Last part of this tiny but interesting DIY project. After going to the hardware store I came back with a pipe holder, that I cut in half. I slightly widened it to make sure the Minolta 500mm f/8 would perfectly fit. This one is my largest lens so the 70-300 for instance would be smaller but it would still work.
As you can see, I used a wood nut as an adapter for a smaller screw type. The whole thing should be solidly anchored on the rubber/metallic plate, otherwise it’s pretty much useless. That’s why I used a bolt.
Once this is assembled, you just need your tripod plate.
Here’s what it looks like on the tripod.
And now with the 500mm and a77 mounted.
Note that rubber on plastic isn’t really a perfect match, mainly because when the focus ring rotates during focusing, like with the 500mm, well… the rubber won’t allow the ring to rotate at all. The whole thing will just jump around. Fortunately I use my fleece cover whenever I mount the 500mm so it won’t have a problem rotating then, the 70-300 G doesn’t rotate so I am thinking about adding a small fleece padding on the lens support. This might help.
Also, as you can see, the camera + lens combination isn’t parallel to the plate given how wide the 500mm is, same issue with the G for that matter. So I’m thinking that when I will add the grip, the camera will be perfectly stable on its end, and I will just need a couple of bolts and a longer screw for the support to be at the same level.
Meanwhile, I’ll test drive the support asap and post whatever I get here!