Height of your tripod is critical and your selection will depend on what you'll be using it for most of the time. If you'll mostly be using it to take family portraits inside the house, a compact, tabletop unit should suffice. A small tripod will also work for your spotting scope if you're using it on a shooting bench at the gun range. For normal outdoor uses, though, a tall tripod is most versatile, since you can use most tall models as short as a couple of feet or as tall as five or six feet. Note that as some tripods extend higher, they become much flimsier (see the "Stability" section below).