Hello, I'm currently in the process of buying some new equipment and would like to hear some advice. 1. I'm going to buy a tripod. Now my eye-height is about 175cm, the camera viewfinder reduces this by 7cm and the head by about 10cm which leaves roughly 158cm of tripod height. Now there are quite some tripods which can deliver this with the middle column extended. But I've read in several places that extending the middle column is actually a bad idea for stability. Is this true generally or only if there is wind or similar? I've not seen a tripod yet which gives such a height without extended center column. Another criteria would be weight. I regulary take longer walks to nature and of course the weight of the tripod shouldn't become a reason to leave it at home. So I think I need some carbon fibre tripod. I've checked out the Velbon Sherpa Pro CF-630 which is in my price-range (about 200€ without head) and is also light enough. It would deliver the needed 158cm of height with the center column almost fully extended. Has anyone experience with this tripod and would tell me if it's good or not? Or can anyone recommend another tripod in a similar price-range which might be better suited to my needs (in short: decent stability, light weigth, should be able to get up to 158cm and costs about 200€? Also what head is recommended? My heaviest combination so far is a Nikon D50 with a 70-300 G lens. 2. I'm also going to buy a polarizer. Now there's glass for 30€ and glass for >100€. So the question basically is: Are the more expensive ones worth their money and what exactly comes out better? Maybe there's even a comparison somewhere? Another thing I consider is getting a big filter (77mm) and then use step-down rings to adjust it to the filter-thread size of my lenses (52 and 72mm, 77mm because I may get the 80-400VR some time in the future). The only problem I see with this is that I rob myself of the possibility to use a lens screen (I hope that's the corrent word). Anything I'm missing with that or is there an even better way? Thank's for your time reading this.