screwing in the tripod screw area. My plate is on the camera 100% of the time. I'm always ready to mount it.

QuoteOriginally posted by AtitG Quote
Is the ballhead replaceable like the original t-025?
Yes, it's standard.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bagga_Txips Quote
the one the comes with the TC-025X struggles a bit with my Tamron 70-200 f2.8. Understandable really, that lens is a monster!
Mine doesn't have a problem with the 60-250. I don't know about the Tamron 70-200. The only things I'd change is the lack of friction control, and the slight (very slight) sagging when doing macro work.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bagga_Txips Quote
Also, iirc, once you remove the ball head you can screw what is left into the camera, it means horizon adjustments have to be made with the legs, but it makes the whole thing even lighter - remove both centre columns and the ball head and it's almost weightless, but very low.
You can indeed, I had never thought about that but the screw is reversible and accepts the 1/4-20 of the camera.
05-22-2015, 07:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I really like the plate. It's extremely small, and very thin. It's about half the thickness of my Vanguard plate, but still fits the Arca-Swiss standard.
I like putting my camera on the shelve when not in use, and it doesn't stay stable enough when there's a tripod plat underneath it. that's the reason I prefer unscrew/screw the plat when I need to.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
That's why I went with the Op-tech system. I dislike anything screwing in the tripod screw area. My plate is on the camera 100% of the time. I'm always ready to mount it.
What is this Op-tech?
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