Originally Posted by STEPHEN
Caz, with the camera and lens setup you mention, a cheap lightweight setup such as the ones you link to maybe just throwing your money away IMO
Consider the Manfrotto 190B with a suitable ball head. Will last you for many years and its not too heavy.
Originally Posted by Patrick
I know its not what you are looking for but there are circumstances when a Bead Bag can do the job for you.
True you need somewhere to give support and rest the bag, but some photography like wildlife it can be very stable but more flexible in use.
I intend experimenting with one on a tripod without the pan & tilt Head which reduces the carrying weight considerably. Jacobs do a lightweight bean bag made from Wax Cloth, over priced but very good quality.
Thank you both for your suggestions. I hadn't considered the bean/bead bag option! Since I take a lot of images of flowers, not sure whether that would be the option.
The reason I'd gone for the kit option is that it included a quick release plate. True, the 190 doesn't appear to weigh a great deal more, but it's the fact that you then have to buy a head to go with it (which increases the weight) - and that's when I really