Hiking/travel tripod: Sirui ET1204 or T-1205X; or Gitzo GT1542T, GT1544T, or GK1580TQ4?

Started May 14, 2014 | Discussions thread
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,372
Re: Hiking/travel tripod: Sirui ET1204 or T-1205X; or Gitzo GT1542T, GT1544T, or GK1580TQ4?


I guess that it comes down to finding the balance between stability, height and weight.  There's no point in buying a tripod that doesn't meet your needs and equally no point in buying a tripod you won't carry.

These tripods have changed slightly since I bought mine so I can't comment from having the identical models.  I can only comment about the principles.   I have a Gitzo 1228, a Slik CF 614 and Sirui 025, which are all good quality carbon fibre tripods.  I'm into landscape photography more than anything else.

I would be very careful of buying too small and light.  Travel tripod ads tend to concentrate on how small they fold up, but the smaller they are the shorter they are....  I rarely use my Sirui because it just isn't tall enough.  I might see a scene from my eye height, but the juxtaposition of elements in the scene just isn't the same from lower down or the tripod is too short to allow the camera to 'see' over tall grass or other vegetation. Small tripods are also useless in steep terrain, because the downhill leg(s) have to be extended much more than the uphill leg, with the result that the camera doesn't get much elevation.

Another general observation... You'll see quite a few travel tripods with five and sometimes six leg sections.  Be aware that they can take an age to erect or pack away....... Very tedious.  I've made a pact with myself never to buy a tripod with more than four-section legs.  They're bad enough.

My Gitzo is a bit big for incidental travel and use, but I still travel and hike with it if I'm taking my 400mm lens.  I have it with a Gitzo 1177M ball head.  If I'm traveling light I take the Slik 614 with a Manfrotto 492 head.  It holds an XT1 with the 18-55, but I don't own a 55-200 to confirm how that goes.   I suspect that the forthcoming superzoom, which is tipped to be a 120-400, will need a heavier tripod than your other lenses.

I hope this helps.  Good luck with whatever you decide.

Regards, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T1 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +10 more
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