I picked up a Manfrotto 055XPROB set of legs a while back and have decided that I'd like a 3W pan/tilt or geared head. I've never shot sports or action of any type and don't expect I'll be picking that up anytime soon. Most of my shots are close-up, landscape, and some architecture (you can see on my photo site). If I'm using a tripod, then I'm not in a hurry to compose the shot. I've fiddled with a few ballheads and I can see the reason to like them, but they were a PITA to get the last little bit of adjustment right.

The Manfrotto has a rating of a little over 15 lbs. Right now the heaviest rig I might be using is a Nikon D200 with the MB-D200 battery pack, an SB-800 flash, and a 300mm F4--which comes in at about 6.5 lbs. 95% of the time it would be without the flash or battery pack though. I would also like to use a Pentax 645N or similar MF film camera in the future. The rest of the fleet are my Pentax M series 35mm SLR's and a couple of TLR's.


I've looked at the Manfrotto 410 and 808RC4, although I like that the 410 can be converted to use A-S plates and clamp. Both of these are fairly heavy and cut down on the overall weight limits quite a bit. The 410's seems to come along used for very good prices here recently.


Any other suggestions in the $250 or less range?