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10-14-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
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How can I balance a heavy lens on a tripod head?

Hello, Adam:

Is there a tripod-head collar or bracket available for my 25-ounce, SMC Pentax-A 70-210MM f/4? I would use this to balance the lens and my 21-ounce Pentax K-r body. The problem is that, unless I haven't been observant, there doesn't seem to be an area on the zoom that will accept a collar or bracket; I may be compelled to use this lens-body combination on a strong but unstable tripod head.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Be well,

Bob

10-14-2013, 10:56 PM   #2
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This should get the job done when combined with any tripod:
Manfrotto 293 Telephoto Lens Support with Quick Release 293 B&H

Adam
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10-15-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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I'm using the Manfrotto 293 also, mainly on a K300/4 which lacks a tripod collar. It's not a prefect solution but it does get the job done and is much better than the homemade rig I was previously using. The price is certainly right.
10-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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There are also a number of aftermarket tripod collars that may be adaptable to your lens. They are generally targeted at Canon or Nikon product, but may work on your 70-210. The only problem might be the construction of your lens. Push-pull zoom might make use of a collar difficult. The Manfrotto 293 or something similar might be your best solution.


Steve

10-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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Probably the cheapest solid solution, if you are using a head with an Arca Swiss compatible clamp, is to just buy a long Arca plate and attach it to the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera with the plate extending forward under the lens. The A 70-210/4 is not that heavy a lens (in comparison to fast ultra and super tele primes and zooms), and you should be able to easily balance the kit with something like this:

Desmond DPL 169 169mm QR Lens Plate Quick w Backstop Arca Swiss Compatible New | eBay

If you feel you need more support for the lens, you can easily fashion a DIY front lens support to attach towards the front of the plate,

From experience, it's worthwhile to get started with Arca compatible clamps and plates for QR instead of getting into some head with a proprietary QR system. This might cost you more to start, but if you see tripod use as a continuing technique, some foresight will pay off in the long run. There are simply almost infinitely more mounting solutions with the Arca system than any of the others. There are already quite a few lower cost ballheads available using this system, and more are appearing every day. Most of the newer Chinese and Korean mfgs seem to have adopted the system for the most part, in addition to the higher end American and European mfgs. Even Manfrotto, probably the largest of the previously proprietary only QR head mfgs has conceded and is now making Arca Swiss compatible clamp conversions for their heads. If you already own a head that works for you, but doesn't use an Arca clamp, you can most likely find an Arca compatible clamp that can be mounted on your present head.

Take a look at Hejnar Photo's site to see how many possibilities are currently available.

Hejnar Photo Store, Serving Your Professional Photography Needs

Scott
10-15-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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I don't have a gimbal head but.....


10-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SmilinBob Quote
Hello, Adam:

Is there a tripod-head collar or bracket available for my 25-ounce, SMC Pentax-A 70-210MM f/4? I would use this to balance the lens and my 21-ounce Pentax K-r body. The problem is that, unless I haven't been observant, there doesn't seem to be an area on the zoom that will accept a collar or bracket; I may be compelled to use this lens-body combination on a strong but unstable tripod head.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Be well,

Bob
I don't find the 70-210 f4 too heavy to be supported by the camera body, no need for a lens support bracket.
As far as balancing the combination, I did a quick fit check with K100D and Jobu gimbal using a 5.5" long Jobu plate. It balanced perfectly with room to adjust.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-11-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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