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Mounting foot on the 500mm F4 lens

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Louis Champan, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Does anyone have an opinion on whether it's worth it to replace the original mounting foot that comes standard on the 500mm with a Really Right Stuff or a Kirk aftermarket foot? The original is about 1 inch taller than the aftermarket mountings.

    There seems to be a lot of opinion on this matter, but I'm looking for someone that actually has had experience with the lens.


  2. Louie, what are you using this lens on? Full wimberly or sidekick?

    I for one was not impressed with either of the 2 nikon foots that came with my 500mm af-s. This lens is not as heavy as my ol' 400mm f2.8 af-s , the amount of vibration on these long lenses are incredible. Mount your 500mm on a tripod, use a release or self timer with mirror lock and watch how much motion their is with the mirror slap alone. Anything and all you can do to help reduce by lowering the centre of gravity plus align your lens up or down securely to ensure your lens/camera combo is balanced is very important. Let alone the arca swiss design for secure fastening, and the built in safety stops at the front and back of the plates help keep your expensive lens from accidentally slipping out of the quick-release clamp! For the $70, dont hesitate or even question it. I purchased the full wimberly replacement foot.(do not get just the lens plate, will defeat the purpose)

    Only negative on this replacement foot is you can't carry the lens by holding onto the foot, their is no clearance, but that is exactly what you want!! :biggrin:

    Hope that helps, and that is my opinion so take it for what it is worth.

  3. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Good info Keith.

  4. Thanks Keith and Frank, coming from experience helps me a lot. I'm going to do exactly that and get the replacement foot.

    Have a Happy New Years
  5. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I Agree With Keith

    I still use it as a handle from time to time...fortunately (for once) I don't have big hands and I can sorta squeeze my fingers in there to use it as a hanlde. I have to shake the hell out of the lens to get it off me however.....

    Now...mine is white ~light gray~ so if you'rs is black, then nothing I've siad here will hold any relavance what so ever.

    AND..of the gratest importnace (no matter what color the lens), when installing the Womberly full replacement foot, it must be done between 4:15 and 5 :00 AM.
  6. JIm

    Jim, can I frame that quote. I AGREE WITH KEITH :biggrin:
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    how the heck can you get your fingies in there!!!
    Is that 4:15-5:15am eastern standard time or mountain time? Im not even breathing at that time in the morning :rolleyes: 

  7. Now, first off, I was born in MA and I know that none of my relatives who still live back there have an accent like you typed, Womberly indeed :wink:

    When I first looked at the longer lenses, the 500mm was one I rented, and the Wimberly folks make an adapter plate to use with the Sidekick for use with the standard foot. Since I was renting, this made more sense then buying a new foot for a lens I didn't own. I know that both RRS, Kirk and Wimberly all make replacement feet, and I believe that the Wimberly is the shortest. And this is where the issue comes into play not only with the Sidekick but with other side-mount gimbals like the Jobu, withouth horizontal bits, and the Kirk King Cobra. You really want the lens positioned over the center of your tripod. If you are using a horizontal mount, Wimberly or the full Jobu, this doesn't come into play.

    Louie, if I were you, I'd check with the company you bought your head from as to what the dimension is you require to get the lens square over the tripod, and decide from there on which foot fits the best. In all cases, as has been noted here, the "standard tall" is really the worst of the bunch.
  8. So Bill are you saying the full wimberly replacement foot on the kirk king cobra is too ofset to be effective?
  9. Reggie


    Dec 10, 2005
    Parrish, FL
    Louis, I posted this response on your similar inquiry in the "Lens Lust" forum.

    Hey Louis,
    I replaced the foot on my 600 Nikkor with a Wimberley replacement foot, that has the "Swiss-Arca" style groove that is needed for the Wimberley head. It lowers the lens profile, allegedly making it balance better. I also just ordered a Kirk LP47 replacement foot for my new 200-400 VR lens. That will allow me to use that lwns on the Wimberley or with the Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ballhead for a lighter weight configuration. The new lens is going to get a workout at Merritt Island next week
    The replacement foot allows me to still carry the lens, using the foot as a handle. You saw the lens at the Venice Rookery.

  10. Not quite, what I am trying to say, and probably doing a rotten job of it, is that if it were me I'd check the distance from the plate on the gimbal to the center point over the tripod and check that agains the dimension of the bottom of the foot to the center point of the lens. And given that it is difficult, if not impossible, to have all of the possible combinations of parts together, I'd give the Wimberly folks a call and chat with them about how to figure out the best combination.

    I'll use my past couple of years as an example. I shot for several months with a Sidekick and the adapter plate that worked with the Nikon 500 f4 AFS-1, which I was renting. The rental lens had the original 500 foot attached, I just bought a plate which I mounted when I rented the lens. When I bought my Sigma I used the same plate but didn't need the spacer on the Sidekick. Now, with the Black Widow from Jobu, the lens centers perfectly with the lens plate mounted on the foot.

