New Nikon AF-S 80-400mm and the Tripod collar

KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
edited May 2013 in Nikon Lenses
I have the new Nikon 80-400mm, which by far is the biggest lens I have for my D800. It has a tripod collar on it, but I am having some challenges using it with my Manfrotto Joystick (see previous post on the matter).

Now my question is; what if I simply do not use the tripod collar??? Is that bad for the camera, or is it "only" the stability which is affected? It weighs in at 1570g, so it plenty heavy...

/KB
Post edited by Killerbob on
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Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    The tripod collar is recommend for any lens that weighs more than the camera body. The collar should be used to prevent warping the lens mount.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    one question; is the battery pack vital?
    I use one on my D700, as there is a significant increase in fps but I don't have or need one on my D800
  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    one question; is the battery pack vital?
    I use one on my D700, as there is a significant increase in fps but I don't have or need one on my D800
    The battery pack on the D800 is not vital. It gives a slight increase in framerate, offers some other battery options and some people find it useful for shooting in portrait orientation.
    But it's definately not vital and had no added value when it come to mounting the camera on a tripod or when the tripod is attached to a lens collar. (Except for the increase in framerate and other battery options)
    I don't use a battery grip on my D800.

    And to respond to the original poster:
    I would definately use the tripod collar on the lens. I have a 70-200 and it's a lot better to use the collar compared to mounting the body on the tripod.
    Using the lens collar has 2 advantages:
    - It's much more stable. The center of gravity is above the center of your tripod so there is less change of the tripod falling over or the image moving.
    - There will be less stress on the lens mount. Ok, the D800 lens mount is a very solid design. Still, less force is always better.


  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Try it for yourself: Mount the lens by its foot on the tripod and touch/adjust it while looking through the viewfinder then do the same thing exactly with it mounted by the camera base and you will see the difference in real world terms.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited May 2013
    Carry the camera/lens around by just the body and at 400mm see how it feels.

    The facts: After contacting Nikon in the past regarding the torque specifications for the 1/4-20 thread in the camera bottom, and after they said:

    "As it is a standard tripod mount, you want it to be tight but not too tight. We do not have technical specifications regarding this."

    I would suspect the mount is not very sturdy on the camera. Thus, with the weight on this screw of a large lens out front, my guess is it will damage the camera tripod mount rather easily. An example might be in panning at 400mm, camera on tripod, the typical technique is to have one arm over the lens, pulling/pushing the lens along to follow the action. The weight of an arm on the end of the lens, all mounted by the small screw on the camera bottom....not good.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    OK, so it is not only the mounting on the body, but also the wearing of the tripod mount, I need to worry about. So, it looks like I should keep the tripod collar on the 80-400mm...

    Others ask if the battery pack is necessary, and I must say perhaps it is not necessary for technical reasons, but I simply like the feel of the camera much much better with the grip attached. I don't know if I have large hands, but even the D800 is a bit small on its own...
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited May 2013

    And to respond to the original poster:
    I would definately use the tripod collar on the lens. I have a 70-200 and it's a lot better to use the collar compared to mounting the body on the tripod....
    Still, less force is always better.
    As there are some different versions of 70-200 lenses available - f/2.8 and f/4 - I'd ask you to specify which you're referring to.

    For the 70-200/4 and it's supplemetary, expensive collar I only can say, it's not true. The collar makes things worse. We already had such a discussion and I've concluded, Nikon is absolutely capable to do it also the wrong way. :)

    To be fair: The additional vibration a collar brings in are caused by FX shutters, DX are much lower energy. Also, the battery grip doesn't help much to stiffen the whole thing.

    But with the too soft connection of the 70-200/4 and it's collar one will get more blurred photos if Mirror Up mode is not possible and I don't know if the VR could do any good against that because the vibrations happen suddenly.

    Less force, as John said, is always better, that's true. But there are a couple of lenses as heavy or heavier than 70-200/4 coming without a collar.
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    The tripod collar is recommend for any lens that weighs more than the camera body. The collar should be used to prevent warping the lens mount.
    Absolutely correct,

    The entire support system (head, tripod etc.) also performs best when the mount is at the center of gravity.

    .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited May 2013
    Disagree. This would be true, if

    the mount point is as stiff as possible - some of the collar-lens connection are not (and I'm not the only one who saw the wobble of some collars ;) )

    the shutter vibration would not produce energy. The more far away the shutter is from the mount point and the longer the focal length becomes and the higher the resolution of the sensor is, the more one can see an effect.

    image

    Don't get me wrong - using a tripod is always an improvement to not to do so. But you still need to keep an eye of all the other influences, too.
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    @JJ_SO: I was refering to the Nikon (Nikkor) 70-200 f2.8 VRII
    I forgot that the f4 version had an optional tripod collar so I didn't see the potential confusion.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Disagree. This would be true, if

    the mount point is as stiff as possible - some of the collar-lens connection are not (and I'm not the only one who saw the wobble of some collars ;) )

    the shutter vibration would not produce energy. The more far away the shutter is from the mount point and the longer the focal length becomes and the higher the resolution of the sensor is, the more one can see an effect.

    image

    Don't get me wrong - using a tripod is always an improvement to not to do so. But you still need to keep an eye of all the other influences, too.
    On the 70-200 VR1 which I use extensively for stage lit theater shoots, the collar / foot is adequately stiff and produces excellent results when tripod mounted.( 3 series gitzo, acratech leveling base and long lens head).

