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My folks asked last night if I need any new equipment for my new camera (Nikon D80). Other than the immediate thought of a macro lens, I need a good tripod. They asked for make and model and they'll order.

What do you recommend? It's primary uses will be for aquarium shots and wildflower shots in the field, so durability, stability, and weight are prime considerations.

Thanks.
Jim
 

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Depends on your budget. The Gitzo explorer series is the best macro tripod I have used. I currently have a Feisol carbon fiber tripod that is super solid. It was about $230. Also budget for a good ballhead - the head is often the weak link that undoes a tripod.
 

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I agree with Anupam. The decision is purely based on your budget and how often you plan on carrying it along as weight will also become an issue at that point. Aluminum tripods, though less expensive, tend to be a little heavier than the Carbon Fiber tripods, which are lighter and tend to be light.

Also, like he said, get a good ballhead. The right one will save you a lot of headache later. Check out the following link which may give you some additional details. Some good ballheads can be found at The Really Right Stuff or at Arcatech.

Some of the other things that you may be of interest to you are:
1. Gorillapod
2. Camera Bean Bag

Hope this helps.

Good Luck.
 
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