Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X

Started Jul 12, 2012 | Discussions
mfj197
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Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
Jul 12, 2012

I recently bought the Sirui T-025 carbon fibre travel tripod as I was looking for something lightweight but sturdy to support my Panasonic G3. I only use the camera with small primes so don't expect to tax a tripod too much on the weight front, but it does need to be sturdy. I sold my big old Manfrotto 455 as that really was overkill and I'd never take it anywhere (4.1kg with head!).

The T-025 is a 5 section tripod, max leg diameter 22mm and min diameter 10mm. The legs fold up around the centre column for compactness. The smallest leg diameter is a little bit feeble, but other than that it is extremely well constructed with forged aluminium parts (not cast) and 8 layers of carbon fibre used. The legs are solid and have an anti-rotation system so the twistgrips can all be undone together in one hand movement. The legs can be set individually at three angles.

It is mighty small and light too, weighing at just 600g (nearly 800g with the C-10 head). It is 300mm in length when folded (just under 12"), with a height of 1130mm with the centre column retracted and 1305mm when extended. It comes packaged with a carry sack and a pair of allen keys, plus two of the legs have foam sheaths for use in cold weather (not that this is really a problem with CF tripods!).

Speaking of the head, it is simply outstanding. It weights 180g and will support 4kg. A recent German test of ballheads ranked the C-10 fourth in the "under 100 Euros" category, just behind the Feisol CB-30C and two other Sirui heads, the G-10 and G-20 (which are considerably heavier). The test, in German, of the under 100 Euros category can be read here:
http://www.traumflieger.de/desktop/ballhead/ballheads2.php

However there is a flaw with this tripod, and it's a big one. The centre column is fixed and cannot retract between the legs, so the camera is always about a foot above the apex of the legs. This causes problems in even slightly windy conditions, and a few times I was either grateful of a horizontal railing to brace the tripod against or I just had to take a few shots to hope for a keeper. The centre column will indeed extend even further up, but only at your own peril. The fixed centre column also limits the minimum height of the tripod.

It was the centre column issue which caused me to search further amongst tripodkind. I was very impressed with the build quality of the Sirui so ended up with another, the T-1205X. This is also a 5 section tripod of more traditional centre column design, although still retaining the ability to fold the legs around the centre column. It is slightly longer when folded (340mm) and slightly heavier at 800g, but in the grand scheme of things this is still a very light, very compact tripod.

The leg diameters are larger, from 25 to 13mm, and the individual section lengths are slightly longer. Maximum height with centre column retracted is 1125mm, with column extended is 1305mm. It shares the very high build quality with its smaller sibling, but fixtures and fittings are proportionately larger. Indeed when it arrived it came in a much, much bigger box - but fortunately this is mostly due to the better quality bag it ships with!

The size increase is not much but the T-1205X is far, far more stable. Both tripods have hooks for hanging weights underneath but on the 025 this is more for show than anything else because of its centre column design flaw. The significant increase in stability, particularly in windy conditions, is for me definitely worth the additional monetary expense and slightly larger size and weight.

I was so impressed with the C-10 head that I kept it when I sold the T-025. It is currently not available on its own and the G-10 head that can be bought with the T-1205X weighs 300g rather than the 180 of the C-10. So I now have the slightly unusual combination of a T-1205X tripod with C-10 head, weighing in at under a kilo for the combination.

Michael

TheRattt
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Jul 12, 2012

Hi

Great, thanks for the review, very useful indeed.

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dodgyexposure
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Jul 12, 2012

Thanks, Michael, for your informative review. Are you able to compare the Sirui with any of the other travel tripods in similar size range, like Benro, Feisol or Gitzo travel models?
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mfj197
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to dodgyexposure, Jul 24, 2012

Sorry Damien, didn't see your post! The only one I can compare to is the Manfrotto 732CY - and there is no comparison. The Sirui is much, much stiffer as well as being lighter and more compact. I'm afraid I don't have access to the others - would have been an interesting comparison!

