Sirui Tag

No surprise that Sirui Optical is a Guangdong company - the products they turn out are excellently made - but it was interesting to google up their main site and see that they've been putting things on the market since 2001 and that they're also selling humidity control cabinets. I'll bet they sell like hot ( and wet ) cakes in southern China, given what we see of their weather conditions. The two products today are concerned with tripods, though they are accessories rather than the tripods themselves. Of course we have a good range of those as well in store but sometimes you need a little more than the basic three legger. This arm is designed to attach where you would normally put a or three-way head and it lets you move the action out and away from the centre line of the tripod. This is no new thing - I have a similar accessory for my giant Gitzo Studex but it is a much cruder casting and can only allow 90º displacement from the vertical. This Sirui HA-77 unit tilts as...

And you're darned lucky at that. It's a piece of junk. The legs are thin-wall aluminium tubing with a profile pressed into them - so far so normal. They ride in white plastic bushes that are held in place by cutouts in the tubes - again pretty much what you might see in better tripods, albeit a bit flimsy here. But the whole edifice falls into a heap with the leg clamps - they are cheap plastic clipovers that compress a rubber block onto the next smaller tube. I do not decry clipovers - Manfrotto have used them on some of their new tripods and they are a model of good design. Their clips are metal and they have adjustment bolts to let you take up slack as they wear in. But these flimsy clips are just disasters waiting to happen. One's broken - and has been replaced by the only sensible alternative - a car hose clamp. The other two at the same level of the tripod are showing the same cracks that broke the first one, so it's off to Supercheap...

I was going to entitle this column, " Leg Art " but googled it and thought better of the idea. There are things on the image page that cannot be unseen. My weekly foray into the Camera Electronic storeroom sometimes takes me to shelves that are well beyond my ken. The drone nest where they are busily hatching for instance. Or the Leica vault. It's not that I don't understand Leica,...

We've been selling Wimberley heads for years in various forms. When I started working for the shop a decade ago there was a stack of Indian-made castings in the store-room that were intended for use as long-lens gimbals. The quality was on the high agricultural level - the castings were big and sturdy, and any reasonable use would see the things good for decades. But the things were bulky and insensitive to the locking mechanism That was then and this is now. In the interim we have seen genuine Wimberleys come through occasionally, and have also noted similar devices in the Really Right website as well. The prices were really right too, if you looked at them from the perspective of the accountant for the wholesaler. Now we have a good alternative right in-store - the Sirui carbon fibre head. The level of sophistication and finish is everything that any could be desired - look at the clever design that lets one portion of the casting act as a clamp on another one with the no need for gouging serrations. The finish on...

This week you sell yourself a tripod. I'll help out here in the column, but you have to do the ( three ) leg work yourself. First thing you'll need to do is find your camera and see how big it is. if it's a moderately-sized DLR or mirror-less camera, read on today. This is your day. Your camera is not all that heavy, though it can gain some grammes when you put a long lens or zoom on it. You'll likely be thinking of astral photography, as well as landscape shoots. You want a tripod that is easy enough to carry out into the boondocks but still has enough stiffness to stay steady in a wind. If the operating field is muddy or wet, you'll want something that can c0pe with this. Waterproof tripods are not new to the market, and now that newer materails are avaiable for their construction, they can be within the reach of most people. There are still oddities like the ones that are built with their legs upside down, but these are rare. Sirui. Strange name, but...

Far be it from this column to suggest that photographers go armed in public - that sort of behaviour gets you into trouble with the magistrates, and rightly so. Still, it can be a comfort when taking pictures at a family Christmas party or a wedding to carry a stout club with a metal end. You never can tell when the festivities will hot up and it is best to be prepared.Sirui have released a dandy mace...

Sirui? Are you serious? Sure we are.The larger of the Sirui tripods that appeared in the Little Studio turns out to be a compact design - the company recognizes that people are travelling more these days and need to travel lighter. We also know that they may be travelling with the DSLR rather than the mirror-less systems - hence the need to hold heavier loads.The Sirui T 2204X and the Sirui K30 X are partners - albeit partners that you have to purchase separately and mate together. They are designed for supporting the larger system cameras while still retaining lightness and compact size themselves. These are components for people who are going to stand at the airline counter and look over the excess-baggage price list with nervousness.The tripod starts out as a carbon fibre design with screw-lock legs. The yoke is a lightweight forged casting - more weight saved. It folds back 180º into itself for space saving. it packs into a nylon case with the K-30 X head still attached.You might just get away with it in the cabin...