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02-29-2024, 06:02 PM   #1
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Need recommendations for D-FA 150-450mm accessories

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I just got a D-FA 150-450mm (used, Ex+, from KEH) that I have already used for birding and will use for the eclipse in April. I love this lens, but I need recommendations for two accessories:

1. What's a beefy monopod that can support this lens plus K3 III and the HD 1.4x teleconverter? It's very difficult to hand-hold when birding around dusk, for example, when the owls come out.

2. Is there something I can attach to the zoom ring to give me better leverage on it? It's incredibly tight (which is consistent with some reviews I read before buying it), I just didn't expect it to be this tight. I've been searching, but I'm not sure what something like this would even be called.

Thanks!

02-29-2024, 07:06 PM - 1 Like   #2
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LENSSHIFTER PRO | focusshifter

There's a ton of mono pods out there that would suit (once you hit the $80+ range) you just need to determine the height, foot style, leg locks, and head type that works for your needs. It can be a real pain in the b..ack to find out you really wanted, needed, the 72" instead of he 61". You may already have a head you can use. I'd suggest getting and using a wrist strap or employing some other means to secure the camera.
02-29-2024, 07:47 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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When I use a monopod with a longer lens Iím often frustrated by a standard ball head. A tilt only head or a pan and tilt head may be easier to use.
02-29-2024, 08:32 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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I have a Manfrotto 680B I picked up 15-years ago or so,
Used it with a Sigma 50-500 "Bigma" and the DA300+1.4 TC. It's been good performer, sturdy and durable. Not too heavy
I added one of their Monopod heads to it.
It's good if you're ok with the Manfrotto QR system, does not work well if you want to add a Arca Swiss QR to it.
I may need to find a AS QR head for it.
I do find it useful to have a tilt head,

03-01-2024, 01:39 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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I second that recommendation for a heavy Manfrotto monopod plus their monopod head. Have used it with my heavy Canon gear.
03-01-2024, 04:56 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I've had a great experience with the Wimberley Monogimbel. That's how I carried my 150-450 in the field for several months, though now I'm good with hand carry. It's fast to deploy, just a couple of seconds, and the way it's designed puts the camera/lens across the top of your back rather than on your shoulder. Very comfortable to carry compared to putting all the weight on one shoulder.

You should also get a good camera strap like a Peak Design Slide which comes with detachable clips, and connect one end to the lens foot and the other to the camera. The lens is too heavy for all the weight to be borne by the camera's lens mount alone.
03-01-2024, 05:04 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neopifex Quote
I just got a D-FA 150-450mm (used, Ex+, from KEH) that I have already used for birding and will use for the eclipse in April. I love this lens, but I need recommendations for two accessories:

1. What's a beefy monopod that can support this lens plus K3 III and the HD 1.4x teleconverter? It's very difficult to hand-hold when birding around dusk, for example, when the owls come out.

2. Is there something I can attach to the zoom ring to give me better leverage on it? It's incredibly tight (which is consistent with some reviews I read before buying it), I just didn't expect it to be this tight. I've been searching, but I'm not sure what something like this would even be called.

Thanks!
I also have the D-FA 150-450mm and K-3iii combination, which I often use with a ball head, along with a good value and robust Calumet CK7108 monopod. One technique to make the ball head more stable is to set the ball head to one shoulder (not into the deep grooves) and rotate the monopod as required.
Before investing in a teleconverter, try the 1.3 and 1.7 crop settings on the camera, which give excellent results by retaining the full file size in RAW. The file size is reduced, when processed into JPEG or TIFF. The zoom ring on my lens is fine - let's hope yours frees up with some use. I trust this is helpful.

