April 20, 2021

Announcement of New Sunwayfoto Carbon Fiber Tripod Lines and Models

Sunwayfoto T3650CM Master Series Top Platform

We can call this a major event for Sunwayfoto since after many delays and postponements, Sunwayfoto finally announced on April 15, the release of not one but seven (7) new tripod models in four (4) different series.
It has been 6 years since the release of their first two full sized carbon fiber models the T1C40T Carbon Fiber Traveller and the T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic
In the meantime, about the end of 2019 there were a couple of attempts to introduce improved models like the T2C42C Carbon Fiber Classic, and a new series T2C40N Carbon Fiber without Column, but Covid restrictions had set back production and transports all over the world.

Sometimes it is worth the wait though. The improvements applied to all models, together with the introduction of new lines are astonishing. 

Two of the four lines are the previously known Traveler Series and the Classic with Center column now renamed as Explorer Series. The next two lines are introducing totally new designs as the Knight Series featuring solid apex tripods without center column and the Master Series with systematic like design featuring interchangeable top platforms, video bowls, leveling gear and / or center columns.

Nonetheless, Sunwayfoto engineers made a great effort in paying attention to the slightest detail, while taking into account all suggestions and feedback from users all over the world so as the new tripods come as failproof as possible.
All new models from all lines share some interesting characteristics, some of them unique and patented.

Common Characteristics

Besides the top grade Carbon Fiber tubes, the aerospace quality Aluminum and hard coat anodizing, all new Sunwayfoto models share a completely new weatherproofing system with redesigned twist leg locks.
All twist locks are new weather sealed from dust and grit, but not only since they are completely waterproof due to isolating O rings on top and bottom which seal the contacts after locking, while leaving the legs extract and retract freely when unlocked.
More than the Super-Fit Silicone lock grips have gone under special treatment so they don't slip even after long submersion under water.
The new material is the reason of the absence of the iconic Sunwayfoto logo from the lock grips though.

Patented Sealed Twist Lock system


Rigidity and stability of the leg joints has been enhanced further. The alignment friction tube shims between the leg sections are of one piece and 40 mm / 1.6 in long. This means more accuracy in the leg movement and utmost rigidity when the leg sections are fully extended.
Although an extra cm might seem negligible inside the leg joints it makes a lot of difference when it translates in extra rigidity and stability of the tripods. Nonetheless, sacrificing a little tripod height proves quite essential for the outcome.
Furthermore, the aluminum lock rings on the wider diameter upper part are not only glued on the carbon tube but also screwed since the tubes are now threaded.

Improved friction shims and dual O-rings

The leg hinges are completely redesigned in order to avoid loosening up after frequent use. An innovative mechanism that uses an inclined surface between the inner connecting part and the leg joint prevents the screws from twisting and loosening up.

New patented leg hinges design

Another improved feature of the new models is the spring loaded leg lock latches.
The smaller T2540CT features a spring loaded press mechanism with three leg angle stops now.

New press on automatic leg latches

While all larger models share a patented mechanism with improved pull out semi-automatc leg log latches. You only need to pull out the latch when wider leg angles are desired. Shift leg in place and the latch clicks back securing the leg.

New patented semi automatic leg latches

After this rather extensive overview, lets take some time looking at what each series and model have to offer in more detail.

The T2540CT Traveler Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T2540CT
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):25/22/19/16
Folded Length:49 cm
Height with Extended Legs:11-145 cm
Platform Diameter:45 mm
Weight:1.15 Kg
Load Capacity:8 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:1/4" and 3/8"  

First in terms of size comes the Traveler Series with the T2540CT. It's a compact and lightweight reverse folding solution for the avid traveler. It's vastly improved from its predecessor that we can say it is a total remake.
The top apex is smaller in diameter, the hinges are brand new in design, as are the twist locks and the leg fittings. 
 
Sunwayfoto T2540CT Traveler Series

Actually the T2540CT is the only 180° reverse folding tripod model from all the new lines. In this way when folded it embraces the head inside the legs giving a very compact package that easily fits in a cabin case.

Sunwayfoto T2540CT Traveler Series Folded

The top mounting plate is redesigned, hollowed out with two set screws. One immobilizing the top plate on the center column and one is there to secure the head.
The center column is comprised of two parts one short made of Aluminum and the long one made of Carbon as the legs.
When the long part is detached the tripod can get low to 11 cm above the ground.

Sunwayfoto T2540CT Ground Level feature


The T2840CE Explorer Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T2840CE
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):28/25/22/19
Folded Length:51 cm
Height with Extended Legs:10-163 cm
Platform Diameter:58 mm
Weight:1.4 Kg
Load Capacity:25 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:1/4" and 3/8"  

We may call the T2840CE Explorer the successor of the T2C40C or better a refined version of T2C42C Carbon Fiber Classic which like a comet passed briefly from production skies with a couple of review samples here and there.
However, this was enough to bring out a refined model in all respects.
As all new models the T2840CE shares the same tech in the hinges, the leg angle latches, twist locks etc. etc.
Sunwayfoto T2840CE Explorer Series

Same goes for the apex which is completely redesigned and hollowed out nesting the center column butterfly lock in order to lower the center of gravity even more. This also results in a lower ground level position when center column is removed as shown further down.
The top mounting plate is also redesigned with much material removed and plenty of 1/4"-20 mounting holes all around the apex and the mounting plate.
Two set screws ensure that both the center column below and any head on top will not slip or twist.
The mounting stud is reversible with 3/8"-16 and 1/4"-20 threads.

