How to Replace the Leg Locks on 055 and 190 Series So the Don’t Slip When Extended.

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How do I replace the leg lock on Manfrotto 055 and 190 series tripods so the leg doesn’t slip when extended.

The 055 and 190 series tripods have been around for a long, long time.  So these instructions will cover the latest models, purchased in 2013.  The older and newer models may have slightly different screws or locking devices, but the generalities are the same.

Flip Clamp Leg Lock

Flip Clamp

The leg lock has two parts. The clamp (part C) and the lock (part K).  The clamp (part C) tightens down and holds the leg lock to the leg tube.   The lock (part K) is variable and allows the leg tubes to slide when unlocked and locked in place when locked down.

So,  like an onion you may have to remove the upper and lower leg tubes in sequence to get to the part you need to replace.  The simplest repair is the bottom lock.  You loosen the clamp and remove the leg section, remove the rubber foot, replace the clamp, put the tubes back and replace the foot.

Tighten the clamp enough so it is securely on the tube and doesn’t twist or pull off.  DO NOT over tighten the clamp any more than necessary to secure it.  The extra tension may break the clamp again, or deform the tube so the leg sections will not collapse properly.

Flip Lock

Flip Lock

The upper clamp is the one that requires the most time and effort since all the lower clamps and tubes need to be removed.  Make sure you disassemble them and lay them out in order so as not to confuse the order of the parts.  Some tripods will have shims inside the tubes that are VERY place specific.

Flip Lock

flip Lock

Adjusting the locking levers.  The locking levers need to provide enough pressure to hold the leg tube in its final position.  If the lock is not tight enough, turn the tightening screw no more than 1/4 of a turn.  Test the tension, if slippage tighten again another 1/4 turn. Do this until it will hold without slippage under a weight.

test lock

Test lock

Tightening the lock screw too much will potentially break the lever or snap, or lock the  lock so you cannot open and close it.  On both the snaps and levers, you do not need more than simple finger pressure to lock and unlock.  It should not be hard pressure.

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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My leg on my 055 tripod is loose and will not stay out, how do I fix it?

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The leg on my 055 tripod is very loose, it does not stay out when I extend the leg, how do I fix this ?

055 Leg Brace

055 Leg Brace

The leg is simply held with tension provided by the same screws that hold the main casting together.  So it is as simple as tightening the screw on top, or in some cases on the bottom.

But first, lets check to make sure it is not loose because of excessive wear or broken parts; and make sure everything is fine inside the tripod.

  1. Remove the center column.
  2. MTtripodAboveAdjustLoosen the screws on the main casting to peek between the plates.  If there is sand or grit then completely disassemble the main casting and clean out the grit.
  3. Lightly lubricate the parts inside with a tiny bit of silicon grease.  Do not use WD-40 or other petroleum based oils.  We want a gel type lubricant so the oil does not flow and make a big mess.  the silicon grease will stay in place and do its job.
  4. Reassemble the main casting and legs back into the assembly.  Flex the legs in and out a few times. Check the tension to see that the legs are not too loose or easily moved.  Adjust each leg to tension by turning the tension screw about a 1/2 turn per test.  Too much tension is bad.
Driver tools

Driver Tools

This will work with the new MT055 and MT190 series tripods.  They use a TORX  for the adjustments.

Older Manfrotto 055 and 190 series will use an Allen wrench or usually an 8mm socket.  The procedure is the same as above.

Old Bogen 3021 055

Old Bogen 055 3021

Now on older (very old) 055 and 190 tripods, there is a large nut below the main casting, see the picture below.  In this example the 055 (also called a Bogen 3021 tripod) the main casting is a single part.  The large nut will provide all the tension necessary, though you should make sure the silver triangular shoe that distributes the tension on both legs is clean underneath.  The bolts on each side of the leg are what tensions the leg, so each leg needs 2 bolts to provide the correct amount of tension.  Just keep checking the adjustment so you don’t make it too tight.

As with all Manfrotto tripods, monopod and heads; be very careful when you are adjusting the parts, or screwing everything together.  Over tightening is the worst thing you can do.  It is always better to under tighten rather than over tighten.  Over tightening will prematurely wear the parts out, or cause them to brake because of the extra stress.

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.

Hope for Old Bogen leg locks

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We now have back in stock the SINGLE spiral levers for the oldest 3020 Bogen tripods.  These are different from the later models that had the DOUBLE spiral levers.  They were never compatible, and because of the depth and curve of the single as compared to the shallowness of the doubles.

Old leg lock levers are either single  or double spiral cams.

Old leg lock levers are either single or double spiral cams.

So if you have one of the old 3020, 3021 or 055c, 055a, 055b tripods from the early 1980’s you need the SINGLE SPIRAL.

If you have the 3021 or 055’s from the 1990s you need the  DOUBLE SPIRAL.

In both cases, these parts are plastic and can be broken if you are over tightening them when you install them on the lock, or if they become fouled with dirt and grit during use.

To order:
Click Here for the SINGLE SPIRAL levers,
or
Click Here for the  DOUBLE SPIRAL lever

Swap Meet at Spartan Photo Center, April 25th – 9am to 6pm – Rain or Shine

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On Saturday, April 25th Spartan Photo Center will be hosting a SWAP MEET

Come see what is available and you can buy, sell and trade with other photographers. Bring your old gear and your own table and you can set up in the parking lot, too. Free of charge.  We will have half of the lot blocked off just for tables. Set up starts at 9am, and the swapping starts right away. The SWAP MEET will run until 6pm, or everybody leaves; which ever comes first.

This event will be held rain or shine. If it rains we move indoors to the studio. ONLY those people that paid for a table will have a rain table indoors. Cost of a table is $ 12.00 and limited to the first 5 people that sign up, contact Bas at 583-6835 or email impossible@spartanphotocenter.com

We will have Peachtree Camera Repair in house doing sensor cleanings and micro adjustments for a nominal fee.

Bring lots of gear or cash, and be prepared to make a deal!

Note to Everyone: Sales between individuals are between those individuals only. SpartanPhotoCenter will not warrant or remedy any transactions. Buyer beware – check all goods thoroughly before purchase.