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The Value of Networking… Using SmugMug and Facebook

About two weeks ago a friend of mine, fellow SmugMug photographer, firefighter, full-time college student, and part-time photojournalist, Patrick (PJ) Kellam, put out a blast on Facebook … “OK photographer friends, I need some help… I recently purchased a Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 L USM Lens. It is an older lens and I am having trouble locating a tripod collar for it (it did not come with one). I am also having trouble finding info about WHICH tripod collar to get for it. IF any of you can help it would be appreciated.”

Canon Tripod Collar for Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM

Having nothing to do at that particular moment, I took PJ’s information on the lens and collar and sent my own blast on four SmugMug User Groups (SMUGs) that I belong to; San Diego, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and New Jersey, roughly 500 people. Within minutes the SmugMuggers started to respond with suggestions and possible sources for the tripod collar; that was February 16th.

A search of eBay and the Internet in general, provided leads on plenty of grey market rings available for the 28-300mm lens, some even promised to fit the 35-300mm lens.

However, after reading the fine print, the 28-300mm collars only opened to 81mm and all were missing the all important interior groove necessary to accommodate the raised rivets on the 35-300 lens barrel. The 35-300mm collar also needs to be 82mm to fit the 35-300mm lens barrel. There were no solid leads on a OEM tripod collar.

On Friday, February 17th, Rob Douglas of the New Jersey SmugMug Group, stepped up to the plate with an original

PJ's Canon EOS 50D and Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM

Canon tripod ring for the 35-350mm lens. Doug had a lens of this type at one time and it met with an untimely death when it slipped out of his hands while changing it out at about 100 feet off the ground. That was a very expensive Ooops. Thankfully for PJ, the collar was not attached at the time, and Rob saved it.

PJ finally received the tripod collar in the mail last week and has reported that it fits like a glove on his lens. The lens resides on his Canon EOS 50D w/battery grip.

Networking with other photographers on Facebook and in the SmugMug community has never let me down and it’s fun. I have been a photographer for a long time and I am always asking my peers for advice on one topic or another through the network. Let’s face it you can’t remember everything.

I would like to say thanks to everyone who was looking for the tripod collar, and thanks to Rob Douglas for digging through his collection of equipment and locating the collar. My friend PJ appreciates your assistance as well.  (more…)

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