I have a Bogen 3221 tripod with a Bogen 3038 Ballhead. The combination weighs in at 9.5 pounds. The tripod has a center column which can be removed without a problem. My question is this: Is there a way to mount a Markins or RRS ballhead onto the 3221 without the center column? I ask because at this time, I can't afford a carbon fiber tripod so I'd like to lighten up the weight of the original configuration stated above. I can always put the new head on the new tripod at a later time. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
my old 3221wn weighed about 7 lbs with the column - one thought i had was to take a hack saw and shorten the center column. I decided not to as the savings did not justify it. A new ball head would help, my RRS BH-40 was less than half the weight of my old 3265 Manfroto head. I did what you are thinking - got a good ball head (mid size i.e. Q-10 or RRS BH-40) and save for a new carbon fiber tripod.
Manfrotto makes a short center column "055xccsb short center column" which can be used with the following tripods: 055X Series and 3011N, 3021N, 3221WN and 3021PRO Series Tripods. If your 3221 tripod fits this series, then you should be able to use this short center column. It is available from B&H or Adorama for $27.90. I have a Manfrotto 3021N tripod and I plan on getting this short center column to use with a Markins Q10 or Q20 ball head.
Thanks for the suggestion Paul. The short center column is always an option. I just had a thought, if I am unable to mount a new ball head on my 3221 without using a center column, would the new ball head mount on my existing long center column ?? I'm not doing much macro at the moment so I'm not worried about getting too close to the ground. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Mike
My 3021N tripod also came with a small adapter on the bottom end of the center column, which can be inserted in the top of the tripod after removing the center column. It has a 3/8" inch bolt for mounting a removable head. When I bought this tripod many years ago, it came with a fixed pan head, which I have been using, but it does not allow me to use my Nikon 300mm f/4 lens safely. So I plan on using the adapter, or the short center column, and getting a Markins ball head. I just found out about this adapter a few days ago after reading another post by Scotty.
I don't quite understand what you mean by an adapter. My 3221 came with the long center post. I removed it and looked down the tube and all I see is the other end of the 3/8" bolt. The tube itself is black in color, then there's a silver plate attached to that via the 3/8" bolt. Is that the adapter your referring to? Like I mentioned in my post to JRP, it may be to my advantage to stay with the long center post for now, buy a new ball head and save for a carbon fiber tripod. Thanks, Mike
The adapter is at the bottom of the center column. I removed the center column from the tripod and then I removed the adapter from the column and inserted it into the hole where the center column normally goes. According to Manfrotto, this setup can be used to lower the tripod to nearly ground level. I have not tried that. After reading JRP's post, I was able to remove the pan head from the center column. When I bought the tripod over 15 years ago, I was told that the head was not removable. Now I plan on buying a ball head to mount on the center column until I can afford to buy a CF tripod.
Thanks for the photo attachment. Unfortunately I don't have anything that looks remotely like that. At the bottom of my center column I have a rubber boot. When I remove it, that's where the allen wrench is stored.
Thank you for your thoughts JRP. I separated the head from the tripod. The legs themselves weigh in at about 5 pounds. Not all that bad. The head is 4.4 pounds. I think what I'll do is just buy a new ball head and save for a carbon fiber tripod. With my luck, I'll make a mistake when attempting to modify the 3221 and be left with a set of unusable legs. Will one of the Markins ball heads fit the center column of the 3221 ? It looks to be a 3/8" bolt attached to the center column. Thanks, Mike
Thank you so much JRP. I won't need the thread converter as I do have a 3/8" bolt on the center column. The tool for changing the ball head is very smart. You can tighten or loosen the ball head without damaging it. Mike
>I discovered those tools thanks to Nikonians advice. >Before, I used a wide leather shoe lace with a stick > > Your right about that ... there are many, many Nikonians here who give good advise. I've learned quite a bit just by reading and subscribing to the forums. I would imagine that a wide leather shoe lace with a stick would also have the same end result