The Sirui SR-3204 out within the chilly, with the Sirui PH-30 Carbon Fiber Gimbal on prime, loaded with a 150-450mm zoom on a full-frame Pentax.

Sirui SR-3204 | $550

Again in a 2014 roundup of ball heads, Sirui was talked about as a ‘relative newcomer,’ however at the moment they’re a longtime and well-respected model, not just for tripods but in addition for such uncommon objects as humidity-control cupboards and anamorphic lenses. The total Sirui assist catalog features a very big selection of tripods and monopods, in addition to quite a lot of these extremely regarded tripod heads, together with video and full gimbal heads.

Specs and what’s included

  • Most top of 150 cm (59.1″)
  • Minimal top of 14.Three cm (5.6″)
  • Folds to 54.5 cm (21.5″) with 13 cm (5.1″) diameter
  • Weighs 2.1 kg (4.62 lbs)
  • 25kg (55.1 lbs) load restrict
  • Three leg angles (25° / 51° / 79° )
  • 4 leg sections (33mm prime leg diameter / 29.5 / 26/ 22.2mm)
  • 78mm platform screwed onto massive deal with
  • Built-in 75mm video bowl
  • Retractable weight hook inside platform deal with
  • Tiny bubble stage included on apex
  • Detachable 38mm mushroom toes with non-standard M14 thread
  • Contains padded bag, strap, instruments, directions and 36mm spikes

Within the galaxy of Sirui tripods, the SR collection known as the ‘Moveable PRO’ line. This collection all share the identical magnesium apex with an built-in 75mm bowl, and sport 33mm prime leg tubes, though the SR-3004 substitutes 4-section aluminum legs, whereas the SR-3203 has three-section carbon fiber legs and a noticeably longer packed dimension so as to obtain the identical general top as the opposite SR fashions.

There’s an R-X collection with bigger leg diameters and non-obligatory middle columns, however they don’t seem to be out there in North America and are onerous to search out elsewhere. On this class of modular apex tripods, the SR collection represents Sirui’s candy spot between dimension, weight and stability for very demanding customers.

In comparison with others

This tripod was examined and in contrast with its modular apex friends. Left to proper; ProMediaGear TR344, Actually Proper Stuff TVC-34, Sirui SR-3204, FLM CP34-L4 II, Leofoto LM-364C, Gitzo GT3543LS.

The SIrui SR-3204 was examined and in contrast alongside tripods in the identical class of ‘Sequence 3′ (33-36mm prime leg tube diameter) “Systematic’ (modular apex with detachable platform) kind, when it comes to dimension and utility, together with merchandise from Gitzo, Actually Proper Stuff, ProMediaGear, Leofoto and FLM.

All of those tripods had been utilized in 4 seasons of sand, snow, mud, rain, and saltwater; arrange within the bog-like Atlantic salt marshes and the wind-swept Appalachian mountains. They’ve been loaded with gimbal heads, ball heads, geared and pano-heads, and as much as 4kg (8.8lb) lenses hooked up to cameras starting from APS-C to medium-format, taking pictures something from long-exposure landscapes to excessive telephoto birds-in-flight. The one check they didn’t undergo was being rough-handled on the airport, due to pandemic journey restrictions.

Top comparability

Under is a relative top comparability between the Sirui SR-3204 and a 6 foot (1.83m) photographer.

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First impressions

The SR-3204 magnesium apex and huge, hole deal with with retractable weight hook inside.

Sirui makes use of well-finished forged magnesium for the apex, built-in video bowl, and leg joints of the SR-3204, however these mix to make a bigger and considerably heavier prime for the carbon fiber legs to hook up with. This alternative is a fabric balancing act, as forged magnesium alloys can cut back the transmission of vibrations greater than machined aluminum, however should be made thicker for a similar energy. Gitzo has lengthy relied on these similar supplies, with a distinct end and smaller sizes, so the sturdiness is not in query.

The properly built-in 75mm video bowl within the apex of the SR-3204 looks as if a good suggestion, solely half-realized. The plastic-topped aluminum platform of the SR-series tripods is held in place by a protracted screw hooked up to a deal with extending under this built-in bowl. Sadly, Sirui’s personal RX-75B Leveling Ball Set for his or her video tripods has a deal with and screw incompatible with this tripod’s built-in bowl.

Observe the diminutive bubble stage, which is the one different provided leveling assist.

Whereas the SR collection are among the many largest photographic tripods made by Sirui, they’ve most of the similar options because the smaller, extra transportable tripods within the line. Three foam leg covers, a lined 1/4” accent mounting level, and stable twist-locks all translate nicely to the bigger dimension of the SR-3204. The spring motion, press-in angle locks, nonetheless, require transferring the thick legs down a bit first to unlock the angles. This may work nicely on smaller tripods with middle columns, however they change into cumbersome on a big, systematic tripod just like the SR-3204. Different massive tripods of this dimension and modularity have angle locks that will also be pushed from behind to unlock them, which is functionally sooner with a hand gripped across the massive leg tubes, and no middle column to get in the way in which behind the angle locks.

The bizarre M14 threads on the detachable toes are a little bit of a let-down, as solely the provided (and really thick and quick) chrome steel spikes might be inserted. There are not any different choices out there, not like all the opposite tripods on this class which use the frequent 3/8″ thread. A small concern, but it surely does restrict the adaptability of the tripod.

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Use within the subject

The Sirui gimbal matches properly on prime of the SR-3204 flat platform. In fact, a Sirui RX-75B leveling gadget may actually full the package deal. Alas, it is not suitable.