Michael

dodgyexposure wrote:

Thanks, Michael, for your informative review. Are you able to compare the Sirui with any of the other travel tripods in similar size range, like Benro, Feisol or Gitzo travel models?
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dodgyexposure
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Jul 25, 2012

mfj197 wrote:

Sorry Damien, didn't see your post! The only one I can compare to is the Manfrotto 732CY - and there is no comparison. The Sirui is much, much stiffer as well as being lighter and more compact. I'm afraid I don't have access to the others - would have been an interesting comparison!

No problem. There are a couple of side by side reviews of some travel tripod models on POTN, but none with Sirui tripods that I have found. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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Cheers,
Damien

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RSColo
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Aug 8, 2012

OP, I hope you are still tracking this thread. Do you know how large (diameter) a head can be put on the 1205 and still fold the legs up around it? I am looking at a different brand of head that has a 60mm diameter base.

Thanks
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dodgyexposure
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to RSColo, Aug 8, 2012

RSColo wrote:

OP, I hope you are still tracking this thread. Do you know how large (diameter) a head can be put on the 1205 and still fold the legs up around it? I am looking at a different brand of head that has a 60mm diameter base.

Thanks
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Reid Shay
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From my internet research, your 60mm base diameter ball head won't fit any of the travel tripods with fold up legs, that have a center column, and where the head fits within the legs (that's most of the compact travel tripods). I have looked, because I have a Markins Q10 that I want to use (which has a base diameter of 62mm).

The exceptions, to my knowledge, are the Gitzo 1542T (where the head extends beyond the fodled legs - compromising folded length) or those lacking a centre column but having a large baseplate (like the Feisol tournament class tripods). In either case, you are losing compactness (folded length in the case of the gitzo, folded diameter (and maximum standing height) in the case of the Feisol.

Most of the folding travel tripods limit the base diameter of the head that you can use. For most of them, roughly 50mm (like a Markins Q3T) is the maximum diameter for straight folding legs, but some can take heads with diameters a few mm larger, with the legs slightly splayed.

Personally, I'm trying to decide whether to go for the Feisol tournament and use my Q10, or get a more compact leg and head combination - I think that you will have to make the same decision.

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Cheers,
Damien

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RSColo
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to dodgyexposure, Aug 9, 2012

I was thinking of the 1205 with the Arca-Swiss p0. But that is the one with the 60mm base. Now I'm thinking of the Acratech GPs instead. I do a lot of panoramas and really like the pan movement on top of the ball. I have a separate pan head but it is a pain to switch out and most of my pans don't have the near/far paralax issue. Also, the nodal point of my pan lenses are not that far from the tripod hole.

Thanks for the the info.
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mfj197
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to RSColo, Aug 10, 2012

I'm afraid I don't have the tripod with me at the moment but will try and remember to check later. Even with the Sirui C-10 the legs touch the head. With a larger diameter head you could either :

  • fold the legs up in the same way and accept that the top of the folded "cone" will be slightly wider, or

  • retract the centre column and have the legs folded down around it like a normal tripod, which will be thinner but you then have the length of the head in addition to the length of the folded legs.

Michael

RSColo wrote:

OP, I hope you are still tracking this thread. Do you know how large (diameter) a head can be put on the 1205 and still fold the legs up around it? I am looking at a different brand of head that has a 60mm diameter base.

Thanks
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mfj197
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to RSColo, Aug 11, 2012

Just checked the 1205x and the mounting base is 48mm diameter, so your 60mm head would cause the legs to be slightly splayed when folded up. Only a few mm each side though, so nothing major.

Michael

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RSColo
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Aug 11, 2012

Thanks. I think I'm tending toward the Acratech anyway. It is about 50mm, so it should not be a problem.
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MattiD80
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to RSColo, Sep 7, 2012

Thanks a lot for this review. I bought the same tripod because your review. My demands where small (for plain travels, and hikes), and carbon cause that makes it lighter but also dempens schocks better. I kept looking at manfrotta and i feel a fool for even considering the 190cx3, Being double price of this. I also read quite some unhappy manfrotto (cheap ones) owners, unlike the Serui owners. I go on travel next week and wanted fast (yet as good as possible) travel tripod and after extensive search it became this one. More over it's very cheap on amazon.de, and free delivery (140 euro), wich seems a bargain for a carbon fiber tripod.

