I was in a similar situation like you a few months ago. I needed a tripod that was light (I use it for mountaineering), stable, and it should be able to hold my 70-200 mm IS lens. I finally bought the Gitzo 2530 with a RRS ballhead. check out the website of Really Right Stuff, they have good background info on tripods and ballheads - worthwhile even if you do not buy anything from them..
I think that Gitzo are a bit too far out of my price range...
When I started looking for a tripod Gitzo wasn't at the top of my list either, but after reading the following article it seemed to make sense to go with the best I could get and only have to do it once. So I saved a couple of months longer and bought 2541L Gitzo legs with an Acra Tech V2 Ball Head, the results....a rock solid rig that should last me a lifetime..
Good Luck!Jan M..
This is not a tiny little digicam. If tall enough for you (not needing to raise the center column - I'm 6'2" and they are too short for me) and you like them the Bogen/Manfrotto 190 series would not be a bad choice. The 725B is lighter but not as "flexible" (in the good ways) in use., like legs don't permit a broad spread for low shooting, etc..
The 190 series are good tripods, just not real light...
Thanks for that. Sorry Jan but the Gitzo range really doesn't suit my budget. The 'Frotto 190XDB with head is about my limit. I think that's what I'm going to get...
Good choice, manfrotto is the best bang for your buck. I use an older 190 silverand it has been through the ringer in terms of harsh weather conditionsand still works great..
Take care Dwayne Oakes..