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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

How to Loosen the 400mm f/2.8 Tripod Collar
Ben Chen, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 2:17 AM on 12.03.04
->> Hi, Everyone, Lately I noticed that my 400mm f/2.8 IS lens’ collar is very stiff. Yet, when the lens is not mount on a monopod, the tripod collar seems to rotate freely; but once the lens is mounted, I think because it now has to support the weight of the lens, it is stiff. Is there any way to lube or otherwise loosen it? TIA. Ben
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Greg Ferguson, Photographer
Scottsdale | Az | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 12.03.04
->> I bought some spray lubricant designed for locks that was at Home Depot. It dries and doesn't leave a residue and is supposed to bond to the metal making it last longer.

I originally bought it because the brass adjusting screw on the 70-200mm tripod mount was binding, and eventually wouldn't tighten. I backed it all the way out, ran a tap and die through the hole and on the bolt to true up the threads, then have used that lube to keep it rotating freely.

Then, when the lens started to bind even when I loosened the adjustment, I tried a bit inside the tripod mount and it helped there too.

I never saw any gunk build up that I could blame for the binding, but maybe spraying some Windex or a bit of alcohol on a wipe, and then swabbing the inside of the ring will help.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 3:17 PM on 12.03.04
->> This question has come up a couple of other times here on the board...it would appear that all 400 2.8 IS lenses have this problem. Center of gravity doesn't match up with the collar. Design flaw. Perhaps the IS mechanics & whatnot prevented the engineers from putting the collar in a better location....?
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 3:20 PM on 12.03.04
->> Ben,
Myself and other photographers I know are having the same problem. I talked with our Canon rep who asked around. According to the rep, it is a design flaw that they are looking into. If you look at an older 400 the collar is more centered on the lens. On the new lenses the collar is closer to the camera so all of the large elements of glass make it very front heavy. This puts a lot of torque/pressure (however you want to word it) on the collar. It is a great lens but that flaw is a pain in the butt. I have missed quite a few photos because it got caught up while trying to turn the camera from horizontal to vertical. Who knows...maybe they'll come out with a better type of collar that can be placed differently on the lens while replacing the old collar. In the mean time all you can do is be patient. I try to place my hand on the bottom of the camera to help rotate it. Good luck...Dan.
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Robert G. Stevens, Photographer
Halifax | NS | Canada | Posted: 4:41 PM on 12.03.04
->> It helps if you put a finger from your monopod hand on the bottom of the front lens element area and push up lightly. This balances it on the mount better and it will rotate freely. I am with Dan though on missing shots. You just can't rotate from vertical to horizontal quickly.

This problem must be putting a huge amount of shearing force on the lens release pin on the camera and the camera's mount. Just shows that the 1 series bodies are well built. I would not want to try rotating it quickly with a cheaper body like a digital rebel or even the D60-D20 series.

Robert
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Rob Kerr, Photographer
Bend | OR | US | Posted: 4:52 PM on 12.03.04
->> To throw the 'other company' into the mix, I had a loaner 400/2.8 AFS II (newest model out) NIkon on loan from NPS a couple of weeks ago and was really frustrated with its collar which kept pinching somewhere around 1/2 way between horiz and vertical. The two-piece lens hood, as well, had one of its pieces without a lock nut making it imposible to attach without lots of tape.
We know these things are really expensive and really difficult to build and engineer, but I'm a little disappointed...

-rob.
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Ben Chen, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 7:09 PM on 12.03.04
->> Hi, guys, thanks for confirming the problem. I was afraid it was just my lens. I hope a fix is in the work. Ben
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Josh Merwin, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 7:28 PM on 12.03.04
->> Well, I used to have that problem. My recommendation, buy a new lens! My other 400 IS had that problem, but when it got stolen a few weeks ago I replaced it with a brand new one. The new one is great, there is no resistance like my other 400 IS. So they do make some that work. I think it is just a matter of getting lucky when you buy one.

Josh
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Justin Kase Conder, Photographer
Fresno | CA | USA | Posted: 10:57 PM on 12.04.04
->> Ben, as stated the problem that you are having is experienced by everyone at some point or another who uses a 400 2.8 IS. I asked the same question as you about a year and a half ago here and pretty much the same answers.

