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05-12-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
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Why I don't love my Sirui T-025X (although it might be right for you)

I've been thinking for a while about posting a review of my Sirui T-025x. I noticed bdery's thread and thought about adding to it but since I have a different perspective, I didn't want to hijack it. Mods - feel free to merge this with another thread if you think it appropriate.

I'm a relative novice when it comes to photography and even more so when it comes to using a tripod. Weight is a big issue for me. I have a really bad back and an old rotator cuff injury, so I need to limit as much as possible the gear I carry. I also travel a fair bit. So I when I first got around to getting a tripod, I sought out a lightweight one that packed up small. Naturally, I was drawn to the Sirui T-025X. It has some very positive reviews and the experiences that others have described suggest that it does a good job of filling the travel tripod niche for many people.

I got one but I have really struggled with it. Yes, it's light and super-portable. But I find it very difficult to operate, mainly because the legs and other elements adjust by twisting. I had been focusing so much on the issue of weight that I hadn't thought about another physical limitation I have - pre-arthritic hands (and a severed tendon in one finger that makes it kind of useless). I find it really difficult to twist things to tighten or loosen something - my fingers just don't manage it well. Add to that the fact that I'm kind of mechanically inept and I seem to spend most of my time adjusting and cursing my tripod instead of taking photographs with it.

I also found that the quick release plate 1) wasn't that quick and 2) tended to loosen up quickly, especially if I wanted to shoot in portrait mode. And overall, the system just didn't feel stable enough for my K-3 and medium weight lens (Sigma 17-70).

These comments aren't meant to be a criticism of this tripod - just a warning to what might a relatively small segment of the Pentaxian community who would be attracted to the light weight and small size of the Sirui. If, like me, you have some trouble with your hands and are less than deft with a tripod (either because you're not mechanically inclined or you're not accustomed to using a tripod), you might be better off using a tripod that is easier to set up and manoevre.

I ended up getting a Manfrotto 055CX3 with 327RC2 joystick ball head ... and I love how easy it is to use. I don't think I'm going to love carrying it around (to date, Mr frogoutofwater has been out shooting with me so he carries both our tripods).


Last edited by frogoutofwater; 05-13-2014 at 11:46 AM.
05-12-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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Thank you for your very valuable opinion! No gear is "one size fits all," and particularly things like flip-locks (Manfrotto) vs. twist locks (Sirui) can make quite a difference if you've never tried both.

BTW, Sirui now makes a flip-lock carbon-fiber tripod as well, the ET-series. However, they are all bigger and heavier than the 025x.

Enjoy your easy-to-use Manfrotto setup!
05-12-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your impression, good or bad. You provided reasons why, which should prove helpful to all.
05-13-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
I noticed bdery's thread
Hi!

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
I had been focusing so much on the issue of weight that I hadn't thought about another physical limitation I have - pre-arthritic hands. I find it really difficult to screw and unscrew everything - my fingers just don't manage it well.
That would indeed make the twist-locks much more difficult to operate.

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
I also found that the quick release plate 1) wasn't that quick
I've seen a few heads (Vanguard in particular) with lever-controlled arca-swiss plates, but for the most part arca-swiss operate with a screw.

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
and 2) tended to loosen up quickly
THAT is not something I've experienced.

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
If, like me, you have some trouble with your hands and are less than deft with a tripod (either because you're not mechanically inclined or you're not accustomed to using a tripod), you might be better off using a tripod that is easier to set up and manoevre.
I think for your particular limitation levers are indeed a much better choice. Sorry if I influnced you in any way to get a tripod poorly fitted to your needs.

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
joystick ball head
That will probably serve you better.

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