#2. "As Mary said, the Kirk LP-5RE: Plate for Nikon 400mm 3.5?" | In response to Reply # 1jrp Charter MemberThu 26-Apr-12 01:52 AM
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#3. "RE: Plate for Nikon 400mm 3.5?" | In response to Reply # 0
I would recommend a Wimberly P30, which is 4.4" long, or something equivalent. As long as you have nubs on one end of the plate to keep the lens in place, any plate will do the same job. I have a Wimberly P30 on my 300/2.8 AFS. Very nice plate; I have several Wimberly plates.
If you have a 400/3.5 then you may be using a gimbal. If you do not have a gimbal now, you may own one in the future. Unlike a ball head, a gimbal needs to be precisely balanced. The longer the plate the more flexibility you have to achieve balance. Balance changes depending on weight of camera body, adding a camera grip, hot shoe flash attached, TC's, etc so there is no way to predict this. What may work now may not work with the next camera body, etc.
I originally bought RRS's recommended plate for my 300, but replaced it with the P30 when I found that sometimes, depending on balance, the plate was only half in the shoe. Now I always follow Wimberly's recommendations for plate length (or go even longer!) on collared lenses because they are very attuned to the needs of a gimbal user, where RRS does not consider this, and given the short length of the Kirk plate, apparently Kirk doesn't think much about that either even though they do make gimbals.
Kirk does not even bother to specify the length of their recommended plate but it looks to be between 2" and 3". (That is a pet peeve of mine). It appears that they designed the plate to fit exactly to the foot, with nubs on both ends. In principle that is an advantage because you do not want that plate twisting. In practice I have never had plate twist issues, on 3 different long lenses, with one set of nubs, nor have I ever seen comments to that affect in the forums here.
On a ball head, or even a gimbal if you are very lucky, those shorter plates are less bulky and in that way possibly more desirable.
Edit: I illustrate here the potential problems of collared lens plate balancing.
my Nikonians gallery.