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Timothy S Broadley
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Sep 7, 2012

Nice review on the 025. I have one and it has become my basic travel "pod'. I agree about the center column but it is worth noting that it has a center hook for adding weight to stabilize it under those conditions.

Also concur on the C-10 head review.

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mfj197
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to Timothy S Broadley, Sep 14, 2012

Timothy S Broadley wrote:

Nice review on the 025. I have one and it has become my basic travel "pod'. I agree about the center column but it is worth noting that it has a center hook for adding weight to stabilize it under those conditions.

Also concur on the C-10 head review.

Thanks. The 025 does indeed have a hook for adding weights but that really only helps stabilize the A-frame of the tripod as the hook is at the apex, i.e. the fulcrum about which the fixed column rotates (vibrates). It didn't seem to help me (and I did try). However bracing against nearby handrails worked well ...

Michael

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nex7diehard
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to mfj197, Sep 15, 2012

In my mind the very best and sturdiest lightweight tripod goes to the Sirui T025 with its brilliant head which alone is worth the price but to include that head and carbon legs is a deal. Second and close choice is the Velbon43DL which is sturdy and has the best fastest leg locking system of any I have tried and used, one twist of the lower leg unlocks all and one twist of the same leg locks all making it incredibly fast to set up which sometimes in wildlife photography is necessary....hope this helps

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twokatmew
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to nex7diehard, Sep 15, 2012

nex7diehard wrote:

In my mind the very best and sturdiest lightweight tripod goes to the Sirui T025 with its brilliant head which alone is worth the price but to include that head and carbon legs is a deal. Second and close choice is the Velbon43DL which is sturdy and has the best fastest leg locking system of any I have tried and used, one twist of the lower leg unlocks all and one twist of the same leg locks all making it incredibly fast to set up which sometimes in wildlife photography is necessary....hope this helps

Yes! I wish I could buy that head separately, as I could use a second one. I never see anyone selling their C-10 head. Eventually I'll probably buy a T005 just to get the second head.
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Zeddammer
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to twokatmew, Oct 22, 2012

twokatmew wrote:

Yes! I wish I could buy that head separately, as I could use a second one. I never see anyone selling their C-10 head. Eventually I'll probably buy a T005 just to get the second head.
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The C-10 head is available at  http://www.amazon.com/Sirui-C-10K-C-10-Ball-Head/dp/B0069TOFZW/ or at http://www.amazon.de/Sirui-C-10K-Kugelkopf-Wechselplatte-Transportbeutel/dp/B0069TOFZW

Raph

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Balthazar B
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to Zeddammer, Oct 23, 2012

Right now the rig I'm considering is the Sirui S-1204-N with the Markins Q3-T head (although I'm also eyeing the Acratech GP-ss as well). Although it doesn't fold as compactly in the vertical as some other Sirui and Benro travel tripods, its flatness makes it possible to pack more easily in many situations than cylindrical tripods.

Still on the fence, however, and appreciate the info.

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NZ Scott
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to Balthazar B, Apr 11, 2013

Balthazar B wrote:

Right now the rig I'm considering is the Sirui S-1204-N with the Markins Q3-T head (although I'm also eyeing the Acratech GP-ss as well). Although it doesn't fold as compactly in the vertical as some other Sirui and Benro travel tripods, its flatness makes it possible to pack more easily in many situations than cylindrical tripods.

Still on the fence, however, and appreciate the info.

The Markins is a good head but also a bit on the large side and it doesn't fold cleanly between the legs of a traveller tripod.

For a cheaper and (in my experience) better head, I would suggest the Photo Clam PC-33NS. The knobs are positioned especially for use with traveller tripods, but it is otherwise almost identical to the Markins.

Scott.

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Captain Red Beard
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Re: Quick review / comparison of Sirui T-025 and Sirui T-1205X
In reply to NZ Scott, Apr 27, 2013

Hi guys. I got the T-1205x and the C-10 combination back in March 2012 and concur that they are both ace pieces of kit.

I live in the UK, but i ordered the C-10 (C-10 can be bought as a seperate item) and the tripod from a shop in Germany http://www.meinfoto.com/ Quick delivery and great communication.

Cheers from Mark.

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