Shooting with Sirui – The Value of a Quality Tripod

We are pleased to include this newest post about the Sirui T-2005X tripod and K-10X Ball Head, by James Wheeler, a very talented landscape photographer. He has included some amazing images and explains how and why he decided on Sirui as his tripod/ball head choice.

My Sirui Tripod Story

This is the story of how I came to realize the importance of a high quality, professional Sirui tripod for landscape photography.

I made a mistake when I purchased my first tripod. I had just started taking landscape photographs and knew I needed to start shooting with a tripod. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t realize how important a tripod was to create great landscape photographs. I went to the store and purchased a cheap lower quality tripod without doing any research. I regretted the purchase within three months!

So, when it was time to make my second tripod purchase, I was considerably more analytical. First, I made a list of all the options I was looking for in a tripod.

What to look for in a tripod

At this point I was more experienced at landscape photography, so I had a better understanding of the key features I needed (and wanted) in a tripod. This list may be different for other photographers, but, I am sure most landscape photographers would include these considerations when looking for a good tripod:

  1. Stability – I initially used the load capacity to compare this important element. Actual stability would be tested later at the store.
  2. Maximum Height – Although I rarely extend the center column, it is nice to have this option for those occasions when you need the extra height to get the shot.
  3. Minimum Height – For me this is more important than maximum height. I often need to get the camera close to the ground – to capture an interesting foreground or reflection.
  4. Weight – I am often hiking to my photographic destination, so I want the lightest outfit possible.
  5. Folded Length – Since I am often traveling and hiking with my tripod, I want it to be as compact as possible. This is why I preferred the five section version (only 14.6 inches/37cm when folded!).
  6. Price – Of course, I want all of the above for as low-cost as possible. That being said, I learned my lesson about choosing a cheap tripod. It broke one week before I arrived in Angkor Wat, so I wasn’t going to just look at price!

After narrowing down my options, by comparing the specifications of each model,  I went to the store to try out my top choices. After a good hour of trying the different tripods, I walked out with a Sirui T-2005X Tripod with a K-10x Ball Head. At the time I thought I was taking a chance, because this was a new model and there weren’t many reviews on the Internet yet. But, I liked the feel and sturdiness, so I took that chance.

The final results tell the whole story

Well, it has been a year since I started using it, and the T-2005X has stood the test of time. I like it as much today as that first day in the store! It has helped me capture thousands of amazing low-light landscape photos. Here are some examples, so you can get an idea of the types of photos I take.

As you can see from this photo, I don’t mind getting a bit wet to get the photo. The tripod legs have seen their fair share of rivers, streams and even salt water! I normally rinse out the legs after they have been in salt water but that is the only maintenance or cleaning I have done and the legs still move in and out as smoothly as when brand new.

For this shot, I needed the camera to be close to the ground (and completely stable on the loose gravel), to capture the blurred water. What you don’t see in the photo, are the half dozen photographers standing behind their tripods! I positioned my camera less than one foot off the ground, which let me capture a much more interesting and creative composition. This is the power of the removable center column (and included short center column) and three leg angle positions!

What you don’t see in this photo is the fact that right below the frame are treetops trying to peek into the bottom of my photo! This is one of the rare instances when I needed to raise the center column to its maximum height to get the shot. If I had chosen a tripod 4 inches (10 cm) shorter, getting the shot would have been a lot harder. For a full list of other types of photos I have taken with my Sirui T-2005X tripod, checkout the photos tagged with Sirui tripod on my blog.

For the past year, almost every time I shoot landscapes, my Sirui tripod is with me. The only exception is when I am hiking a long distance and can’t carry the extra weight. I definitely miss the tripod in those circumstances and will probably end up buying a smaller, lighter tripod or a monopod next year. It will be one of the Sirui models.

About the photographer

James Wheeler is a photographer living in Vancouver, Canada. He loves to travel and take photos of landscapes and anything beautiful that catches his eye. To see more amazing images James has taken with a Sirui T-2005X click here. Sirui tripod

For the full story about James, his photos and gear, checkout his photo blog at souvenirpixels.com.

All Sirui professional photographic products come with Sirui’s 6 year warranty!

6 yr sticker

For more information on the full line of Sirui products, please go to http://www.sirui.com or check our Facebook site at www.facebook.com/SiruiProfessionalTripods

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