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05-01-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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Pentax A* 645 300mm f/4

Hello,

I just picked up one of these beauties - SMC Pentax-A* 645 300mm f/4 ED (IF) - and wanted to find out if anyone has figured out a lens collar / tripod collar for this lens.

I think Kirk Enterprises made a lens collar for this, but no longer offer this item. Does anyone have this lens and have you found a solution for putting a lens collar / tripod collar on it? Kirk and RRS both make lens collars for Nikon lenses (80-200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4) and I am wondering if either of these might offer a solution.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Yuri

05-01-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Here's what I use with mine: Manfrotto Telephoto Lens Support. Not an ideal solution, but it works. Excellent lens, by the way; with the 645 1.4 converter it's as sharp as my Canon 100-400.
05-04-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Thank you for the link... I was wondering about that item. Had you tried other options? Also, how difficult is it to go from a horizontal composition to a vertical one?

I did pick up a 1.4X just yesterday. Had one before with a FA 400mm f/5.6, but I think this will be a more useful combination for my type of work.
05-04-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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How did you like the performance of the 1.4x with the FA 400? I'm about to put that combination through its paces. Thanks!

Dave

05-04-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
Hello,

I just picked up one of these beauties - SMC Pentax-A* 645 300mm f/4 ED (IF) - and wanted to find out if anyone has figured out a lens collar / tripod collar for this lens.

I think Kirk Enterprises made a lens collar for this, but no longer offer this item. Does anyone have this lens and have you found a solution for putting a lens collar / tripod collar on it? Kirk and RRS both make lens collars for Nikon lenses (80-200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4) and I am wondering if either of these might offer a solution.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Yuri
If you can measure the diameter of the lens barrel where you want the tripod collar, you can try searching on eBay for ones made in China. I bought three of them for my Tamron Adaptall-2 lenses and the build quality is quite good, made of cast aluminum. The screw clamp allows the collar to expand about 5mm to allow you to install or remove the collar. I replaced the padding on the collar with sheet gaskets of varying thickness to accommodate the variations in the lens barrel diameter.

Going from landscape to portrait mode with these collars is not that easy. Probably because the sheet gaskets I used have too much friction and loosening the clamp enough to rotate the lens can make the whole thing very unstable (not something I want to attempt out in the field). I have yet to put into practice but I thought about applying silicone based ceramic tile sealer to the gasket might lower the friction between the gasket and the lens barrel enough to rotate the lens while the collar is still snug around the lens barrel. There is also some low friction adhesive tape (used for shop jigs) that can be used but it's very expensive.

Hope this helps,
05-05-2011, 12:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
Thank you for the link... I was wondering about that item. Had you tried other options? Also, how difficult is it to go from a horizontal composition to a vertical one?
The Manfrotto thingy does not allow rotation of the camera like a tripod collar, but the camera end of the device use the rectangular Manfrotto quick-release system. If you buy an extra plate for the camera, you can flip it around fairly quickly.

If you use Arca-swiss style Quick-Release, I recommend you buy a levered QR clamp from RRS and attach it to the Manfrotto plate.

BTW, I raised the issue of making a DIY collar for the lens with a Pentax repairman once, and he adviced against it because the construction of the optical tube is not solid enough to take the weight of camera and lens combined.
05-09-2011, 09:02 PM   #7
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The 1.4x with the FA 400mm was okay. I was not blown away by it, but I also have some experience with a Canon 300mm f/2.8 and 1.4x as well as a Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with a 1.4x (currently using the Nikon) - both of these were really nice with the 1.4x, so I am comparing it to two really great performers. It was no dog by any stretch though.

QuoteOriginally posted by DandA Quote
How did you like the performance of the 1.4x with the FA 400? I'm about to put that combination through its paces. Thanks!

Dave
05-09-2011, 09:03 PM   #8
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Thank you for the helpful advice and insights!

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