Are Leg Tubes Interchangeable?

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dsc_0611-e1500994069275.jpgI bent a leg tube, so now I cannot retract my leg.  Does it matter what tube I replace it with?

The tubes are all different sizes since they have to fit into each other.  So one difference is the tube diameter.

The second is the interior shape.  Some tubes are smooth inside, others have ridges that tit into grooves so the tubes will not rotate.  The tube in the center of the picture is “D” shaped and will not work with the round tubes, or the leg braces and leg locks.  The tubes are different lengths depending upon whether the tripod is a 3 section or a 4 section.

And the last consideration is color.  In the older tripods the tubes can be silver or black.  In the same model they are interchangeable, so as long a you can live with the color difference, these are interchangeable.

Ultimately the best thing to do it find the exact model and purchase the tubes for it.  If you cannot determine what you have, send it to us.

Spartan Photo Center, Inc
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Include your Name, Address, Day time or cell phone number, and a description of what is damaged or needs to be repaired inside the box. Because of parts availability, or lack there of, we cannot guarantee rush service or turnaround times.

Some repairs can only be preformed by the Manfrotto repair technicians, and may have to be sent to a Manfrotto repair facility. Any items not listed on this site will be sent to Manfrotto. Repairs are usually quoted for complex or highly technical repairs.

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How to change a head on your tripod.

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055 tripod

One of the simpler modifications you can make to your Manfrotto tripod is changing the head.  While you may be able to get by with only one head, having several for different situations will make you life easier.

 

Mt tripod

All Manfrotto, and Bogen, tripods that have center columns will allow you to lock the head so it does not unscrew during use.  The older tripods had up to 3 locking screws, we call them “grub screws,” while the newer tripods may only have one.  The grub screw is used to put tension on the head when it is screwed on, so it will not come off.  Indeed, if you have ever attempted to remove a head while the grub screws were tightened you could more easily destroy the head than unscrew it.

You don’t even need to remove the grub screw. Just backing the screw out enough to allow the head to unscrew is all that it takes.   The grub screws are accessed from the bottom of the center column plate or to the side of the plate. Just make sure they are backed out completely before you reattach the head, because the stability of the head depends upon the base of the head and the center column plate both being in good contact with each other.

 

If even one grub screw protruded it will prevent the head from staying locked and it may wiggle or unscrew during use.  The picture to the right is a head that never stayed on tight.  the customer sent this in for repair when it was only a grub screw that was causing the problem.  Backing out the grub screw, re tightening the head and re tightening the grub screw was all it took.

We often find on the really old Bogen tripods that the head and the center column plate might get stuck after years of being together.  Sometimes this is the aluminum wanting to bond, often its is corrosion or foreign contaminants.  Either way if you cannot unlock it, we can.

There are different grub screws for different series and models of tripods and center columns.  The old Bogen 190, 055 use three grub screws,  the Manfrotto MT190, Mt055 and MT290 tripods use a single grub screw and the 055 and 190 leveling columns use a single grub screw that accesses from the side.  The video balls also have grubs screws, found here.

If you are having problems determining parts needed, 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.

Are Bogen and Manfrotto Tripods the Same?

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Old055TopYes, 20 years or so ago, Bogen tripods were made by Manfrotto.

And…

No, the current Manfrotto Tripods are very different in most cases from what the Bogen equivalent used to be called.

MTtripod above

As you can see from the 3021/055 picture to the left, this Bogen tripod is bulkier and more angular.  The MT055 Manfrotto tripod to the right is the same series tripod, though it is made about 20 years later and it is much more stylish.

One of the major changes between the two brands, though they shared models like 055, 058, 190 etc; is generally the weight.  The newer Manfrotto tripods a very much lighter than the previous models. The old Bogen 055/3021 weighs about 6.6 lbs; while the new Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 only weighs 5.5 lbs.  The old Bogens usually used round tubes, where most of the new Manfrotto tripods have “D” shaped tubes that are lighter and just as strong as the older heavier ones.

Also the use of “technopolymer” is allowing the weight on bulky parts to be reduced.  You will find this on the newer heads.

By using newer technologies and better allows the size and strength remain the same while the weight is decreased overall. This technology is being diffused across all the tripods, heads, and monopods.

 

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:

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.

