Never raise the center column, you might as well hand hold the camera, the shaking will be similar.
Do you mean not to raise it at all or not to raise it to tripod's/column's full extension?
How about adding some weight to a hook once column is raised?
I find that statement by Mt. Spokane to be absurd. If you raise the column yes, you are losing stability (but clearly it is NOTHING like hand-holding the camera). I use my tripod all the time with the column raised. If I am not in a windy setting and I hang a "steady" weight on the tripod hook, I can obtain excellent results and have the camera sitting at comfortable eye level. The center column is great...but should be used indoors or only in optimum situations when outside. Common sense and experience is helpful here.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 05:21:34 AM by infared »
5D Mark III, Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 21mm f/2.8 Zeiss, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro,70-200mm f/2.8L IS II...1.4x converter III, and some other stuff!