I asked about tripods before, and I got some pretty good answers. I was going to go with a surveyor's tripod, but the Berlebach units seem to stack up pretty well and are well regarded.
They're also wood, and thus, pretty classy looking as well.
At this point, I've got it narrowed down to the 8023, 2042, or 3032. There's a few differences between them: 8023 is a 3 section, weighs 6.2#, supports 22#, collapse to 27", no head 2042 is a 2 section, weighs 7.1#, supports 26#, collapse to 32", with level head, 65" with center column 3032 is a 2 section, weighs 7.1#, supports 26#, collapse to 35", with level head, 56" and no center column.
So, using the above guidelines, my question is: How useful is the integral ballhead? I've read its got about 30 degrees of tilt, which sounds like its more than enough for setting up in the field and using movements to do everything else. A tripod without the head saves me some weight (but not length, those units are 2 section and thus longer). Is the head nice and secure? I noticed in a store with some other tripods that the biggest issue in regards to shakiness seems to be the tripod head itself and how it moves the center of gravity, not actually the mass of the legs. Is the integral head solid and sturdy, or am I better off just skipping the integral heads and buying an expensive 3-way and sucking up the weight (although, with that, I get the 8023 and at least shave 5" off collapsed size).
Anyone with these models, can you tell me how far up they sit without using the center column? The comparision chart I've found (http://www.photobooksonline.com/gear/chart.html) and Berlebach's website (http://www.berlebach.de/e_index.php) don't have this information available on them, B&H does say the column adds 20" onto the 8023, anyone know about the 2042's column?