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bBlad lens collar


A while back, probably on, I read a thread/post that referred to an attachable lens collar/tripod mount for 'Blad lenses. I know it exists/existed, as I found it listed on either Hasselblad's global or German-language website late last year. However, to find it one needed to know the actual product name/catalog number -- does anyone know what that would be (it is not listed in the 2005 H system catalog)?

As to what this attachment is: it is a collar/tripod foot assembly that attaches to (cl&s onto?) the lens barrel. 'Blad likely designed it to facilitate center-of-gravity tripod mounting of its telephoto lenses that lacked tripod collars of their own. I need it for a similar purpose when using a 180 w/2XE converter combo (quite front heavy) on a tripod.
Great question Wayne.... so I wait for the answers to roll in!

I also wondered though if there actually might be an aftermarket item that would do the job? If you have not posted on yet I will and let you know if that produces any results.

I prefer to minimise the strain on the lens mount especially when using the 250mm or 350mm as well as with an extender. But, in the past I have wondered if this is really a non-issue because I'd imagine Hasselblad would have had such a collar as a higher profile accessory and much more readilly available.
>I think that the factory piece in question is the "tripod attachment >for the Variogon lens". The part number is 50962. It was made only >for the Variogon and the collar that attaches to the lens has very >little adjustability so I'm not sure if it would be usable on any >other lens - but I've not tried it so can't say for sure.
Rick, possibly the Variogon lens barrel diameter is much the same as the CF lens barrels. I know the plastic shroud that fits the end of the CF lenses' focus ring is the same size for most CF lenses. Maybe Hasselblad's factory people will have the answer to that.
>Hi Simon

I found my Variogon tripod adapter (temporarily lost in my camera clutter) and tried it on 150 and 250 CF lenses. The adapter fits the diameter of the rear barrel of the CF lenses but the width of the cl&ing strap is too wide - there is interference with mounting the lens on the body when focused at infinity.
Thank-you everyone for the quick response

Rick: if memory serves me right, that part number sounds right. If you have a 'Blad 2X converter (2XE would be ideal), would you mind checking out the fit of the collar on the converter? Though I suspect the barrel of the teleconverter would be too narrow -- given what you said about the general lack of adjustability of the collar -- having that confirmed would be greatly appreciated.

One other thing: can the mounting foot be removed from the collar? I use Arca-Swiss type QR plates (RRS), and would likely switch-out the foot if possible. Of course, this question would be moot if the collar cannot be fitted securely to a converter.

Q.G: re. "but would you think you need one?

I learned the value of center-of-gravity (balanced) mounting of front heavy body/lens combos back when I had Canon F1/zoom lens combo mounted on a tripod -- body mounted as there was no lens collar -- and the whole assembly toppled over just as I turned back towards it after retrieving a cable release. The 180/2XE combo is comparatively even more front heavy, all else being equal: as I will be using that combo almost exclusively on a tripod, I would rather not repeat the earlier experience

If the Variogon collar fits the teleconverter, I would likely keep it mounted permanently on the 2XE. When mounted on a 503, the 180/2XE combo balances out towards the front end of the converter -- mounting the collar at that point would be ideal as it would not interfere with the operation of the lens (though it would get in the way of using the combo hand-held).

>Unfortunately I do not have the 2XE converter for checking. It would >be useful to check the diameter of the 2XE in comparison to the rear >barrel of your 180 since the Variogon collar seems to fit the CF >lenses? The collar is simply a metal strap connected to a quick >release shoe so presumably it could be modified although if you >really do feel you need a better centre of gravity with your setup, >the aftermarket one that QG provided the link to would seem the >better way to go - it seems a better design and a lot more solid? >Finding one of the Variogon collars might be difficult as not many >were made.
Wayne, I'm thinking (having seen the link QG kindly posted) that the only time such a collar would really be of significant benefit when using the 350mm or larger.

But, then again the 250mm is a weighty item and although unlikely to be of much stress on the camera lens mount, maybe it is stressful on the camera's tripod connection (all that forward weight). And Knowing how "top-heavy" the Sonnar 250mm can get when focused closely (weight mover far forward), maybe the collar could have some balance control improvement when using a tripod - better balancing the force on the tripod mounting point/plate as well as lessening a load on the camera's lens mount.

But, after handling my CF 180mm last night I see no benefit in attaching a tripod mount collar on it at all.
Rick: thanks for the basic description of the Variogon collar; the collar illustration on the website to which Q.G. provided the link matches the one I remember seeing last year on the 'Blad website.

FYI: after I got home from work today I determined that the diameter of the 2XE's barrel, and of the rear of the 180, are the same. As such either of the collars would likely fit fine; but in all probability would also interfere with the operation of the shutter release -- even if a L adapter were used.

Simon and Q.G.: as to whether using such a collar would be necessary with the 2XE/180 (or 250): in all probability the cost would definitely outweigh the very marginal benefit. I checked out matters a bit closer this evening, and determined that the center of gravity sits roughly at the middle of the teleconverter -- this was with a PM90 attached. As such, the weight of the latter (or any of the other prisms) balances out the combo reasonably well. I mounted this assembly on a Gitzo 1228 with a Linhof Profi II kitted-out with a RRS QR cl& (note: a Clearsight foot was used in place of the the stock foot on the 503): even at some rather extreme angles, the kit was quite stable and did not drift.

Of further note is that the barrel of the 2XE actually provides a convenient place to cradle (in hand) the 180 without accidentally changing focus. 'In a pinch' this would facilitate handholding the assembly with a fair degree of steadiness -- something I wouldn't recommend in respect of the equivalent of a 350, but always good to know
Thanks Wayne.

I have found myself that Hasselblad and Zeiss have done quite a good job of keeping things like lens barrel diameters consistent among lenses etc. - for them there is commonality of parts and for users there are various size consistency benefits.

Like you found with the 2x on the 180mm, I find with various systems (eg Leica M) some comparatively very large lenses (eg Leica's Summilux 75mm) can actually be as good if not better to hold steady in hand-held shooting than "slower" / smaller counterparts - whereas other shooters keep away from them crying they are too heavy.