April 23, 2020

Sunwayfoto T2C42C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Review

Sunwayfoto T2C42C Carbon Fibre Classic Tripod w/ XB-44DDHi Ball Head color

First hands on review of the upcoming Sunwayfoto T2C42C Carbon Fiber Classic tripod with low profile apex and center column.
by Ruben Silva Ortiz

This review is also available in Spanish: Sunwayfoto T2C42C Tripode de Fibra de Carbono Clásico Review

Introduction

Starting I want to mention that Sunwayfoto has sent me a sample of their brand new tripod, model T2C42C Classic carbon fiber, which replaces Sunwayfoto T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic.
To get an idea of what improvements the new model has, although I did not have the previous one for testing,  is from what I can see from Sunwayfoto’s website and internal information;

The new tripod model T2C42C has a redesigned top apex (leg hub/spider), lower profile, with narrower diameter so the legs get less space when folded and with utility holes around. In addition it is simpler to convert in ground level shooting as we can see later. Also the latches for locking the leg angles are now spring loaded with auto pull back.

I will try to be the most objective, based on the use that I have given in these 3 previous months. This tripod would come as a final version, with several improvements, it is a medium height model, ideal for travel, versatile and simple, but robust and stable. This model is not yet commercialized and due to the crisis in which we find ourselves worldwide, think it will take a little longer.

Sunwayfoto was very kind to send out this new version together with the XB-44DDHi low profile ball head, before the pandemic emergency started, so I was lucky! ... and I thank them very much.
For the record, the tripod took about a week to arrive in Chile, using DHL.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C Carbon Fibre Classic Tripod w/ XB-44DDHi Ball Head
Sunwayfoto Low profile ball head XB-44DDHi on the T2C42C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod

Packaging and Contents

The tripod came well wrapped, in a cardboard box and when opened it came another branded Sunwayfoto box. Inside was a padded carrying bag with the tripod and its accessories. You can watch UNBOXING on Youtube:


The Tripod Specification

The specifications are according to the measurements that I could obtain, in no case are the official data from Sunwayfoto.
The measured height is only of the tripod, the XB-44 head adds some height of around 8 to 9 cm.

Measured Specification:
Model:T2C42C
Leg Sections:4
Material:Carbon Fiber 8X
Maximum Leg ∅:2.8 cm / 1.10"
Max Height (Center Column Raised):144 cm / 56.69"
Max Height (Center Column Retracted):123 cm / 48.43"
Min Height (without Column):     9 cm / 3.54"
Folded Size: 44 cm / 17.32"
Weight:1.34 Kgr / 2.95 lb
Max Load:12 Kg / 26.45 lb according to the previous model 
Mounting Screw Stud:1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 thread 
Leg angle:23 °, 60 ° and 85 ° degrees
Legs Material:8x Carbon Fiber


GENERAL DESCRIPTION 

The text below is based on the use and experience I have had in the years that I have been using this type of equipment. It is not an official Sunwayfoto description. The measurements were made by me, the load capacity I did not know how to obtain it, but I could easily operate a Nikon D810 camera with a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 telephoto lens. The previous model T2C40C has a load capacity of 12Kg, therefore this new tripod must have the same or better.

Top Apex or Hub 

The aluminum structure upper hub is CNC machined and from one piece of Aluminum block to ensure strength and durability. It is a fundamental piece that is very well designed, also incorporates threaded holes to screw accessories such as support arms. On the top hub goes the top mounting plate with a stud which is 6.3 cm. and it can be reverted or removed in order to remove the center column.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod top hub
Tripod Hub with threaded holes for accessories.
Legs

The legs are completely made of 8-layer carbon fiber, at least the previous model has that description, as I said at the beginning, I do not have the technical specifications in detail. They are made of 4 sections, feel comfortable, easy to extend, firm and smooth in movement. The maximum height that this tripod reaches, with its legs and the center column extended is 144cm. You always have to add the height of the head you put on it.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod top hub and legs
Carbon Fiber Legs

Made of corrosion resistant material and absorbs impact much better than an aluminum tripod, it is also appreciated that it is much lighter and more portable because it is made of carbon fiber. The height measurements for each section are: 44cm with the legs folded; with the first upper section extended gives us 68cm, then 96cm and 123cm with the all of the sections extended.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod Twist leg locks
Twist Leg Locks

To extend, simply rotate each of the twist locks and pull or drop the section or leg.

Regarding the extension or retraction of the legs, it should be noted that it is very smooth, since it has a minimum of friction, it also handles air outlet or tightness well, when opening or closing a section of the leg. Twist locks tighten securely and are designed to keep you out of dust or sand.

Leg Angles 

The legs open in 3 positions or angles, 23 °, 60 ° and 85 ° degrees. It is very comfortable and simple, just pull the locking latch and open or raise the tripod leg. When it reaches the stop it closes automatically, if you want to lower it before the stop, you must lower the latch manually. When you want to return to the original position, say 23º, the latch automatically fits on each tab, which is practical and easy to handle.

All this to finally be able to take low-level shots or macros, in which the camera is closest to the floor or ground.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod Leg Angle locking latch
Spring Loaded Leg angle locking Latch

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod Leg Angle display
3 possible angles

Rubber Feet or Metal Spikes

Like most tripods, the rubber "shoes" so to speak, can be exchanged for metal tips know as spikes, allowing greater grip on dirt or sand terrain; their use in outdoor photography sessions is highly recommended. The previous model had integrated titanium spikes under the rubber feet coating. I do not know if Sunwayfoto will sell this tripod with the spikes included or extra, but at least the sample that they send me did not include any. The 3/8” thread spikes shown in the illustration I had from an old Benro tripod that are interchangeable.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod Leg Rubber feet and spikes
Metal Spikes Fitted



Ball Head

On this occasion, Sunwayfoto sent me an XB series ball head, a robust ball head and very functional design; it is model XB-44 DDHi low-profile ball head. I will not stop at the head, but if you want to see more info, I leave you this link with the very complete review at SCV Photo Ideas: Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head Review

Sunwayfoto XB-44DDHi with top panning clamp
Sunwayfoto XB-44DDHi with top panning clamp

The tripod is compatible with any ball or video head that allows to screw in the stud that comes with either ¼” or 3/8” threads.

