Thu 08-Nov-12 10:02 PM | edited Sat 10-Nov-12 01:50 PM by jacsr
The head would attach directly to the top plate of the tripod. You would screw the head onto the 3/8” stud on the plate. Nothing extra is needed for that connection other than maybe a small strap wrench so you can better tighten the head to the tripod.
You can purchase a L-bracket from Kirk or RRS. Since you are going with a lever release remember it is best to stick to one brand. With that in mind, I would likely go with RRS since they have a good assortment of plates and you can also use Wimberley plates that theoretically have the same build tolerances. So this would give you two manufacturers to choose from. The L would attach to the bottom of the D4 and have a section going up the left side and a section along the bottom thus the “L” description. When you decide to shoot portrait you would loosen the lever place the camera on the left side and tighten the lever and you are all set. You can see the RRS version here.
Personally I would stay away from a tripod with a center column. They add weight and cost. At your height a systematic (no column) would be adequate. I am 6’ and the 3541LS is fine for me. I do shoot birds in flight and it is a little short for that but the alternative would be a XLS model and that is really larger than I need at this time.
If you are considering the Feisol brand look at their 3372/3472 with RAL. The RAL keeps the legs from rotating as you extend them. The 33xx is a three section and the 34xx is a 4 section. This is their 4 series tripod and it will best handle your 50-500mm, you can check them out here. Feisol does not make a 3 series which I think is a mistake. That is a segment I think they would do well in.