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Thread: Aaargh...which travel tripod? Gitzo vs 3 Legged Thing vs Sirui vs MeFoto

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    Aaargh...which travel tripod? Gitzo vs 3 Legged Thing vs Sirui vs MeFoto

    Hi all,

    It's time for a new tripod!

    Budget: Up to $1000, but preferably <$700
    Use: Travel and hiking
    Style: Landscapes
    Material: Carbon fibre

    I've reviewed umpteen dozen brands and the ones I've discarded include Manfrotto, Benro, Feisol and Really Right Stuff. I'd need a massive incentive to revisit these.

    The final four brand contenders are:

    Brand Model Weight (kg) Load Capability (kg) Length Folded (cm) Height (no-ex) (cm) Height (extended) (cm) Price
    Gitzo GT1542T 1.00 8 43 117 149 $700-800
    3 Legged Thing Brian 1.3 8 42 134 193 $539 (incl ball head)
    Sirui N1204 1.0 12 44 132 156 ???
    Sirui N1204X 1.2 12 46 132 160 $799
    Sirui T1204X 0.8 10 40 115 140 $309
    MeFoto RoadTrip 1.4 8 39 135 156 $440 (incl ball head)

    The Gitzo has an awesome reputation and is a quality product, but is pricey and its specs don't stand out.

    The 'Brian' looks great on paper (the extra 300g isn't a big deal), but is only relatively new to the marketplace.

    Sirui in general seems like the best value for money. The N1204 looks good on paper, but I can't find a supplier in Oz and product quality may be dubious.

    The MeFoto also seems like a good allrounder.

    So, my main question is...

    Has anyone out there had real world experience with 'Three Legged Thing', Sirui and/or MeFoto tripods??

    In the absence of info, my default will probably be the Gitzo.

    A secondary question then, has anyone had recent experience with the current generation of Gitzo's?

    Any help is much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Andrew.
    http://twoclownstripping.com

    Nikon D7000
    Sigma 10-20mm ~ Nikon 18-55mm ~ Nikon 55-200mm ~ Manfrotto 190XProB ~ Manfrotto 488RC2
    ~ LowePro Top Load Zoom 1


  2. #2
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    Andrew,

    I have the Sirui carbon fibre travel tripod (I think it is the T-025X) that I purchased to take on a trip through Europe. I too was a little sceptical about the Sirui, but doing some research and reading some reviews convinced me otherwise. Its price was also very competitive - particularly for a carbon fibre tripod.

    Whilst I didn't use it much whilst on that trip, I have used it quite a bit since. I have found the tripod (and the ball head that came with it) to be well made and solidly constructed. The model I have is a lightweight model (both a pro and a con), so tends to be the one I take in preference to my solid aluminium Manfrotto but is not ideally suited for requirements where a really stable base is required. This is not a criticism of the tripod - rather a recognition that this model is lighter weight. They have a good warranty (6 years) which helped convince me of the product quality.

    Sirui is available in Australia. I am not sure of who the wholesaler is.

  3. #3
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I did a 4 week trip to Europe and the UK in mid 2013 and I took a Sirui T-1204X Carbon Fibre tripod + K-10X ball-head bundled kit and I can't express highly enough how good it was and build quality is exemplary. This small light tripod, only 1.32kg!! complete with head, took the weight of my D800E and 24-70/16-35 lenses for my night shots, photos of up to 30 secs with no vibration issues whatsoever. The ball-head plate is the Arca Swiss type plate. It fitted into my check in luggage across the bottom of the suitcase taking up minimum of room. 400mm folded length and 425mm folded length with head. I purchased it at Mainline Photographics in Crows Nest Sydney. Again, I cannot recommend this little tripod highly enough.

    http://www.mainlinephoto.com.au/

    Actual product:

    http://www.mainlinephoto.com.au/prod312.htm

    Took these photos with it using my D800E + 16-35 f4 VR or Sigma 35 f1.4:




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    Thanks Carl and Lance, that's exactly the sort of feedback I'm looking for! As much as I'd love to get a Gitzo, my gut feel says I'd be paying too much. In the meantime Mainline Photo have responded to me advising that they don't import the N1204, so I'll have a closer look at their other models.

    The 3 Legged Thing still has significant appeal to me as well...has anyone used one of their tripods before?

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    I have a Sirui 2204 and K-20X ballhead that I have used for a number of years now. For the money it's a very good tripod, and has never let me down.

    However I'm curious as to why you've discarded RRS? Last year I had a need to purchase a second tripod, and ended up with an RRS TVC-2X, with 4 section legs, and a BH-40 ballhead. Although about the same weight as the Sirui, the RRS is actually shorter when folded with the ballhead, although slightly longer without the ballhead. The RRS is clearly a much better and sturdier tripod.
    Shane

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    What about throwing Benro in as an option?
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji X-E2S, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 23 f/2, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Fujinon 60 f/2.4 Macro, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T, Mefoto Q00
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    I did look into Benro (as mentioned). I can't recall the exact reason why I ruled them out (along with about half a dozen other brands) but there was definitely a reason...

    Judging by your gear list I'm guessing you've found them to be quite good?

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Benro is essentially a Gitzo copy but if you can afford Gitzo, its the best option. I haven't bothered with Gitzo because I use my tripod in areas with salt water so I don't expect it to last long irrespective of brand, but I still bought carbon fibre for salt water reasons.

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    Can you strip the Benro down in order to clean it (as I believe you can do with the Gitzo)?

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I believe you can. I've never had to do mine, largely because when I bought it, I was intending doing more sports photography and with the arrival of my kids, that idea fell away.

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