The Leg release on Manfrotto, and Bogen, tripods have several different styles and shapes as you can see to the right. They are all unique to their tripod, so they are almost never interchangeable.
In the pictures to the right, the top leg brace has the silver leg tube attached. this brace is one of two styles: one is swedged on and if remove it ruins the leg, the other uses a tension nut inside the tube that requires a very long socket wrench to looses and tighten. You cannot tell the difference easily. the leg brace at 3 o’clock has a single screw behind it that locks it into place just like the one at 6 o’clock, but they have different “ears” that attach to the main casting, and the leg tube diameters are slightly different. This, while they look similar, are not interchangeable. the brace at 9 o’clock has two locking screw, there is another version of this brace, where the ears are pointing out. again not interchangeable.
How the main casting is held together is another thing to consider when changing the leg tubes. Older Manfrotto 055 and 190, Bogen 3001, 3010, 3021 have a large main casting that hold the legs together from the bottom. To remove any one leg you must remove two of the leg stoppers. You may need help holding the legs since they can fall out once the two leg stoppers are removed.
The newer Manfrotto MT series have a main casting that consists of an upper and a lower half. There are 3 tensions screws that hold the halves together and provide the tension on the legs so they don’t swing out recklessly. On these models, you will have to remove the center column before you start to take the main casting apart. Take care that there is a shoe and spring inside the main casting that may shoot out if you are not careful.
Removing the screw is usually a Torx T23 driver. It looks a lot like a regular screw driver, though the working end is different. It is star shaped, instead of cross shaped like a Phillips screw driver.
I suggest that as you take apart the tripod, you lay out all the pieces in order as you go. This will help when you reassemble the parts. Unlike a washing machine, a tripod often cannot function without one of the screws, or other parts.
If you are having problems determining what parts you need, or for a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:
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.