Here are a few possibilities you might look at, in no particular order. Other choices could be as good or better. All can be found at B&H if you want info on them.
The Berlebach 50031 Tabletop Tripod legs - without a head goes from 2.6 to 13.8 inches. I'd use one of the Bogen 3D heads (mentioned below) on it. I don't own this model, but it looks very useful and flexible.
The Bogen 3021 Pro, but use the 3025 or 3437 (quick release) 3D head for the ability to get the camera down lower and to the side of the post, or for flipping the camera upright when mounted on the bottom of the center post. In my experience it's much better and more flexible than the 3047 head for low work and awkward angles. The 3021 Pro center post is removable, reversible, mountable at a 90 degree angle across the top of the legs, and can be shortened. The legs can go flat. This is the most versatile and and utilitarian tripod and head combination I've used, and will get you as close to the ground as anything else I know of besides a thin beanbag on the ground.
The Ergorest has several positions for mounting heads and is very sturdy. It's a unique setup, and can serve several purposes, but certainly won't replace a full size tripod. With a Bogen 3D head it can be pretty flexible down low, but the crossbar between two of the "legs" might be a liability on uneven ground, and the leg spread may not be wide enough for a 3D head too far off to the side. I'll know more in a few weeks when I get some practical experience with the one I recently acquired.
A Bogen 3D head on a Bogen Superclamp or a Superclamp/Magic Arm combo gripping the low end of a tripod leg is also a good option.
I added a photo of the Bogen 3437 3D head in use, on the bottom of a reversed center post near ground level. Any of the Bogen 3D heads can do this position.
Last edited by Lee L; 05-13-2008 at 12:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.