Two years ago when I started this hobby I bought a cheaper tripod with ballhead combo. It shakes and the ballhead creeps with any lens. Now I want to buy the last tripod I will buy. I plan to use it for landscapes, day-hiking, wildlife/birds, long exposures, occasional video (maybe). Currently my longest lens is a 100-400mm. Eventually, I hope to use it for a Canon 300mm 2.8 or 500mm F4. I am 6'0". I'm hoping that I can get some advice and I just want to make sure I'm not overlooking something obvious. Or making a big mistake. I wouldn't say that the budget is unlimited, but I plan to just keep saving until I get the right one.
I originally was looking at the Induro CT214 with B-2 Ballhead. I don't mind buying an "off" brand, if it does what I need it to. But I'm not sure it is tall enough and I really want a tripod that I can lower almost to the ground. With the center column I would need to turn the column upside down or buy the shorter center column making the overall height even shorter.
Now I'm thinking that I'll get a Gitzo GT3541LS or Gitzo GT3541XLS. With this setup, I should be set for life (right?). I think I'll go with the XLS for working on hills and over heads.
For a ballhead, I'm looking at the BH-55, Arca-Swiss Z1, and Markins M-10 or M-20. I'd like to keep the setup light enough for day hikes yet sturdy enough for that possible 500mm. At the moment I'm thinking the Markins M-20 will be the best combination of weight and support.
I plan to buy RRS L-Plates and a plate for the 100-400mm.
If you read this far, thanks!