Tripods really are a "go to the store with your camera and touch them with your hands" kind of purchase..
For low work, a Benbo Trekker and the Uni-loc (or Uni-Lock not sure of the spelling) is an excellent choice..
You want carbon fiber why? Excuse to pay more money? Bad back?.
The advantage of the Benbo is that you can place it very flat, and you can extend the center pole horizontally instead of vertically..
That said, there's a new Manfrotto that has a horizontal center pole, too..
The head matters. AGain, a matter of taste between ball heads, three-way heads (where you adjust in three seperate steps), and the pistol grip "squeeze" hads that are ball-like but easier to control. And they come in vertical and horizontal versions..
So, ya gotta go to the store with your camera..
Check out the Manfrotto 055 Pro series tripods and a 488RC2 ball head ( I do not know the Bogen numbers but Google search will locate these models..
The tripod is not CF but it is a good baseline from which to judge others. You will need it's height if you are 6ft1". But the 190 series would be lighter at the expense of height..
I agree that you need to go to a store but it needs to be a good one. Most only have one or two tripods on display. So a large city is your best bet. There should be one store with a decent display..
*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.
Chris Elliott wrote:.
Check out the Manfrotto 055 Pro series tripods and a 488RC2 ball head(...)The tripod is not CF.
There are carbon fiber models in the 055 range, I have a 055MF4 http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2279 with the 488RC2 head...
The prices ran fairly predictably upwards as you reduce weight or increase rated capacity. Several makers have several series of tripods that differ mostly in tube construction: aluminum/alloy, lava/basalt then carbon fiber. Leg sizes and capacities are similarly packaged, they may have a line suitable for shorter shooters and a line that will work well for the taller shooters. A 3 section will typically cost and weigh a bit less than the comparable 4 section, the 4 section is shorter folded..
Aluminums will likely cost between $100-$200 for most good gp tripods. CF depending on brand/reputation, $200-$500 or more..
The best heads start at under $300, good quality heads can be acquired for $100 or so if you don't "need" Arca plates or full tension control..
Trying to "spot" you in that maze takes a lot of insight from the user about needs and budgets...
Check out a few web sites for pros, I went to Manfrotto and they have a tutorial on all things tripod. What to buuy and size mattersHEADS: very interestingTomYorba Linda, California..