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by Cynthia Crawford on Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:57 am
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I am enjoying hand-holding this light lens with my D500, but since I have a tripod with Gimbal head, I thought there might be occasions for mounting the camera and lens- especially if I get a TC1.4 as well, and use the battery pack.
 B&H sells a Kirk

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1148786-REG/kirk_nc_300pf_lens_collar_for_af_s.html#customerReview

 Some reviews seem to think it does not distribute the weight properly....though one person suggests mounting it backwards! On the plus side-it's a Kirk and has a built-in plate.

The Nikon collar for this lens (RT-1) needs an additional plate, I believe. No idea if it balances better.

There seems to be another Kirk- but maybe it doesn't fit this newer lens?

http://tinyurl.com/z4clsd7


It was obviously made for an older lens  without VR perhaps.....

Anyone have experience with any of these or a good third party option?

Thanks!
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
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by aolander on Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:56 am
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Your second link shows the collar for the 300mm f/4 AF-S lens, the lens made prior to the PF. It would not fit the PF, but on the AF-S, it's a really nice collar. Perhaps get the Nikon collar and put a long A-S plate on it that extends toward the camera body.
Alan Olander
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by Mark Picard on Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:37 am
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 Cynthia - I use a Really Right Stuff Bracket #MPR-CLII   http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/MPR-CL-II-MPR-with-integral-clamp  with any non-collared lens with my Gimbal head. It turns the camera and lens 90 degrees away from pointing into the head. I also use a L bracket on the camera in case I want to shoot vertical (using the same plate).
Mark Picard
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by Tim Zurowski on Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:16 pm
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Cynthia, I bought one of these Chinese knock-offs:   http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Tripod-Mount-Ring-Support-Collar-RT-1-for-Nikon-Lens-300-F-4E-PF-70-200-F-4G-/282109118832?hash=item41af038970:g:7y4AAOSwys5WVXgF

It is excellent in every way but one. The screw that tightens it to the lens does not tighten as much as I would have preferred. I just have to remember to check and tighten it from time to time. Otherwise, it is fantastic in every other way. It even includes the Swiss Arca mount built into the foot. Other than that one minor issue, I am very happy with it, and the price fits my budget :)
Cheers
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by Mark Picard on Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:19 pm
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Tim Zurowski wrote:
Cynthia, I bought one of these Chinese knock-offs:   http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Tripod-Mount-Ring-Support-Collar-RT-1-for-Nikon-Lens-300-F-4E-PF-70-200-F-4G-/282109118832?hash=item41af038970:g:7y4AAOSwys5WVXgF

It is excellent in every way but one. The screw that tightens it to the lens does not tighten as much as I would have preferred. I just have to remember to check and tighten it from time to time. Otherwise, it is fantastic in every other way. It even includes the Swiss Arca mount built into the foot. Other than that one minor issue, I am very happy with it, and the price fits my budget :)


I think Tim's suggestion is a good choice, especially seeing how cheap it is! I didn't realize that there is room for a collar on that lens - my suggestion was pretty much for a non-collared lens combo. I'd give that one a try! 
Mark Picard
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by Cynthia Crawford on Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:36 pm
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Hmm

interesting options. Mark- I assume this holds the camera, not the lens. I guess it's always a question which is better to support-camera or lens. In this case , both are pretty lightweight, but I think I prefer the lens, since I don't want to buy a bracket for the option of turning the camera. I kind of like your idea, Alan, though again, it means using a separate plate (which I probably have).
Still wondering if anyone has tried the (first) Kirk ...?

Yes- Tim's option is looking good. I wonder if a tich of felt in there would solve the looseness....
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
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by aolander on Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:51 pm
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The 300mm f/4 PF is only slightly longer but weighs less than the Nikon 14-24mm which does not have provisions for a collar. Perhaps you don't need one. :)
Alan Olander
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by Tim Zurowski on Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:07 pm
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Cynthia Crawford wrote:
Hmm

Yes- Tim's option is looking good. I wonder if a tich of felt in there would solve the looseness....


