While I love my Gitzo/Markins set-up for my D300 and Nikkor glass, I have also been shooting with some Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3rd's bodies/lenses this past year because of health conditions. I have enjoyed having access to both systems, and am enjoying the smaller format more than I thought. I purchased a Markins plate to use with the smaller bodies when I want to use my Gitzo, but I also realized that it might be nice to have some type of tabletop or compact tripod to use when the conditions arise.
There are times when I want to photograph items and think that a little tabletop set of legs, like those made by Leica, Kirk, RRS or Manfrotto, would be a nice to have. But, none seem to offer much in the way of a little bit of height, and I have started to wonder weather I might be better served by some of the really compact tripods offered by Sirui, Slik, Giottos and Gitzo. With the latter, I would not extend the legs, so I am not really interested in how they perform fully extended.
My compact cameras/lenses do not weigh nearly what my D300 does, but I am still expecting that either a tabletop or a compact tripod I purchase should perform in a reasonable manner when I am shooting macros or longer exposures. I would also like this setup to be reasonably compact.
I am sure that a Gitzo GT-531 or a Leica tabletop with either a Markins Q3 or a RRS BH-25 probably set the standards for these two types of setups, but I would be interested in hearing what others have used successfully with lighter gear.
One model that has caught my attention is the newly redesigned Sirui T-005X. This new model allows the removal of that dreadful fixed column that plagued the older model. I realize that Sirui is not Gitzo, but if used with its legs (22mm) retracted, I am wondering if this is a step up from the tabletop class? Or, is a compact unit like this more versatile than a tabletop at the expense of stability?