Simple Fix for a Loose Head

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loose head

Loose head

Many Manfrotto tripods have heads that are removable.  Because of that built in versatility, sometimes the head will get loose.  Not broken, just out of adjustment. The picture to the right shows a very loose head, sometimes it is not noticeable, it might only be a fraction of a turn.  You will loosen the grub screws, then tighten the head and retighten the grub screw.

 

Mt tripod

Mt tripod

As shown to the left, under the head, on the center column there is at least one screw (on newer models like the MT series) and as many as three screw (on older models shown below left) that are there to keep the head from unscrewing from the tripod.

 

 

055 tripod

055 tripod

For this simple fix you will need a narrow flat blade screw driver. Then, unscrew this locking screw.  You don’t have to take it all the way out, just enough to release the head. Unscrew and retighten the head on the center column. Retighten the locking screw. Done.

You do not need to really over tighten the screw or screws.  Very little pressure is actually required to hold the head in place.

If you are having problems, or for a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.

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New Accessory Spike and Suction Cup Feet by Manfrotto

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New Accessory Spike and Suction Cup Feet by Manfrotto

Accessory Spike feet

Spike Feet

The Manfrotto accessory spike and suction cup feet is a useful adaptation for your tripod.  The spikes are useful for digging in to semisoft ground or sand and gravel.  The metal spikes are retractable with a large rubber foot the screws down over top allowing you to still use the foot on standard floors without worrying about scratches.  The  suction cups are usually used with sand and snow, but they are also great on tile or marble floors so the video tripod doesn’t move when you pan the head back and forth.

Suction cup feet

Accessory Suction Cup Feet

All of these feet attach by removing the old rubber foot and clamping this foot to the outside of the tube.  It is a simple operation.  May sure you measure the outside diameter of the bottom leg tube on your tripod. Pick the foot that is closest to the diameter of you tube.  The clamps are secure, but you cannot over clamp these feet to make us the difference otherwise you will brad the clamp.  It is especially important that you not over tighten the clamps on carbon fiber tripods. While very strong, too much pressure can crack and split the tube.

The descriptions are hyper linked, so you can click on any of them and be directed to the order page.

Spike Feet

12SPK3 is 12mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK293A4, MT293A4, MKBFRA4 tripods and kits.

15SPK3 is 15mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK293A3, MT293A3, MK294A4, MT294A4, MK190XPRO4, MT190XPRO4

19SPK3 is 19mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK294A3, MT294A3, MK190XPRO3, MT190XPRO3

22SPK3 is 22mm in diameter and is compatible with the MT055CXPRO3

These are the older series of spike feet that are compatible with Manfrotto and the much older Bogen tripods.
116SPK3 is 11.6mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK190XPRO3, MT190XPRO3

160SPK3 is 16mm in diameter and is compatible with the MT055CXPRO4, MT190CXPRO3

204SPK3 is 20.4mm in diameter and is compatible with the  MT055CXPRO3

Suction Cup Feet (we currently only stock one ((we don’t get much ice)))

12SCK3 is12mm in diameter and is with the MK293A4, MT293A4, MKBFRA4

15SCK3 is 15mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK293A3, MT293A3, MK294A4, MT294A4, MK190XPRO4, MT190XPRO4

19SCK3 is 19mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK294A3, MT294A3, MK190XPRO3, MT190XPRO3

22SCK3 is 22mm in diameter and is compatible with the MK055CXPRO3, MT055CXPRO3

116SCK1 is 11.6mm in diameter and is compatible with the MT190XPRO4

160SCK3 is 16mm in diameter and is compatible with the MT055CXPRO4, MT190CXPRO3

204SCK3 is 20.4mm in diameter and is compatible with the MT055CXPRO3

If you are having problems, or for a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.

 

A Few Things to Remember Before You Start A Repair…

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A few basics when repairing your Manfrotto…

  • Safety First…
  • If you don’t know, don’t try…
  • Have everything you need laid out…
  • As you disassemble, lay out everything in order – then reassemble in reverse order.

Allen wrench vs TORXSafety first…  Make sure you have the right tools.  Almost everything on Manfrotto products is metric.  You can’t repair metric with US tools.  The most common Allen wrenches are the 2mm, 3mm, 4mm and 5mm, or the TORX T25. Socket drivers are usually 8mm or 10mm.

Some heads have springs under high tension -Wear Safety goggles. Beware of sharp edges, points and springs.  Some people are allergic to the lubricants used internally, you may need to wear gloves.

If you don’t know, don’t try…A pan head is simple, and easily DIY repaired.  Replacing a handle or knob can easily be done in a few minutes.  Ball heads have more complex locking mechanisms internally.  Plus there are features inside to keep the parts and springs organized and under tension.  Without specialized tools those features will not come out.  And pulling them out with pliers may seem like a good way to get them out, it will damage them, to the other parts increasing the parts needed for your repair. Video heads and some ball heads have springs to keep the tension. These are very powerful and WILL rocket out of the head if you are not careful.  Plus you can damage other parts inside the head if you are assembling the head wrong.  Lets not even talk about gear heads or hydrostatic heads!

Driver tools

Screw and nut drivers

Have everything laid out before you start…  I lay my tools to the upper right of the work surface, disassembled parts to the left.  I work in the center. A cleaning cloth made of T-shirt like material is good for cleaning dirt and accumulated dirt out  of the mechanism.  But don’t remove the lubricants.  Everything that is lubed uses a gel lubricant that is designed to stay where it is put. Removing lubricants will allow parts to wear out faster.  While general lubricants like WD40 are great for general use, NEVER use it on a tripod, monopod or head. It is too fluid and will make a mess, as well as, hold dirty and grime where you don’t want it.

As you disassemble, lay out everything in order – then reassemble in reverse order… As simple as this sounds, it is always the best way to work and never vary.  Some of the parts are in a specific order to allow bearing to move smoothly, or to allow parts to slide and turn.  ALWAY remove items with caution and care paying particular attention to the orientation that they came out in.  Parts lists, and websites do not document the particularity of these items.  It is mostly done by experience.

Lastly, while the tools are all metric, please bear in mind that not all the parts are standard.  Often the parts are made just  for a particular use and are not interchangeable.  Some threads may appear to be M6 metric, but often the thread pitch or count is different and using standard hardware store screws will only damage the threaded internal parts. Some screws are threaded backwards so they will not come out during use.  You can easily strip a head off a screw before you know why then it is major surgery to remove a stripped screw.

If you get stuck, let us know.  After we stop laughing, we will help. No, seriously, we can repair any tripod head or monopod listed on our website.  Those that are not listed are because the tools and techniques are not generally made available, or are only repaired by the factory.

We have,on more than one occasion, reassembled heads for customers that just didn’t make sense once they got it apart.  You can find our repair info by clicking here.

Whether for tune up or for repair, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

SpartanPhotoCenter, Inc
108 Garner Rd
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you.  Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles.  Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.