This posting is not about comparing tripods. This site has covered that very well in other postings. This posting is about maintaining a tripod over the years. My Zone VI "Lightweight" has served me well as a portable rock for twenty two years, and continues to do so. When I first bought the tripod (new) in 1981 the legs were rough. A local furniture refinisher soon remedied the situation with steel wool and Johnson's Paste Wax. I apply fresh wax every few (or not so few) years and the legs have been fine. Also, make sure all the locking knobs have washers. Being wooden, the legs will swell somewhat in himid weather. The only time this has proved to be a problem is when I forgot to loosen the knobs one time before storing the tripod for a while. Undoing your forgetfulness once will remind you for a long time. Reid Tool in Michigan carries an extensive line of replacement knobs at reasonable prices. Reid also carries replacement bubble levels. The nice looking cases provide very little protection from baggage handling when flying. Pack T shirts, etc around the tripod for added protection. My leather strap finally broke after almost twenty years of service. (No complaints.) I opted to replace it with a dog collar made by Coastal Pet Products. I happen to live in Alliance, Ohio, where Coastal is located. I found the collar in the local grocery store. Any pet supply store whould carry a good selection. Unscrew old collar; screw in new collar. The new collar is poly something. It's waterproof and I like the snap connection. My Zone VI tripod has outlasted several cars and actually performs better than when it was new. It still is no lightweight. The original Bogen 3047 head works well with the Zone VI/Wista camera. I added a Ries J200 head which is more stable with the Wisner TF and Kodak 8x10. Leveling the legs is not a problem, and I like the low center of gravity of the Ries head.