Tripods! Is carbon fiber really worth the extra $?
Currently, I use a Bogen-Manfrotto tripod (I think it's model 3021B). It's fine--tall, and relatively sturdy--but it's HEAVY. Hauling it around when I already have a camera body or two in hand is a hassle. I'm not super happy with the ball head, either (also Bogen-Manfrotto). It works, but it's not all that easy to adjust, especially with a heavy camera/lens combo.
I've been checking out the Gitzo Mountaineer tripods, and even tinkered with them at B&H one day. They are amazingly light, and supposedly extremely sturdy. On the other hand, they're a good chunk of change: over $1,000 for tripod and ballhead.
So, my second equipment question is: Is a really good tripod worth it? Has anyone here moved from a good, but not great, setup to a Gitzo? If so, did you find yourself using it more? And was there any discernible impact on the quality of your images?