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What are the types of Canon's tripod mount rings? I've heard about A, B, C and D types, but have no idea what it means or what the difference between them is.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The different types are:

  • Tripod Mount Ring A (W) or A II (W) [hinge] for 70-200mm f/4 L (for both IS & non-IS versions), 400mm f/5.6
  • Tripod Mount Ring A II (B) [no hinge] for 200mm f/2.8 L II
  • Tripod Mount Ring B (W) [no hinge] for 70-200mm f/2.8 L (IS, non-IS, IS II), 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L, 300mm f/4 L IS
  • Tripod Mount Ring B (B) [no hinge*] for 100mm f/2.8 Macro, 180mm f/3.5 L Macro & MP-E 65mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Tripod Mount Ring C (W) [hinge] for for 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS
  • Tripod Mount Ring D [hinge] for 100mm F2.8 L IS Macro Lens

The interior ring dimension for each are (note well they do not go "in order"):

  • Tripod Mount Ring A 65mm
  • Tripod Mount Ring B 72mm
  • Tripod Mount Ring C 82mm
  • Tripod Mount Ring D 69mm

Most have (B) and (W) markings on them, meaning Black and White respectively. A and A II are interchangeable.

Some rings have a hinge that allows the collar to be removed without dismounting the lens. Others do not have a hinge and do require the lens to be dismounted to remove the ring. In the case of the A rings, the black (B) and the white (W) versions of the same size ring differ with regard to a hinge. Some users prefer the hinge-less version for ease of use when using the lens collar to transition from landscape to portrait orientation. Other users prefer the ability provided by the hinge to add/remove the collar without dismounting the lens.

Lenses that use the Tripod Mount Ring B (W) have lugs that fit inside a grove in the lens collar. The collar also has slots to allow clearance for the lugs when the collar is removed.

*The Tripod Mount Ring B (B) pictured at Canon's online store appears to have a hinge. This may in fact be a picture of the Tripod Mount Ring A II (B). The resolution of the image is not enough to read the label on the collar in the picture. The Tripod Mount Ring B (B) pictured at B&H is clearly marked correctly and is not hinged and does include the slots and groove for the lugs on the lenses that include the Tripod Mount Ring B (W) as standard equipment. The only lens that uses the Tripod Mount Ring B (B) not supplied with the collar as standard equipment is the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro (non-L) which does not have lugs that fit in the slots and groove.

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I've just checked my 100-400mm L and it has a Tripod Mount Ring B. –  Mike Jan 9 '12 at 19:26
    
All lenses that use the Tripod Mount Ring B (W) include the collar with the lens when purchased new. This collar is not available from Canon as an optional accessory. The other Tripod Mount Rings listed above are available as accessories from Canon. Other than with the 400mm f/5.6, the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 Macro, and the 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS, none of the collars (except the Tripod Mount Ring B (W)) are supplied with the lenses when purchased new but are available as optional accessories. –  Michael Clark Feb 11 at 13:05
    
The EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro is also supplied with the Tripod Mount Ring B (B) as standard equipment. –  Michael Clark Feb 11 at 13:25

I've never heard of A B C D etc., but a quick search on the net would suggest these are types of ring mounts for lenses, probably for long lenses in which you would not mount your camera but the lens itself. I imagine the letter designation has something to do with the amount of weight the ring can handle.

If you're looking for pods and accessories, you've got to check out http://www.gitzo.com/. These pods are amazing. Pricey yes, but you'll buy one and be set. The hardware is SO much stronger than a Bogen, virtually indestructible.

As for heads and mounts, my favorite I've found is from a little company in San Luis Obisbo, CA. called Really Right Stuff. Their mounting gear is AWESOME. I use their ball mount on my Gitzo and their pano gear as well. Super strong, spirit levels on everything, and totally customizable.

Also, check this discussion out...you may find it useful. http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tripods-heads/152976-tripod-abcd.html

What equipment are you trying to mount?

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1  
I think the letters are Canon's code for different diameters, there doesn't seem to be much information about this, you'd think there was a compatibility chart somewhere that showed which lenses were compatible with which collars. –  Matt Grum Sep 22 '10 at 17:44
    
I'm researching the idea to make a DIY chest tripod (instructables.com/id/Supporting-a-dSLR-camera-on-your-chest) but make it able to take vertical (not only horizontal) shots. BTW, RRS production seems to be very quality but VERY expensive –  igorp1024 Sep 23 '10 at 9:53

I haven't really researched this, but I think that you either get a tripod mount ring with your lens (I got one with Canon 70-200 telezoom), or you should mount the camera.

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There are some cannon lenses which would really benefit from a tripod collar but don't come with one, such as the 200 f/2.8L –  Matt Grum Sep 23 '10 at 9:06

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