Just a few quick replies. The folks at RRS said my support is fine, they didn't try to sell me anything and instead took the time to try to help me with the problem.
For the last two tests I was outside.
By hands on and hands off; do you mean with my had resting on the lens? I never liked that technique, but that's what Moose P. recommends so I tried it.
I did not try Mup and will do so, with timer delay tomorrow.
The 600 has two settings, VR OFF and TRIPOD
My last two posts are of the ruler at 45, or at least more of an angle.
This is not my time using this lens. I used it for Civil War enactment battles (some sharp images) and I used in Zion last month. Although, in Zion all my images were soft, just like the ones posted here.
Well, I could buy another tripod, and sell one. RRS now carries a full line of pods. Again, they said my support was fine. The 600 on a ballhead? Uh, that's more courage than I have; too hard to handle. The RRS full gimbal works well, and the long lens support adds a some support at the end.
Here are some photos of the end of the RRS long lens support. With this, do you think I need to rest my hand on the lens? I think not, but I have no knowledge to base that on.