Life with the Sirui N3203X tripod
"It's a thing of beauty"
I was asked to write a review on the Sirui N3230X carbon fibre tripod by the team at Photogear Auckland, but this isn't an unboxing or technical specs review. This is real life in the field and how it handled.
For the past few weeks I have been putting this piece of kit through its paces, taking it on night shoots, in the city and to coastal shoots, in high winds. Generally using it as my go-to tripod.
How did it perform? Read on and I will tell you.
Once you unbox the tripod, the first thing that is very apparent is how light weight it is, weighing in at 1.8kg (without the ball head) this is super light and feels good in the hand with its chunky tubular sections. When loosening the tripod legs there is the distinctive swooshing movement that suggests quality. It sounds like air is sealed inside. It is an awesome sound, like closing the door on a luxury car. It has brought a smile to my face every time I have set up my photography gear to use this nifty piece of kit.
The Sirui N3230X takes about 45 seconds to set up to have ready for action. This version has twist locks, half a turn and the legs are locked or unlocked for extension/retraction, as required. Once fully erected this thing is solid and can easily withstand some punishment more on that to come.
Unlike other brands of tripod, the Sirui N3203X has 2 foam covers on the legs for carrying and comfort. Awesome in freezing cold weather as it protects your hands. Have you ever tried picking up a tripod in sub zero temperatures? Trust me its not nice.
I partnered the tripod with the Sirui K 20X ball head, also from the team at Photogear; which worked flawlessly throughout the tests and was a perfect match for this tripod, think peas and carrots and we are on the same page.
On all tests, the tripod has been easy to operate and has functioned smoothly and effortlessly. There are particularly handy height indicators on each leg that just makes set up that much easier and I seemed to use this feature far more than I thought I would.
The Sirui tripod, unlike many others has enough adjustment that once set up it can stand nice and tall, which is great for all taller photographers ( I'm 6' 6" ). During my time on the rugged West Coast of Auckland- in high winds, the rigidity of the tripod meant that I didn't have to shield the camera / tripod from the howling winds.
The ease of adjusting the legs is a half twist per section which makes raising and lowering the tripod a quick and seamless job, especially useful when you need to set up quickly.
The tripod breaks down to become a mono pod if required which is a neat feature and will save you having to purchase another piece of equipment.
One thing that will please the Landscape photographer is that this tripod has legs that will splay fully to give a low to ground setup. The center column is removable and if required has a hook to suspend a weight from to add more stability.
Is it waterproof? No. However the tripod sections come apart very easily for cleaning and maintenance.
I do recommend this tripod. It is very versatile, solid and makes the job of taking photos easy. Compared to other products in this category, the tripod is very well priced.
This tripod comes with a 6 - year warranty, as expected from something of this quality. The Sirui N3203X does feel high-end and operates as high-end. A huge step forward from what was 10 years ago an unknown Chinese manufacture.