    Nikons 200-400 / f4 develops a vibration node at the mount. The RRS long lens support which adds a support at the end of the lens and mounts the tripod head on a long very stiff support beam makes a dramatic improvement in this lens. (Thank you Thom Hogan) .

    I usually shoot both with VR on, even on a tripod.


    ... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    edited May 2013
    @JJ_SO: You have not included an explanation of why you included those photos - what is your point in posting them?

    "The entire support system (head, tripod etc.) also performs best when the mount is at the center of gravity."

    Yes. The effect of having my 70-300 (105-450) lens cantilevered out in front of my tripod is to encourage compliance in the support system whereas if collar mounted it would not.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @haroldp: yes the RRS support looks very convincing. There's something for the other side coming from Sirui also for Arca-plates. But I guess, this doesn't help so much if the front of the lens is the heavy part. Still, both of them, RRS or Sirui, will do better than no supporting rail.

    @spraynpray I posted that picture to show the difference of a less good head and a better one which gives even without "mirror up" sharper results. And as for "mount in center of gravity":
    1. this center tends to move if the camera (maybe +flash, +batterygrip) is different in weight and also in shutter energy, i.e. a simple D5100 or a D800 with grip and flash.
    2. if the whole system is not stiff enough, the center of gravity alone will not be able to take shutter vibration. The worst results when testing my heads I had with a long rail to the Gitzo QR. Although the lens/camera combination was balanced, the rail turned out to be too flexible and blurred all pictures, even the ones with "mirror up".
    That's the real big advantage of Arca plates, one can adjust the balance better and some of their long rails are really stiff. Since I don't own long heavy lenses, I'm fine with the 394 plates but I do realize their limits.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    @JJ_SO: It doesn't show anything as the shutter speed is different for each shot.

    Regarding your comment about this comment of mine:

    "Yes. The effect of having my 70-300 (105-450) lens cantilevered out in front of my tripod is to encourage compliance in the support system whereas if collar mounted it would not."

    Your comment reads like you don't think much between reading my comment and typing your opinion. Even you cannot disagree with the comment above from my earlier post? Whether the balance is marginally changed or not as you say, it will almost always be better to mount by the collar than the camera base. That is all I said above.
    Always learning.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Having a tripod collar also makes it easier to transition from horizontal to vertical shooting (and vice versa) -- as opposed to fiddling with L-brackets, etc. Such small conveniences are not to be underestimated in the field.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @spraynpray: I simply did not understand what you were to say. Shall I type you a sentence in German and we'll find out what Google translator can do? ;) I guess you wanted to say, you'd like to have a collar on your 70-300?

    Your lens: 745 grams
    28-300: 800 grams (no collar)
    70-200: 850 grams (no collar included)

    Your lens is a lightweight compared to the two I own or owned. And the 70-200 is with collar worse than without, believe it or not. So I doubt very much a collar would improve things - especially if it's designed as poor as the 70-200/4's is.

    And it's not my opinion, basically I call it experience.

    As for the different shutter speeds: Are you really believing, @ 105mm 1/30 will show less movement than 1/6? Then go and get a D800 or any other HR cam with a big shutter. Try to find out yourself instead of bothering me.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I wouldn't go on a German forum JJ, because I would probably misunderstand everything that everybody said, disagree with every single comment made by everybody on there and end up arguing endlessly. Oh, wait, that sounds familiar...

    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited May 2013
    A bit too much of "every" in it. Do you have something to say to the subject or enjoy trolling around?

    And you wouldn't "probably" misunderstand. It's just plain sure you wouldn't understand a thing.
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    This thread is called "New Nikon AF-S 80-400mm and the Tripod collar". Let's all try to stick to the subject. Thanks
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    @Msmoto: you can close the thread. I got the answers I needed. I will continue using the Tripod collar.

    I am contemplating switching all the QR to RRS, but that will have to include getting rid of my Manfrotto Joystick...
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    edited May 2013
    @Msmoto: I have, and think it looks awesome, but it is a bit too involved to attach the QR plate onto the Manfrotto 327RC2 (especially the sanding.)

    So, I'll probably add the RRS BH-40 LR, a mid-sized ball-head, to my Manfrotto Tripod. But with that, a new head for my Monopod as well, and an L-Plate, plus a few smaller items, I'll be spending USD1K. So that'll have to wait...

    So far April and May has already cost me USD15K in photo-gear...
    Post edited by Killerbob on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Killerbob: You are going to love the RRS BH-40 LR, in addition to all their other goodies...I own them both..
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @Killerbob

    $$$ you are catching on quickly...LOL
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Went beserk today and got the RRS gear I wanted. Thom was right (http://www.bythom.com/support.htm); I should have just caved in at the beginning and gotten the right stuff.

    I got the RRS MH-02 LR and BH-40 LR heads. The RRS LC-A13 Package for the Nikon 80-400mm, the L-plate for the Nikon D800 and one for my D7000. I also ordered the RRS B2-FAB-F 38mm clamp for use with the Black Rapid. The only things I am keeping are the Manfrotto Tripod and the Monopod.
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