I have a $300 Benro with a small ball head. I can't see spending more than that. It supports my Horseman 4x5 and SG perfectly.
I also have some huge Bogen 3033 tripod with a 3-way head and it must weigh 20 pounds. Overkill for 4x5 for sure. It's been in my garage for almost a year.
I have a Bogen 3036 with a Gitzo No. 3 head for my 8x10 work, a B&H steel tripod for my 5x7 and 4x5 work and an old StarD for anything smaller.
All cheap but used.
tim in san jose
In 1986 I bought a Universal from Sydney. One of the Miller brothers made the Universal, the other kept the family name with the business. My tripod head leaked a bit. In 2008 I sold it to a friend. He needed something professional, I was in need of cash.
I have an old manfrotto tripod that is so worn, that I no langer can make out its name... but it has a Manfrotto #160 head.
I have a Majestic 3000 with a 1400 head. It is a beast, but it sure supports an 8 x 10 real nice. :)
Vanguard Tracker IV
I have 4 Gitzo tripods models from series 1 up to series 5, couldn't be happier, i know they are very expensive, but honestly speaking, i need another head rather than a ballhead to use for large format, i like that of my Manfrotto tripod head, 804RC2, i can adjust each axes independent or individually, so i will search about a head that have that geared for axes in all direction or say 3 main direction [left/right, up/down, rotation].
I have a Majestic 2500 Tripod with a 1200 head. It weighs a short ton, but supports everything I have. :)