Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar

Started Jun 18, 2013 | Discussions
David A. Hamments
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Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
Jun 18, 2013

Good afternoon everyone, today I traded in my trusty Nikon 80-200 "Push-Pull" for the new Nikon 70-200 F4 telephoto lens. Although many suggest a tripod collar is not required (and not shipped with this lens), I would feel better mounting it on my tripod with a collar, rather than without. Having said that, I'm not prepared to spend almost $200 for the Nikon or other high end replacement collars. Has anyone tried an inexpensive Chinese knock-off collar like this one?:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/New-Nikon-Metal-Tripod-Collar-Mount-Ring-for-Nikon-AF-S-70-200mm-f-4G-ED-VR-lens-/181085884115?pt=US_Lens_Adapters_Mounts_Tubes&hash=item2a298f4ed3&_uhb=1

For about $30, including shipping I'm wondering if it would stand up to occasional use on my D7100 as well as to relieve the lens' weight with my Black Rapid strap.

Thanks in advance to those who respond....

Cheers, D. Hamments
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhamments2013/

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larrywilson
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 18, 2013

I don't plan on getting one for my 70-200 f4.0 lens.  I do use an L bracket on all my cameras which strengthens the base on the camera so no sweat on using my d4 with the L bracket with the 70-200.  I personally would not hang the camera and 70-200 lens on a black rapid sling, too risky for me.  Of course I am a believer that the tripod socket on a camera is designed to be used sitting on top of a tripod with no side pressures.

Larry

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Nikonparrothead
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

I saw those on eBay -- after I bought one from Kirk Enterprises. I'm sure they would be fine for occasional use but kind of useless if you use an Arca Swiss-style ball head, like I do.

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harveysteeves
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

I bought one of those.  My advice:  just don't.  I found that once installed on the lens, the tightening screw didn't fit properly because the mount was not designed to fit the girth if the actual lens and once tightened, I could not rotate the lens at all.  I got the Nikon foot and it is worth it.

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jhinkey
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

The Nikon foot is only $159 and it works very very well unless you need a QR system.

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D Knisely
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

I ordered the RRS collar when it was announced and waited FOREVER (months) while it was delayed time and time again.  After the wait, I can say that I don't really recommend it particularly, but Kirk owners seem impressed with their collars.

The RRS collar has a poor feeling on the screw that loosens the collar and allow the lens orientation to rotate.  It is also difficult to see the true vertical/horizontal markings, so I end up guessing.  Worse, the lens seems to make disturbing grating sounds when rotated and the tightening screw make "fingernails on chalk" screeching sounds when you loosen/tighten it (extremely annoying).  Definitely not RRS grade and certainly not worth the money or delay.  My first disappointment from them...

As far as stability, on my first roadtrip with the collar, I had many long exposures that were ruined by motion (to my surprise).  There was a lot of wind and I'm not positive that the collar contributed, but I have never had troubles like this when trying to use good technique (which I was).  The jury is still out on this one.

Doug

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David A. Hamments
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to harveysteeves, Jun 19, 2013

harveysteeves wrote:

I bought one of those. My advice: just don't. I found that once installed on the lens, the tightening screw didn't fit properly because the mount was not designed to fit the girth if the actual lens and once tightened, I could not rotate the lens at all. I got the Nikon foot and it is worth it.

Thanks everyone.... just what I suspected, you get what you pay for!  I'll try long exposures without the foot to begin with, and bite the bullet for a quality collar if necessary.

Cheers, D. Hamments
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhamments2013/

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Dan_168
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

David A. Hamments wrote:

.... Although many suggest a tripod collar is not required (and not shipped with this lens), I would feel better mounting it on my tripod with a collar, rather than without......

Yeah it's always better to have a tripod collar for any telephoto lens when shooting on tripod, especially shooting longer exposure pictures, however, for a small lens like the 70-200 F4 VR it seems to be a little "less critical" compare to say with its bigger F2.8 brother, believe or not i even mount that lens with lens adapter on a little Sony NEX7 without lens collar shooting up to one minute long exposure shot without much trouble at all, do I worry about the lens mount? no at all, there is a recent discussion here regarding this topic which I posted some sample shots from my 70-200 F4 VR before I received my RRS tripod collar for the lens, even in the windy hill shooting 30 seconds to 1 minute exposure without the collar i didn't detect any vibration related issue on my shots, the key is use a good tripod and ball head, and a perfect fit camera plate that doesn't allow any movement between the plate and the camera......every little thing here and there actually will help a lot to contribute the final result, the tripod collar is just one "more obvious" weak point of the set up people paying attention to, the 70-200 F4 is really small and light compare to any other telephoto lenses, my friend tried my lens with collar on his crappy Manfrotto leg and head combo even with the collar still had a lot of vibration issue when we shot at the same location in similar condition few weeks ago, he is using those "universal" square shape camera plate which has a tendency to lossen from time to time and cause the camera rotating from the plate a little bit, and his ballhead doesn't lock as good as well, so all the "little thing" caused a lots of issues even a tripod collar is used, of course it will be even worse without, but all I am trying to say is tripod collar is just one of the thing that might cause you trouble and let's not over look other factors.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51596379

As for is worth to try the cheap after market one, that's a really a personal question and all depends on how critical one with his/her gears and final output, I think that old term " you get what you paid for" does apply to tripod and tripod collar too, I am sure any brand any kind of collar can only help and improve, should still be better than nothing, but is a $1500 RRS tripod Ballhead combo and a $200 little tripod collar worth the price that's very personal question I think if you ask 10 different people you have 10 different answers. some will tell you it's total waste of money and some will tell you it worth every hard earned penny, that's including me in the later category.

