It's always great to see product reviews that give in-depth reports on the features, benefits and field use of tripods. And it's extremely rewarding to have the review find your product to be of very high quality at a "Very reasonable price." Plus, to be favorably compared with a tripod that is more than twice the price, is an added bonus!
We are pleased to present the latest review from DPReview.com, on the SIRUI ET-1204 Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit. We have included a few excerpts from the review and suggest you see the full review at:
The SIRUI ET-1204 Travel Tripod
"The new Sirui ET-series of tripods is a budget-conscious line of travel tripods from a company already known for offering the best bang for the buck in support equipment (see our review of their K-40x ball head). What sets these ET tripods apart from other Sirui offerings is that these have lever-type leg locks and come with a simplified, E-type ball head included in a kit."
E-10 ball head
"At the heart of the included ball head is a 30mm diameter, coated aluminum ball that moves smoothly under friction. The machined aluminum casing is also very slim and designed to match the size of the ET-1204 platform, and still fit within the legs when they are folded upward for storage.""Conveniently, there is also a pan lock knob to go with the indexed base, and all knobs are made entirely of metal."
Short center column
"The leg angles on the ET-1204 extend as far as 84o outward. With the included short center column, this puts the mounting platform just 5.1"(13cm) off the ground. Add in the E-10 ball head, and the bottom of a camera can go as low as 7"(18cm), which is truly low. The short column can also be screwed onto the center column to add a few more inches of height."
"In a change from the rest of their tripod designs, Sirui has put lever-type locks on the legs of the ET-series (and the equally new, but larger, EN-series). These locks are naturally reminiscent of Manfrotto's proven designs, with cast metal clamping rings and hard plastic levers to operate them. For many photographers, lever locks are also faster and easier to use than twist locks."
"Aside from the carbon fiber tubes, most of the ET-1204 is made from well-finished aluminum that is anodized a deep, glossy black. This shiny finish is a hallmark of all Sirui products..."
"The construction of the entire kit is consistently tight, and shows an attention to detail that belies the budget label that even Sirui has applied to this line of tripods. The standard, 6 year warranty from Sirui is also reassuring."
"While there are opinions on both sides of the lever lock vs. twist lock preference, we found the lever locks of the ET-1204 to be much faster for initial set up than all of the twist locks on the other tripods."
"Flipping the levers let the carbon leg sections slide out at once. In general, pushing each lever down takes just as much time as twist locks would, but some of the other benefits of lever locks is that they are easier to manipulate for photographers with weaker hands or wrists, and their lock status can be seen with a quick glance."
"The Sirui did a great job minimizing the initial shock, given its minimal mass, and the resulting vibrations were also admirably reduced. When considering typical camera vibrations, this means the ET-1204 will work well with extended exposures, and longer lenses (if they are fairly light). Overall, this an excellent result for such a light and thin tripod, and it further shows that the choice of lever locks over twist makes no difference in vibration resistance."
"While Sirui may refer to the ET-series as its budget alternative, and price them accordingly, this combination of a ball head and tripod legs designed for each other, in the same package, is an advantage that many other manufacturers have standardized on. The use of lever locks instead of twist locks makes almost no functional difference in the ET-1204, when compared to its contemporaries, so this becomes a matter of personal preference (with the Sirui T-1204 as the twist lock variant)."
"Everything is well assembled, though, and Sirui offers a compelling, lightweight travel package at a very reasonable price."
We would like to thank the reviewer, Mark Banas, and DPReview for allowing us to share this review with our blog followers.
As with all Sirui professional photographic products, the Sirui ET-1204 Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit comes with Sirui's 6 year warranty!