    Each combination may have a slightly different dimension. I just did a very close examination of my setup, and I found that I am actually off-center by the thickness of the lens plate. This tells me that if the foot on the Sigma was machined for Arca-Swiss I would be dead-on center. I don't know how much offset would unbalance the tripod, mine seems nice and solid, but I'm sure that anything over an inch or so would not be good. And, of course, this only matters with the side-mounts anyway.

    Looking at the Wimberly foot, I'd bet that is built such that it is dead-on for the Wimberly mount, I'd check with them on the dimensions and they might even be able to tell you fit with the King Cobra. I'm amazed at how friendly and helpful all of these companies are, even though they are in competition with one another.

    Hope that helps, if I have confused things even more I apologize, and be sure to ask if you have other questions and/or correct me where I am wrong.
  11. twig


    May 23, 2005
    The Manfrotto 393 gimbal head operates as effectively as the full wimberley, comes with its own screw on adapter plate for the lens, mounts directly to your tripod without requiring a head at all, and costs $160.

    I know you guys may already have your sidekicks, etc. so this may not be an option, but if you are not married to a system and have the opportunity, do please try this gimbal head, it is lovely.
  12. So has anyone tried all the big three (RRS, Wimberley & Kirk) replacment feet and compared with the original two feet from Nikon (High and low mount)?

    I just ordered the Wimberley based on this thread. I will probably also order the RRS one because it seems to fit on the 300mm VR as well.

    The issue with vibrations on the 500mm AF-S is not only in the horizontal length of the lens, it is vibrating in all axis's around the stupid little square attachpoint to the lens with it's way to small 4 screws to hold it. (I assume everyone else is seeing the same problem)

    Does anyone have any successful strategies to mechanically stiffen this mount up and by that dampen and minimize the vibrations? Do the lower feet help?

    I mean we can handhold to dampen and mirror up and etc. to death but the issue is really the mount of this lens not being large and stiff enough!
  13. this is a little scary as I have not yet taken the first image with mine yet. But Keith said that outfitting the lens with the wimberly foot had a dramatic affect on this. I will be working with mine tommorrow.
  14. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Folks...Fear Not

    It works perfectly FINE with the Wimberly replacement foot. I can't vouch for the other ones, simply because I hae not tried them.

    My 500 and most times a TC are rarely off of my camera (85% of the time)
  15. thanks Jim, reassuring for sure!
  16. I just spoke with Louie, and he now has a Wimberly foot on the way. Apparently there is a conflict with reverse-mounting the lens shade when you use the RRS foot. I'm sure that Louie can expond more when his new one arrives, and I'll see it all tomorrow AM.
  17. I agree with Jim

    had to say that ............. LOL

    I prefered the wimberly over the kirk due to distance of the foot to the lens is considerably shorter. Same length of foot which is more than adequate to move lense forward or backwards with stops to balance your lens on the wimberly ballhead or sidekick.........

    lower centre of gravity will help reduce vibration let alone having lens sit perfectly over ball head with the wimberly set up...............will this remove all vibration, absolutely not, you need good long lens technique to support this and a very sturdy tripod. Tripod is probably most important!

    You cant hold the lens using the foot with the Wimberly as their is no space, (except with Jim hands which I still cant figure out) :biggrin: The kirk you can easily walk around as the gap is considerable. Not sure how much I will like this the Kirk but then again the 200-400mm has VR which will help immensely.

    Lets put it this way, and take what you want with it. The 2 original Nikon feet are CRAP, so any FULL replacement foot, not lens plates will make an immense difference. After that, I call it a Chevy vs. Ford thing. LMAO!!!!!
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  18. Dang, I knew there was another reason, just couldnt put my finger on it :confused:  . That is correct, the lens hood will not mount reversed with the Kirk lense replacement foot, hence the low profile on wimberly to allow the lens hood to be reversed mounted. I never reversed mounted the hood because it would never fit in my bag anyways with the lens hood on, so always carried it as an accessory!

  19. After that, it is Chevy vs. Ford thing

    ah, now I understand!!!!
  20. Kevin Rosenberg

    Kevin Rosenberg

    May 10, 2005
    I've been using the RRS LCF-14 replacement foot with the 500/4 AFSII and have been quite happy.

    As you may likely know, the 300mm VR uses the same LCF-14 foot. (I also use a LCF-14 on my 300VR). So, you can easily compare both the Wimberley and RRS on your 500/4.

    I'm going to add loctite to the screws, but I don't think that will help unless you've developed loose screws over time. Bjorn has talked about drilling an extra hole in his mount, but I've love to see photos and more explanation of his technique.

    BTW, thanks for the helpful page on 500/4+D2X sharpness tips.

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