I have to tell on myself. On a recent trip to Joshua Tree I was shooting mostly landscapes with my D3s when I saw a barrel cactus high up on a hillside that I wanted to get a shot of. I grabbed my 70-200 which was stowed with the tripod foot attached and my 2x tc and my D300. Without any straps on I just grabbed the rig by the tripod foot and set off across the road to get a little closer (an effective focal length of 600mm was apparently not enough for me). My hand somehow activated the release button and even though the knob was tight, the whole rig slipped out and fell about three feet to the asphalt.
It landed on the lens hood which was attached and to the flash shoe of the D300. The flash shoe was partially crushed, the onboard flash would no longer stay closed, and the camera would not shoot bursts. The camera would however still take pictures. When I later tried the 70-200 + tc on my D700 I had trouble focussing to infinity.
So I took all three items to Nikon USA here in El Segundo, CA. Will report back when they are repaired.
My conclusion is that unlike almost every other long lens, the 70-200 should not be carried by the tripod foot.
Jim, I can understand the feeling. A few months ago, I was carrying a treasured Nikkormat FTN when the strap broke and the camera fell to the sidewalk from a height of about 4 feet. The poor old camera was a total loss. One of my first thoughts was "How could I have been using such a raggedy old strap?" But, alas, we are human, and therefore, fallible.
Jim While taking some pics for a church directory, I placed my camera on a stool while setting up the next pose. When turned around, I knocked the camera off the stool onto a concrete floor. Both the lense and the camera were damaged and sent to Nikon. Lens repair $170, camera repair $375. I now make full use of the handy little attachment called a "camera strap."
For you and for anyone out there who will have that, "What was I thinking of/not thinking of moment," if they drop a camera and lens, here are two true stories to place your situations in context by:
Yosemite National Park during the high water flows when rivers and waterfalls are flowing at +5,000 cubic feet per second. I'm talking to a photographer at the Awahnee at the end of the day who "hiked the upper Yosemite falls trail...," "placed his camera bag filled with Canon gear (including filled memory cards) in excess of ten grand on a bush...," then "watching the bag and equipment roll off the bush, down the slope, over the edge...," and falling about "2,000 feet to the river and falls below".
Add to that my experince loaning my Nikormat FT2 to a "friend", whom I thought was competant, whom I instructed in camera handling and how to correctly where the shoulder strap, and who then leaned over a tidal pool, the camera promptly slid off his shoulder into the salt water, and who then placed the camera on then shelf (literally) for three days before returning it to me.
Jim, sorry to hear about your misfortune and unnecessary expense. I do hope that all is OK now. I have always carried my 70/200 lens plus camera body by the tripod foot/bracket but will stop that practice immediately. I was very fortunate a year or two ago. I was photographing animals from a hide with my D3 and 200/400mm f4 VR when a Fish Eagle started hunting in the dam. I wanted to fit a TC and placed the lens on the shelf. It dropped about 1,5 meters to the floor, fortunately striking my foot on the way down. Despite many anxious moments it suffered no damage although my foot was very bruised and painful for some time.
I have been carrying the 70-200 that way for many years but not any more!
Other than the pain it sounds like you were lucky it hit your foot. I would really cringe if I dropped one of my long lenses like the 200-400. Everybody's sharing in this thread reminds me to slow down and think.
I did the exact same thing, on asphalt. In my case my D2h and 70-200 (original version), with RRS replacement foot.
I'm surprised your foot released if the locking knob was tight. In my case the knob was loose (I believe).
That safety catch is very, very dangerous because I, and I suspect most people, carry the lens with the lens collar stem between forefinger and 2nd finger. My forefinger always trips the latch, always, and I don't think it is avoidable with any finger in front of the lens collar stem.
In my case it broke the aperture coupler on the D2h. It was about a $350 B2 repair. I had it repaired just weeks before I finally broke down and bought a D300. The lens was fine. I forget exactly how it hit, or I may not have been sure at the time.
Dropped the items off on 3/27. Picked up the camera and lens on 4/10. They still have my tc as they didn't realize it needed a new mount until they were done with the other items. I live less than a mile away from the Nikon service place so very convenient.