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slimandy
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

Remind me what you spent on the lens?!

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mmalkin15
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 19, 2013

I bought the Nikon collar when I purchased the lens and it is excellent.  Once you have it the money will seem well spent although it should be less expensive.

I believe that the collar will definitely reduce the efects of camera vibration - and for my work the ability to switch between landscape and portrait format quickly is important.

If you are not sure the collar will significantly reduce vibration effects in your own work secure a laser pointer to the body of the lens , aim it at a wall about 10 feet away, photograph and watch the laser dot while you trip the shutter with and without a tripod collar.  i expect there will be a noticeable difference in the movement that you will see.  Have a look at the photos to see if there is a difference in the sharpness of the laser dot image due to movement.  This also is useful for evaluating tripods and tripod heads, camera bodies, and the effect of different shutter speeds as to their vibration characteristics .

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David A. Hamments
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to slimandy, Jun 19, 2013

slimandy wrote:

Remind me what you spent on the lens?!

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Henrys matched an online retailer's $1185 price and offered me $400 for my 80-200 push pull NIkkor...  so $785 + tax.

Cheers, D. Hamments
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhamments2013/

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eajames
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to D Knisely, Jun 19, 2013

I too was an early adopter of the RRS collar and endured the ~5 month wait only to ship it back the day after I received it. As you point out, rotation wasn't very smooth, but that didn't bother me as much as the clamping bolt and the indeterminate amount of tightening that is required to secure the clamp. I have a tendency to over tighten things; I got the feeling that if I over tightened the RRS clamp I would crush the lens barrel or snap off the bolt. When the collar was as tight as I dared, the lens was not rock solid.  I have one of their collars for the 300mm f4 and I believe it to be well designed and highly stable.

I've had good luck photographing in high winds. I frequently use a 4X6 foot "blue tarp" to block the wind - you can stand on the windward side with a foot on either corner of a 4-foot side and extend the tarp in your arms while holding the release in one hand. At times (in extreme conditions) I've weighted the tripod's center column with rocks piled atop my pack.  I've obtained very sharp 1/8 to 2 second exposures using this approach, all the while worried that my wind-blown vehicle was going to tumble end over end off a cliff.  The only caveat: if you're shooting into the wind, pictures turn out very blue.

To the OP: I don't believe the collar is needed for this lens unless you want it for portrait to landscape switching. If you have a L-plate and use good tripod technique you'll be fine without it. It's a great lens - enjoy.  By the way, Nikon USA states on their site that the collar is intended to be used when additional support is required, such as when you're using a teleconverter.

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slimandy
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, Jun 20, 2013

David A. Hamments wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Remind me what you spent on the lens?!

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www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

Henrys matched an online retailer's $1185 price and offered me $400 for my 80-200 push pull NIkkor...  so $785 + tax.

Very nice. So you don't want to hang it from or balance it on a $30 collar.

Cheers, D. Hamments
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhamments2013/

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diapos
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, 5 months ago

Be careful with the tripod collars.  I just spent around 18 dollars for one and it's too loose for this lens, even though it's advertised for the lens.  The collar does not grip the lens properly.

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Janoch
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to diapos, 5 months ago

Can't you just add some lining to it?

On the other hand, why use a collar on such a small and light lens?

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AZ Steve
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to diapos, 5 months ago

Let me just add one more vote for the Kirk collar.  And one more thumbs-up for the lens, easily as good as the Canon equivalent, the best of the several Canon zooms I've used.

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diapos
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to Janoch, 5 months ago

Regarding a lining, I'm not that handy.  I'm not sure I could add something that would tighten it up, but also, keep it loose enough to turn it for vertical shots.

Regarding the collar itself, the lens is heavy enough that it drops a bit when the camera is fastened on the tripod.  I had the same issue with my old Canon system, but I spent the $$$ and bought a well made collar.

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saikou
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, 5 months ago
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nuke12
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Re: Nikon 70-200 f4 Aftermarket Tripod Collar
In reply to David A. Hamments, 5 months ago

I bought one of the ebay collars for my 70-200. The one I purchased seems not to be for sale anymore. It was about $30 and appeared just after the lens was released.

It seemed fine for about 6 months and then became slightly loose. I have no idea what changed? I took it to my workshop and filed down the inside clamping surface. I took off a little at a time and kept trying it on the lens. After about three turns at this I reached the point where the lens was secure. That was about 6 months ago and it's been A1 ever since.

I don't use the lens on a tripod that often but a collar is great when doing so.

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In reply to diapos, 5 months ago

The collar is available from BHPhotoVideo for $50 and is warranted for 1 year. Aloha.

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