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01-27-2014, 04:31 PM   #1
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Would you use a lens tripod collar?

I'll claim complete ignorance on the use of lens collars for supporting a lens when used with a tripod so I don't know if there is a general guideline on when they should be used. I'm guessing from the threads I've looked at that some collars are basically (flat) plates that help support the lens, whereas in other cases you end up mounting the tripod to the collar on the lens.

So here is my question. I have a Pentax A 35-105 lens that I enjoy using as a walkaround lens despite its weight (615g). I also enjoy using it for macro work, because the ability to change both the focus and the zoom gives a lot of flexibility when composing an image. On its own it will do 1:4 close focus, but I've used it attached to extension tubes. If I want to mount this on a tripod, should I consider a lens collar? The tubes won't add much weight, but they will change the center of mass, especially if I couple two larger tubes together? Might the offset weight of the lens put too much strain on the camera mount?

Thoughts welcome, thanks.

01-27-2014, 04:38 PM   #2
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I don't think the weight is the problem. Balance?? try it and see. One of the biggest pluses for a tripod collar is the ability to quickly change from landscape to portrait orientation without losing your focus or composition as you would with an L-plate or hanging the camera off to the side on a ball head.

I prefer a lens collar when available as it generally improves the handling for larger lenses.
01-27-2014, 04:48 PM   #3
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In general terms I can say from my experience that having a TM/collar to support lens + camera in a better balanced position is entirely beneficial, even important. Certainly with some of my heavier vintage lensesthere is a question over letting the camera-lens mount take all the load if you just use the camera's bush to set up on a tripod.

I advise considering the whole set up: tripod, mount, lens, camera. and relate to the circumastances/photography you do.

I use a macro rail a lot, adds more flexibility and offers the option of plugging in a second point of support with longer lenses
01-27-2014, 04:49 PM   #4
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The other huge advantage of using a lens collar is that it takes the weight and torque off the bottom plate of the camera. If offered the choice, I would always go for a lens collar.

Jack

01-27-2014, 05:18 PM   #5
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With a longish lens on extension I would think a collar, or if the head can be set up so the camera is a few inches behind the center of the tripod head then the lens extends over the center, and a piece of foam insulation can be wedged in between the lens and the head. Actually I have no lens collars and use this arrangement with up to 350mm f5.6 Tamron miirror lens (which actually is very light). If I have a chance I will post a picture of the setup.
01-27-2014, 05:48 PM   #6
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The following shows my arrangement. The foam insulation was a piece I had handy this moment. The main thing is to stop the lens from vibrating--which is likely when it extends out.

Another way is to lay the lens on a bean/sand bag and put another on top. I don't do this but Blaker, Field Photography (~1980) is a reliable source.
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01-27-2014, 07:17 PM   #7
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I posted a similar question just a year ago now. I have a A*300/4 and there is no room for a lens collar, but its a heavy lens to be hanging off just the camera mount flange. Snostorm had the perfect solution. Here is the link.....I have been slow in the implementation - but its coming along. I also have a Q in which this will also be handy. Plus, I am interested in Astro-photography, and with a small spotting scope, I am seeing that nearly all the parts would also be useful in that endevour.

01-28-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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same theme/thinking

tamron Nestar 400mm long telescope type vintage lens. (OK OK so theres no collar this already had a screw fit bush, but its the principle of the thing...)

PS cost 1 hr or so in the garage plus a tenner for the macro rail

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Last edited by marcusBMG; 01-28-2014 at 09:46 AM.
01-28-2014, 10:58 PM   #9
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Collars can also provide an attachment point for a palm rest which can be very helpful with heavy hand held lenses. Aside from balance, a palm rest allow you to support the weight in your palm leaving fingers free for focusing and zooming.

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