Andy Westlake tests a clever multifunctional table-top tripod
Sirui 3T-35 tripod at a glance:
- Max height: 34cm
- Folded length: 23cm
- Weight: 440g
- Max load: 4kg
- Price: £79.99
- Website: www.sirui.eu/en
Chinese firm Sirui is one of the best-kept secrets in photography. Despite making a wide range of high-quality camera supports, it has struggled to break into the UK market. This is a shame as some of its products are unique, such as this 3T-35 tripod.
In fact this is a rare item for which the word ‘multifunctional’ is more than just a marketing affectation. Primarily it’s designed to be a table-top tripod, with three possible configurations. With the fixed-length centre column installed it’s 23cm tall, but this can be swapped over for an extending column that offers a 26-34cm height range, at the cost of a little stability. Alternatively the head can be attached directly to the legs for low-level shooting at about 12cm. This brings extra flexibility compared to many other table-top tripods, which usually have limited height adjustment.
The legs fold upwards around the centre column, snapping into place magnetically against a steel collar to form a squat cylinder. In this configuration, the device can be used as a camera handle for video shooting. Alternatively if you fold the legs 180° downwards and extend the centre column, the 3T-35 transforms into a selfie stick that’s capable of holding an enthusiast compact or mirrorless camera. When it’s time to revert to tripod use, twisting a collar at the base of the unit limits the legs to the correct angle.
One of the highlights of the package is the matched ball head. Exquisitely machined from aluminium alloy, it’s topped by an Arca Swiss-type quick-release clamp that has a sprung safety catch to stop your camera accidentally sliding off. There’s only a single lock for the ball and the rotating base, but that’s understandable given its compact size.
Photographers of a conservative disposition may be disconcerted by the finish of our review sample, but have no fear: despite its bright red colour this tripod is still perfectly strong and stable. Naturally an understated all-black version is also available to suit traditionalists. In fact the Sirui 3T-35’s load capacity is genuinely impressive; during the course of my testing I found it could support a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV fitted with a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom giving a combined weight of 2.4kg, with no apparent problem.
Sirui 3T-35 tripod – key features
Small screws at each end of the two centre columns and on the head platform allow the various parts to be fixed together so they won’t undo
These prevent the tripod from marking delicate surfaces, and provide a bit of extra grip
Can be used to clip the tripod to a bag strap or belt
The tripod comes with two interchangeable centre columns and a couple of allen keys, with everything fitting neatly into the supplied nylon carry case
Sirui 3T-35 tripod – our verdict
While £80 might seem a lot for a table-top tripod, with the 3T-35 Sirui has produced a surprisingly versatile and useful device. It’s beautifully finished, deceptively strong, and folds up to a neat, compact and easy-to-carry package. If you don’t want to carry around a full-size tripod it’s a very capable alternative.