Which tripod for the 600mm FL

I use a old Gitzo 1548 for my 600mm FL.  But new and lighter options are now available.

My 1548 folded is just under 23.25  inches(59 cm)  and weighs 3 Kgs. Load capacity 66 pounds ( 30 Kgs)

My worst case, weight of equipment to be mounted on the tripod,  would be under 10- 15 Kgs

So any Benro/ Sirui/ Feisol with max load around 20 – 25 Kg and folded length under 24 inches will do fine. And the newer tripods weigh at around 2 Kgs, which is a whole 1 kg less !

Folded length is important so that I can fit the tripod into a suitcase for travel. Hence I prefer folded length under 24 inches.



RRS LCF-18 doesn’t play well with the Nikon 600mm FL

While researching the Nikon 600mm FL arca swiss compatible lens foot I came across Simon’s blog

The new Nikon 600mm FL is a new lighter design and I got the new RRS LCF-18

I found that the lens foot was slightly higher than the stock Nikon lens foot. Also, to me the length was a bit short while hanging a Dx size big body (600mm FL + Lens hood+ pro body, after balancing adjustments). It would be even shorter if I should use a smaller Dxxx series body.  Also, the “heft” or feel in the hand, while holding the lens by the RRS LCF-18 lens foot,  felt much “less confident” than the solid feel of the older RRS LCF-13. The allen key access to tighten the screws to the are a pain.

After adjusting for balancing, the 600mm FL with hood + Nikon Dx pro body looks about 1 cm short.


Even with the lens hood reversed, the lens foot is much taller


Seems perfect when balanced  without the lens hood ( only 600mm FL + pro body). Notice the LCF-18 lens foot extends about 1 cm beyond the end of the wimberly gimbal  plate, after it is adjusted for balance..


The RRS LCF-18

Construction 6061-T6 aluminum
Type II black anodizing
Mounting Threads 2 x 1/4″-20 sockets
2 x 3/8″-16 sockets
Dimensions Length: 6.0″ / 154 mm
Height: 1.75″ / 48 mm
Width: 1.7″ / 44 mm at top, 1.5″ / 38mm at base
Weight 5.3 oz / 151 g

Here is a pic with the RRS MPR-1 attached to the stock lens foot. This worked well too but, with the TC attached.


Basically I think RRS dropped the ball this one. Quite a surprise that for me, and I am an RRS fan due to their attention to detail and engineering.

I had been very happy with the RRS LCF-13 on my old 600mm. It reduced the overall height and it felt solid in the hand.

The RRS LCF-13 & specs

Construction 6061-T6 aluminum
Type II black anodizing
Mounting Threads 1 x 1/4″-20 socket
1 x 3/8″-16 socket
Dimensions Height: 0.7″ / 18 mm
Length: 5.6″ / 143 mm
Width: 1.7″ / 44 mm
Weight 6.2 oz / 176 g

Note: One solution could be to use a lighter lens hood. Will try this with my Aquatech soft lens hood . Another option is, I can try to increase weight on the camera end by adding the L plate. I will try these combos and report back.
03 Feb 2018: No change. Tried with a cameara lens plate added as also, a soft lens hood. Still the RRS LCF-18 is sitting short on the wimberly WH-200 clamp.

RRS LCF-18 lens foot does not play well from krish photo on Vimeo.

Alternatives & solutions :

  1. Jobu Lens foot LF-N604FL (177mm length )
  2. RRS MPR 192 ( 192mm length) added to stock Nikon Lens foot
  3. Wimberly P50 lens plate ( 167mm length) added to stock Nikon Lens foot

Mounting a camera L plate on a wimberly gimbal

One usual challenge on trips is, sometimes I need to use a shorter  lens for landscapes when using a wimberly gimbal.

My camera has a L plate so I can mount it on a ball head /  wimberly with a wide lens. On the wimberly, I have a problem. I can’t use the viewfinder or the rear LCD since the Wimberly blocks the view.

In the photo below, you can see how the wimberly gimbal blocks the viewfinder and rear LCD.


So I researched some and got this nifty adaptor. Basically this is a camera strap attachment. This is also used as part of macro setups and in “nodal rails”. But this has an “arca swiss screw clamp” as also, in a transverse (90 degree) alignment an “arca swiss rail” ( groove ). How this works is that the screw clamp, clamps on to the camera L bracket and, the rail slides into the gimbal lens groove. That solved my problem.

There is a wimberly attachment the M-8 perpendicular plate to do this same thing but, is some 8 times more expensive than the aliexpress one (USD 85 vs USD 12) !

The aliexpress clamp attachment



Attached to camera L plate as below


Problem solved after attaching the adaptor. I now have access to my viewfinder and rear LCD  🙂