Do I need to switch my lens collar brand??

Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by BostonRott, May 9, 2007.

  1. I have a Gitzo tripod (2530) on order, and am looking at RRS ballheads.

    My 80-200 has the standard Nikon collar/foot. I have an L-bracket for the D200 (and will probably pick up a simple plate for the D70). The 300/4 has a Kirk collar.

    I am interested in the BH-40, and was considering the LRII model, which is a lever-release clamp. However, RRS has this disclaimer on their website:

    "NOTE: Choose a Lever Release clamp ONLY if you have quick release plates from Really Right Stuff or Wimberley. Lever Release clamp are not user-adjustable, and different manufacturers may follow different standards when producing Arca-Swiss compatible plates. Specifically, our Lever Release clamps do not work with plates from Markins, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, and some Kirk plates–the dovetails are too shallow. Choose a screw-knob clamp if you have plates OTHER than those from RRS or Wimberley."

    So.......do I need to sell the Kirk collar and buy a RRS collar? Based on looks, I happen to think the Kirk collar looks more solid.

    Anyone else combine Kirk collars and RRS QR level clamps?
     
  2. billg71

    billg71

    693
    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    "Lever Release clamp are not user-adjustable, and different manufacturers may follow different standards when producing Arca-Swiss compatible plates. Specifically, our Lever Release clamps do not work with plates from Markins, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, and some Kirk plates"

    Somehow, I find this statement rather strange coming from a company producing Arca-Swiss compatible equipment..... So RRS's "Arca-Swiss compatible" clamps don't work with Arca-Swiss brand plates? :confused: "Curiouser and curiouser said Alice." :rolleyes:

    I have an A-S Z-1 head with their lever release clamp and it IS adjustable. I have 3 Kirk plates and one RRS. There is definitely a difference in the Kirk plates and the RRS, I can adjust the clamp to allow the Kirk plates to slide in and the RRS plate is locked down tight at the same adjustment. Obviously, the RRS plates are a little thicker in the dovetail but whether this is a good or bad thing I don't know. I do know it's different and I don't need different when I'm trying to concentrate on setting up my gear.

    I do know my Kirk plates are high quality and obviously machined to close tolerances since all 3 slide in at the same clamp adjustment. I bought the RRS plate used and will be replacing it with a Kirk just for consistency. Worrying about which plate I have on which camera and how to clamp it into the head is just another annoyance I can live without. And the Kirk plates come with a small screw you can put in either end to keep the plate from sliding completely out of the clamp.

    The Kirk collar for the 300/f4 is a fairly pricey piece of gear. The 80-200 AF-S has a pretty dinky collar, a lot of owners replace it with the Kirk. RRS doesn't make a collar for either, just a plate as far as I can tell from their website. So if you want to upgrade the 80-200 or replace the 300 collar you're out of luck with the RRS lever clamp.

    FWIW, I'm very pleased with the Z-1 and the clamp. The lever clamp is definitely not quicker to use than the knob clamp, but I'm willing to trade a minuscule difference in speed for the visual indication that the clamp is locked. And there's no possibility of it coming loose when I throw the tripod over my shoulder and take off down the trail.

    Just my $.02/worth, but I'd take a look at the A-S head with the lever clamp or the RRS with a knob if you're absolutely sold on the RRS head.

    Best of luck whichever way you go,

    Bill
     
  3. Hmm....well, since I have the Kirk collar for the 300/4 and really like it, I think I'll look at the Kirk BH-1 instead. :smile:

    Thanks for the help! :smile:
     
  4. Further reading on the RRS site shows that their ball heads (if ordered without a clamp) will ONLY accept RRS clamps. That's fine, but as I'm not interested in replacing my Kirk collar with the RRS one (they do have one, I think it looks less supportive), I have ordered a Kirk BH1 ball head. :smile:
     
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