Sheldon Nalos , Aug 11, 2006; 02:46 p.m.
Regarding the Feisol vs Gitzo issue - the Gitzo 1257 will be clearly better than the Feisol. If you can afford the Gitzo, spend the money once and be done with it. I couldn't/wouldn't spend double for the Gitzo, so I bought the Feisol and have been more than pleased with it. Haven't used the Markins M10, but have heard nothing but good things about it (I use the Kirk BH-3). I would imagine that it could hold the EOS 3 and 200mm lens w/o much difficulty. However, adding a tripod collar will probably make more difference in holding/balancing the load than upgrading the ballhead will.
Regarding the Markins baseplate, that is a replacement for the Gitzo tripods to eliminate the center column. If you buy the Feisol, it comes with a flat plate that allows you to remove the center column and just have a mounting plate for the head. No need for the Markins system on the Feisol. Plus, if you don't buy the center column for the Feisol, you save money. I chose that approach, since I never used the center column on my tripod.
Feisol CT-3301N and Kirk BH-3