Here's what I learned. In-between the lens collar and the actual barrel there is a plastic sheathe that separates the metal of each of the pieces. When that sheath wares out over time you get what you are experiencing. A similar thing happens with the 300 2.8 IS, although it’s not usually to the same extent. The reason its not happening to Josh's new lens is because it’s new.

I had mine fixed about nine months ago and I can already tell that it is beginning to catch again. I can't remember the exact cost of the repair but it was not inexpensive. Being that Canon warranties their repairs for a year I plan on sending it back soon to have the sheath replaced one more time.

Justin Kase Conder
www.sportsshooter.com/azz
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Frank Casimiro, Photographer
Sugar Land (Houston Area) | TX | USA | Posted: 11:06 AM on 01.05.05
->> Mine was tight also. In fact, from day one, it never was really manageable like my EF 200mm 1.8L. I sent the 400mm to Canon CPS. They lubricated the tripod mount ring and now it works like a charm. No effort at all is needed to rotate the lens as you follow the action.

I'd suggest that anyone experiencing a tight mount talk to Canon CPS and send it in. Initially I wasn’t going to bother sending it in thinking it was a design flaw as stated above. But after talking to a technician who told me he knew of no design flaw, I shipped it and 3 business days later the lens was back in my hands and works perfectly.

Frank
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Ben Chen, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 12:52 PM on 01.05.05
->> Frank, thank you for the info. Did CPS charge for this service? If so, how much? Ben
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Frank Casimiro, Photographer
Sugar Land (Houston Area) | TX | USA | Posted: 1:26 PM on 01.05.05
->> Ben

My lens was still within the year warranty so there was no charge. I wouldnt think the charge would be much though. Your lucky being that you are in the LA area, I would just call them and them drive it down to Laguna HillsIrvine for repair. Whatever the cost, it's an overwhelming improvement.



Frank
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Ben Chen, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 01.05.05
->> Frank, Thanks again. I will go down to Irvine on Friday to pick up my 1D and I will asked Jesse Bailey about this. Ben
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Robert G. Stevens, Photographer
Halifax | NS | Canada | Posted: 3:37 PM on 01.25.05
->> After procratinating for a while, I decided to take a look at my out of warranty 400mm f2.8 IS tripod mount. As I suspected, the six screws on the collar between the lens mount and the tripod mount hold this collar on, which holds on the tripod mount.

Follow these directions at your own risk.

With a proper fitting screwdriver, (these screws are in tight with a locking agent) , remove the six screws. Take out the filter holder and then slide this collar off the back of the lens. The tripod mount collar will now slide off.

Contrary to what Justin wrote above, there is not any slippery plastic in there. It is just anodized aluminum. It rides against the anodized aluminum lens tube. It looks like the tripod collar distorts and wears through the anodization in spots to reveal the less slippery and soft aluminum. Just clean up the collar and the lens tube and put it back together.

It works pretty smooth with a light coat of grease, but that can be risky if it is not a lens type grease, as some greases may give off fumes to fog the internal lens elements. The lens tube looks sealed, so this may not be a problem. I just used a light coat of vaseline, assembled it, spun it around a bit then took it apart and wiped off any excess.

The flaw in the collar is it should be lined with a harder bronze bearing surface which will not wear and bind like the soft aluminum the mount uses.

Robert
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Nathan Simpson, Photographer, Student/Intern
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 5:17 PM on 01.25.05
->> Replace the teflon ring inside the collar. Then go to your local boat store and get some mclube sail kote. It is a teflon based lube that is slick as snot when dry. Put this stuff in that collar every few weeks and it should serve you well for a long time. O and if you shoot in a dusty place take of the collar when you get home and dust it off so the sand will not grind away the teflon. if you want to have some fun paint your garage floor with a hard smooth paint. Then cote it in mclube put on some nylon socks and have some friends over for a good time.
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Robert G. Stevens, Photographer
Halifax | NS | Canada | Posted: 7:54 PM on 01.25.05
->> Nathan:

