Its the good old contention of many photographers - to tripod or not to tripod. So far, in my attempt to justify a tripod, I have stated a few scenario that you must have a tripod
- Infrared photography
- Videography with Nikon D90
- Closed-up macro photography
- Sports/Wildlife photography with a cheap telephoto lens (e.g. Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G)
- Night scenes with low ambient light
- HDR photography
- Special effect photography (e.g. slow shutter speed deliberate long exposure shots)
The majority of photographers including myself, are familiar with the tripods made by Manfrotto and there is one particular entry-level tripod I would strongly recommend to hold anything up to 6kg - 190XB Tripod. The ball head I bought to go with that is the Manfrotto 486RC2 compact ball head. Its 1.8kg weight can be considered "portable" while its ability to be set to few inches off the ground is commendable. Other advantages include invert mount and shoot, gearless center shaft (quick release), quick-release legs and superb 3-year warranty (online registration required).
This combi will set you back about $200. But trust me, its goes neatly with our Nikon D90.