Wilt wrote in post #18469016As for max height, it must be remembered that the best photgraphic position may well be NOT at your usual eye level!
This is a very important point. . In fact, I would say that if one is routinely shooting from a standing up straight position, then he/she is doing something wrong, and missing out on better compositional choices.
Even when standing up to shoot, a much taller tripod is often necessary when shooting on steep hillsides. . There are times when the terrain has been so steep and uneven that I could have used a 9' tall tripod just to get the camera at a height of 5 and a half feet. . Rocky terrain is especially demanding of tripod height, as the rocky surfaces are so uneven, especially on talus slopes.
I spent $900 on my Gitzo tripod when I bought it back in 2009, and at the time of purchase I thought it was plenty good enough. . However, for years now I have realized that its size and sturdiness leave much to be desired. . Every time I shoot with someone who has a taller, heavier Gitzo, I think, "Darn, that's what I should have bought."
So my advice, based on all of my own experiences, would be to buy the tallest, sturdiest Gitzo that you can possibly find, regardless of price. . When I get a small windfall of unexpected cash, I'm going to get the one that is 9 feet tall, because yes, I really do need all of that height for the way I shoot.
This is what I wish I would have bought:
"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".