Thanks Dave, happy to be here. Such a sterling recommendation for the 400mm that I can hardly wait to get to play with it. I hear it's super sharp and f2.8 will definitely come in handy during the long dark winter months up here in Vancouver. On the advice of yourself, Joe and other related posts on this website, I've decided to go with the 5542LS and the full Wimberley Gimbal type head. The fact that you have the Sidekick and are thinking of up-grading to the full gimbal is testiment enough to me that I'm making the right decision. Thanks for the great advice and also for the heads up on the markins TH-500. It looks very interesting and I'll be checking into it. As for the TC's, I have the TC-14E II and that's going to have to do me for now. It's time to stop spending and start enjoying. Thanks again.