I agree on the center column! I actually took a hacksaw to the center column on my aluminum Manfrotto; I cut it so it was almost flush with the bottom of the base to allow for ground-level shooting. It never served any purpose anyway, except possibly increasing vibrations.
If I had the means and the wherewithall, I would get a RRS TVC-33S (I'm short). For your 500 and 600mm, consider a Wimberly Sidekick gimbal head.
Last edited by LJSLATER; 04-30-2012 at 11:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: spelling & clarification