Review: SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column (The Sturdiest Tripod We’ve Tested)

If you purchase the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column, you’re spending almost $1,000 on tripod equipment.

If you’re a photographer that really, seriously needs some of the best stabilization that you can get your hands on, then the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column is pretty much a no compromise solution. It’s a great option for those of you working with high end, medium format gear and to that end perhaps one of the best options that I’d recommend for photographers who shoot landscapes seriously in the 35mm format. With the right ballhead, it’s something that rivals and in many ways bests the quality of some of the top end Vanguard tripods.

But let’s think about this just a bit more. Are you really ready to spend nearly $1,000 on a tripod set up? With that kind of money you can get yourself a number of other lenses, a bag, perhaps even some cameras. There isn’t anything really change changing about the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column besides the fact that it’s a system where you pretty much custom build your own setup based on your needs. Even so, I think that it’s an investment that should be carefully considered.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The absolute strongest tripod that I’ve ever tested
  • The idea of interchangeable parts yet incredibly high quality is something that is new to me
  • Shot with a large format camera on it with no trouble at all
  • Can handle really strong winds on a waterfront
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Heavy, but not unbearable

Gear Used

We tested the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column with an old Graphlex large format camera and a Mamiya RB67 Pros S configuration. Our ball head was a higher end Manfrotto option.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from their website:

SIRUI SR-3204

Model:SR-3204
Material: Carbon Fiber
Sections: 4
Tube Max Dia: 33mm/1.3inch
Tube Min Dia: 22.2mm/0.9inch
Min Hgt: 120mm/4.7inch
Max Hgt: 1500mm/59.1inch
Retracted Height: 545mm/21.5inch
Weight: 2.0kg/4.4lb
Load:: 25kg/55.1lb

Ergonomics

The SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod is very sturdy in every single part of its build quality. While I didn’t get to test one of their heads, I attached a Manfrotto head which held up just fine.

Let’s start at the bottom: the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod has rounded feet. These, I would think, would provide an unsturdy use case. But in my tests, I found this to be untrue. They’re all high quality and part of that comes from just how sturdy and solid the tripod legs are.

Each of the sections is built solidly and as the tripod gets taller, it amazingly doesn’t lose a whole lot of stability. I can’t say this with every manufacturer’s offerings. These rubber rings are easy enough to grab all at once and undo.

To lock the legs in place, the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod has these latches. They can also be used to allow the tripod to have new positioning.

The center column has marking on it and is built very well. But in my mind, I still can’t totally understand why the columns are sold separately.

Here’s a shot of the tripod in its smallest size. This is where it is most stable.

Build Quality

During our tests, with the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column, we took the tripod with column in place along for a walk in pretty hot, humid weather. After walking around for 4 miles or so with the products, I can fully admit that I didn’t feel like I was feeling exasperated at all. However, this is a pretty big tripod, so I needed to hold it in my hand and couldn’t really affix it with an certainty of stability to a camera bag. That’s not bad though; there are far worse problems in life.

With every twist and turn of the sections, I was very confident in the build quality. At times, the entire product system felt so solid that it felt like you were trying to move a big rock. When the Mamiya RB67 Pro S and a Graphlex were attached, this even more so solidified my thoughts. Other tripods that I’ve used would show some sort of shake–which is completely unacceptable when it comes to large format and high megapixel DSLR cameras. In fact, this is really the only tripod that I’ve ever tested where when I put a camera and ballhead down on it, then set it up with the legs out, it was completely, and totally solid. Perhaps this has to do with its fatter legs.

Ease of Use

I have to be honest here, it’s a tripod. The SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod nor the SR-66C aren’t doing anything incredibly innovative for the industry. They’re not attaching leather, they have have a cool, swanky ballhead, they’re not incorporating a way to really accommodate to one system or another. Instead, they’re just making a super solid, super simple tripod. And I think that photographers who genuinely need that kind of stability and support will apprecaite this. Photographers who aren’t very technical either will also make pretty good use of it.

Conclusions

I really like the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column. Paired with the right ballhead, this system is going to be simply the most solid tripod system that you’ll ever use. They’re not incredibly heavy or unwieldy, they’re just really simple. The SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column also don’t have the marketing or pizzaz that other brands do. Instead, they’re modest. Sometimes, that’s all you need. But at the same time, you tend to need modesty and pay a modest price. Are you getting the most well built tripod on the market? Yes. Should it be more affordable? Yes.

If you’re going for the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column, try to snag them used or refurbished. Or wait for a sale to happen.

We rated these products at five out of five stars.