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300 f4 AFS, Which Collar?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Baywing, May 22, 2007.

  1. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Kirk and RRS both make tripod collars for this lens. From user experience, which one would you choose and why?
  2. I use the Kirk collar and I find it to be indispensable for my style of nature photography. I haven't used the RRS, so I can't help you there.
  3. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    I'd go for the Kirk collar. It is a one-piece design with a collar and also support further up the barrel, which would seem to hold the lens very firmly. The long foot also allows you greater freedom to move the lens within the tripod clamp, for best balance depending on the camera in use. It's also useful for for closeup shots as it gives you more freedom to shift the lens forward or back for critical focus, like a mini focusing rail (where moving the focus ring would change the magnification and therefore the composition).

    The RRS replacement collar has a detachable foot, which may be good if you like handholding the lens a lot as it is easier to remove the foot than the entire collar. But for tripod work, the small foot does not inspire confidence. The connection surface between the foot and collar seems rather small to support this lens. Having an extra connection (foot-collar) in addition to foot-tripod and collar-lens is another place which could make camera shake worse, unless you are careful to lock it down. Murphy's law dictates it will be loose for the critical shot, even though the other connections are tight.

    I have no direct experience with either (yet) but that's my thoughts.
  4. stephen99


    Nov 22, 2006
    Holland, Ohio
    I bought the Kirk mainly because they are close to where I live so shipping is very fast and if I remember correctly it was a little cheaper then RRS. Solid, well made and does the job.
  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I had a Kirk collar for my 80-400 vr and loved it. Never used an RRS, can't comment on it
    What is nikon thiking with these stinky collars
  6. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    RRS also make a replacement locking knob for the original collar which is likely to be the cheapest option. Read John Shaw's review here.

    Bjørn Rørslett reviews the lens and comments on the poor tripod collar. The article and his solution here.

    Burzynski also make a replacement collar for the AFS 300/4, which is extemely compact and has some good reviews. There is a review in German here which shows pictures. Another review at photo.net here.
  7. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    Have the Kirk. I shoot on a monopod a lot and the extra support is very useful I think.
  8. Okay, my curiosity is piqued. Has anyone ever seen or had first hand experience with the Burzynski collar? It seems nice and compact. What is that knob on the bottom?
  9. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    Looking at the picture posted at photo.net it's hard to tell. There is a screw head at the rear of the foot. That's probably to stop it sliding through the tripod clamp if tilted when loose. Some RRS plates have that also. There is also something between the tip of the foot and the lens, possibly to provide extra support. The knurled knob underneath is probably the tripod head.
  10. I bought the Kirk collar on the recommendation of a very experienced photographer whom I admire and trust. It is very solid and when I later checked out the RRS, I'm very happy that I bought the Kirk, it just looks far more stable. :smile:

    Note: A Kirk collar will not fit in a RRS clamp (per the RRS website). I just went through figuring this all out, right before I ordered a BH-40. B/c of this non-mesh, I bought a Kirk BH1 instead. LOVE it! :biggrin:
  11. Macusque


    May 18, 2007
    Verona, Italy
    I bought a couple of Burzynski tripod collars when I used Leica, one for the 100 Apo-Macro and one for the 80-200/4 Vario-Elmar. They are wonderfully made and very sturdy.
    The plate is molded to fit directly into Arca-Swiss style heads.
    They are also very short, hence less system vibrations.

    I'm sure the tripod collar for the 300/4 AF-S works great.
  12. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Thanks for all the info. Looks like I'm going to try to make something myself first, ala Bjorn's solution. When funds allow, it looks like the Kirk is the better option for me, lower price and it just has a more stable look to it.
  13. Tosh


    May 6, 2005
    I used to wedge a cork beneath the tripod collar foot and the lens barrel of my 70-180, which also had a bit of a weak tripod mount collar.
    Hardware stores stock corks in a wide variety of sizes and it should run you about $.25.
    You will have to remove and reset the cork when you switch between vertical and horizontal orientations.
    You can make a "cork-keeper" with a small screw-in eyelet and some fishing line. :rolleyes: 
  14. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I actually built a prototype from a piece of wood, glued some felt to each end. Works fine, it's just a bit too big, can't MF as it presses on the focus ring. I'll fine tune it and it should work ok.
  15. It certainly looks nice and compact. The Kirk looks much larger, although I'm sure they both work well. From your experience with the Burzynski collar, does it interfere with hand holding in any way?
  16. Macusque


    May 18, 2007
    Verona, Italy
    On the Leica 100 Apo the Burzynski tripod collar partly interfers with the aperture ring, which was a bit more difficult to access.
    The lens is relatively small and there's not much space between the collar and the camera itself, as you can clearly see from these images.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Anyway on the 300/4 AF-S, which is much longer and designed to have its own tripod collar, I'm sure there won't be any issue.
    If anything, the "slim" profile of the Burzynski allows for better handholding.

    Btw I just ordered the Kirk LP-45 replacement foot for my 70-200/2.8 VR, after have noticed that on tripod my 300/2.8 VR is much less sensible to vibration than the much lighter zoom... I'm wondering why Nikon designed such poor tripod collars... :confused: 

    Cheers :smile:

  17. Thanks Marco. I'll probably get the Kirk because it's a bit less expensive, particularly after exchange rate and extra shipping figure in, but the Burzynski does look interesting.

    BTW, I hope to get to Verona this Summer. I hear it's beautiful.
  18. Macusque


    May 18, 2007
    Verona, Italy
    Beautiful city indeed and please Larry, in case you come here don't hesitate to contact me for any info or issue... or simply for a glass or wine :smile:

    The Roman bridge Ponte Pietra at night, first test of my walkaround lens, 18-200 VR (pbase jpeg compression doesn't do justice to it anyway):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Ciao !

  19. debult


    Jun 11, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Have and like the Burzynski. The B. hand holding is WAY better than the Kirk 80-400 VR collar I own.
    There is no knob on the bottom. The knob at the top is for installation purpose and for adjusting the rotation tension.
  20. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    Marco, I hope you don't mind. Your images came out red x for me and so I took the liberty to correct it. Cheers.
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