I will be adding a section about tripods and my experience with them over the years.
Starting with why you need one and which one would be best for you.
Also how you can modify them to suit you and your photography.
Yes, you can modify most good tripods and change them to suit your own style of photography.
Starting out in photography a very long time ago I purchased one of the cheap aluminium tripods for €40.- if I remember right. It was all I wanted to spend at the time.
Now don't get me wrong it was great at the time as it gave me a break from having two full hands holding a camera and helped me to relax and concentrate on the actual image instead. The space you get from having a tripod is amaving it gives you that air to breath and approach the photograph as you see it rather than through a viewvinder with something strapped around your neck.
So for me tripods are about two things, stability most importantly and for beginners freedom.
Getting that strap off your neck and giving you some distance between you and your camera with two free hands is vital. The relief it gives is just great, suddenly the pressure is off.
So next on the purchase list was a Hahnel Tripod the Triad 40 Lite tripod. This was great for me for about 12 months but then it started to seriously rust and its stability wasn't great.
The next step was the Manfrotto 055 pro3 tripod. I have a good few of these and have had some very mixed experiences with them. When you get exactly the same fault happening twice in under 12 months it's a bit ridiculous. I have had numerous issues with them over the years but I must say Manfrotto sorted them out each time, it was is and always will be annoying when a tripod fails though and god they failed a good few times.
So that brings me to where I am now leaving Manfrotto behind for something else...
Details coming soon.