I'm looking to get a new tripod, and I'm waffling between the Manfrotto 055CL (Bogen 3021) or 190D (Bogen 3001). I want it to be able to support up to a D70 and 300 f/4 (plus a 2x TC) or an 80-400. Would the 190D be up to this, or should I go for the more stable (but heavier) 055CL?
Also, are the centre columns for both of these tripods removable?
I own both of these and really like the 055. If I had to do it over again the 055 would be my first tripod. The posts can be removed from both and the 055 will take the post sideways for shooting straight down.
Now, your next question is what head to put on the tripod to support your largest lens.
Shoot with a camera and enjoy the hunt many times.
You may see below a Manfrotto 055BWB (of the 055 family) in action at the 5th ANPAT in South Dakota this past October. Trusting it with a D2X and lenses like the 70-200mm f/2.8D AF-S VR and doing a much better job than expected, if one is to judge from the resulting images.
You may also want to read this on tripod technique, which was certainly put to good use there.
Having both the 055PRO and 190CLB I can tell you that the weight difference is large. While the 190 might be capable of supporting your 300 I'd likely not risk it, especially as you're going to want a sturdy head which itself will add quite a bit of weight.
For example a 488RC0 (which I use) adds close to another kilo, the 229 (which I also use) adds over a kilo. Might be better to go directly for RRS or Markins heads, which are lighter and stronger (as well as should be more userfriendly) but cost a lot more.
I use the 055 when I don't have to lug it around long distances, the 190 when I'm out walking all day with a lot of other gear.
any size is fullframe for a given definition of frame