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I have a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 push-pull and I wonder how to use it on a tripod. There is no collar.

What is the best solution to attach it to a tripod? ("Best" is rather vague, it should take into account the easiness to find the required materials for the most part as well as how bulky the solution is. Price is rather secondary in my case.) Are there any universal collars or would it be ok to only attach the camera body?

I am not looking for a head/tripod recommendation, I am looking for a way to link {camera + lens} to {tripod + head}.

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I see you have edited your question to specifically rule out my solution. I don't quite understand why you want to rule out a solution that is designed for exactly what you are trying to achieve(mounting a lens without a collar to a tripod). –  dpollitt Aug 5 '11 at 17:57
    
Well, the answer just doesn't correspond to what I am looking for. I don't see how using a plate would solve my issue: I still have to find a way to attach the kit to the plate, the plate acts like and advanced tripod head but you still have to balance/stabilize the kit, don't you? Probably I wasn't clear enough, that's why I have amended my question. –  drolex Aug 5 '11 at 19:36
1  
I see what you are saying. My solution does not attach directly to the lens, because that is not required to achieve a balanced unit. The Wimberley Gimball head in addition to the plate, allow you to place the weight of the camera and lens below their pivot point. It steadies your entire setup so it doesn't flop forward on a tripod. I think that is what you are looking for, and this achieves exactly that. –  dpollitt Aug 5 '11 at 20:15
    
Haaaaa, I see. Thanks for the details. –  drolex Aug 5 '11 at 21:11

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You might want to consider a lens support device like the Manfrotto 293.

Manfrotto 293 (Lens Support)

This is my camera with a 300mm F4.5 prime on it. The device is currently in the shortest position so it could be extended to support longer lenses.

I use the device for when I do piggyback astrophotos.

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Ah, this is probably what I need, but it looks quite bulky. Is it foldable? –  drolex Aug 5 '11 at 17:21
    
what brand lens is that? –  JoséNunoFerreira Aug 5 '11 at 18:33
    
in the picture? a pentax –  rfusca Aug 5 '11 at 19:35
    
The support is actually mounted on a plate for my telescope. It's actually rather slim. You can see the relative size on the slr. The kit comes with two different sockets depending on how your tripod is set up. As noted, you can extend the sliding rail to support longer lenses. The lens in this case is the smc PENTAX-A* 1:4 300mm (see specs here: kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/extreme-tele/A300f4.html ). In this setup, the 132mm long lens fits perfectly for the shortest length on the support. –  smigol Aug 6 '11 at 9:26
    
I think I would enjoy trying that lens out on my K-5. Since you're a Pentax shooter into astrophotography, you might want to consider the K-5 with the O-GPS1 unit. I have the combo and it works quite nice. –  John Cavan Aug 6 '11 at 21:41

A quick Google search found a collar designed specifically for the 80-200 push pull at http://www.kirkphoto.com/Lens_Collar_for_80-200mm_Push-Pull_D.html

I've never used this collar, I've never used this lens, I don't even own a Nikon camera - so I don't know if it's good but apparently is does exist.

I also think I've seen a generic lens collar, but I can't find on the internet it so I might have imagined it :-)

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This was the only solution I was able to fnd by myself, but these are now very hard to find (at least in Europe) and, holy cow, they are incredibly expensive. BTW I am not aware of any generic collar, and the same goes for this "internet", that looks like an invention to me. –  drolex Aug 6 '11 at 14:27

The best way that I am familiar with doing this is to use a Wimberley Gimball Tripod Head in combination with a Wimberley Perpendicular Plate. As you said, price is not as important of a factor for you as ease of use and size(and I am assuming functionality).

For telephoto zoom lenses, nothing can really beat a Wimberley Gimball head. Take any trip to a national park, and you will see every serious wildlife photographer with one of these. Most of them are using it with a standard tripod ring mount, but in your case a simple adapter will give you the opportunity to use this great tripod head.

These are expensive, but very well working solutions. If you are looking to spend less, a high end heavy capacity tripod with standard head might be a cheaper solution. You could also sell your current lens and purchase a lens with a tripod ring. The lens you have is really not all that heavy at 2.5lbs or so, comparatively speaking to large telephotos.

Wimberley Gimball Perpendicular Plate at B&H

Wimberley Heads at B&H

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If you attach the body to the tripod head the kit will be sadly nose-heavy. This can work if the head is solid enough, but a tripod collar would give a much better balanced setup!

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