It is not the collar itself that can get loose, but rather just the screw does not tighten as much as one would like. I should look at it to see if something could be done, but honestly it has not really been a big issue for me.

You can use this lens without the collar because it is so small and light. My friend Mike does just that. I really like having a collar for the ease of going vertical and removing lens and converters. For the price, these collars are great.
Cheers
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by Mark Picard on Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:20 pm
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Cynthia Crawford wrote:
Hmm

interesting options. Mark- I assume this holds the camera, not the lens.  I guess it's always a question which is better to support-camera or lens. In this case , both are pretty lightweight, but I think I prefer the lens, since I don't want to buy a bracket for the option of turning the camera. I kind of like your idea, Alan, though again, it means using a separate plate (which I probably have).
Still wondering if anyone has tried the (first) Kirk ...?

Yes- Tim's option is looking good. I wonder if a tich of felt in there would solve the looseness....


Again - I initially thought this lens (300mm) was non-collared with no ability to add a collar. Once I saw it could be aftermarket collared obviously that was the right choice. My suggestion was only for a lens that didn't have the space for a collar - the 300mm does. Any lens that's longer and heavier (like starting with a 70-200mm for instance), needs a collar.
Mark Picard
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by Anthony Medici on Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:06 pm
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I think "OzarkInspirations'" review on the B&H page is right on the money. The 300 PF doesn't perform well at all on a Gimbal mount.

With the 300 PF, TC and D500, with a small QR plate on the D500 (a small 1.5" square generic), the back of the collar foot is "balanced" using only the front 1/2 of the clamp on my UniBall head. That means the balance point if  directly under the very back of the lens collar. Removing the TC, it only moves the balance point forward less than 1/2".

If you add the weight of a battery grip or a standard L-Bracket, it would shift the balance point another 1/2" or so towards the camera. To me, that puts the body way to close to the upright of the Wimberley and will impact whether you can rotate it without hitting the body on the foot of the mount.

For my work, action shots with this combination are hand held. Static shots are sometimes mounted on a ball head from the body's arcs swiss mount directly or with a smaller version of what Mark Picard showed from RRS.

The collar I have is the Nikon Collar with the replacement RRS foot which works fine on the 70-200 F4 I bought it for. Though it fits on the 300 PF as they are the same, I think a plate that extends the foot about 1"-1.5" towards the body using the standard Nikon foot would be best if you were really trying to use the collar with a gimbal head. That would allow the mount to clamp onto more of the foot than either the RRS replacement or the Kirk combination replacement.
Tony
 

by ChrisRoss on Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:48 pm
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Even if you get it to balance on the gimbal it'll be way close to the upright and difficult to maneuver for applications like birds in flight as you would be standing right close to the tripod. I would think a ball head would be a better option on such a short lens and use hand holding for BIF.
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by Tim Zurowski on Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:54 pm
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Mine works great on my ball head and also hand held.
Cheers
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by DChan on Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:02 pm
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Weight of Nikon D500: 30.34 oz.

Weight of Nikon 300 f4 PF: 26.6 oz.

Don't think a gimbal works better than an old-fashioned ball-head. The range of motion it could offer is also not better than shooting handheld. I think both Anthony and Chris Ross are right.
 

by Swissblad on Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:07 am
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Like Tim, we use a Chinese bracket which includes Arca-Swiss foot - with the same issue concerning the tightness of the screw.
That said, it really is not a major issue - and the bracket only out ≈ €20.-
The bracket is very helpful when using a TC-14EIII - where it balances nicely on a RRS Ballhead -
on its own the 300mmPF lens is so diminutive - that we frequently leave it off.
This lens is great for held-held BIF - even with TC.
IMHO - It's really too small and light to fit on a gimbal, even the small Jobu version.....
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:13 am
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OK-I am seeing the light- probably not a great combo with my gimbal. Don't have a reasonable ball head-just a cheap, old, not very tight Manfrotto, so I guess I'll stick with hand-held for now. Was just hoping to increase my options if it was practical. Not!
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by Robert on Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:25 am
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Cynthia, you can also try the "Poor photographers Gimbal": Ballhead with a vertical slot and smooth panoramic base. Flop the setup into the vertical slot, loosen the ballhead completely, and loosen the pano base completely, balance the camera-lens on it and you have a "poor photographers gimbal". Not as good as the real deal, but it works in a pinch as well as when you need to travel light and only carry the ballhead.
 

