Always appreciate your comments and experience.
Here's my ideal (at least what I think I want - that changes with time and experience):
-- a Gitzo Mountaineer Carbon Series 3 GT3531 w/ a Arcatech GP ballhead. That combo retails for around $1500. it would give me the flexibility I would like, but right now it's just a fantasy.
The other aspect of it is I'm working on putting my overall kit together. I'm trying to push the envelope tech wise, having to make compromoses, like everyone, and it's expensive. I may have an opportunity in the next couple of weeks to acquire a few items. You may notice I've been asking questions about other items as well.
Back to the tripod -
Right now I have to accept a heavier unit, but quick set up and being able to get a consistent configuration (height, leg angles, etc.) is important. As I mentioned to Art, above, I've got an old heavy clunker and it gives me a lot grief when I'm in he field.
The Manfrotto and Induro models seemed to be a good value for the money - heavy, but straight forward and more precision than what I'm dealing with now. A number of other tripods I've looked seemed to offer gimmicks rather than real quality.
The ballhead - I'm not really sure, I think one of the reasons I was leaning toward the legs I mentioned is they don't come standard with a ballhead. As you noted, being able to adapt standard attachments, plates, etc. is important.
It will depend. Induro is getting a bit pricy especially with their carbon since they got a few pro's to back them, like Vincent Versace for one. I'm not sure that means anything, they are made in China like most of the tripods, don't read cheaply made.
So, do you want a heavy sturdy tripod, or a sturdy lightweight tripod? Now, this is where you will need to be careful when lightweight and "cheap" comes into play. You will still need to get a good head for the tripod. Do you need it to go flat, or how low?
A good set of legs will be as high as you without using the center column. That would include; the legs, the head and your camera being really close to your eye level without stooping over. I don't think you can go wrong with Induro or Manfrotto. Here is a bit of caution, if you get Manfrotto heads, you will be in their system of mounting plates, they are not arca swiss compatible.
Edited by teagueAMX, 25 August 2014 - 02:09 PM.
-- Nikon camera body: D810
-- Nikon lenses: 28mm 1.8G, 50mm 1.8D, 60mm 2.8D Micro, 85mm 1.8G, 18-200mm f/3.5-5G DX
-- Other gear: Acratech GP ballhead w/ Leveling Base, Induro CF214 Tripod, SunwayFoto L-bracket, SB-700 flash, pano mount