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.

 

 

My Tripod Is Really Old, Can I Use Other Tripod Parts To Fix It?

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There are several answers to this one question.

  1. As long as your tripod is a Manfrotto or a Bogen (made by Manfrotto) it should be possible to fix it.  Stay with in the brand for better results.  Manfrotto parts do not fit MeFoto, Vanguard or other tripod brands.
  2. Try to stay within a model series; Bogen 3221, 3021 or Manfrotto 055XPRO and 055XPROB are similar enough to be interchangeable, but not from the Bogen brand to the Manfrotto brand.
  3. As long as the parts as similar enough to the original, it should be possible. A 1mm or 2mm difference on a clamp or a tube is ok it the parts are measuring 20mm or 30mm wide.  The smaller the amount of the variation the better.

What are the variables in repairing the old tripod with new parts?  From the feet up…

rubber feet

rubber feet

Accessory Spike feet

Spike Feet

Feet. Rubber feet are standard on most tripods.  The feet are usually based on the diameter of the bottom tube.  Click Here for the page that has the feet listed by diameter.  A few tripods have special shapes that can only be replaced with the original part.

Suction cup feet

Suction Cup Foot

Most of the time the feet on tripods are rubber push ons.  Some versions of tripods have retractible spiked feet that came on the tripod as part of a kit, or the spike feet were added later by the user.  There are also suction cup feet that have the pikes and very wide rubber cups.  The spikes are useful on ice and other hard surfaces you want to “bite”into, the wide cups are great for loose gravel or sand, and the rubber feet help protect your indoor floors like wood and marble. A suction cup foot on smooth marble floors is remarkable in how little slippage there is even though the surface is slick.

Leg tubes. There are round tubes, 6 sided tubes (3 round and 3 flat sides), 2 sided (round with a flat side) and square or triangular shaped.  Obviously the round tubes will only fit the round tubes.  Some of the round tubes have flutes inside that keep them from rotating.  These have got to match, and nest correctly so they will slide freely inside each other. These will be available by diameter and length for each model.  Also in silver or black, depending upon the tripod model.  Call for price and availability – 864-583-6835

Leg clamps come in all sizes

Leg clamps come in all sizes

Leg Locks.  Leg locks are interchangeable in the same way leg tubes are; very limited but entirely based on diameter.  The round tubed tripods HAVE to use round tube leg locks.  Some 2 or 6 sided tubes  may appear to be the correct diameter, but they WILL NOT WORK without modification of the leg lock.  This is not something regular people can do without the use of a machine shop.  Also there are snap locks, that snap open and locked.  Flip locks flip up and down to lock.  Screw locks twist one or two revolutions to lock.  None of these three types of locks are interchangeable.

4446379-121BogenUpperLegBrace3221&3021OLeg Braces.  These are the parts that connect the main casting to the legs.  The leg braces have to use the EXACT same type of tube they were made for.  Round braces can only take round tubes, the braces that are round with a flat side can only take those tubes etc, etc.  Leg braces are also particular in that they have hinge points that may point inward, or outward.  There are also different sizes of these braces.  The Manfrotto 055 series had at least 5 versions using 3 different braces; then there was the 055XPRO series and then the new MT055 series that uses different braces altogether, and incompatible with the ear;lier versions.

Main casint upper part

Main casint upper part

Main castings. This is the crucial part that holds the tripod together.  The main casting also comes in many types as well.  Some older tripods us a single casting, that if cracked or broken cannot be glued or welded back together.  Other tripods use two piece castings that screw together. So that is an exact replacement part only.  Some of the main castings that are two part have to have can exact match on the guide holes that hold the two haves together, as well as the diameter of the hinge points and the width of the hinge points.

Center Column.  Center columns are matched to the type of main casting the tripod uses.  Round, fluted, geared, 6 sided, triangular are all variables.  There are no adapters to make on fit another.  There is not a way to add a gear and crank to a non-gear center column. So as with all Manfrotto or Bogen gear you must be specific and get the exact part, since there are no universal parts.

Center Column Pivot. Center columns on the XPRO tripods have a pivot that will allow the center column to pivot or to be removed and reinserted horizontally.  These pivot points are different on the different series of tripods, and the pivots are different on the different models.  So, none of these are interchangeable.

So, with this brief primer on parts differences, if you have questions or are not sure, but you need a tripod repair, then just send it in to us for an evaluation.  Tune ups are currently $25 + return shipping + parts.  We will let you know what the charge is before we start any repairs.  Click here for more information.

 

 

Free Tripod Tune Up Time!

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Single Center Column Control Lock

Is your Tripod Ready For Sping?

It is that time of year again, when most people are not using their tripods, and have most likely forgotten that there was a problem last time they used it.  And with spring fast approaching and the need for a good working gear a necessity; Bas has declared that this is the time for FREE TUNE-UPS!

Let us check your Manfrotto tripod, head, or monopod before the spring shooting season kick starts! This is a great opportunity to make sure your gear is ready to go. We will test, clean and lubricate, and let you know if any repairs are needed. Any tripod, head, or monopod listed on our ManfrottoTripodParts.com or BogenTripodParts.com websites can be repaired in-house.  Other models may take longer if we need parts, other brands may not be repairable at all.

We will not be charging labor for the tune ups on these days, the only charges will be for any needed parts and return shipping, if applicable. Gear sent to the manufacturer for repair is not included. This offer is good March 5th through 11th, after which labor returns to standard cost starting at $25, make sure you take advantage!

Send your Manfrotto or old Bogen Tripod for tune up to:

SpartanPhotoCenter, inc
108 Garner Rd
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Our return shipping charges are between $10 and $25 form most tripods. We will be using US Postal Service for most returns.  No repairs are preformed without your approval, so make sure your daytime phone number and email are inside the box with your tripod or head.

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.

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.

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.

Can You Repair Bogen Tripods?

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Yes we can.  However, the Bogen brand is a much older tripod than the Manfrotto brand in the USA.  Manfrotto has, for most of the time it has been around, manufactured the tripods and heads for Bogen.

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The problem is that Bogen has been importing tripods since the early 1970’s and many of the popular tripods have been in the line for about 40 years.  As it happens in manufacturing, changes are made to the models over time and the parts change, sometimes to the point that the new parts are completely different from the older parts, and are incompatible even though the model number is the same.  Check carefully for the model numbers.  The Bogen tripods had different numbers than the Bogen heads; and often both were stamped with the Manfrotto numbers as well, and sometimes a makers number or serial number.  You can see to the left the model 3025 right above the Bogen name.  This head was standard issue on the 3000, 3001, 3011 and 3021 tripods.

If there is any doubt, send us the tripod, and we can make the repair or find suitable replacement parts to repair your tripod.  For more info Click here.  The worst case scenario: your tripod is unrepairable.

If you tripod is beyond economical repair, we do offer trade-in values on old Bogen and Manfrotto tripods, heads and monopods to trade up to newer Manfrotto models.   Obviously the value of the trade is dependent upon the tripod, and how many parts are actually working.  The good thing is that the tripod is not thrown into the trash.  We separate the plastic from the metals and recycle them.

Whether for trade in or for repairs click here, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repair
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.

Post was changed to reflect the address change