by Mark Picard on Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:03 am
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DChan wrote:
Weight of Nikon D500: 30.34 oz.

Weight of Nikon 300 f4 PF: 26.6 oz.

Don't think a gimbal works better than an old-fashioned ball-head. The range of motion it could offer is also not better than shooting handheld. I think both Anthony and Chris Ross are right.


Cynthia - I used to shoot with the Nikon 600mm VR lens, which definitely needed a Gimbal head 99% of the time. Hand holding that beast was only on rare occasions. The Gimbal worked flawlessly with that setup, allowing me great range of motion and very fast movement when needed. But I also wanted to be able to photograph landscapes and such, but using the Wimberely created a problem for my non collared landscape wide angle lenses (pointing the lens toward the Gimbal), so I devised a system that could accommodate both long and short lenses using that bracket I recommended to you. I didn't want to have to carry and switch around the Gimbal and a ball head every time I wanted to use long lenses and short, non-collared lenses. It worked great, and all I had on the tripod for years was the Wimberely head. But then I sold the Nikon 600mm and got the Sigma 150-600mm S lens which was way smaller and lighter than the Nikon 600mm. I found I didn't really even need the Gimbal anymore, as it was overkill and never really performed anywhere near like it did using the 600. I went back to my RRS B-55 ballhead, and that works perfectly with the smaller, long telephotos. I spent a few minutes setting up the tension knobs and Arca plate on the ballhead and have it balanced perfectly while still allowing for fast action if needed. When I physically let go of the camera it remains where I leave it without creeping (while I'm shooting, not while carrying. I tighten it down for walking.) My point is, like others have stated, that you really don't need a Gimbal with the shorter, lighter lenses. I found it gets in the way of operating shorter lenses, and just doesn't feel right, so it wouldn't be very good for fast action photography like BIF. I would recommend the RRS B-40 ball head to you - lightweight, sturdy and a minimal investment to solve your problem.  
Mark Picard
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by Cynthia Crawford on Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:11 pm
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Mark Picard wrote:
DChan wrote:
Weight of Nikon D500: 30.34 oz.

Weight of Nikon 300 f4 PF: 26.6 oz.

Don't think a gimbal works better than an old-fashioned ball-head. The range of motion it could offer is also not better than shooting handheld. I think both Anthony and Chris Ross are right.


Cynthia - I used to shoot with the Nikon 600mm VR lens, which definitely needed a Gimbal head 99% of the time. Hand holding that beast was only on rare occasions. The Gimbal worked flawlessly with that setup, allowing me great range of motion and very fast movement when needed. But I also wanted to be able to photograph landscapes and such, but using the Wimberely created a problem for my non collared landscape wide angle lenses (pointing the lens toward the Gimbal), so I devised a system that could accommodate both long and short lenses using that bracket I recommended to you. I didn't want to have to carry and switch around the Gimbal and a ball head every time I wanted to use long lenses and short, non-collared lenses. It worked great, and all I had on the tripod for years was the Wimberely head. But then I sold the Nikon 600mm and got the Sigma 150-600mm S lens which was way smaller and lighter than the Nikon 600mm. I found I didn't really even need the Gimbal anymore, as it was overkill and never really performed anywhere near like it did using the 600. I went back to my RRS B-55 ballhead, and that works perfectly with the smaller, long telephotos. I spent a few minutes setting up the tension knobs and Arca plate on the ballhead and have it balanced perfectly while still allowing for fast action if needed. When I physically let go of the camera it remains where I leave it without creeping (while I'm shooting, not while carrying. I tighten it down for walking.) My point is, like others have stated, that you really don't need a Gimbal with the shorter, lighter lenses. I found it gets in the way of operating shorter lenses, and just doesn't feel right, so it wouldn't be very good for fast action photography like BIF. I would recommend the RRS B-40 ball head to you - lightweight, sturdy and a minimal investment to solve your problem.  

