I have a concern and suggestion regarding the RS-1 camera/lens mount. If the upper rotator knob is not tightened properly or backs off, the camera and lens will slip out, fall off the rotator head and go BANG onto the ground. (I have not had this happen.)

For most of the month of February I had the opportunity to use my Nikon D800 / Nikkor 16mm f2.8 D / Nodal Ninja RS-2 RD5 / Gitzo GT2941LVL tripod assembly in Australia and New Zealand. The robustness of the RD5 rotator is superb. This gear is light for a DSLR panoramic rig, but still heavy for hiking, plus quite top-heavy for carriage over the shoulder.

Field conditions for panoramas suggest the whole assembly be kept together, in my case in the back of a vehicle. Since much of my use was on the trail, I brought along an Op/Tech generic tripod strap. Given my concern, I improvised a safety mechanism using nylon strap connectors on the camera such that, if the rotator knob backed off, the camera and lens could depart the rotator but would still be loosely attached... known in the trade as a desert island fix.

On my return home I drilled and tapped a 4-40 hole through the fixed part of the clamp as well as the sliding rail attached to the lens, opposite the side of the factory knob. A 3/4 inch long 4-40 thumbscrew provides a safety backup in case the main clamp knob is not properly torqued. I do not suggest this as the manufacturer's fix as it is inelegant.

But I suggest security for a few thousand dollars worth of camera and lens should not be subject to a single-point failure. In a possibly related matter, there is a machined recess with a stud insert opposite the knob. What is its purpose? It could potentially act as a stop to losing the camera and lens.

Best regards,