It’s nice to have a tripod that is both versatile and lightweight. Even if you’re not constantly trekking up mountains or rolling the dice with air travel restrictions, it’s nice to just not have to carry so much stuff. Unfortunately, such “premium” ideals too often come with a premium price tag. The words “carbon fibre” have a particular way of conjuring up cartoon dollar signs flashing around my head to the sound of a cash register chiming.
That being said, companies have caught on to this and have jumped into this niche of what I consider mid-level premium – better quality than your budget bargains, but less expensive than the high-end premium stuff that instils fear of a second mortgage. Rarely, if ever, does the quality truly match the top end; but if you can get 70% of the quality for half the price, that’s a pretty good sweet spot.
In this such range fall Sirui tripods, the newest lineup of tripods at The Camera Store. These tripods are made from 8x or 10x layer carbon fibre with twist locks, making them lighter than comparable aluminum tripods, yet still very stable and durable. Every Sirui tripod features cold weather grips, making them easier to operate in any conditions, and a stabilizing hook off the centre column. They also always come with a transport bag. There are a range of options, such as the NX series, designed to be the most compact and lightweight. On the other end of the spectrum, the RX series are the largest in the lineup and feature a removable mounting plate, that can be then swapped with a half-bowl or centre columns.
Additionally, and perhaps my favourite, are the W-series, which fall somewhere in-between for size, yet also have an integrated monopod. Simply remove one of the legs and the centre column, attach them together and you have a full height monopod. The W-2204 (pictured, with Leofoto LH30 head), features water and dustproof twist locks, metal spikes, and supports nearly 40 pounds. It’s this kind of durability and versatility that makes these a viable option at a decent price point.