I have two Canon 70-200 lenses. I have the 70-200 f2.8 L IS which is a fantastic lens but weighs a ton when you've been hiking around the Brecon Beacons all day and thus I also have the 70-200 f4 L non IS which gives the same excellent quality in a much smaller and lighter package. f4 is perfectly sufficient for landscape work and as I'm almost always on a tripod IS (image stabilisation) just isn't required.
The only downside is that unlike the f2.8 version, the f4 version does not ship with a tripod mount ring. The price for this relatively simple little gadget is a whopping £149, so the hunt was on for a cheaper alternative.
Is the iShoot C720XXB Tripod Mount Rings any good? I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this tripod ring. I appears to be well made, is solid metal (aluminium) and includes a Arca Swiss mount on the base which negates the need for an additional plate.
Okay, I'll admit that this is the third tripod mount ring that I have purchased for my 70-200 f4 L. Two of which were quickly returned to sender.
My first purchase was made from what I can only guess was cheap and soft aluminium. Whilst painted white it was a very rough finish which didn't match the lens in colour and seemed like it would scratch the paint on my expensive lens. The screw holes for attaching the tripod mount where tapped directly into the aluminium and would most definitely have stripped if the tripod mount was tightened too tight. The same could be said for the clamp screw. All in all, I had no faith in the product lasting much longer than a couple of weeks and there was no way that I was going to attached my lens to my tripod using this collar.
The second product that I purchased was completely plastic. Enough said. It was returned the same day.
Third time lucky as they say. I came across the iShoot C720XXB. If I remember correctly, I had seen this product before but it was out of stock with no indication of when it would be back in stock so I didn't pay too much attention to it.
Anyway, this time around it was in stock and it had some great reviews so I placed my order.
As I've already stated above, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the product when it arrived. It feels solid and I have the confidence that the screw that locks the ring into place on the lens will hold. The threaded hold on the foot plate is still only tapped directly into the soft aluminium which I'm sure would not last very long in use but as the foot also has the Arca Swiss style mount, there is no need for me to use the threaded mount anyway.
If you're looking for a cheap alternative to the over priced Canon branded tripod mount then I highly recommend the iShoot.
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