Sirui T-005KX 52″ Aluminum Alloy Tripod with C-10X Ball Head
Ultra-portable, ultra-versatile tripod that makes very few sacrifices.
I agonized over this purchase. Not even kidding, it was weeks after I’d done all my tripod research that I finally pulled the trigger on this.
I waited so long because I wondered if I was perhaps getting ahead of myself. The whole point of Go Bag-style travel is to take what you need and nothing more than that. To travel ultra-light so you can focus on the experiences and people, not the stuff you’re hauling. A tripod, then, seemed potentially excessive.
It didn’t help that most tripods, even when folded up, would take up half my bag space. They tend to be somewhat heavy, bulky as hell, and cumbersome; oddly shaped in a sprawling way, which is why most photographers seem to carry their tripods separately, in a tripod bag, away from their other stuff.
I didn’t want to do that. And as such, I’d almost given up, and almost decided to stick with my selfie stick and Gorillapod, trying to convince myself that the shots I’d need could be re-worked to fit within those limitations; the former held at double arm’s-length, the latter conducted near tables or desks or other things that would allow the little tripod to see my face and the faces of the people I’d be speaking to.
After reading myriad solid reviews for this thing, though, and taking a look at the favorable dimensions of its folded-up self, I decided to give it a shot. And man am I glad I did.
This tripod folds up to be less than a foot in length, and isn’t at all bulky. When fully extended, it gets up to face-height for me (I’m 5’10”), and holds my full camera setup (iOgrapher with iPad Mini, phone mounted atop that with tripod adapters and vertical phone mount for shooting Periscope, Go Pro HERO4 Session on the other side to catch the wide-angle, mic attached) without rocking or swaying. There’s a little carabiner clip underneath that allows you to add more weight if you’re shooting with something heavy-duty, but I haven’t needed it yet. It can also be adjusted to be ultra-sturdy and ultra-low, and there’s a ball-swivel head up top that allows you to make smooth pans and tilts while shooting, and which includes a quick-swap mounting bracket.
In short: I’m a big fan of this thing. It’s pricier than a lot of the amateur-range tripods on the market, but is a hell of a lot cheaper than a lot of the big-rig pro-level equipment. And in terms of portability, I’ve seen a few close contenders (like the MeFoto Roadtrip), but none of them folded down quite as compact and had quite the far-reaching positive reviews that this Sirui can claim.
If you’re going to be shooting a wide range of subjects in a wide range of spaces, and you want something that’s ultra-portable and light, but also versatile enough to hold most cameras and phoneographer rigs, this is a great option.
Mpow iSnap X (Bluetooth selfie stick)
Gorillapod SLR Zoom Tripod (tabletop tripod)