I recently went on a photographic journey to the tropical island of Zanzibar where I planned on capturing some of the beautiful scenery. Obviously a tripod will be essential for long exposure and landscape photography. Based on previous expeditions, I felt that my current aluminium tripod was just going to restrict me with regards to packing, aircraft weight limits, and general mobility whilst on holiday.
That was until Willem Foster, from Sunshine Company in Cape Town, introduced me to the SIRUI S-2204-N tripod and K-20X ball-head. It comes with its own easy to carry travel bag and a neoprene bag for the head to keep it safe. When he took it out of the bag, I was really amazed at how compact it was. The tripod can basically fit into any travel bag without any hassle. My second significant observation was when he handed it to me I could barely believe how light it was. I had no problems fitting the tripod in my suitcase with some of my other gear, shirts, shoes and speedos. My bag passed the weight limit at the airport and we were safely on our way to Zanzibar without any issues! Once we arrived, we dropped our luggage at the hotel and the SIRUI tripod was then put to the test.
The tripod is very user friendly. It is easy to unfold and to extend the legs. It has a very sturdy frame, combined with quick, easy to use functions. It features a monopod leg which I did not use, but was happy to know I could if I did not want to carry the whole tripod with me. The 8-layers of carbon-fibre has a very sleek look and is the reason for the light-weight design. The legs have four segments, making it more compact when folded. Each leg has a rubber foot, which when rotated anti-clockwise, reveals a steel spike for rough terrain use. The tripod comes with an extra short centre-column which can be used for low-angle shots where the legs are at a near to 90 degree angle.
The ball-head is also easy to use and had no trouble holding my camera setup in place. The friction knob has a clutch function with which you can dial in a minimum friction to keep your camera in place while at the same time allowing you to recompose your shot if needed. The minimum friction is locked in place by rotating the clutch screw with your thumb on the side of the friction knob. The ball-head also has a separate rotating base for easy panoramic shots.
We walked for miles with the tripod without getting tired of carrying it. As a matter of fact, my camera felt heavier! I took the tripod on some 4×4 excursions and even for a “dip” into the ocean without any complications. This tripod is rated to handle a load of 15kg and can handle any mid-weight camera setup with ease. The carbon fibre legs also help to reduce vibrations as opposed to the aluminium tripods I was used to.
The SIRUI S-2204-N tripod definitely made the potentially complicated parts of my photographic trip easier, and I would highly recommended it for hassle free travelling. The tripod is unique in my eyes and stands proud and tall in a sea of generic tripods that is not travel friendly in today’s strict travel regulations.