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09-11-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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Two simple features I'd value.

Here are two features - one camera & lens, the other lens only - that I would like to see become standard:

1. Camera bodies, as well as the foot plates of all zoom & telephoto lenses so equipped - should have a hole just in front of the tripod thread socket for an alignment pin. This has been standard on video cameras for a long time. Many (not all) pan-tilt heads have this spring actuated pin, and many quick-release plates have one. The Kaiser-Bilora-European square dovetail plates I use have such a pin, making this alignment device usable on a ball head once the quick-release base plate is attached. It's not so much the alignment as preventing twisting. Two of my lenses (200 SMCA macro and 400 SMCA macro) have holes that are just close enough to engage this alignment pin. The hole is actually placed a bit more than standard distance from the tripod socket (based on comparison to a video camera and a pan-tilt head with a pin). The old excuse for not having this feature on camera base plates was that it would interfere with the film winding mechanism. Nonsense. If there's room for a tripod socket, there is room for an alignment pin socket perhaps one-quarter as large.

2. Every single-focal-length lens over 135mm and every zoom that extends to 200mm or more should have a built-in, slide-forward lens hood. Both my 200 SMCA macro and 400 f5.6 SMCA have such hoods, as did the FA 135 f2.8 (retired some years back). Although Pentax has been better with this feature than any other manufacturer, their following lenses all have reversing, bayonet mount hoods which I find fussy to mount and reverse, as well as prone to becoming loose after extended use (correct me if I'm wrong - I don't own all of these lenses): DA 50-135, 60-250, 50-200, 55-300, 200 f2.8 and 300 f4. It seems like this enormously convenient feature has been phased out, as I don't think any currently manufactured Pentax lens has one.

What do you think??

09-11-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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The first would probably be nice, but the second not necessarily, as some longer extendable hoods are quite flimsy, such as that on the F* 250-600mm. The FA variant with the bayonet hood is much more sturdy.

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09-11-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
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The M 300/4 has an internal sliding hood. Not much of one but it is there. The DA* 300/4 has a separate bayonet hood which, while more effective, is a royal pain in the ass most times.
09-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
2. Every single-focal-length lens over 135mm and every zoom that extends to 200mm or more should have a built-in, slide-forward lens hood.
Have you ever seen how the Takumar (Bayonet) 135 hood is? Very poor design, and unusable with filters.


Last edited by alohadave; 09-11-2010 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Wrong lens
09-11-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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I have the alignment pin on my handycam and tripod, it's not very effective though as the camera can still move side to side because the tolerances of the pin and it's hole are too loose

I didn't know that was standard practice though, I thought it was just Sony (actually the tripod is Sony too, and I'm shocked that the pin retracts into the base. If they made it fixed, then in typical Sony fashion, it's compatibility would be more limited)

Do all cameras and tripods that feature an alignment pin have the same specification for the location of the pin/hole?
09-11-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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I'm a big fan of built-in hoods. For me, it is usually the difference between having a hood and not.
09-15-2010, 10:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I'm a big fan of built-in hoods. For me, it is usually the difference between having a hood and not.
Ah, Limiteds and their hoods...:ugh:
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