When doing photography and videography, one of the essential tools you need is a tripod.
Because we were travelling on bikes and that therefore weight and space were two important aspects, we could only take one with us. So the choice had to be a good one and there would be no turning back.
It therefore needed to respond to few critters of importance:
it needed to be light enough to be taken anywhere without too much suffering, for us and for the bikes; to be strong enough to support a high-end professional camera of several kilos with accessories and to be simple and efficient.
It also needed a good fluid head for videography.
Our generous sponsor TSE Imaging came to us with their line of Sirui tripods and fluid heads.
We talked about it for a long time, we checked every style they offer and our choice went on the BCT 2003 with the BCH 10 head.
First thing to say is that it came back in one piece, which is not to understate!
It was tight during the entire trip on top of one of the bikes and faced several direct crashes and drops and was exposed directly to any weather. We were leaving the tripod all set-up on the bike and just covering the head with plastic bags to avoid water and rust in the mechanism.
We climbed mountains with it, filmed in rivers. We used it in rocky, sandy, muddy, rainy, snowy environments and it did the job every time perfectly. The head was fluid enough to follow the bikes with a 400mm lens on it, and smoothly please. The handles to adjust the height of the legs are big and easy to use making it super convenient to adjust even with rain gloves on.
The head does take a little bit of a time to put on the tripod itself so we decide to let it on the tripod all the time, which was fine in the end.
Its maximum height is big enough to go over crowded areas and pretty much all the way down to the floor, which is very useful also.
Overall, the tripod is a middle range classic tripod with a light video head. Nothing to fuss about but when we look at it with a bit of perspective, what a pleasure it is to never have to worry about anything. Even covered in mud, the friction of the head was not affected. Even with all the crashes, nothing broke or was less usable. There is even a light on the head to make level adjustments easier in the dark.
It may seems logic, but when you face elements and tiredness every day, reliability is all that matters.
If you are on the go for an adventure, consider Sirui.
And go check their website: http://www.sirui.com/