Thanks so much, Mark , for taking the time to explain very well how this works for you.  I will certainly look at the RRS ballhead.  I do have a certain fear that I will forget to lock down and get the dreaded flop....but one has to be careful with everything. At first glance, looks like it's overkill  for what I might need..There are a lot of options to choose from as well. Pretty much new territory for me. I only have one tripod, however- have used the gimbal with my Canon gear quite happily, so if I keep my Canon stuff, this would have to serve both (7d/1DIV + 100-400+1.4 TC). I had hoped the gimbal could serve for everything.

Do you ever mount the lens on a ball head rather than the camera?  (Ignorance showing here...) :oops:.
Actual weight of the ball head+tripod is also a factor, since the whole reason I went with the Nikon was to lose weight. ;). Obviously using a tripod at all kind of defeats that purpose. My intention asking about a collar was for occasional tripod use when I would not have to carry anything very far. And, hoping to not spend a lot of $$ on this idea. So....a good exploration of future possibilities at the very least. 
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
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by ricardo00 on Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:31 pm
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Hi Cynthia,
You might also look at the Uniqball tripod head. I don't have one (I have the RRS ballhead) but some people I know love it. Somehow I believe it helps to prevent the "dreaded flop".

https://luminous-landscape.com/uniqball-review/

ricardo00
 

by Mark Picard on Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:07 pm
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Quote:
Do you ever mount the lens on a ball head rather than the camera?  (Ignorance showing here...) :oops:.
Actual weight of the ball head+tripod is also a factor, since the whole reason I went with the Nikon was to lose weight. ;). Obviously using a tripod at all kind of defeats that purpose. My intention asking about a collar was for occasional tripod use when I would not have to carry anything very far. And, hoping to not spend a lot of $$ on this idea. So....a good exploration of future possibilities at the very least. 


Go back and carefully re-read my last post and you will see that I mentioned that I set up the tension knobs on the ball head to avoid the "flop" you refer to. When you let go of the camera the way I have it set up, the camera and lens will not flop. I have it set up to be very fluid for use while shooting, but when I take my hands off of it the combo stays in place without moving. If you have it set right, even if it was a little loose, the worst that could happen is it would slowly creep, which you would see happening before any possible damage could be done. Obviously, when you're done shooting you will have to tighten up the ballhead for transportation, but, hey, here's the good news - the tension you set for shooting is still set in the ballhead, and the next time you use it you won't have to re-set anything! The RRS ballheads (most all good ball heads for that matter) can be set up this way in a matter of a minute or less. Yes, if you have a collar on a lens of course you should utilize the collar as it will balance better (plus turn from horizontal to vertical very quickly and smoothly because you aren't adjusting the ballhead to do this), it's when you don't have a collar that you must attach the combo to the camera bottom. Without a collared lens you still can shoot vertical, you just have to swing the top mount on the ball head into one of the large slots built into the ball head that turns the camera 90 degrees from horizontal to the vertical position. If a lens does not have a collar, most likely the manufacturer thought the lens was short enough and light enough not to need a collar. 
I suggested to you the RRS B-40 because it is relatively light (you were worried about the weight issue), will handle all the lens/camera combos you have (even your 100-400mm) , and is a good bargain for the money, plus it will attach to your current tripod. I'm sure there are other brands that will work just as well for you, but I only have experience with the RRS ballheads. Perhaps others can recommend another brand and model.
Mark Picard
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