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Old January 16th, 2004, 04:27 PM   #1
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Tripod fluid heads leaking or other problems?

Has anyone ever encountered fluid heads to be leaking or what not? I want to know, if the leaking is hazardous to the camcorder (if it ever leaks onto it, that is)? I know this may seem a strange question, but some people have said it could happen... Maybe the cheaper tripods are like this.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 05:14 PM   #2
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It's actually not a strange question at all. Gee, why do you think they're called "fluid heads"? <g>

Actually it's not really uncommon for cheap "fluid" heads to begin leaking. I have an old Velbon "video" tripod than began leaking within a few weeks of my getting it (as a gift).

I understand that the goop is a silicon-based lubricant. I don't know how harmful it is to your camera but I do know that it can be harmful to YOU. Be sure not to get any in, or near, your eyes in particular. Try to clean off the leakage as soon as you detect it. Better yet, replace the whole head with something better as soon as you can.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 08:51 PM   #3
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Silicon fluid can be very harmful to the camcorder if it gets into the transport or lens.

Pro fluid heads can be rebuilt. I've had old Millers rebuilt for $350 and they work like new.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 02:36 PM   #4
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So the amber-colored grease that has collected around the base of my Bogen 516 head (where it rests on the 3193 legs) means it's leaking? I can't find a point of origin. Bought it new from B & H on 12-30-03, so I won't be able to return it now.
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 05:08 AM   #5
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What does this leakage usually look/appear to be like? Any pictures, perhaps?
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 12:20 PM   #6
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Hi David,

I don't have a way to post pictures here but could send some to you. Keep in mind this is my first encounter with such a thing, but what else could it be? Basically, it's just colored like resin (kind of goldish-brown), and is fairly sticky. Left alone it pretty much stays in place--friction is what causes it to spread.

What's odd about this deal is that I still can't pinpoint where the leak occurs. But today I discovered that if I increase the drag and then tilt, I can hear grease "snapping" inside the head.

I finally got through to Bogen Imaging this morning. Because it's under warranty they'll repair or replace it for free--I'm just out the time, trouble, shipping costs, etc.

They say you get what you pay for; I'm starting to think that maybe 450.00 doesn't get very much any more. :)
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 08:00 PM   #7
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Lorinda, send me some shots if you would please. I don't think this is all that serious.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #8
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Wow...$450 Bogen tripod that leaks? I thought any tripod at least above $150 should be somewhat better quality than most tripods out there. :-) And that's coming from a tripod! If possible, please send me some pictures also.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 12:25 PM   #9
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Keep in mind, David, that it could have been damaged in shipping, could be a fluke. I sent it to Bogen yesterday; I'll let you know if they tell me anything.

Like I told Jeff, I only took one picture, and it's not good. My old Pentax doesn't do close-ups anymore, I guess. I'll email it to you; it's at least clear enough that you can make out the "goop."
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Old January 24th, 2004, 05:44 PM   #10
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Pentax? Why not just use your XL1S to take the pictures? :-) Or does the xl1s not have photo taking capabilities? This is another reason I love digital camcorders...they can take photos! Even if they don't take it as good as a dedicated still camera, I still like taking them with a camcorder... Infact, I PREFER taking photos with the camcorder rather than a regular camera! I'm crazy, huh? Technology sure is fascinating.. :-)
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Old January 24th, 2004, 08:29 PM   #11
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Yeah, well, you've got more energy than I for a "project" like a bad tripod head :) I just wanted to get the thing to UPS before 5:00 and the still camera was handy. The XL1s does take photos, BTW.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #12
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What you've just found out is that it really isn't a fluid head in the traditional sense, it's a friction head with some thick silicon grease caught between two disks to smooth it out a bit.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 12:14 AM   #13
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Mike,

That's pretty much what Jeff told me in a separate email. Makes me wonder how they can market it the way they do. And I'm not crazy about wiping grease off my stuff, either.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 08:52 AM   #14
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I posted a while ago about something like this... But got no answer... So Iīll ask in this thread.

My tripod head (a Manfrotto 700 rc2, bottom of the line video heads) is this pseudo Fluid two discs with grease kind of head.

So my tripod head is not leaking.. not that I can see anywhere.

But I feel that panning is getting harder... And it was a hard panner to start with.

Can this "grease" solidify? and if so Why? Could cold, or water change itīs performance?

Can I "Lubricate it" myself? I opened the Head and saw itīs mechanism.. very simple thing... and very easy to lubricate... but I donīt want to screw the thing.

How can I make it pan like it used to?
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Old January 25th, 2004, 11:39 AM   #15
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Hi Federico,

If you're not ready to get something different, you might consider sending it in to Manfrotto. Although shipping would bump up the cost, they'll repair your model for $24.00, or give you a trade-in on a new 700 rc2 for $49.00. (USD)

Check it out at http://www.bogenimaging.us/service/repair_manfrotto.html

This repair department is in New Jersey. You might find something closer to home.

Sorry; I can't answer your other questions.
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