$89 off Craigslist.
Bogen 3050 tripod with 3047 head.
Holy shit, first time using a professional level tripod and it is difficult to describe so how much easier to use, more stable, etc. than other ones I've used. It also weighs a ton, maybe a ton and a quarter. o_O
Technically, it only weighs 17.75# with a payload capacity of 16.5#. Modern equivalent probably is in the $500-600 range...it is nice.
iPhone 7,0.000167000668002672 1/5988, f/1.8, focal length 3.99, ISO 20
Canon EOS 50D,0.000625 1/1600, f/8, focal length 500, ISO 400
Ok, so this is the money shot:
Canon EOS 50D,0.003125 1/320, f/11, focal length 500, ISO 400
Compared to similar photo from my old Tripod, which I was having to help stabilize by hand and had VC (lens stabilization) enabled despite being on the tripod:
The second photo I haven't bothered to adjust exposure and de-haze in Lightroom, but I think the increased sharpness (relative at least) is noticeable. At this point I'm sure I now have more lens and more tripod than my camera can handle. These shots are out at 650 meters so I can't complain much.
...looks at DxO Mark Scores
With my Canon 50D, this lens is rated at "5 Perceptual Megapixels" (the sensor is 15MP, so if I understand right the "softness" causes it to act like 5MP).
Meanwhile the indisputably pro-level Canon 5D clocks in at 17 Perceptual on a 30MP sensor.