This is my first topic and I am sorry to have to start with a question.
This is a fabulous lens BUT I have great difficulty carrying the thing because it just doesn't balance around the tripod foot or the lens straps as the front element is way too heavy.
Any inventive ideas to get the thing better balanced when hiking or do you just carry it over your shoulder?
Many thanks for our help!
#2. "RE: 400mm f3.5" | In response to Reply # 0TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007Mon 05-Aug-13 02:49 AM
Welcome to Nikonians, and a question is a great way to start!
I don't have a 400/3.5, but I face a similar issue with my 500/4 lens. So what I eventually worked out was using a Black Rapid R strap, connected to the tripod foot of the lens. I put the strap diagonally around my shoulder, and the lens then dangles at my waist on one side. I do need to have one hand on the lens when walking to prevent it from bumping into my body or other things, but aside from that it works very well. Also, when I use the lens hand held (on occasion), the strap stays on, and so there is no risk of dropping the lens. Finally, when I swap this lens out for another (shorter) one to take a scene picture, I can keep the lens dangling on my body side while I take the camera off.
Since I use the lens on a monopod quite often, it was not practical to screw the R strap into the tripod foot. Instead, I mounted a small RRS bracket onto the R strap, which allows me to quickly connect or disconnect the lens tripod foot, and as a side benefit, it works for the camera, too, for occasions when I use a shorter lens.
Bay Area Nikonian
#3. "RE: 400mm f3.5" | In response to Reply # 2hyphotographer Registered since 19th Mar 2012Fri 06-Sep-13 08:06 PM
Why not try a battery pack or some people call it a battery grip, with some heavy high capacity AA batteries in it could help with balancing the weight, in addition to the camera battery in it usual compartment.
#5. "RE: 400mm f3.5" | In response to Reply # 4joyt Registered since 03rd Aug 2013Sat 19-Oct-13 01:06 PM | edited Sat 19-Oct-13 01:09 PM by joyt
Sorry not to reply but the camera I use with this is a D3s and working away I've come up with an answer that others might find useful.
I have a back pack with a hoop on each strap, chest high at the front. I loop the D3s carrying strap loosely around my neck in case of a mistake. On the lens itself there are two metal eyelets for carrying. I have threaded an old camera strap about 1cm wide nylon, through one eyelet, around the back of the lens and back through the other eyelet and then the ends are hooked onto the right sided hoop of my rucksack. The straps are adjusted so that the lens sits in the middle about level with my lower abdomen. Now as you say the lens end tilts downwards so I then used a shoulder carrying strap, (one with a neoprene strip where it sits over the shoulder) and hung it inverted, hooking the ends to the hoop on the left rucksack strap. The lens hood sits in the loop of neoprene which again is adjusted to be about the same height as the lens, ie lower abdomen.
Now this sounds complicated but in reality I walk anything up to 12 miles in the mountains like this. It is really easy to use the camera by lifting it out of the neoprene loop and raising it to your eye. This can be done very quickly because it is sitting horizontal in front of you and believe it or not I don't find the straps get in the way. Also I don't feel the weight at all even after the long walks.
I thought about manufactured solutions but in the end this seems to work really well for me.