It’s a good moment in time to be looking at tripods , Some really new 'pods by new companies* out there, as well as the older mfgs with new offerings.
The best way to determine what you need is to start off with the load you want (camera, ball-head, lens weight) to use on it, your height, how low to the ground you shoot, and if you are going to transport for air travel.
I started off with a small Gitzo, then moved up to a larger Gitzo, then went to RRS large, then purchased a few ground pods. Tripods are like camera bags. Here is my current list:
- Really Right Stuff TVL-34L Series 3 (Primary)
- Swiss Arca Cube C1 (2)
3 Legged Thing Winston (12/17)
- Gitzo 3541 XLS (now Gitzo 3543 XLS)
- Gitzo 2531
- BallHead: Really Right Stuff (BH-55 LR)
- TriPod Bag – Kenesis T-620
- Panning Plate: Visual Echoes PP1
- Ground Pod: Really Right Stuff TP-243
- Induro Dr HI-HAT LFB755 Tripod
- Oben BD-O Mini Ball Head
- Really Right Stuff Gimbal (PG-02)
Really Right Stuff Gimbal (PG-01) (Jan 2019)
edelkrone StandONE (Jan 2019)
The best advice I ever had about buying a tripod was to research, research and research and don’t buy a cheap tripod. Budget $1k. They will last for years.
My main tripod is the RRS TVL-34L, They have a newer model now.
The Gitzo 3451 XLS also has a new model.
Both of these models will let you put in a video bowl for quick leveling on an uneven surface. This is a huge consideration for a tripod purchase.
There is a *new mfg that is getting a lot of buzz. You should check them out. Good prices/Tech is CF
# Robus RC -5570 Vantage Series 3 Mini Review
As far as sea and salt, My sticks have seen a ton of abuse. I like the RRS pods for the surf because they clean up faster than Gitzo sticks with skinny legs.
But you need to maintain them. (Back out the last leg section and apply to threads.)
My big tip ($6)here that I got from Hudson Henry is to use.