Mon 22-Oct-12 11:48 PM | edited Tue 23-Oct-12 04:17 AM by J_Harris
I believe there are two critical issues that need resolved before any realistic progress can be made.
1. What lens and DSLR combinations will you use on the tripod now and in the foreseeable future? This includes knowing what type of photography you will use the tripod for, i.e. birds in flight, small animals from a great distance, studio, etc.
2. What is the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend? This includes how the money will be spent, i.e. all tripod costs (including ball head, etc.) are incurred up-front, or will there be future upgrades spread out over time?
Currently the choices you're considering are all over the place in both performance and cost, e.g. Markins "Magica", Gitzo 3542LS + Q-20, Manfrotto 055 XPRO3, Gitzo series 2 or 3. After answering the two questions above it will be much easier to make your tripod selection and know the final costs.