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06-16-2014, 04:40 PM   #1
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crewl1's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Sirui R-3203 tripod

I just received a Sirui R-3203 tripod and thought I would do a quick first impressions post for those folks looking for a long lens tripod.
(Not my photo)

Sirui R-3203 Specifications
Leg Sections 3
Leg Lock Type Twist
Independent Leg Spread Yes
Center Brace No
Spiked Feet Yes, retractable
Maximum Height 59.1" / 150.11cm
Minimum Height 3.5" / 9cm
Folded Length 26" / 66.04cm
Load Capacity 37.4lbs / 16.96kg
Weight 4.4lbs / 2kg

I have been looking for a carbon fiber tripod for a while now to replace my heavy Manfrotto 055XPROB and have been doing research on the various options.

I will use it for my Gimbal and long lenses so I wanted one without a center column as I never extended it on my 055 and I have read you can get less vibration without one, plus less weight.

In my research I included Gitzo and Really Right Stuff, but the price points were really steep, so I started to look at other options that were Feisol, Sirui and Benro.

I own a smaller Benro and the build quality is excellent.
A local shop carries Sirui equipment and I was impressed also by the build quality of their tripods.

I read user Derekkite's recent review of the Feisol, which was another one on my list and was intrigued.

Ultimately I selected the Sirui when comparing similar models due to features, price and load capacity.
The R3203 model has a max load rating of 37 lbs (17 Kg) and when I received the tripod the thickness of the legs was very beefy as expected.

Extending the tripod is easy with leg locks that require just a half turn to release and lock, similar to my Benro.
One of the things I liked about my Manfrotto was that when I released the flip locks the legs slid right down to full extension.
The Sirui does as well, so set up is quick.
(On the contrary, a Manfrotto carbon monopod I use you have to pull the legs out, they do not drop by themselves so is a little bit of hassle.)

The legs have rubber feet but if you turn them clockwise a hidden spike appears that can be used when needed.
(Other models spikes have to be swapped with the rubber feet using a wrench, or are an extra charge.)

The Sirui includes a nice case, but it is sized just for the tripod and will not accommodate a head of any type.
I travel with the Gimbal attached so I will use my rifle case as before, and keep the Sirui case for something smaller.

One of the issues others have reported with these no-column/ flat-mount-plate tripods is that since camera + lens is typically carried around attached to the tripod slung over the shoulder, if the plate was not tightened regularly the plate could detach and drop your equipment with all the walking motion.
Gitzo and Benro recently re-designed their plate locking systems to have a safety lock to save this from happening.

With the Sirui this is addressed by providing a second plate that attaches to the tripod bolt under the collar so even if the top plate becomes loose everything stays in place. if you scroll halfway down this page you can see the back plate setup.
Sirui sirui carbon fiber r 3203 large format r3203 k30x stable tripod-inTripods from Electronics on

The Sirui is currently on sale at $350 from an ebay seller with good feedback, and my transaction went smoothly. I will post the seller link in the price watch column.

Last edited by crewl1; 06-16-2014 at 04:51 PM.
06-17-2014, 05:24 PM   #2
panoguy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington, D.C.
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That's a beefy tripod! The smallest leg tube is the same diameter that the Benro Travel Angels start at (25mm). That's basically a larger version of my Gitzo 3541, with a Sirui label on it. Excellent price, and my guess is an excellent tripod (I'm reviewing two smaller Sirui tripods right now).

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