I asked the original question to compile a list for beginners on a budget.
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
My first tripod was a Velbon in 1978, and I sold it last year only. These old aluminium Velbons are eternal and good enough to be used as a weapon. But they are only tall enough if you extend the middle column, and then they are not stable at all, and for that size they are very heavy.
My second tripod was a Berlebach, very stable, quite cheap, taller than the Velbon, approximately the same weight.
I made a choice a year ago and purchased a Gitzo 3541XLS, very stable, up to 2 meters tall (very useful for architecture and landscape photography), and it only weighs 2kg. The only downside is the hefty price. It's only okay because this is probably my last tripod.
What would you recommend to young photographers that look for a very portable, lightweight solution?