Mini-Review: Kirk Collar for New 80-400

Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Just arrived via UPS today, my impressions:

1. Solid
2. Well engineered
3. Can remove the collar from the lens without dismounting the lens
4. Longer platform for mounting to tripod
5. No need for extra lens plate
6. Feels better to me handholding than the standard collar
7. Can mount lens hood reversed, this was a complaint with the old collar

In short, I like it. Hard to really know how much this adds to stability, but if nothing else I like not having an additional plate mounted to the bottom of the tripod collar.

Pictures from the Kirk site here if you want to look.

I am in no way affiliated with Kirk, other than as a fool who sends them money on occasion.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
131
Location
Basel, Switzerland
I use Kirk Collars für my 70-200 and 300/4 as well as L-Brackets for both of my bodies and the handling with a tripod is much easier and faster and the workmanship of the material outstanding.

Strongly recommended.
Cheers
Mike
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
2,419
Location
Eden, NY
Hey Bill, how often do you expect to use the collar vs just handholding? Do you expect to be taking the collar on and off or just leave it on? Just curious since I'm debating what to do and what to get. The RRS collar has the removable foot (and is quite a bit more expensive at 235 vs 170) and may be better suited for a lot of mixed handheld/tripod use....
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Hey Bill, how often do you expect to use the collar vs just handholding? Do you expect to be taking the collar on and off or just leave it on? Just curious since I'm debating what to do and what to get. The RRS collar has the removable foot (and is quite a bit more expensive at 235 vs 170) and may be better suited for a lot of mixed handheld/tripod use....
Part of my decision is based on one of the prime users for this lens, my wife. She can handhold the lens, but not for extended periods of time. We get out and shoot together every few months, and for those times this will be mounted on the tripod. Taking the collar off is very easy, not as easy as the RRS foot for sure, but since I can take the collar off without removing the lens, unlike the Nikon, the process is eay. However, the darned thing fits so nicely in my hand, the base plate is almost exactly the length of the palm of my hand, that I may just never take it off at all. I have not had the opportunity yet to test this, but sitting in my house it feels as good in the hand with the collar as without it.

For those reasons, as well as the cost difference, I went with the Kirk. Some people may say that the Kirk will be more stable because it contacts the lens in 2 places, I won't make that claim because I don't know, and have no clue how to really tell. Plus I don't really care anyway :biggrin:

I don't think you can go wrong with either solution, I just have other things I can do with the $$ difference.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
28
Location
California
Thanks for the review! My question/concern: is there any longterm potential for the front support on the Kirk to leave rub marks on the lens body if one was to be constantly flipping the camera between portrait/landscape orientations?

thanks

Rich
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,446
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
i am on stand by for the RRS collar & foot
I wonder how kirk just replaces the collar but rrs needs to replace the collar and the foot

on the kirk replacement what connects to an arca swiss clamp, like the rrs bh-55 head

does anyone know the diff in lenth of the foot......my RRS 500vr foot was a little too short if i didn't use a gripped body so I sold it and got the wimberly and I don't want that same problem using an ungripped d800 + 80-400 (my new long LS setup after I get the new collar/foot)

dam this is all more confusing than it should be
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for the review! My question/concern: is there any longterm potential for the front support on the Kirk to leave rub marks on the lens body if one was to be constantly flipping the camera between portrait/landscape orientations?

thanks

Rich
That is a good question, Rick, and one I think I will ask Kirk about. I never heard complaints about that from anyone, but I figured I would go to the source and ask for you. I just got off the phone with Kirk, they actually put Teflon tape on that end of the collar for just that reason. I will look at this when I get home. They said the only issues they have ever seen were when someone left the collar in a very hot place and the adhesive started to lift, but you would notice that I would think before any damage could occur. Darned good question, glad you asked, I never thought about that.

