The best way to attach a DSLR with a big, long lens to a tripod is by using a tripod collar. But plenty of long lenses—notably less-expensive zooms—don’t have dedicated collars made for them. What to do? Manfrotto ( has a neat answer in its 293 Telephoto Lens Support ($70, street). This rig has an individual mount for the camera body, plus a cradle for the lens with an adjustable tie-down strap—two support points are better than one. Advantage: You can position the rig at or near the center of gravity of the camera-lens combo.
(Picture Doctor, February 2009)