I have a bogen 3021 & 2-3055 ball head's. (old one & a new one) But it gets a little heavy mounted to my backpack (tenba medium) seeing as how i have it totally fullw ith gear and sometimes hike for miles in the woods! I want something light, able to get close to the ground for macro shots and something stable for long exposures of waterfalls & night shots. It also needs to be strong enough to hold my n80 with MB-16 and sigma 50-500. any thoughts? thanks!
I have recently seen some articles/ads surrounding the new Manfrotto 3444D Carbon One. It is a carbon fiber material, like the name suggests, weighs 3lbs., max. height is 67", minimum is 8.7" with its "low-angle adapter." It holds up to 11 lbs. I have not used but I would like one for situations similar to yours; long hikes, close to ground and stable. It is in this month's edition of outdoor photographer.
I have got the Gitzo 1127. It is a three-section tripod made of carbon fibre, with adjustable leg angle and reversible column. Although it weights only 2.6 lb,it is very sturdy and rigid. It holds up to 11 lbs. I use it with my F100 /MB15 with 80 -200 F2.8 without any sign of problem.
I use it with Gitzo's G1177M, a light weight ball head, only 0.68 lb. This head is rating at 4 kg (8.8 lb) but I think it is just fit for my set up but nothing more.
Regarding the cost for the gitzo, it depends on where you place the order. I got it in Hong Kong at around US$200 but I think it may be more expensive in US. I have seen message from others nikonians that it is possible to get a better deal from Robert white in UK.
Fred, my lightweight tripod is a Gitzo G1228 (with a short center column) and the head is a Gitzo G1275M ballhead (M stands for Magnesium and is 20% lighter). I think this is about as light as you can get, while still being very stable.