I've been looking around a lot for the right tripod/head combination for my needs and have a few questions and would like your input.
First, my requirements:
- travel size when folded ideally <17" - really would like for it to fit in a normal backpack/carry-on for traveling
- tripod leg/head weight <4lbs
- load capacity of ~13lbs
- budget of ~$200-250
At the moment I have a gripped 400D, nifty-fifty, and the Tamron 17-50. The load capacity of 13lbs should be more than enough. I do plan on buying a 580EX, 70-200 in the future so I'm hoping 13lbs should cover that.
First choice: Benro A-269M8 Travel Angel Aluminum Tripod with BH-1 Ballhead
I am 5'5" so the 53.4" max height w/o column is fine and everything is else pretty much what I want. My big concern is with the head. I've heard mixed reviews, some say it's ok while others recommend upgrading it.
Second choice: Benro A-158M8 legs with the Manfrotto 496RC2
Everything is very similar, just that this leg only folds to 19.1", which means it doesn't fit in my bag which is a big downer. Also, I couldn't find the legs used in the Benro Travel Angel above at B&H, Adorama, or Amazon. Is it under another Benro product name? or do they just not sell those legs? What are the differences between the Manfrotto 496RC2 and the 498RC2, only difference I see is that the 498 has the marks on the bottom to help with panning I'm assuming.
I've looked at the famous 190XPROB/055XProB & 488RC2, but they were too heavy and big for travel. The Slik Pro line was on the heavy side and the Feisol although light was a little over my budget. In the end I might go with the Benro Travel Angel and just replace the head down the line, but I would like to hear everyone's opinion. I apologize for all the questions and being so nitpicky, but this is my first tripod and I really want to get it right haha.