03-01-2024, 05:24 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I would suggest you start with an 100mm ACRA Swiss compatible plate

I used this one

https://www.amazon.ca/Desmond-DPL-100-PL100-Release-Compatible/dp/B00CIV065S...s=photo&sr=1-1

The reason I used this one is the two holes at the back allow me to put the end tethers for a optech strap system. If I rotate the foot to the upside down position, and place the holes of the plate to overhang the heel of the tripod foot it balances perfectly the lens plus TC plus K3-3 and you can then hold the foot to keep it swinging around but the strap, if properly adjusted takes all the load

I have literally walked over 1000 km with this lens over my shoulder in the past 18 months, (almost daily 3-5 km per day)

I personally don’t use any other support, (monopod or tripod) but can appreciate those who want or need additional support. And this still allows attachment to a monopod or tripod, and since the lens lacks strap hooks if it’s own this is the best way to attach straps

As for the zoom ring, mine is I would say firm, but not tight. Have you checked that something is not caught in the gap between the barrel and the zoom ring?
03-01-2024, 03:43 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I would suggest you start with an 100mm ACRA Swiss compatible plate

I used this one

https://www.amazon.ca/Desmond-DPL-100-PL100-Release-Compatible/dp/B00CIV065S...s=photo&sr=1-1

The reason I used this one is the two holes at the back allow me to put the end tethers for a optech strap system. If I rotate the foot to the upside down position, and place the holes of the plate to overhang the heel of the tripod foot it balances perfectly the lens plus TC plus K3-3 and you can then hold the foot to keep it swinging around but the strap, if properly adjusted takes all the load

I have literally walked over 1000 km with this lens over my shoulder in the past 18 months, (almost daily 3-5 km per day)

I personally donít use any other support, (monopod or tripod) but can appreciate those who want or need additional support. And this still allows attachment to a monopod or tripod, and since the lens lacks strap hooks if itís own this is the best way to attach straps

As for the zoom ring, mine is I would say firm, but not tight. Have you checked that something is not caught in the gap between the barrel and the zoom ring?
OOOPS...
Thanks for pointing out the OP would also need a 100mm Arca plate in order to use Peak Design quick connects (or the Optech loops) on the lens foot. I neglected to mention it.
03-01-2024, 06:46 PM   #10
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Pardon my lack of experience with monopods, but why do many of you recommend using alternate straps? I figured I'd have both the monopod's strap and the camera's strap around my wrist.

---------- Post added 03-01-24 at 05:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I personally donít use any other support, (monopod or tripod) but can appreciate those who want or need additional support.
I just have shaky hands, which of course is magnified with longer lenses, especially in low-light situations. This monopod will be for photographing owls when they come out at dusk. There's a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls living on my office building. Thank goodness for Shake Reduction!

That said, I can hand-hold this new lens or my old Pentax K 500mm 4.5 as long as it's sunny out or I use a high ISO. I usually do this when shooting the Blue Angels and other fast-moving objects, but it'll sure be nice to have more support for the weight.
03-01-2024, 07:08 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neopifex Quote
Pardon my lack of experience with monopods, but why do many of you recommend using alternate straps? I figured I'd have both the monopod's strap and the camera's strap around my wrist.
there is no strap provision at all on the lens, yet the best place to carry the lens from is at the center of gravity on the lens
03-01-2024, 07:24 PM - 1 Like   #12
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It's just a matter of having a strapping system that works and you'll use so that your gear doesn't meet the hard place between the rocks, whether it's around your neck, chest, or wrist. Supporting the lens and mono from the camera is more stressful than supporting the camera and mono from the lens.
03-02-2024, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Over the past few years I've been pretty sold on the Benro products. For my K1 mkll I've found using their carbon fiber Tripod with Their S6 fluidhead is I deal for the heavy combo with the K1 when using my DFA 15-30mm, DFA 70-200 & DFA 150-450mm or just in general..
Sometimes it isn't really conducive to carry those and use a tripod so at times I carry a mono pod but though I have a few I haven't really cared for them all that much until I picked up this one from Benro. Though it states as being for video it is the most versatile monopod I have encountered and for me is a pleasure to use. Right now on Benro's web page there are open box available for half the price MCT48AFS6 Connect Video Monopod | Benro

Also check out this video to get an idea on it's versatility.

Also to give you an idea on their S6 Fluidhead, balances perfectly with either the bigger DFA lens.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 03-02-2024 at 07:47 AM. Reason: added info
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