 

 

How Do I Replace The Leg on an 055?

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Replacing the leg on any of the 055 series Manfrotto tripods is very easy.  The problem is finding where the damage is.

Old 055 Leg Brace Adjustment

Old 055 Leg Brace Adjustment

If the leg is damaged you can remove the whole leg just by loosening the screws on the leg brace like that shown on the left.  Or you may need to loosen and remove the tension screws on top of the main casting to remove the leg, as shown on the right.

new 055 tripod

new MT055 tripod

Once the screw is loosened the leg will pull out of the brace.  This may be difficult.  DO NOT use a metal hammer to tap on any of the parts.  The metal on metal may deform or damage the parts.  You can repair the parts of the leg as needed and reinsert into the leg brace.  Use enough pressure as required, but to not hammer into place.

Old Bogen 3021 055

Old Bogen 055 3021

If the leg brace is damaged, you will need to take apart the main casting that hold the legs to the tripod.  This will vary depending upon which 055 you are repairing.  The following shows the old 055 (also called a Bogen 3021) and the newer 055XB.

The old series 055 has three bolts and shoes to lock the legs in place and provide the tension to keep the legs at the proper adjustment angle. Shown at right.

Old055LegAdjustingThe newer 055x series has several screws that take the main casting apart, as well as, apply tension to the legs.  You will have to take all three screws out to remove the leg brace if this is the part that is broken.

new 055 tripod

new 055 tripod

The newest MT055 series the leg brace is made onto the upper leg tube, so both will have to be replaced together as one unit.  As with most of the newer tripods, you will have to remove the leg

Manfrotto Accessory Port

PRO accessory shown in red

tension screws on the top of the main casting to be able to remove the brace.  Be careful, if you have the MT055XPRO series tripod, the PRO feature will also have to be removed and reassembled. It is shown on the left, it is the part that is red.  Make sure you carefully remove all the parts and keep them in order as removed.  Reassemble in reverse order that you disassembled them.

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.

Are leg locks interchangeable on Bogen 3021 and 3011 tripods?

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I have an old 055 tripod that has screws to lock the legs.  Can I switch  out the old leg locks for new ones with snap levers?

Yes you can, IF you make sure the inside diameter of the new locks are the same as the old locks.  So if you are changing the old 055 for a new 055x series clamp, there is very little difference.  In fact we recommend these (click here for upper) for the upper clamp and (click here for the lower) lower leg clamps.

Leg clamps come in all sizes

Leg clamps come in all sizes

These are using the newer snap lock.  These have a very easy snap open and closed lock with a positive feel.  You know when these are locked.

Also, bear in mind that Manfrotto (more than 20 years ago it was called Bogen) has been making tripods for over 40 years.  The older tripods are not necessarily the same as the new ones.  Manfrotto has been make the 190 and 055 series for all of that time.  The newest versions are not called the MT190, and none of the old repair parts will work with the new tripods.

Replacing all the upper and lower locks could be more expensive that the tripod is actually worth.  This is a concern for obvious reasons, however we can help with several suggestions.  First, you could trade in your old tripod for a newer one.  Or secondly you can send us your used parts.  We will pay for the used parts, depending upon condition and function.

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.

The Whole Leg On My Tripod Comes Off, How Do I Fix That?

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The whole leg on my tripod is loose and comes off.  What is the best way to fix this?

This is a simple adjustment on many tripods, though some may not be repairable if the parts are broken, or (less likely on the Manfrotto tripods) the leg was no made to be replaced.  Almost every Manfrotto tripod is designed to be adjusted or repaired.  The older units may have parts availability issues that limit you.  I am speaking today of the old Bogen 055, 055 Manfrotto and the new MT055 tripods.  In addition, the 190, Mt190 and several others in the 200 and 300 series are just as easily adjusted and fixed.

Old 055 Leg Brace Adjustment

Old 055 Leg Brace Adjustment

The leg brace that holds the leg to the main casting on the Old 055 Manfrotto or Bogen 3021 or Bogen 3011 series has two screws that use balanced tension to keep the leg in place.  Loosen both the screws a bit to allow the leg to be inserted, then tighten both the same amount.  Twist the leg tube to make sure it is not loose.  If it is loose, tighten both sides again a bit on each side until done.

Some of the leg Braces

 

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.