Friday, June 25, 2010

Using the Lens Mounting Ring of the Olympus 50-200mm Telephoto Lens on a Tripod

When I first started using the 50-100mm telephoto on my tripod, I connected the camera to the tripod. The lens is a heavy lens and my ball head made it difficult to position and maintain position of the lens. I would loosen the head, focus on the subject, and then tighten the head. Then the lens would droop and my subject would not be in the right place. It was a constant battle to get the lens in the proper position. This was made even worse by the off brand battery grip that I have attached to the camera. The connection between the grip and camera is not as snug and tight as one would wish, and this increased the movement of the lens after adjusting the ball head.
Well - duh. The lens comes with a nice ring tripod mount. I knew it was time to try it out. With the lens mount, the lens mounts to the ball head and the camera just hangs off the end of the lens, supported only by the lens. This is way way better. Below is a diagram of the setup.

I attached a mounting plate on the lens mount that fits the mount on my ball head. I then tried to attach the lens to the ball head. With the camera in the landscape position, I was unable to tighten the mount at A in the diagram above. The battery grip was in the way.
Well duh - Again! The lens mounting ring has a knob(B), which when loosened, allows the lens/camera to rotate. This is for switching easily from landscape to portrait orientation. When I rotated the camera, the battery grip was out of the way, and I could clamp the lens to the ball head.
This new setup works great. The lens/camera is very stable and I am not readjusting the lens at all. I am able to set the lens once and it stays. I now have renewed faith in my ball head and tripod.
Obviously, I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, it takes me awhile to get it. Most of the time (not all) there are reasons why things are made the way they are. I will say that the literature that came with my lens didn't describe the practical use of the lens mounting ring, only how to attach it. Live and learn.