Another tripod question

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by tasdisr, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. tasdisr

    tasdisr Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Jun 24, 2013
    I am looking to purchase my first tripod to use with my G6 and E-M10.
    It would be for casual photography unless I get more ambitious later.
    I have it narrowed down to either the Sirui ET-2004 or T-1004xl.
    The T-1004xl has a little more max height and twist lock legs while the ET-2004 has flip lock legs and a higher load capacity ball head.

    Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Any feedback is appreciated.


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  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Leg diameter translates directly into stability. Bigger is better. Much better. Between those two, the 2004 diameter is 28mm (largest tube) and the 1004 is 25mm. Re flip lock vs conventional twist lock, I personally do not like flip lock because the levers catch on things. It it were me I'd look for 28mm or larger legs with collet-type locks. YMMV, however.

    Actually, if it were me I'd look for a good used Gitzo Reporter Compact Performance tripod on eBay. This is a 2-series tripod with four leg sections and adjustable leg angles. Your money will go farther buying high quality used equipment. Tripods are a no-brainer because almost nothing can go wrong that you can't see within 5 minutes of opening the box. Here's an example: Gitzo Gitzopod Reporter Vintage Professional Camera Tripod Off Center Ball Head This one is wildly overpriced, though at $289. $100 and some patience should get you one.
     
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Leg locks are a personal preference for the most part. Like tilt vs. articulated screens, they seem to draw out strong reactions in many people. I have had both types of legs, and mostly use the twist lock on my newer gear. Height can be important, but so can packed size and weight. The ET series does have larger diameter legs, and that is a huge factor in stability. I know the ET series is their budget series, but other than the leg lock change, I do not know what they do to keep the price down.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  4. tasdisr

    tasdisr Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Jun 24, 2013
    Thanks for the quick responses. I will take a look at used tripods, but I am not real sure about buying used unless it is something nearby that I can physically look at. I have also decided to take a look at the Sirui T-2004XL.


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  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    A very common apprehension but in my experience buying on eBay is not risky at all. I have been on eBay for almost 19 years, feedback is 700 and only once or twice have I had a serious problem. eBay guarantees that all items are as represented, so if there are hidden or undisclosed defects you just file a dispute and return the item to the seller. As most you are out the shipping.

    The thing is that "nearby" cuts your purchase options to nearly zero compared to what it available on eBay. You do need to be sure about the item, though, as try-before-you-buy is not possible. The best you can do is to re-sell an item that you decide you don't like. Depending on your luck as a seller that might cost you 25% or more, or you might make a profit.
     
  6. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
  7. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    393
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    @tasdisr@tasdisr

    Are you looking to carry this tripod with you all the time, or just something you have in the closet that gets used a handful of times a year? The reason I ask, is because that's probably the biggest determining factor when choosing a tripod.

    If you don't use a tripod that often, get an aluminum one that will work with your gear, it will be just as rigid as a carbon fiber model, but will weight twice as much, and be substantially cheaper. A carbon fiber model will be lighter, but a lot more expensive. Pro models are usually thick wall carbon fiber construction, and trade portability for rigidity.

    take a look at these Sirui models as an example.

    • T-1204X - 0.9kg
    • T-1204XL - 1.0kg : Same as the t-1204x, just tweaked for taller users. Thus 100g heavier
    • N-1204X - 1.1kg : Similar to the t-1204xl but with a built in monopod. Thus 100g heavier
    • W-1204 - 1.4kg : Similar to the n-1204x, but designed to handle water submersion. Thus 300g heavier
    • R-4213X - 2.2kg: pro grade rigidity is the only concern.
     
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Weight is a consideration, but the whole point of a tripod is to stabilize the camera. Prioritizing weight above stability is to misunderstand the objective of the exercise. IMO 28mm legs are the minimum. When doing careful testing, I can see small shutter shock differences between my 28mm leg Benro Travel Flat and my 32mm leg Gitzo and TiltAll. Since stiffness goes up as the fourth power of the tube diameter, a 25mm tube will be only 2/3 the stiffness of a 28mm tube. There is more to stiffness than just the tube, of course, but IMO it is a good surrogate for overall stiffness.

    That R-4213X looks like a beauty at a "cost" of only 800 grams and ?? dollars. The 1200 series is all 25mm legs that, personally, I would not even consider. Again, YMMV.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. tasdisr

    tasdisr Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Jun 24, 2013
    The tripod would go with me when we are traveling, so weight would be a consideration but I think an aluminum tripod would be fine.

    The T-2004xl is a little bit over one pound heavier than the T-1004xl at 4.1 pounds, but it looks like it has 28mm legs vs the 25mm of 1004xl.
     
  10. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    393
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    That doesn't include the center column, it's an optional extra. cost is about $575 - 775 depending where you get it, I can only find it on ebay. the other thing you are loosing is folded size, the R-4213X is substantially longer when folded.

    for ultimate stiffness, take a look at the 5214x, or the BCT line.
    Series RX ǀ Sirui
    BCT Series ǀ Sirui
     
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yeah. It's hard to know where the point of diminishing returns is. For me, my travel tripod (Benro Travel Flat C2192) has five leg sections starting at 28mm, though fewer sections would probably mean stiffer at the cost of folded length. The flat design costs me center column flexibility. Same-o carbon vs aluminum. For less weight and better vibration damping the fee is maybe 50% or more. :-( For non-travel, my 3-series aluminum Gitzo and my aluminum TiltAll are both 32mm but at a cost of weight and longer folded length. I wouldn't even consider traveling with either but I will haul them to a location if the occasion arises.

    Life is a series of tradeoffs.
     
  12. lchien

    lchien Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Aug 7, 2014
    Texas
    My comment on leg locks:
    Quick lever locks have one disadvantage . A 4 year old toddler can flip and release one very easily. I found that out. I had a camera trained on bird house one day and I figured the camera was safe. Well, My OM-4n survived but the 400 mm Vivitar series One was a total loss.

    Still, all my tripods have lever locks.
    I think they are faster and you can see at a glance that they are all locked before you stand the tripod up.
    My son is now 31 years old, has a son and goddammit he bought a Nikon. And the 400mm is still broken. But I'm still using the tripod. In about a year when his son is walking, I will HIDE the tripod.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
    • Funny Funny x 2
  13. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    I have several carbon fiber tripods, but for m43, I use my Sirui monopod with legs instead when traveling, even for long videos with shorter lenses. The Sirui is very stable with the legs, and also very handy when shooting in tight spaces, or with lots of people around.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    618
    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    I use an aluminum tripod Sirui T-1004X with a K-10x ballhead for my E-M10.
    I'm perfectly happy with this tripod, I find it very stable for my needs.
    The only thing I don't like about it is that I can't carry it in my backpack... but I like it as a "big travel tripod".
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  15. Johnny The Greek

    Johnny The Greek Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Aug 19, 2015
    I'm in the same boat--I've been on Ebay going on two decades and can count my purchase or selling problems in one hand.

    My "big" tripod is a Slix Pro 330DX with a Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head, and my small one a Sirui 3T-35k.