Dual mounting stud
Dual Mounting Stud

Center Column

This new model, includes only a long center column, with an improved metal hook to hang weight and further stabilize the tripod. The hook supports approximately 20 kilos. The center column can be removed completely, and convert to low level without the need to put a shorter tube, as with the previous model.

If you want to remove the center column to take macro or low level photographs, and be able to open the legs at their maximum angle and reach almost to the floor at 9cm, you only have to remove the center column, you must turn the main blocker, remove the top plate and top mount stud, then unscrew the weight support hook to remove the center tube or column from the top hub. Once that is done, the weight hook is screwed to the top mounting plate and stud.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod ground level
Ground level at 85° without center column - Top mounting plate fixed via stud and weight support hook 

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod center column
Center column set with weight support hook.

My Impressions

I must say that I have used it 2 times in outdoor outings, the first time I had to endure a lot of wind, I was doing time-lapse, and the truth is that the gusts of wind were violent, but still, the tripod behaved very well; I had very little to correct in post-production. The second outdoor outing was in the sea and the sand, this time I wet the tripod legs and was out in the sun all afternoon. I have had other tripods that when using them in the same conditions, the legs were left with friction and it felt like scraping when extending or storing the tripod legs, due to the sand that entered there inside. With this model, I can say that this does not happen, the rotary lock system is very hermetic and works excellent, it was very pleasant to use. I just let it dry, shook off the excess sand, and was able to fold my legs without complications. Another 2 times I have come out with this wonderful tripod, have been in the city, here in Santiago. I had to go to two restaurants to do food shooting of their main dishes. The tripod is beautiful and of an ideal medium size, it has an outstanding design and offers a good performance in different scenarios, especially when you want to make a good impression on your clients; this tripod will not disappoint you. One of these restaurants was relatively close to my house, so I decided to go on my Zero 9 electric scooter, I had a small ThinkTank Digital holster 20 bag with the Sony A7r and a Sony Zeiss 16-35 f4 lens, nothing that heavy, at Just like this great tripod, with its padded bag and its weight that does not exceed 1.5 kilos. Lighter and more comfortable it could not be to fulfill the task.

Sunwayfoto T2C42C CF Classic Tripod with camera gear

It is undoubtedly a professional tripod, it feels good, it is comfortable, it has an excellent weight and it is so versatile that it can be used for all kinds of activities, especially for outdoor trips because it is light, it allows you to trek without exhausting yourself.

It supports a Full Frame camera and a good telephoto lens without any problem. The height is perhaps not too much, but quite well for any photograph, I always prefer to use it without a center column and with the ball head it is perfect, although sometimes I must admit that it is short in height. Extending it fully is very stable and if you hang a weight on it and put metal tips on it, it won't budge at all. I have not had the opportunity to try high-end tripods from the most well-known and expensive brands such as Really Right Stuff (RRS), Gitzo, FLM, Feisol, etc. but I have used other brands that have a good positioning and great quality such as Manfrotto and Benro, and Sunwayfoto now obvious that they are brands that have prices a little more accessible. The others have been some much cheaper Chinese tripods that I have brought by Ebay, which have lasted me a year with luck.

Conclusion

The Sunwayfoto T2C42C tripod, together with the XB-44 ball head make an excellent work equipment, I have been impressed, totally recommended, equal to or superior to a Manfrotto or high end tripod, it is very pretentious and it is the latest Creation of the Sunwayfoto brand that stands out for creating first-rate photographic equipment, echoing their creations according to the comments of photographers from around the world. I liked that a lot. As for the price, I do not have it, since it is not yet on sale, but it is always more competitive than a Gitzo, however its price is not light since the brand focuses on durable products, using cutting-edge materials and technology to position itself as a high-end Chinese company, market leader in professional photographic equipment and accessories.

Ruben Silva Ortiz

Short Bio

Ruben Silva Ortiz
Ruben Silva Ortiz, is Sunwayfoto Ambassador in Chile, father of 2 children and husband of a wonderful woman. Computer engineer by profession, with more than 16 years of practicing the profession. While 14-year-old started out as family photographer;
In his words:
"Very young I liked to see through the lens and after many years ahead, I managed to start making this passion a reality to transform it into a profession that generates a lot of joy and enthusiasm, especially being in the middle of forests, listening to the river, seeing the stars at night or also explore a new city; It is very comforting to me, it takes me out of the routine and stress of modern life.
I mainly dedicate myself to taking photographs of Natural Landscapes, Astro-Photographs and videos using the Time-Lapse technique. I also take pictures of food for an advertising agency and on the other hand I collaborate with prominent stock sites where they download my videos and photos from around the world.
Happy that a company like Sunwayfoto made me its Ambassador, it shows that my work has been worthwhile and gives me much more motivation to continue learning and taking more and better photographs."
You may Check Ruben's work on Instagram @rubensilva_landscape

I hope you found the review interesting, thank you for viewing.
Photos ©2020 Ruben Silva Ortiz

Price & Availability:
The Recommended Retail Price of the Sunwayfoto T2C42C Carbon Fibre Classic tripods will be around US$ 299.95 and will be available from Amazon as well as from eBay later on.

Referenced Articles:

Sunwayfoto T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Preview
Sunwayfoto T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Preview
Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head Review
Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head Review







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