i am on stand by for the RRS collar & foot
I wonder how kirk just replaces the collar but rrs needs to replace the collar and the foot

on the kirk replacement what connects to an arca swiss clamp, like the rrs bh-55 head

does anyone know the diff in lenth of the foot......my RRS 500vr foot was a little too short if i didn't use a gripped body so I sold it and got the wimberly and I don't want that same problem using an ungripped d800 + 80-400 (my new long LS setup after I get the new collar/foot)

dam this is all more confusing than it should be
Randy, the Kirk collar is all one piece. The Arca Swiss portion of the bottom plate is 3-1/4", I measured that for you this morning. I will be interested to know how long the RRS foot is. The length of the Kirk foot is determined by the need to position the front portion of the collar.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
28
Location
California
The nice thing about the RRS setup is that if you already have the foot you only need the collar. The Kirk has the arca plate built into the collar but it's hard to say if it's long enough. appears it's no shorter then the RRS foot however.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
28
Location
California
Bill,

Thanks for checking into that. The design makes more sense now. you would lose the advantage of the support with out contact (unless your long lens technique included really bearing down on the top of the lens!) and yet too much contact would be an issue as well I would assume without a frictionless material there. I've got to think this system is proven at this point as I've never seen anyone criticize their design on the 300 f4 and old 80-400 collars which have been out there for a while now. I think I will go ahead with the Kirk since I don't own an RRS foot anymore (it went with the 70-200).

Rich
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
2,419
Location
Eden, NY
The RRS foot is only about 2-2.5" long if memory serves....it is the same foot that was used for the 70-200 VRI and VR2 lenses. Given the 3.25" length Bill reported there is no doubt in my mind that the Kirk foot is longer. That said as far as balance is concerned I'm not sure one would need a longer foot. I suspect (and Bill can confirm) that it will need to be clamped near the collar...(depending of course on the camera).

The one advantage I see with the RRS setup is being able to remove and replace the foot very quickly while leaving the collar on the lens. The disadvantage is it is one more connection and may not be as rigid. I was leaning towards the Kirk foot and given what Bill said I'm leaning that way more now....
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,446
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
The nice thing about the RRS setup is that if you already have the foot you only need the collar. The Kirk has the arca plate built into the collar but it's hard to say if it's long enough. appears it's no shorter then the RRS foot however.
i already had the rrs 70-200 foot so that worked for me especially since the 70-200 foot was only for long exposure LS shots and the 80-400 has replaced the 70-200 for that job so this was perfect for me
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
As I noted before, I have no clue which of these would be the most rigid. What I will do tonight is to mount the lens/camera combinations on my tripod to see where the balance point is. I will do the following combinations:

1. D800 with grip and 80-400
2. D800 without grip and 80-400
3. D800 with grip and 80-400 + 1.4TC
4. D800 without grip and 80-400 + 1.4TC
5. D7100 without grip and 80-400
6. D7100 without grip and 80-400 + 1.4TC

#5 and #6 will most often be what my wife will be using. I will be looking to see where the balance point is. If it is further forward than 2-1/2" or so, that would be tough with the RRS solution I think. My guess is, as Geof notes, that it will probably be closer to the collar anyway, so the length probably won't make a difference.

While the RRS has the advantage of the removable foot, removing the Kirk collar is pretty easy as well. The disadvantage of the Kirk is that once removed it is a bigger piece of "stuff" to put somewhere and you also need to be careful to not lose a spring that becomes exposed when you open the collar. Not enough of a big deal for me to worry about, but it may make a difference to some.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,446
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
The RRS foot is only about 2-2.5" long if memory serves....it is the same foot that was used for the 70-200 VRI and VR2 lenses. Given the 3.25" length Bill reported there is no doubt in my mind that the Kirk foot is longer. That said as far as balance is concerned I'm not sure one would need a longer foot. I suspect (and Bill can confirm) that it will need to be clamped near the collar...(depending of course on the camera).