Thanks. I have a very small problem with my D300 (the hot shoe has about a 5 degree lean, been that way for 3 years), about every quarter I notice and think "I'll send that off" and then wonder both how long and how much to fix so small a problem. With an additional camera now I am a bit less concerned, but still don't want to be without too long. Good to know turnaround is quick.
Sun 15-Apr-12 11:44 PM | edited Sun 15-Apr-12 11:44 PM by hawaii502160
I've carried my D7000/70-200mm VRII combo by the tripod foot pretty much since I purchased the lens. I'm VERY anal about making sure that the foot knob is cranked down tight as soon as I attach it. With my locking knob tightened down, the release doesn't move on my tripod foot.
I hope everyone feels fortunate to avoid such carelessness and I hope no one else drops a camera. Your story of no back up camera is another excellent reminder to us all (after a trip to the Grand Canyon yet).
Interesting thread. I just got my 70-200 VRII back from El Segundo for warranty repair of a sticky/slow aperture. I re-installed the RRS foot this morning and what with it having been about 1½ years since I originally installed it, I took a few seconds to ponder why there's a trigger latch and a locking knob. Seemed redundant. When I get home I'm going to make sure that knob is tight!
In all Jim, it was an expensive mistake, but given the value of the equipment involved, I'd say you got off pretty light. Glad to hear you're back up and running.
Once my tripod slipped on some rocks and sent D300 + 16-85 into the Tuolumne River. What a horrible feeling that was. I pulled it out and pulled the battery immediately. It took a couple weeks for the D300 to dry out, and other than a dirty looking viewfinder it seemed no worse for wear. The 16-85 was disassembled/cleaned/repaired by El Segundo for a whopping $65 (!) and came back like new, and left me only needing to replace the cracked lens hood and crished C-PL to be back to golden. Although I always thought the water in the D300 might be a ticking time-bomb, that whole rig was stolen during a house break-in about a year later but now some idiot has a camera that was in the bottom of the river. I got an insurance payout and replaced with D300s & Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM, back to golden again!
Edited to add... I just remembered seeing this. Jim, you might want to take a look at this product from RRS, for $28 maybe some explanation and future peace of mind:
"Nikon’s extremely popular 70-200mm lens has one weakness: its thin aluminum plate mount on the lens collar. This is where the removable lens collar foot slides onto the collar. It doesn’t take a lot of tripod use before normal torque causes this thin plate to become deformed. Ever noticed that your foot seems loose, even though that knob is locked down? Check the condition of the plate mount on your lens collar, then order our LCF-10P."
Thanks for adding your story. I appreciate the RRS link and am investigating that item. On their website they state "it may not allow mounting of the Nikon foot". I have sent them an email asking whether it does or does not fit.
When the lens was new I could have sworn that the knob required only moderate tightening. Now I have to crank it down so hard I can barely unscrew it.
You are certainly correct that adding the RRS foot should solve all problems but since I have already shelled out for a plate for the Nikon foot I would rather not shell out for the RRS foot unless absolutely necessary. I am having a little trouble with their assertion that it may or may not fit. Does it or doesn't it?
I'm sure they designed it to fit (their specfiic sample of) Nikon's foot. The warning could either be a standard caveat because they don't control other companies' manufacturing tolerances, or there's enough varation in Nikon's foot that they've received complaints about fit. If it's the former, you're probably fine. if the latter, then the only way to tell is to try it. RRS could probably clarify but since they'd prefer to sell you a foot too, likely they'll take the safe route.
I had a similar issue in my D50 days, since RRS didn't make an L-bracket for that camera. Kirk did, but RRS wouldn't guarantee it would work with the RRS quick release lever clamp. It turned out to work perfectly.
>Instead of the LCF-10 foot replacement URL they provided one for loctite.
LOL I guess they're trying to tell you something? Just kidding, I'm sure it was an honest mistake. FWIW I really like the RRS foot. It's lower profile and with the integrated dovetail it's one less mounting surface in the picture.