Packed up, the SR-3204 is noticeably heavier than equally sized tripods with modular apexes, however when stability for kilograms of digicam and lens is required, this isn’t the largest concern. The froth sleeves on every of the legs, nonetheless, are inclined to seize at digicam baggage and gather particles, and, actually, just one is required to offer a firmer grip on the carbon fiber legs when moist. Maybe these grips are a carry-over from the aluminum model, the place insulating a hand from all that steel is advisable.

The massive magnesium apex has a comically small built-in bubble stage, which was pressed into service (with a squint) so as to stage a gimbal or panoramic head. This required loosening one of many prime leg locks and urgent right down to shorten every leg in flip, till stage. Whereas a bit tedious in comparison with a well-fit leveling gadget, this methodology of getting on the extent was nonetheless a simple operation, due to the sleek operation of each the leg locks and the match of the tubes which they join.

The acquainted Sirui leg locks require solely a quarter-turn to unlock every part, and with their rubber jackets, can simply be grabbed , even with gloves on. The carbon fiber tubes then slide out fairly simply with out a lot wobble, revealing index marks on the underside tubes in 5cm increments, in case exact leg lengths are required (or to gauge the water stage).

When going to very low extremes, the utmost leg angle of 79 levels turned obvious when in comparison with the opposite tripods on this class. This angle retains the apex a lot additional off the bottom than on any comparable tripods, more than likely to make room for the massive platform deal with. When a head is added on prime, the top consequence is just not nice for low-angle images, regardless of the dearth of a middle column.

General, the SR-3204 was a reliable, if typically ungainly, assist for the heavy gear it was pressed into service with. Whereas it may be used within the subject in every kind of climate, due to the leg covers and rubber-wrapped leg locks, it nonetheless appeared extra at house within the studio. Indoors, at a extra relaxed tempo, any want for leveling or adjustment did not require a third-party accent, and with some further time (and studying glasses) the bubble stage might be helpful.


The method for cleansing the SR-3204 is just not described anyplace within the included packaging, or on their US or Chinese language web sites. Nevertheless, the directions for any twist lock tripod will do. The disassembly of every part is straightforward, and the one-piece, clear shims are substantial and firmly hooked up. Nevertheless, the leg locks lack gaskets or seals, and water and filth does have a tendency to gather within the backside sections.

On the plus aspect, Sirui has a worldwide distribution presence, so service and components are normally straightforward to accumulate.

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Check outcomes

Vibrations could make even the sharpest lens end up mushy, blurred pictures, and may smash lengthy exposures. Within the typical use circumstances for this class of tripod, decreasing the results of vibration turns into extraordinarily necessary, since longer focal lengths and better resolutions enlarge the results of any motion, and environmental vibrations like wind and water can have an rising impact on bigger legs and kit.

Digital camera vibration might be mechanically minimized with mirror lockup, digital shutters, and a distant shutter launch, whereas including weight to the underside of the tripod (with the burden hook or a tripod stone bag) can assist stabilize the entire setup. Nevertheless, not all sources of vibration might be eradicated, so we examined whether or not the tripod will dampen them or transmit and replicate them to the digicam.

The tripod legs had been totally prolonged, and our vibration analyzer for heavy-duty tripods (an iPad on a 3.2 kg (7 lb) cantilevered weight) was mounted on to the flat platform’s 3/8″ threaded bolt with a protracted lens plate. An industrial solenoid valve with a plastic hammer was used as a supply of vibration (a knock to the underside of 1 leg). The ensuing graph of all three accelerometers reveals each the resistance of the tripod to the preliminary shock, in addition to the speed of decay for residual vibration inside the tripod.

Sirui SR-3204 vibration resistance check outcomes – click on for bigger graph

*Observe that this graph is relative solely to this class of tripods. The burden and check gear was adjusted to offer a conclusive consequence for this dimension of tripod.

Sirui’s SR-3204 was severely examined by the cantilevered weight and sensitivity of the vibration check. The preliminary shock was considerably restricted by the burden of the tripod and check gear, however continued vibrations didn’t instantly abate, after which continued for a couple of seconds afterward. This efficiency ranks on the backside of this very demanding kind of huge tripods however is much better than smaller tripods when confronted with the identical check.

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The SR-3204 will not be the very best of the tripods on this class, however it’s the largest out there from Sirui in most markets, and essentially the most inexpensive alternative (at virtually half the associated fee) in comparison with comparable modular apex tripods of this dimension. What it provides is all that the smaller Sirui tripods are identified for; stable building, wonderful legs and locks, and a very good place to mount one in all their very own heads.

The result’s a tripod that has been scaled as much as the ‘Moveable PRO’ stage, however doesn’t fairly hit the ‘professional’ mark

Extras just like the built-in video bowl and interchangeable toes are hampered by their incompatibility, although solely the toes are actually restricted. The mixed result’s a tripod that has been scaled as much as the ‘Moveable PRO’ stage, however doesn’t fairly hit the ‘professional’ mark when in comparison with equally massive tripods. On prime of all of this, if one thing longer or bigger is desired, there’s nothing else from Sirui out there in all markets.

What we like

  • Very inexpensive value for this dimension tripod
  • Aluminum leg choice for even lower cost
  • Built-in video bowl is one much less merchandise to purchase
  • Worldwide gross sales & assist community
  • Spare components & repairs straightforward to acquire

What we do not

  • High-heavy with out the vibration profit
  • Giant platform deal with restricts low angles
  • Lack of bigger or longer choices
  • Fiddly leg angle locks

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