Lens Tripod Collars

Evaluations By Bjørn Rørslett

I recently wrote up an article about good or bad tripod collar designs. As a part of the research for that story, I made a compilation of my experiences with various tripod collars found on many of the big telephoto lenses, and the Micro-Nikkors. Read on to learn more. Please note I have not incorporated other people's opinions in the list below.

Tripod Collar Rating Lens Comment

Excellent to Very Good 50-300 mm f/4.5 Zoom-Nikkor ED AI version (which I own) is excellent and the AIS has an even bigger and better tripod collar. A superb lens on a tripod
  200 mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor IF (AIS) AIS version had a much improved, broader collar
  200 mm f/2 Nikkor ED-IF Smallish sized, but still well-performing
  300 mm f/4.5 Nikkor ED-IF Same clam-shell type collar as the 200 Micro (AIS)
  300 mm f/2.8 Nikkor ED-IF All manual versions have nice collars
  400 mm f/3.5 Nikkor ED-IF Fitted with one of the best collars
Good AFS 70-200 mm f/2.8 G ED-IF VR Detachable tripod mount and at last a broad rotating collar
  200 mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor IF (AI) The narrow collar of AI version had less stability than its successor
  AF 200 mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor ED-IF Slanted foot makes the tripod mount less stable than its MF predecessor, but performance still is good
  400 mm f/5.6 Nikkor ED-IF Hinged removable collar similar to 200 Micro and 300/4.5 ED-IF. However, its long lens barrel is prone to vibration
  600 mm f/4 Nikkor ED-IF Various versions with recent tendency towards a cantilevered design
  800 mm f/5.6 Nikkor ED-IF Long lens barrel can give vibration issues, needs two-point support
  800 mm f/8 Nikkor ED-IF Lens barrel prone to vibration, needs two-point support
(more or less)
AFS 300 mm f/2.8 Nikkor ED-IF Adequate, but no more
  AFS 500 mm f/4 Nikkor ED-IF Marginally acceptable
  500 mm f/4 P Nikkor ED-IF Tripod mount on the skimpy side, may need improvement. Light lens barrel quite prone to vibration
  AFS 80-200 mm f/2.8 Zoom-Nikkor ED-IF Just barely acceptable tripod mount
Inadequate AF 70-180 mm f/4.5-5.6 Micro-Nikkor ED Acute need for improvement, in order to get the optical quality the lens is capable of delivering
  AF 80-200 mm f/2.8 Nikkor ED They could just have dropped the whole tripod mount
Poor AF-VR 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 Nikkor ED 100 % wrong design, the worst tripod collar I've ever seen
  AFS 300 mm f/4 Nikkor ED-IF With the identical collar to the above lens, the AFS 300 is a pathetic experience on a tripod
  AFS 400 mm f/2.8 Nikkor ED-IF Very long, pliable and extended foot on the collar, making the lens a bad joke on any tripod



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Last Update 27 July, 2003