Tripod support ring for Lumix 100-300mm lens

Wednesday 30 January 2019 at 04:34 am

Home-made solution for a tripod support ring for my Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm lens HFS100300.  My camera body is the tiny GM-5 so it already looks ridiculous with a big lens, and there was never any chance of it working properly on a tripod.

There doesn't seem to be a genuine Panasonic unit, and the only other one I found was a bespoke German-made one which is really expensive, as well as being quite difficult to source. Yeah, it looks lovely and doesn't need a screwdriver to fit, but the look of the thing isn't really an issue, and I'm a cheapskate, so I thought I'd try to make my own.  I toyed with the idea of buying a ring for another camera and modifying that, but this is way cheaper!

Based on a 67mm Munsen ring (I learned a new thing - a Munsen ring is a pipe clip/support commonly used in construction, and this one's threaded mount is usually connected to Unistrut in a building by a threaded bar).  It comes with a rubber cushion which is a bit bulky so I binned that.  Cost me a couple of quid off eBay, but you may even find cheaper at your local plumbing store.


First I Dremeled a hole for the lens' image stabilisation switch. 


Then bolted on an aluminium plate.  Originally I was going to drill and tap the tripod mount hole, but I found a brass insert from an old action-cam mount and press-fitted it in (carefully drill the right-sized hole then squeeze in a vice to force the insert through). 



To protect the lens I used heatshrink on the top (again, cutting a hole through for the switch).  I found I'd run out of the right-sized heatshrink for the bottom so I glued in a strip of scrap leather


Fitting to the camera - had to be careful not to squeeze it too hard as it makes the zoom ring stiff to turn, so I experimented with different washer thicknesses to give the perfect grip without affecting operation.  Finally a bit of work on the grinding wheel to round off the corners of the bar.



More by luck than judgement the balance is now pretty much perfect, so now I've no excuse not to go out for some fancy wildlife pics.