I'm lucky enough to have a birthday coming up and have about $200 I can spend ($220 at a stretch). I really need to get a half decent tripod as my $30 special just does not cut it with a DSLR.
I primarily am doing landscapes (including night landscapes) and panoramas and want to get into macro photography in due course. I guess this rules out a ball head. My gear isn't overly heavy - but I would like to leave a little bit of room to breathe so that the tripod is still usable with a heavier (than my 70-300) lens and potentially a speedlight on the camera. Weight isn't a particular issue but I would like one that folds up to be fairly compact so that I can strap it into the tripod carrier on my Lowepro Flipside 300 to make life easier when walking to a location.
There's lots of requirements there and a very limited budget doesn't really help the cause. I have managed to identify the following as potential options:
- Velbon Sherpa 600r
- Velbon Ultra Luxi L (PHD-41Q Panhead)
- Slik pro 500DX
- Slick pro 700DX
- Manfrotto 190XDB (804RC2 Head) - almost certainly outside my pricerange buthave it on special for $249.95
I'm interested to hear opinions from anybody who has one of (or has had one of) the above models.