The new Sirui ET-1204 is a budget-conscious tripod that offers the best bang for the buck. It is travel-friendly support equipment famous for its lever-type leg locks and a simplified E-type ball head. Not only that, this tripod from Sirui is full-sized but can fold into a packable and carryable shape.
Each of its legs also has an auto-lock mechanism for standard support and has three pre-set angle lock points for uneven terrain stability. Moreover, all of its parts are precision-built for vibration-free performance. The 8-layer carbon fiber composite used to create it is also of top-notch quality, thus giving it a sturdy and lightweight built.
Then it also includes an invertible center column for low-angle shots. The whole kit stands out from the rival because it provides an optimized package at a very reasonable cost.
Let us now look into the working of this SIRUI ET-1204 in detail to understand what makes it so special!
Sirui travel tripod review – Sirui ET 1204
Let us talk about the Ballhead fists as it is something that can make or break or tripod. So this Sirui sports an E-10 aluminum-coated ball head with a 30mm diameter, which performs smoothly and reliably under friction due to its well-built design.
It also sports separate adjustment knobs, all made of metal for main locking and panning, for enhanced control and flexibility. It also includes a bubble level for quick horizontal alignment. It features a unique locking mechanism that delivers impeccable locking and enables it to carry loads even with a max weight of 17.6lb!
Moreover, its machined aluminum casing and slim design complements the ET-1204 platform size beautifully and provides a solid grip thanks to its wear-resistant surface. So, all in all, this tripod delivers smooth and vibration-free movement as it is built with precision and consistency in mind.
Coming on to its legs, it features flip-lock instead of twist legs. This may not be preferred by many, but it leads to fast setup and breakdown. They are naturally reminiscent of previously proven designs. It makes this Sirui ET-1204 much speedy and convenient to use than all rival tripods with twist locks.
The legs are full-sized but can be folded up to 180 degrees into a compact form with the ball head fitted within. Then all legs are also armed with an automatic leg angle lock. They are durable, as well as they are made from 8-layer carbon fiber. This construction gives them optimal stiffness and has precision-machined joints, which leads to smoother adjustments.
They are sturdy as well; that is why they don’t wear out easily. They remain stable on all kinds of terrain and can survive any weather.
Apart from these features that Sirui normally offers, it also offers a Center column that can be inverted, enabling users to take low angle shots. As its leg angles can already extend outwards to 84°, there is an added short center column, which positions the mounting platform even lower to the ground to about 13cm, which is indeed very low.
Moreover, this short column can be placed onto the center column to extend height! Even then, the maximum height stands less than rivals.
Conveniently, the construction of this Sirui is also top-notch. As it is made from a combination of carbon fiber tubes and well-finished aluminum, it makes it both consistently light as well as strong.
The appearance is also classy as it is completed with an anodized deep and gloss look, which gives this ET-1204 a shiny hallmark like all Sirui products. The design reflects the attention to detail that belies the low price. Then it comes with a 6-year warranty, which makes it more reassuring.
Last but not least, it features VibTest Sirui ET1204, which does an excellent job of minimizing both the initial shock as it has minimal mass and the resultant vibrations. All in all, shakes and movements are admirably reduced compared to standard camera vibrations, making this ET-1204 ideal for extended exposures and longer lenses.
Sirui ET 1204 specifications:
- Head Type: Ball Head
- Base Mount: 3/8″-16 Thread
- Load Capacity: 8 kg / 18 lb.
- Maximum Working Height: 140 cm / 55 inches
- Max Height without Center Column: 117 cm / 46 inches
- Minimum Working Height: 13 cm/ 5 inches
- Folded Length: 42 cm / 16.5 inches
- Materials: Carbon Fiber
- Weight: 1.2 kg /2.5 lbs.
- Leg Lock Type: Flip Lock
- Independent Leg Spread: Yes
- Leg Sections: 4
- Center Column Sections: 1
- Center Column Extension Type: Rapid
- Lateral / 90-Degree Center Column: No
What’s in the Box?
- Sirui ET-1204 Carbon Fiber Tripod with E-10 Ball Head
- E-10 Ball Head
- TY-50E Quick Release Plate
- Short Center Column
- Custom Padded Case
- Shoulder Strap
- Adjustment Tool
- Limited 6-Year Warranty Head
- Flip-lock leg locks lead to fast setup.
- Full-sized but can be folded.
- Legs rotate by up 180° for compactness.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Legs made of 8 layers of 100% Carbon Fiber
- Sturdy and durable
- The Center column can be reversed for low angle photography.
- Automatic leg angle lock mechanism on each leg for speed and convenience
- The three-position leg angle enables it to work on uneven terrain.
- Smooth and secure ball head
- Less height than rivals
All in all, Sirui has made this budget alternative a masterpiece itself. Not only is it priced reasonably, but the combination of a ball head with tripod legs makes it impeccable. They are made for each other in the same package.
This advantage makes it stand out from other manufacturers. Even though lever locks in place of twist locks may not suit everyone, it doesn’t make much difference in performance.
Moreover, Sirui ET-1204 also has everything well assembled, so the verdict is that even with a little less height, the plethora of other features and low cost makes this tripod a noteworthy one!