After searching around for a while I've finally found a tripod that should meet my current and any future needs.
It's a Benro carbon fibre model and with the centre column down it is 1680 cm's high. I use a straight model scope so most of the popular tripod models (within my budget), simply don't go high enough without raising the centre column which then starts to compromise stability. My previous model had a tendency to blow over in strong winds due to having the centre column too high.
I'm now in the position of actually having to retract the legs a bit as fully extended it's too high for me. It's been said you can't have too much stability (Kimmo), so although I could have got away with a smaller model if I could have found one, I'm hoping the extra weight of this one will be worth it.
Now I wonder if anyone can recommend what paint/marker pen might help me mark the legs for the right height for me, so I can quickly extend them.
Unlike some tripods there are no markings on the legs.
Also should I get some spikes for it? Am I right in thinking this will further aid stability? I bought it used and it didn't come with any though originally they would have been supplied.
If anyone is interested it's model number is C4570F details here: http://www.microglobe.co.uk/product_...ducts_id=10323
though the picture is not correct.