There are times when long shutter speeds are required to successfully shoot a subject. Hence a tripod or similar support is required. Having done a fair bit of research into the various options available, I eventually settled on the Giottos Silk Road YTL-8354 3D column carbon fibre tripod for £209.
Height 17 to 171cm
Closed length 54cm
Max. load 5000g
My tripod setup:
What I like about it:
1) It is very sturdy and light weight
2) Uses lever locks on the legs to adjust length, which I find easier to use than twist lock legs.
3) Very compact when folded in
4) Has hook at bottom of center column to hang weights/bag on to improve stability
What can be improved?
1) The 3D column while useful, is not as versatile as the Velbon V-4 boom arm (to me anyway)
This setup is great for home use when shooting flowers in the garden where weight is not an issue; I would leave the Velbon V4 boom arm at home and use the 3D column if travelling about.