Flatness of Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E's Tripod Collar Foot

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
afoton Senior Member • Posts: 1,792
Re: Flatness of Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E's Tripod Collar Foot

Julian Vrieslander wrote:

afoton wrote:

Craftsman70 wrote:

One interesting note - Kirk sells a support bracket in addition to the replacement collar for this lens (a bracket that supports the filter side of the lens) which kind of tells me that their bracket might not be too much better in regards to collar flex. After all, if their replacement collar didn't flex, why would they offer a bracket to reduce that flex?

The problem with the collar is that the area for the collar on the lens is to thin, and placed very unbalanced, so even if the foot is complete sturdy, the lens is not sturdy. A second point in front of the lens address this.

I have the collar and foot from RRS, and even if it is better than the original, it is not rock solid. A cork pressed in between the front of the foot and the lens (between the zoom ring and the focus ring) makes it as good as it can get, but this does only work when the foot is underneath the lens, so it will not work on a sidemount gimbal.

I have the Kirk NC-200-500V3 Combo collar for the 200-500 which includes the device that supports the front of the lens. Build quality is excellent, it fits perfectly, and it certainly eliminates flex when downward pressure is applied to the front of the lens.

But does it really make a useful reduction of lens vibration that will show up in sharper images? I sort of doubt it, and my informal test shots (using D850) don't show it.

My testing with D800E makes significant better sharpness with the extra cork support with the RRS-collar than without it. I was dissapointed in the RRS collar alone, even if that one also is much better than the original collar. This cork changed my lens from a not so good lens to a stellar performer. But the cork does make it not so easy to rotate the lens in the collar, so I would prefer if it was not necessary.

With the original collar, I only made decent sharp pictures with short shutter speeds. So that collar was uesless for my needs.

If the Kirk-collar is so good that the second point is not needed, Kirk has done a much better job than RRS. And I have choosened the wrong collar. All honor to Kirk.

Based on how they look, I was thinking that the RRS-foot was a better design than the cantilever design of Kirk. So much for choosing gear based on studying product images.

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