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Old February 13th, 2020, 12:33 PM   #1
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Sirui P204S - Loose connection collar

I've just purchased a Sirui P204S video monopod on EBay. It was stated to be in 'mint condition'. All of the leg twist locks appear to working properly but I noticed that when making pan movements on the ball joint (with the top section 'pan collar' locked down') there is always some jerking, even with the ball joint tension fully loosened. Thought there must be something sticking in the inside the ball joint, but traced it to the (blue) screw down collar that connects the monopod to the base. When locked down tight there is still a bit of rotational play in the connection and when panning the resistance tends to loosen the collar a bit more making the judder worse.

Grabbed an image off the web to show what I'm referring to:

http://i.imgur.com/iCRJdPY.jpg

Is this normal ? There's definitely some play in the tapered hex shaped interlock mechanism (that the collar locks down in place) so I'm wondering if that gets loose with wear over time, or if it's like that brand new also ?

Unlocking the top section pan obviously helps to alleviate the judder, but the pan tension is all or nothing and rather too fluid for controlled pan-tilt movements. The only recourse would be changing the old 701HDV head I've put on it for a fluid pan/tilt head with adjustable pan tension; there's just too much drag on the 701HDV fluid pan to be usable on a monopod.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; February 13th, 2020 at 01:17 PM.
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Old February 13th, 2020, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Sirui P204S - Loose connection collar

I own a different model but it has the same setup. The blue ring in your picture allows the base with the feet to be removed. There shouldn't be any play when this is locked.

It's also possible you are misinterpreting where there is "play". The feet on this monopod have play in them. The way that they are designed to allow them to be folded up also means when they're extended they move.

If you want more stability for panning, I'd suggest a tripod. Monopods just aren't intended for panning.
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Old February 13th, 2020, 08:00 PM   #3
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Re: Sirui P204S - Loose connection collar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
I own a different model but it has the same setup. The blue ring in your picture allows the base with the feet to be removed. There shouldn't be any play when this is locked.

It's also possible you are misinterpreting where there is "play". The feet on this monopod have play in them. The way that they are designed to allow them to be folded up also means when they're extended they move.
It's definitely play in the tapered hex shaped locking mechanism - when the connection collar is locked down tight, and the base is locked down tight (with the friction screw tightened), the bottom tube section (that has the male part of the interlock and blue collar), can still be rotated back and forth and couple of mm, enough to cause a judder when panning on the ball joint. Maybe in the past the blue collar was not tightened down well enough, allowing some movement and wear, so the interlocking parts now don't fit as tightly as they should. Or else there is some slippage on the blue collar thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
If you want more stability for panning, I'd suggest a tripod. Monopods just aren't intended for panning.
I do have a tripod. You might recall my post a couple of weeks back:

https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/monopod...ml#post1956681

I was originally thinking about converting my Manfrotto 679B into a video monopod but won this Sirui P204S on Ebay for less than I would have paid for the detachable Manfrotto fluid base (MVA50A), which doesn't lock down.

I'd have to agree though; irrespective of this 'judder' issue when moving around on the ball joint, it's difficult to get a stable smooth pan with the 'pan' collar and 701HDV handle when the monopod is extended beyond the first section - there's just too much top-sway. Stepping on one of the feet doesn't really help. I think if the pan collar were above the hand grip it might be easier hold steady. Best you can do is hold it lightly between thumb and forefinger as it rotates.
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Old February 14th, 2020, 03:57 AM   #4
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Re: Sirui P204S - Loose connection collar

As a confirmed monopod user these days because it suits my style of shooting better, although I still prefer a tripod when possible, I find most things are doable using a monopod, with care. I have accepted monopod limitations.

I have the Manfrotto MVM500A video 'pod which has a tilt head with pan bar and a fluid foot for panning. It pans reasonably well if the leg is lightly stabilised with my other hand and, sometimes, it will even stand up on its own. I took it on a Mediterranean trip once and it has been in a cupboard ever since, mainly because its retracted size is too big for easy transport by air.

I now have a Velbon Ultra Stick 8, fitted with a Manfrotto swivel head, which goes everywhere I take my camera because it is so easy to transport. Apart from self standing I can do everything with it that I can do with the MVM and that includes limited panning by pivoting it on its foot. It is quick to deploy and I use it a lot. I have paired it with a Gorillapod Focus and Joby ball head, which also goes everywhere. The Joby head has an almost fluid feel to it and also does a reasonable pan with care. Tripod when I can, monopod if not.

What I'm saying is, I don't find any particular advantage in using a reasonably expensive damped video monpod over a fairly cheap travel one. In fact the reverse because the travel 'pod is always to hand.

Bryan, you don't say what you are planning to shoot using the monopod, so I've just chucked my two penn'orth in in case it helps.

Last edited by Dave Baker; February 14th, 2020 at 07:56 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2020, 05:23 AM   #5
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Re: Sirui P204S - Loose connection collar

The rotational play doesn’t sound normal. If you’re mechanically inclined, the part might be tightened and thread locker applied to prevent it from loosening. Otherwise return it and buy a new one if it meets your needs.

We could be of more help if you could explain what you’re trying to do and what you’re using it for. In my experience, the majority of problems people post here has less to do with the equipment and more about their approach and/or exceeding the limitations of said equipment.
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Old February 14th, 2020, 08:39 AM   #6
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Re: Sirui P204S - Loose connection collar

I just wanted to know if it's normal that there is some rotational play in that connection or indicates wear on components - I suspect it has been over-tightened in the past causing slippage on the thread. I'm not inclined to permanently attach the monopod section to the base. It was described in the EBay listing as being in 'Mint Condition' which, by definition, means pristine, 'like new'. If it's not, I'll be returning it. I'll maybe contact Sirui to see what they say. Cheers.

Edit: Contacted Sirui technical support who confirmed that when the blue 'connector collar' is fully screwed down it should stay rigid with normal use - that is to say, when the base is not locked down and the ball joint is free to pivot there should be no movement on the monopod-base connection - provided the ball joint tension knob is not fully tightened, obviously. Which is what I'm saying - when a moderate degree of tension applied is the ball joint the resistance is sufficient to loosen the connection when rotating on the ball joint. I'm not talking about wild panning movements - just repositioning on the ball joint under tension is enough to loosen the connection. That should not happen. And it should not be necessary to forcefully tighten the connection collar.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; February 14th, 2020 at 11:49 AM.
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