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Nikkor 300mm f/4.0 AF-S + Kirk NC300 replacement lens c

lasvegas_art

Vancouver, CA
83 posts

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lasvegas_art Registered since 10th May 2002
Tue 11-May-04 10:16 PM

Hi
I have purchased a used Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S lens and while the lens is excellent, I am appalled by the flimsiness of the tripod lens collar. I was aware of the complaints about this lens collar on the web but I honestly didn’t think this collar could be so badly designed by such a leading lens/camera manufacturer as Nikon. I am surprised that Nikon has not replaced or re-engineered this tripod lens collar because it truly is as bad as people state on the web.

I would like to get feedback from users of this lens who have purchased the Kirk NC-300 replacement lens collar (I use the Arca Swiss system of QR plates and clamps). I have handled the Kirk NC80-200 replacement lens collar that is designed for the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S lens and was impressed with the quality of this collar so I don’t have concerns on the quality or workmanship of the NC300. I do, however, have other questions relating to the NC300 use on the 300mm AF-S lens that I hope other Nikonians can answer for me.

Specifically, does the NC300 require the 4 metal screws on the lens body of the 300mm f/4.0 AF-S to be removed? The Nikon lens collar uses 4 protruding small screws in the lens to “guide and lock” the Nikon lens collar onto the barrel of the lens. Does the Kirk NC300 lens collar require these same screws and does the NC300 permit the lens to rotate smoothly when re-orientating from landscape to portrait? I find the Nikon lens collar on the 300mm f/4.0 is both noisy and “sticky” with the lens collar catching on the 4 metal guide screws of the lens when the lens is rotated. While I have read about similar complaints regarding the “stickyness” of the Nikon tripod lens collar which shipped with the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S lens, I found the collar on my 80-200mm to be smooth and sure when I rotated the 80-200mm? What have users found with the NC300 + 300mm f/4.0 AF-S with regards to rotating the lens from portrait to landscape?

For those that have the Wimberley Sidekick, how does the NC300 tripod collar perform when the 300mm f/4.0 AF-S lens + NC300 collar is mounted on the Sidekick? The NC300 lens collar has an additional metal “cradle” which supports the AF-S lens forward of the main collar so that the lens is being supported in two places when the QR plate is oriented in the conventional position in a clamp on a ballhead. However, with the lens collar tipped over on its side when attached to the Sidekick, I would guess that the utility/benefit of the cradle evaporates. Is this inference correct? I plan on using the 300mm f/4.0 AF-S largely with either a Kenko Pro 1.4X or 2.0X teleconverter with the intention of photographing birds and wildlife so I may purchase a Sidekick in the future. Hence the rational behind my question about the 300mm f/4.0 AF-S + NC300 + Sidekick.

I am also aware of a company in England (SRB Film Service; www.srbfilm.co.uk) which fabricates custom made lens collars. Has any Nikonian had SRB Film Service fabricate a replacement lens collar for the Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S, and if so, what is their experience with the resulting lens collar?
Thank you in advance for your input and comments.
Regards
Art Calderwood

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