I use and highlyreccomend the Berlebach wooden tripod. Excellent construction, sturdy and while not as light as a carbon tripod, certainly to be considered lightweight. And best of all, 1/2-1/3 the price of a a Ries tripod. I use a Berlebach with my 8X10 Wista and have never had a stability problem. And a nice feature of the Berlebach is you can choose a center colume that is on a type of ball joint, allowing for corrections of around 20 in all directions, without the need for a tripod head. Now I do indeed put a Ries 250 head on my tripod, but if shooting 6X6 with my Rolleiflex, the Ries head is not only overkill, it makes the kit heavy and kind of looks dumb as well. As far as spikes are concerned, the berlebach that I own has retractable spikes which is quite convenient.

In case you want to take a look:


BTW, as I recall, my tripod legs ran about $150.00.

I just looked at the tripods from Fine Art Photo Supply, and they are, with exception of 3/8 modifications identical to surveyors tripods I was looking into buying just a few months ago. To be fair, I did not see one similiar to the wooden one being offered by faps, but the Aluminium and the yellow metal are exactly the same, with of course a difference in price. The ones I looked at were all around $120 - $175, but again, without modification from 5/8 to 3/8. The silver/orange model had me interested, but I resisted the tempation. It was lighter than I expected, sturdy, but the clamping style leg holders could not withstand a good leaning of my bodyweight without slipping, and what bothered me most of all was how tall they were even when closed down to their smallest size. A good 10-15" longer than a Berlebach (or more). That would make for very awkward walking through a wooded area.