Sirui’s K-10X ball head promises professional features at a relatively affordable price. Andy Westlake tries it out

SIRUI-K-10X-ball-head

Sirui K-10X ball head at a glance:

  • 20kg max load
  • Friction-adjustment control
  • Arca Swiss-compatible quick release
  • Price: £99.95
  • Website: en.zssirui.com

Sirui is a Chinese photographic equipment maker seeking to establish a reputation for quality products, rather than just low price, and which makes photographic and video tripods and heads.

The K-10X is the smallest in Sirui’s premium ‘K’ range of ball heads. Like its stablemates, the K-10X has separate locking knobs for the main ball and the independent panning base, with an embedded friction-setting control on the main locking knob. A single slot in the ball casing allows the camera to be rotated into portrait orientation. The quick-release platform has three bubble levels, and a safety interlock post to stop your camera inadvertently sliding off the head. All controls are captive, so there’s no risk of losing them on your travels and rendering your head useless.

With a 33mm ball diameter, 96mm height and weight of 390g, the K-10X is a natural companion for relatively portable tripods like the Manfrotto 190 series, or Sirui’s own T-2204X. Sirui offers a six-year warranty.

Sirui K-10X ball head – key features

Quick release

The Arca Swiss-compatible plate has a D-ring screw for easy fastening, and red pull-up anti-twist tabs.

Panning base

The independently locking base is marked at 5° intervals for panorama shooting.

Safety interlock

The red button retracts the safety-lock post that prevents the camera plate from sliding off the head.

Sirui K-10X ball head – verdict

The K-10X is beautifully engineered and impeccably finished. Having first set the friction control to my liking based on the instructions, I found it performs extremely well, with smooth movement when unlocked and minimal drift when locked down.

It can easily support a full-frame DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom. Mine is now permanently
on my Gitzo Mountaineer tripod.

SCORE: 5 out of 5

You may also wish to consider:

Calumet-Pro-D-Series-7047

Calumet Pro D Series 7047

Calumet Pro D Series 7047

Price: £75

Website: www.calphoto.co.uk

Calumet’s own-brand head is similar in size to the Sirui K-10X, but uses separate ball lock, friction and panning controls, and has a Manfrotto RC2 pattern quick release.

Manfrotto-496-RC2

Manfrotto 496 RC2

Manfrotto 496 RC2

Price: £59

Website: www.manfrotto.co.uk

This medium-sized head lacks the sophistication of the Sirui, with no separate pan lock, but it’s cheaper and offers Manfrotto’s usual no-nonsense build quality.

3-legged-thing-airhead-1-evolution-2

3 Legged Thing AirHed 1 Evolution 2

3  Legged Thing AirHed 1 Evolution 2

Price: £139

Website: www.3leggedthing.com

The AirHed is similar in size and layout to the Sirui, but has a larger ball for a 35kg load capacity. It has an Arca-Swiss type quick-release clamp, and comes in black or blue.