86. How To Repair A Tripod

by Jarvo J March. 27, 2010 16327 views

These notes concern how to fix a Manfrotto 190 XPROB Tripod if the fitting has become worn and/or damaged so that the centre column will no longer lock properly. Its a very quick and easy job. This took me about 30 minutes but that included figuring it out and messing about taking photos. I reckon that now I've done it, I could do it again in about 5 mins flat.

Whether this method can be applied to other tripods, I don't know. All I can say is that with this one it was very straightforward; I've no reason to think it wouldn't be with another brand or model.

You can see here part of the reason for the repair job. The thread on the old knob (top) has worn flat in comparison to the new one. The nut that this fits into was even worse – the thread was completely worn away on one side.

The only tool you need is a 4mm Allen Key (hexagonal bar).

First, lift the centre column and pull it out to the side so that the mounting plate does not get in the way.

Unscrew the retaining bolts at the top on each leg.

Pull away the central fitting.

Now is a good opportunity to clean the leg fittings - there's more than one use for a Giotto rocket.

Remove the old sliding block, spring and nut and sit the new ones (R190, 506), in position in the casing as shown. NB. This is a little fiddly and is by far the most difficult part of the operation. By trial and error I found it was easier to place this in the central fitting that had been removed than in the similar half of casing above the legs. The real knack here is the positioning of the ring finger to stop the fitting being pushed back.

Replace the central fitting and fix in place using the three bolts.

Put the new knob (R190, 518) in place. I put a little lithium grease on this first, but I'm not sure that is entirely necessary.

Your tripod should be fit and working again. Note, I tested mine with someone else's camera ;-)

Total cost of this repair: £11.67, that's a lot better than the £120+ I'd have paid for a new tripod.

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There are 14 comments , add yours!
Helen Hooker 10 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the tutorial - I've got the same tripod so it could be handy in the future! :-)

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Jennye 10 years, 7 months ago

excellent set!
thanks for the instructions!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 10 years, 7 months ago

Well, well, you're not only clever and artistic creative but also a handy handyman.

Thanks for the information, Jon.

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Jet28 10 years, 7 months ago

Clear and concise!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Juan Regaldie 10 years, 7 months ago

expensive tools u use !!
Cr - Mb - V !!!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Michael Sakowicz 10 years, 7 months ago

Excellent job. Thanks for sharing, Jon. Now all I need is one of these nifty tripods. =)

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Juan Regaldie 10 years, 7 months ago

The only problem I see is the shipping: it is more expensive than any of the parts !!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Manuele 10 years, 7 months ago

Great tutorial, Jarvo

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Nikoleta Mladenova 10 years, 7 months ago


10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Ricardo 10 years, 7 months ago

it was not that expencive then :)
nice info :)
If I ever get a tripod, I know where I'll see help :):)

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Gerd Korts 10 years, 7 months ago

saved the page for the case that my Manfrotto will suffer the same disease

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 10 years, 7 months ago

Once, out of idle curiosity, I took apart a Manfrotto pistol grip head. I'm still trying to work out how to put it back together again.

Well done with your economically and ecologically friendly technique! Too many people (I'm one of them) buy their way out of doing a small bit of repair work.

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Marsha 10 years, 7 months ago

Great tutorial, Jon....very clear and concise steps along with great shots!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 10 years, 7 months ago

I admire your determination and ability to repair your tripod. I would probably TRY to do the same thing, but am uncertain of the outcome. I have an aluminum tripod with quick release legs and bubble levels that cost less than $40 USD. At the price of 120 pounds new ($178 USD), your tripod should fix itself!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
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