Gitzo GT3542XLS Series 3 6X Systematic + GH3780QD ball head
If it’s sturdiness you want, this topquality Gitzo is by far the best option
For the ultimate in high-grade buildquality and rock-solid sturdiness, the Gitzo is an outright winner. It’s a joy to }use and, despite lacking a centre column, achieves a spectacular maximum operating height. The only real problem is that its asking price of £1115/$1530 is far more than most of us would be prepared to pay for a tripod, no matter how sturdy it is.
Taking purchase price into consideration, our recommendation for ‘best buy’ in the group is the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 carbon fibre tripod and 498RC2 ball head. It’s nearly as rigid as the Gitzo, less than half the cost, and features a neat 90-degree pivoting centre column. The Sirui N-3204X carbon fibre tripod and K-30X ball head is another particularly enticing proposition, complete with a detachable leg for use as a monopod. If you’re on a tight budget, the Benro A2970F aluminium tripod and BH2-M ball head are unbeatable value, and the Benro C2970F is also great value for a carbon fibre tripod.