I just received my first tripod, and ball head. Thought that the following information and photos might help some of you who might be thinking about buying a tripod. Although this is not strictly about lighting but I do not know under which other topic I could post this, so here it goes.
Disclaimer: I am not advertising either the tripod or the ball head, just putting up some information about my new gear.
The model: Giottos MT 9370 (Tripod).
First impression: Pretty heavy as it is an aluminum tripod (the CF ones are quite expensive for my budget). It has four part legs with twist locks. The locks work pretty well in locking the legs but are slightly rough on the hand. If I extend the legs to their full length, then even with the central column kept at the lowest (normal) position, the tripod extends well above my height (I am approximately 5'11''). The leg diameter/radius looks robust and dependable. The multiposition neck (I am not sure what else should I call it) can hold the central column in almost any conceivable position. The central column can be locked in the revers position as well (with the multiposition neck both in its normal position and open position which creates an off-center central column possibility). As usual each of the legs can be locked in three different positions (low, medium and high).
The ball head: Smith Victor BH5
Seems sturdy and nice. In future I want to get an EF 100-400mm lens and I think this ball head shall be able to support that. right now though, with my canon 40D and 50mm 1.8II, 85mm 1.8 and 22-55mm lens this head seems a bit larger than necessary.
Within the budget that I had this was the best that I could afford and I am satisfied.
I am posting some photos below. If you have any question about these particular models then I shall be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities.