Nikon 200-500 - lens collar replacement? Kirk vs RRS? Kirk $90 add-on lens support?

Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
5,157
Location
Houston, TX
Is a collar replacement necessary (given Nikon's shoddy performance engineering-wise over the years) ?

If collar is replaced is the additional support provided by the Kirk roller support that connects to the replacement collar foot a necessary addition for stability and sharper images?

TIA
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
1,182
Location
Ontario, Canada
Personally I find this lens very hand holdable and based on that alone I don't feel the need to upgrade collar. If your needs would be different and you will find yourself using a tripod often I am unfortunately not much help in terms of comparison. I have used it a few times on a tripod and find the results quite acceptable in terms of my expectations. Good luck with your ultimate choice.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
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Location
Redwood City, CA
I bought the 200-500 when it was first released and used the provided collar with a Wimberley Arca Swiss plate I already had. It worked just fine. When Kirk sold a collar/foot combo I bought one. It could be removed with the lens on the camera, unlike Nikon's and was lighter in weight. The knob attaching the collar was not captive and it was slightly awkward to remove, but certainly better than the Nikon/AS Plate combo. An initial product from RRS simply wouldn't balance well and was replaced with a longer foot.

The revised RRS product is the best solution, but it is more expensive. The two piece design is much better for packing, the rotation is the smoothest and the foot can also be used with my 70-200/4 Collar if I only want to pack one.

An Arca Swiss plate is cheap and works. The Kirk is better, but probably not worth the money vs the RRS. If you have other RRS collars or travel a lot, it's a no-brainer vs the Kirk.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
4,554
Location
Redwood City, CA
the 1st rrs was too short but the lens is easy to HH so I returned the rrs and didn't replace it
I use mine about 60% hand-held and 40% on a tripod. I tended to keep the Kirk collar attach even when hand holding because I was too lazy to remove it. I'm more likely to remove the RRS, which it makes handholding more pleasant.

I get a lot of small birds in my yard and it can be handy using a tripod with a Sidekick as nice place to "store" my camera when doing yard work or dining.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
5,157
Location
Houston, TX
I decided to get KIRK collar, lens foot and additional support piece. With any lens over 200mm I shoot from tripod exclusively.

Thanks to all who made suggestions or relayed their experience.
Nick
 
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