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Bogen - Manfrotto / never again

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Bogen - Manfrotto / never again

Postby Bothrops1 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:09 am

Hi Joanie,
Just wanted to share my experience with a Bogen - Manfrotto 728B tripod that I purchased 5 years ago, have had out in the field less than 20 times and has broken twice. The plastic, upper quick-release assembly collar cracked in half on two different occasions while birding in winter. The most recent failure occurred this past January in approximately 30 degree weather. Both times, the upper assembly collars broke when I folded the legs in towards the central column. I'm very careful not to SLAM the legs either in or out nor SLAMMING the legs against the central column. It's obvious that plastic is brittle at cold temperatures but guess what? The first failure occurred in the same spot on a 50 degree day.

I contacted Bogen/ Manfrotto repair department and ordered the replacement collar. While speaking to the gentlman in the repair department last month, I mentioned that this was the second time that the same upper quick-release assembly collar cracked in half. I also suggested that the plastic in the upper collar might need to be beefed up. He then related to me that "Tires on a car wear out and need to be replaced. They are a normal wear and tear item. Sometimes parts on tripods wear out."
Huh??

The point of my post is not to air my grievance to hammer B-M. Here's my point: Quick-release, flip levers for leg locks are a really great convenience. BUT, check the material used in the construction and seriously consider how and where you use a tripod and if the potential tripod you are considering is up to the rigors of your intended use. Although I don't consider using a tripod in 30 degree weather to be abusive, the temperature coupled with opening and closing my tripod 5-6 times proved too much for the thin plastic leg lock of the B-M 728B. Consider your use and if its rigorous, seriously weigh whether the convenience and durability of flip lever leg lock is really worth it. I have since switched to the "old style" screw type leg lock tripod. It's not fun lugging around a tripod that you can't use in the field.

Joanie, if my posting is inappropriate for this forum, I certainly understand if you need to delete it.

Ron
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Re: Bogen - Manfrotto / never again

Postby Jne_K on Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:43 am

No, not at all inappropriate and, in fact, thank-you for the feedback. Excellent point about your experience with plastic and lever locks, in general. I have never been a great fan of lever locks for these very reasons and it has also been my experience that lever locks are the first thing to wear oput on a tripod and, in really dirty conditions, fill up quickly with grit and sand more than other leg locks. Like you, I'll take either a collar lock or a t-lock screw to lock legs, even if they are a bit slower. Have some old tripods that are better than 20 years old with both collars and t-lock screws that are still going strong. If you want lever locks, you are likely to get good construction only on the more expensive leg sets. Cheap leg sets with lever locks are always going to be suspect in quality
Thanks for posting with us
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