Sunwayfoto T2840CE Top Platform

The redesigned counter balance hook from solid Aluminum can be attached directly on the top mounting plate allowing for a 10 cm minimum ground level height.

Sunwayfoto T2840CE Ground Level Assembly



The T2840CK Knight Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T2840CK
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):28/25/22/19
Folded Length:48 cm
Height with Extended Legs:7-130 cm
Platform Diameter:57 mm
Weight:1.2 Kg
Load Capacity:12 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:1/4" and 3/8"  

The T3240CK Knight Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T3240CK
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):32/28/25/22
Folded Length:51 cm
Height with Extended Legs:8-140 cm
Platform Diameter:63 mm
Weight:1.5 Kg
Load Capacity:15 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:1/4" and 3/8"  

The newly introduced Knight Series is comprised by two models the T2840CK and the T3240CK which follow the trend of the omission of the center column for better stability and restriction of vibration generating elements.
Nonetheless, another major quality of this genre of tripods is lightweight and compactness since there is no gap between the legs when closed.  
There was also an intermediate model the T2C40N which was also a victim of the lockdowns and restrictions in commerce. But once again all was for the benefit of the end users, since the new Knight series is far more advanced in all respects.
Sunwayfoto T2840CK Knight Series

We have an apex with a flat mounting surface integrating the leg hinges. The surface is partially covered by anti-twisting silicone pads, while if you wish 3 set screws ensure that your head will not slip in any way.
The mounting stud is also reversible here, with 3/8"-16 and 1/4"-20 threads.

Sunwayfoto T2840CK Top Platform

The design of the apex and the reversible stud has resulted in a workaround for the counter balance hook. It exists at the end of a strong nylon strap which hangs from a cross bar under the apex.
It serves both for carrying the tripod and hanging your camera bag or back pack for extra weight in windy conditions.
Still both tripod models can go down to 7 and 8 centimeters respectively for really low ground level shooting.

Sunwayfoto T2840CK Strap and Hook

The T3240CM Master Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T3240CM
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):32/28/25/22    
Folded Length:52 cm
Height with Extended Legs:8-140 cm
Platform Diameter:72 mm
Weight:1.55 Kg
Load Capacity:25 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:3/8"  

The T3640CM Master Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T3640CM
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):36/32/28/25    
Folded Length:55 cm
Height with Extended Legs:9-150 cm
Platform Diameter:81 mm
Weight:2.01 Kg
Load Capacity:30 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:3/8"  

Finally we come to the Master series which is was long awaited. The master series is comprised by three models right now. The first two the T3240CM and T3640CM have 4 leg sections and rise up to 1.5 m in height, while keeping the weight low for this size of tripods.
They belong to the systematic genre of tripods intended for heavy weight lifting with utmost rigidity and stability.  
Sunwayfoto T3640CM Master Series

All models feature a removable top platform which can be exchanged with a 75 mm video bowl (included) or the upcoming bowl leveling base and/or center column. A large ratcheted lever is responsible for loosening and tightening the apex in order to fix the top platform or bowl in place. A security knob is also there to avoid mishaps.  
The top platform is hollowed out with a 3/8"-16 mounting stud and 3 set screws for the head. 

Sunwayfoto T3640CM Top Platform

A large counter balance hook made of solid aluminum is attached at the bottom of the apex under the top platform.
Obviously the massive hinges are responsible for the weight capacity of these tripods. The vent holes are also obvious at the top of the lag joints, which allow the air to flow in and out of the tubes for easy extension and retraction.

Sunwayfoto T3640CM Aluminum Hook

The T3650CM Master Series

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T3650CM
Number of Leg Sections:4
Tube Diameters (mm):36/32/28/25/22
Folded Length:52 cm
Height with Extended Legs:9-160 cm
Platform Diameter:45 mm
Weight:2.1 Kg
Load Capacity:25 Kg
Leg Angles:23°, 55°, 85° 
Mounting Stud:3/8"  

Last but not least comes the 5 section Master model the T3650CM which although only 52 cm long when closed it can extend up to 160 cm when needed.
Sunwayfoto T3650CM Master Series

Furthermore, besides its tall height, its  top platform can go down to 9 cm for real ground level shooting 

Sunwayfoto T3650CM Ground Level Position

Contents and Accessories

All new tripod models are accompanied by new Carrying cases with ample space for a ball head and pockets for accessories.
Inside the cases you will find leaflet manuals, Titanium Spikes with water insulation rings, and all necessary sizes of Alen hex keys for the tripod screws.

The Master series models are also accompanied by extra 75 mm video bowls.   


I hope you found the information useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos by courtesy of Sunwayfoto ©2021

Price & Availability:
Recommended Retail Prices for each model are as follows:  T2540CT US$ 219.00, T2840CE US$ 299.00, T2840CK US$ 289.00, T3240CK 329.00, T3240CM US$ 529.00, T3640CM US$ 559.00 and T3650CM US$ 579.00.

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