How to replace the Leg Release on the MT055 and MT190 tripods

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LegReleases.jpg

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.

Old Bogen 3021 055

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.

new 055 tripodThe 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.

MTtripodAboveAdjustRemoving 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:

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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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.

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.

Bogen and Manfrotto Tripod Tune ups for 50% OFF!

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IMG_8617Are your legs loose, your head wobbly and your clamps broken?  We can’t help you with that unless it is your tripod.

We routinely preform routine maintenance on Bogen and Manfrotto tripods, heads, monopods, arms and other items.  Stop in Saturday, April 25th, 9am to 6pm we will be doing tune ups for 50% off. HALF PRICE!  All day.

Tune ups are normally $25 for labor + Parts.   On April 25th we will only be charging half price on labor, that $12.50 + Parts.  we often just have to clean and re-lubricate your old gear for it to work like it always did, just bring it in and let us know what it is doing wrong.

We stock a wide selection of Manfrotto and the older Bogen tripod parts, so there is a good chance that if you need parts, we will have it.  But then again, most tune ups don’t need parts, just a good cleaning and lubrication.

Stop by our showroom at:

SpartanPhotoCenter, Inc
108 Garner Rd
Spartanburg, SC 29303
864-583-6835

Just off Pine street/I-585  Click for Directions:

Free tripod tune Up, just in time for spring! March 14 to 21st!

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Blogpost by Bas

We are going to be tuning up Bogen and Manfrotto tripods March 14th through March 21st, FREE of charge!

Happy MonopodLet us check your 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.

We will not be charging labor for the tune ups on these days, only for any needed replacement parts and return shipping, if applicable. Gear sent to the manufacture for repair is not included. After March 22nd 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 $ 10.00 for 3001, 3021, 190 and 055 tripods to $25 for 3036, 475, 058 tripods.  No repairs are preformed without your approval.

We Repair Tripods, Monopods and Heads.

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screenshot055XPROBYes, we can repair any tripod, head, monpod or products listed here  If there is any doubt as to whether you can DIY (do it yourself), or if you have the correct tools; then send us the product, and we can make the repair or find suitable replacement parts.  For more info on repairs Click here.

We strive to have our Manfrotto spare parts in stock all the time.  That can be difficult since none are actually made in the USA.

We strive to repair Manfrotto heads, tripod and monopods within 3 working days. Generally there is only a $ 25 repair fee + parts and shipping.  Un-available parts are only one problem that will slow a repair.  Fingernail polish, Super Glue, Loc Tite and other glues and epoxies that you may be tempted to use to make a repair should be avoided.  While you may be able to temporarily fix something with these items, having to remove glues and adhesives will double and triple the time required to make a fix.  This slows us down, since not all epoxies and glues do no have solvents to dissolve them after they are cured; they must be chipped away without damaging the underlaying screws or channels.

If there is a lot of parts that are broken, it may not be economically feasible to repair a tripod or head, but it could make sense to trade it it and buy a new or different model.

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 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.

My legs slip when I put a load on the tripod, how do I adjust the tension?

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The legs slipping under a load is actually a common problem.  The tripod is not necessarily broken, on a premium brand like Manfrotto, it just may need an adjustment.

FlipAdjust4This example is using the MT190XPROB tripod.  This is one of the newer tripod Manfrotto makes, but generally speaking the legs on the middle to higher end will mostly adjust this way.  Some of the inexpensive Manfrotto tripods may not be as adjustable, because to make a price point competitive with cheaper brands, you may have to cut something, somewhere.

On the 055, 190, MT190 and others with removable leg lock clamps, this repair is this simple:

FlipAdjust5Unlock the leg lock, turn the lever adjust screw 1/4 turn to the right and test it under load.  If it slips, do it again.  There is almost never a reason to turn the adjust screw more than a quarter turn at a time.  Over tightening that screw WILL break the leg lever and possible crack the leg clamp or bend the leg tube.  Cracked leg locks must only be replaced, since glue (even super glue) will not stand up to the stress.  Bend or dented leg tubes will not telescope or collapse correctly, or may jam inside each other.

Also while you are at it, check the legs for sand and grit, cleaning and blowing out the leg clamps and any clamping surfaces or shims that may be inside the leg clamp.  While not all legs have the shims, these are the wear points for the leg lock and will always be on the carbon fiber type of tripods.

Worn shims will never tighten correctly, not matter how much you tighten the leg lever screw.

If you have problems,  click here to return the parts to us for reassembly.

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.

 

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