I've been using a Manfrotto compact action aluminium 5-Section tripod with a hybrid head and although it's affordable and reliable, it's also heavy, hard to fit into small spaces; and isn't great at leveling the camera. I'm looking for a change and would like to know what other real estate photographers are using these days?
I played the cheap tripod game for years. Like many photographers, I've been guilty in the past of spending money on the fun stuff like bodies and lenses. I was going through tripods like it was my job, so I finally got off my wallet and splurged on a Manfrotto MT055CXPRO4 055 carbon fiber tripod with a Manfrotto 410 geared head. This rig has worked great for the past three years and I'm sure it will last at least another three to five. Switching to carbon fiber was great but the real game changer was adding a geared head. Using the Manfrotto 410 has saved me a ton of time on site and in post. I would give up almost any other piece of equipment before my geared head.
I'm sure the community can make some great recommendations for you.