There is no teflon ring inside the 400mm f2.8 IS like the 300mm F2.8 IS.
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Nathan Simpson, Photographer, Student/Intern
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 3:13 AM on 01.26.05
->> sail kote will still make a world of differance. put some of the stuff on any way. http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=...
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Robert G. Stevens, Photographer
Halifax | NS | Canada | Posted: 9:50 AM on 01.26.05
->> Nathan:

When I race my Etchells, I coat the whole hull in McLube after polishing and just before launching. It is pretty slippery stuff. I might try a bit on the 300mm collar and see how it works.
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Justin Kase Conder, Photographer
Fresno | CA | USA | Posted: 12:58 AM on 11.18.05
->> So after getting all flustered last week trying to an NFL game with a sticky tripod collar, I decided to give Robert's recommendation a try. Everything was pretty much as he stated, but I wanted to add a couple of important things.

I. It is incredibly important, critical, that you use the right size screwdriver. You strip one of these guys and your not gonna be happy... so double check that.

II. The six screws are very very tight. So tight that I cautiously used a pair of pliers to grip my tiny screwdriver in order to get each screw loose. If you decide to do this be certain that your screwdriver is absolutely vertical so that it will seat properly in the screw head. ...as a side note, before I completely removed the screw I ran a magnet across the head of the screwdriver, so it would attract the screw and I wouldn't loose it.

III. At the base of the collar, where the actual curved mount is that you attach to your monopod, there is a small silver ball bearing on the inside of collar that allows it "snap" into place as it is rotated from horizontal to vertical. Make sure you’re over a surface that won’t allow it to roll away if it falls out when you take the collar off.

IV. The last thing, which I’m not to sure how critical it is but makes good practice, is when you’re replacing screws in the cover after you’re all done, don’t tighten them down completely until you have all six screws in and snug. Then tighten them like you would lug nuts on a car, one and then the one directly across from it, that why the cover goes on evenly.

That's about it, hope that helps anyone giving it a shot. I know I just saved myself about $120 bucks, which makes me ( :

Justin Kase Conder
www.SportsShooter.com/azz
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Michael J. Treola, Photographer
Neptune | NJ | USA | Posted: 11:41 AM on 11.18.05
->> I was just at Canon NJ service yesterday to deliver my brand new 400 IS 2.8 whose tripod collar was a mess. Here's a little more info.

The tripod collar is not a serviceable part. Meaning they don't disassemble the foot from the housing and repair the insides. Instead they replace the entire collar, which is part of the lens barrel that is roughly a third of the size of the lens. (The part extends into the inside of the barrel considerably too)

The repair cost to fix the tripod collar out of warranty is $600.00. Thankfully my lens was under warranty so I dodged a bullet.

I recommend those of you who think they have a problem with your tripod collar and your lens is under warranty to send it in before your warranty expires. You're going to save yourself a good chunk of change.

Finally my hats off to Canon NJ Service. Not only did they diagnose the problem, had the part on hand but they serviced the lens while I waited.

Total time for repair from the moment my lens hit the counter was 1 HOUR! Yup 1 HOUR! Totally wonderful service from really nice people too.

To thank them I went and bought them all dunkin donuts after the repair to thank them for service above and beyond the call of duty.

Tree
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Jon Robichaud, Photographer
Blue Springs | MO | USA | Posted: 7:14 AM on 02.01.13
->> I had been searching everywhere to find the solution to my binding 400mm 2.8 IS tripod ring. From ball bearings to send to canon etc. The day that I was going to send it off to canon and pay $600 minus the cps gold discount I ran across a post in a UK forum with the solution to my problem! Maybe it will help someone else.

Remove the nameplate on the top of the ring and underneath it is a small opening that reveals several screws as you rotate the collar around. On mine 2-3 of them where totally unscrewed and gumming things up big time! I simply screwed them back in, and tightened the others and presto! Problem solved.

I knew it had to be something simple. I had a similar problem with my 500mm f4 IS, The solution involved removing the collar and re seating the ball bearing that clicked when 90 degree spots were reached.
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Thread Title: How to Loosen the 400mm f/2.8 Tripod Collar
Thread Started By: Ben Chen
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