I have been looking for a good tripod for quite awhile. When I talk about tripod, popular brands such as Manfrotto and Gitzo always come into my mind. However when I look into it's price, I'm totally terrified by it. But of course there must be certain reason why their price is on the high side. As I don't really do landscape shoting (most of the time I'm into portrait), therefore I'm looking at something that's affordable and of course the quality as well.
Then I decide to do a little shopping survey. I pay a visit to my regular camera shop (co-incidentally this shop is also a distributor for Sirui tripods). After looking around, Sirui T-1205X caught my attention. My criteria is pretty simple:
1) It's made of carbon fiber, which means it's ultra light (only 0.8kg).
2) The folded height is only 340mm (which is very portable! I can tuck into my sling bag easily!).
3) It come with 6 years warranty on all the manufacturing defects.
4) No problem for maximum loading weight up to 10kg.
5) Most importantly it only cost me SGD299! (well... some might think it's costly, but hey... think again. If you compare with other carbon fiber brands, the price is gonna be way up high!)
So, all my criteria are met! However the max height is only at 1125mm. I definitely won't recommend to any photographers who are tall but definitely not a problem to me. The tripod come with a bag, ball head, release plate and some small accessories.
Probably many people might think I'm nuts for talking about Sirui tripods. Maybe a little background about Sirui will help to enlighten everyone a bit. Sirui originate from China, which means its a China brand. It have years of experience in photographic equipment manufacturing and have offices in US, Canada and a small part of Europe.
When I talk about China brand products, everyone is very skeptical about it. My opinion is nowadays most of the products are manufacture in China. Don't be surprise when you found statements such as "Design in US, Manufacture in China". Basically it make no difference to me. On the other side, this tripod come with 6 years warranty. Still worry? Come back to me after 6 years as I'm going home with it tonite!
For more info - http://siruicanada.com/tripods/t1205.htm