Worst thing ever invented with respect to view camera is a ball head, esp outdoors. Given the
laws of physics and vibration, it's the weakest link to the support system. I don't use any head, just
plop the view camera right atop a nice large tripod platform, just like surveyers did for decades.
But back to the original question: I have a couple of Ries wooden tripods - the bigger one for 8x10,
and the smaller one for 4X5 and MF, as well as a couple of carbon fiber tripods for similar applications. I use wood whenever possible; but that Gitzo Mountaineer is certainly nice on long backpack trips in the mtns - I have the original. Some of the more recent ones are a little to lightwt
for even 4x5 use - had a friend break a couple of legs on one this summer - and he ended up duct
taping tree branches on to replace the missing sections! The Ries tripods are so solid I sometimes
whack poison oak or blackberry vines off the path with it. Abuse I know. I finally did get a twist
fracture in one of the legs after about twenty years of such abuse, and tried to pay for a new leg,
but Ries insisted on outright giving me a new leg even though I told them what had happened. Now
that's a seriously good warranty!