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Two tiny tripods: Sirui T-005X & mefoto backpacker


andrewv8
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There are almost no comparisons between these two tripods and the few that there are don't go into much detail so I bought both and I'm going give you all my thoughts.

 

Why I chose these two, I wanted a tripod but knew that if it didn't fit in my backpack I wouldn't carry it with me.  For me the priorities were 1 portability and stability and 2 quality feel.
 

 

CONSTRUCTION AND QUALITY:

The mefoto has a smoother panning action but the Sirui's ball head is considerably smoother, the mefoto's ball head feels choppy and stiff.

 

The mefoto is a heavier duty tripod.  It feels more like a miniature version of a professional tripod.

 

The mefoto doesn't fold up quite as neatly as the Sirui.  To get the legs to fold uniformly and sit flush against the center shaft you need to extend it a bit so that the plate doesn't get in the way.

 

The Sirui is a hair longer when folded but considerably less chunky.  The Y shaped plate where the legs meet on the Sirui in particular is much smaller and made from thinner material.  

 

The rubber locks on the Sirui feel super cheap, it's that sticky sort of rubber and the ribbed texture captures all dest and lint.

 

The attachment point for the ball head also feel cheaper on the Sirui.

The integrated weight hook on the bottom of mefoto is much nicer than the tiny ring on the bottom of the Sirui.

 

The segments of the legs and central shaft on sirui seem to rotate when loose but not on the mefoto.

 

STABILITY

I had a really hard time finding a comparison of these two tripods from a stability perspective but the mefoto is definitely more stable.  On smooth surfaces the legs on the Sirui push out beyond their natural limit and slide around much more easily.  The fixed central shaft, wider connection plate for the legs, larger feet, and heftier legs of the mefoto make it a lot more stable.

 

OPENING

Opening up the Sirui, the legs flip right open, the spring loaded leg locks at the top of each leg click into each of the 3 positions as you open it.  To be honest I originally thought this was an advantage, but I'd be concerned that the spring might fail.  It feels like you really have to twist the cheap, sticky (or perhaps tacky), rubber locks pretty far to unlock the legs.  

Opening the legs on the mefoto is almost hard work, everything about the tripod (except for the panning action) is really tight, perhaps a smidge too tight for my taste.  The press in leg locks at the top of each leg are operated manually for both opening and closing which is kind of annoying, and there are only 2 positions unlike the Sirui which has 3.  The twisting leg locks seem to take less rotation to unlock than the Sirui.  

 

USAGE

On the mefoto, the plate, plate holder, and plate locking control knob all seem oversized.  This becomes a problem when you try to attach the plate on the fly.  It becomes really annoying to mount the camera to the tripod.  This issue is less severe on the Sirui because the knob is a lot smaller and you can actually get your fingers around in when the camera is mounted.

 

As mentioned before, the ball head on the Sirui is smooth like butter.  The panning seems either more heavily dampened or just not as smooth.  The degree marks on the pan are mostly hidden with the exception of a small window near the indexing point and I don't like that.

 

The ball head on the mefoto feels bad by comparison, it's just really clunky and sticky.  The panning on the other hand is butter.  The panning degree marks are all visible at all times, I prefer this to the Sirui.  The mefoto also has a bubble level, I didn't think I cared about that, but having it is nicer than I thought.

 

The plates for both are terrible and don't have a D ring.

 

The Sirui has a removable central shaft and a 3rd leg position which allows the Sirui to get considerably lower than the mefoto.

 

WHATS IN THE BOX

They both come with a bag, the Sirui comes with a crappy draw string bag while the mefoto comes with a nicer zippered bag.  To be honest, its actually kind of hard to get the mefoto in and out of the bag.

 

The Sirui also comes with a beaner clip to attach weights onto the ring on the bottom of the tripod.  It's cheap and junky, and covered on sticky terrible rubber and I don't like it.

 

I've attached some comparison pics.  Let me know if you guys have any other questions, I'll have both tripods for another few days and am happy to provide any feedback you're looking for.

 

WHATS IN THE BOX

I'm going with the mefoto.  Definitely more solid and it's small and light enough for me.  If I was most interested in saving space and weight I'd get the Sirui. 

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