The one advantage I see with the RRS setup is being able to remove and replace the foot very quickly while leaving the collar on the lens. The disadvantage is it is one more connection and may not be as rigid. I was leaning towards the Kirk foot and given what Bill said I'm leaning that way more now....
i may switch but I'll wait to get the rrs collar....they are an amazing company, products and customer service so a return would be easy,
but I'd end up selling my 70-200 foot and would rather reuse it on the 80-400

now that question on 'rubbing' the lens has me a little concerned about the kirk and i still remember a friends 300/4 kirk foot leaking glue on the lens and kirk acknowledging the problem could happen
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,446
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Hey Bill, how often do you expect to use the collar vs just handholding? Do you expect to be taking the collar on and off or just leave it on? Just curious since I'm debating what to do and what to get. The RRS collar has the removable foot (and is quite a bit more expensive at 235 vs 170) and may be better suited for a lot of mixed handheld/tripod use....
another great pt Geof since my collar/foot will be on a very small % of the time, like 10% for LS vs 90% for wildlife
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
i may switch but I'll wait to get the rrs collar....they are an amazing company, products and customer service so a return would be easy,
but I'd end up selling my 70-200 foot and would rather reuse it on the 80-400

now that question on 'rubbing' the lens has me a little concerned about the kirk and i still remember a friends 300/4 kirk foot leaking glue on the lens and kirk acknowledging the problem could happen
Both amazing companies, I dont think you can wrong quality wise with either of them.

From my discussion with Kirk this morning, I think the only "glue" that could have leaked would be the adhesive from the teflon tape on the end. That would take quite a bit of heat to cause it to melt and lift in the first place. Given the small amont of adhesive that would be involved, I don't personally see how it could cause much of issue, but who knows. And it is hard to tell as well if newer adhesives would have the same issue at all.

For you, already having the foot, I would agree that the RRS makes more sense. The only reason it might not, and this is what I will test tonight, would be if the RRS foot was too short for proper balance. If that is the case I will frankly be flabbergasted, because if there is one thing RRS is darned good at is engineering, and I would find it hard to believe they would not have factored that into their design in the first place.
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
2,419
Location
Eden, NY
Yeah, if I still had the foot I'd probably go with RRS (most of my AS stuff is theirs). But I thought the Kirk 300/4 collar was really decent and it didn't mar the lens that I had briefly (it came with the Kirk collar).

I also thought about the storage "issue". Stowing the RRS foot is easy, the Kirk collar would need to be attached to the lens otherwise I'd be hard pressed to find/allocate room for it. Now, if there is a loose spring when the collar is opened I'd probably loose it for sure....will know more when Bill does the balance testing....
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,446
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Both amazing companies, I dont think you can wrong quality wise with either of them.

From my discussion with Kirk this morning, I think the only "glue" that could have leaked would be the adhesive from the teflon tape on the end. That would take quite a bit of heat to cause it to melt and lift in the first place. Given the small amont of adhesive that would be involved, I don't personally see how it could cause much of issue, but who knows. And it is hard to tell as well if newer adhesives would have the same issue at all.

For you, already having the foot, I would agree that the RRS makes more sense. The only reason it might not, and this is what I will test tonight, would be if the RRS foot was too short for proper balance. If that is the case I will frankly be flabbergasted, because if there is one thing RRS is darned good at is engineering, and I would find it hard to believe they would not have factored that into their design in the first place.

i saw the glue and I had to help clean it off to sell it for her and it was a mess

rrs blew the 500vr foot's length

just sayin
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,446
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Yeah, if I still had the foot I'd probably go with RRS (most of my AS stuff is theirs). But I thought the Kirk 300/4 collar was really decent and it didn't mar the lens that I had briefly (it came with the Kirk collar).

I also thought about the storage "issue". Stowing the RRS foot is easy, the Kirk collar would need to be attached to the lens otherwise I'd be hard pressed to find/allocate room for it. Now, if there is a loose spring when the collar is opened I'd probably loose it for sure....will know more when Bill does the balance testing....
between Bill and I I think we will conclude which is the better solution or it's a tie
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom