>> Should I use a leveling base on the series five?
I think only you can answer that. I don;t use one, although sometimes it would come in handy.
>> just wondered if a leveling base might induce vibration or cause some other issue.
I've never owned one and never had an oppportunity to test one. I've never seen a suggestion that a well made leveling base like the Gitzo or RRS causes vibration problems but I very rarely see them out in the field underneath 600/4 lenses.
The biggest concern I would have is separation from the mount. This is the same potential problem that the stock flat plate had with the prior Gitzo systematics.
In my case I use a NSN safety plate to solve that problem. In your case, with the newest "V2" systematics, your mount and flat plate have a latching mechanism.
Personally, I would not put a 600/4 on the RRS leveler only because I don't think RRS modified theirs to latch into the newer mounts. Nor is it clear to me that the Gitzo leveler, which fits either Series 3 or 5, has been modified to do the same.
The Gitzo leveler also has a rather long handle used to lever the mount. I think that handle probably interferes with a lowest to the ground setting.
For me, the lack of mount security was the deal breaker and why I don't use a leveler. But I do multi-mile over the shoulder carries with my 500/4.
Bob, your RRS gimbal is screwed onto the 3/8" stud on the flat plate.
If you loosen the yoke bolts that hold the flat plate in place in the yoke, you will see the latch/catch that keeps it in place even if the yoke screws are loosened.
As I recall, the newer Systematics have tool-less yoke fasteners. Older versions such as mine require a small supplied L shaped Torx wrench. Either way, when you loosen the yoke bolts the flat plate (or other Systematic mount option) lifts out.
Hi Bob, I wholeheartedly recommend using a leveler with a Gitzo Series 5. I have one made by Linhof and use it both for video (with a large fluid head) and wildlife stills (with a gimbal). I wouldn't be without it when I use the Series 5.
However, with my Series 3, which always has a large ballhead mounted and is used exclusively for stills, a leveler would be redundant.